As we have recently mentioned, crowdfunding is becoming an incredibly popular way of raising much needed funds for businesses around the world. With the traditional lending options becoming increasingly difficult to succeed with in today’s financial climate, more business owners are turning to crowdfunding to fund growth and expansion plans.
But how can you make sure that your crowdfunding project is a successful one? With more and more companies turning to sites like Crowdcube, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that your pitch stands out from the crowd if you stand a chance of being successful with your fundraising.
We’ve spoken to some companies who have successfully used crowdfunding to raise business finance and put together this guide for you so that you can find the best way to be successful at crowdfunding.
1. Plan your pitch
A good pitch needs a lot of planning and this is not a stage that you can skip if you want to be successful. Think carefully about the amount of money you want to raise, what you are going to use it for and how you are going to reward people who invest in your pitch. Crowdfunding isn’t a failsafe way of raising funds and it won’t be suitable for everyone. It is a very transparent way of dealing with investors, you have to be 100% sure that it is the right option for you as everyone will see whether or not you raise the funds that you are asking for. Take some extra time in the planning stages and really make sure you are ready to invest the time needed into making your pitch successful.
2. Believe in your product
This may sound simple but if you are passionate about your product or service this will shine through in your pitch and tempt people to find out more about you and your business. Include as much information as you can and be specific about what you are looking to achieve. If you are trying to persuade people to invest in your business there is really no such thing as too much information, as long as it is presented in the right way. Pages of text and financial projections will turn people away as much as a brief and uninspiring paragraph just asking for money. Check out some of the most successful pitches on the site that you are using for your crowdfunding and be inspired by how they presented themselves.
3. Use images and video as well as words
A pitch needs to be visually inspiring if you are going to grab people’s attention. Tony Pearce from gamesGRABR understood the importance of this with their recent pitch with Crowdcube. gamesGRABR were originally looking for £150,000 worth of investment for their online social media gaming site and are currently at almost £180,000 of funding raised.
The use of custom designed images in their marketing and pitch meant that it was eye catching and created a talking point for potential investors. The use of video added a further level of human interest and meant that people were more likely to spend time looking at their pitch.
4. Market your pitch
Simply creating a pitch on a crowdfunding site and sitting back and waiting for the investments to roll in is a surefire way to raise very little money. You need to be marketing your pitch as much as possible. Tell everyone you know about it, try using some of the below ideas
- Post on Twitter and Facebook about your pitch. Personally thank anyone who invests on twitter if you know their twitter id. This is a good way to show that your pitch is popular
- Email all of your contacts through email, LinkedIn, networking groups, friends and family and your newsletter list. Don’t assume that anyone won’t be interested, tell the world what you are doing.
- And ask them to tell their contacts! If you create a button that people can host on their blog or an image and email that they can forward out this will increase your chance of success.
- Design a new page for your website to tell people about your pitch and update them. You can then direct all of your traffic here and using your website analytics you will be able to see which of your marketing efforts have generated the most interest.
- Talk to the press. Start with your local newspapers but don’t be afraid to tell the national press about what you are doing as well. A well written press release will go a long way in getting your story heard.
In order to be incredibly successful you may need to leverage the help of other people in promoting your pitch. Consider who you have in your circles or network who you could work with to really help get your message out there. If you know anyone who has a different social media network to you then ask them to work with you and help spread your message. Joint ventures and leveraging your contacts is the basis of social media marketing. It’s all about who you know and who they know when it comes to getting your message out there and driving as much traffic as possible to your pitch page, so don’t be afraid of approaching others and asking for help.
Make sure that you answer questions as soon as they are asked and keep in touch with all of your investors. Include them in your marketing and make sure they know what is happening at every stage of your pitch. It is a well known fact that it is easier to raise additional funds from existing investors as they are already bought into your company ethos. So keep the lines of communication open.
7. Don’t stop as soon as you hit your goal!
If you are fortunate enough to meet your crowdfunding goal then why stop there? Use this as an opportunity to raise even more funds and tell everyone how successful you’ve been. Everyone loves a success story and you may find that more people are likely to invest once they know that your pitch has been successful. Follow in the shoes of gamesGRABR and continue to market your pitch until the very last opportunity and in doing so exceed your goal.
So if you are an entrepreneurial type looking to support the UKs small businesses or a business with a solid plan who is looking for investment, why not check out the services available through Crowdcube, Banktothefuture, Crowdfunder, We Fund, or one of the other websites available, you never know – you might just be part of building the next Microsoft, Tesco or Facebook.
Do you have any other tips on succeeding with crowdfunding? Let us know in your comments!
Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and likewise as one of the top social media power influencers, she is one of the most dynamic personalities in the social media market, she actively leverages ethical online marketing for her clients and for Socialable.
After launching her first business within three years of becoming a mother, her financial success was recognised by being a finalist at the Best MumPreneur of the Year Awards, presented at 10 Downing Street. Following a resultant offer and wishing to spend more time with her daughter, she sold her first business to focus on social media, developing a multi-site blog and online marketing portfolio that generates in excess of 600,000 + page views per month.
A business owner, social media consultant, internet mentor and genuine digital guru, Lilach is consulted by journalists and regularly quoted in newspapers, business publications and marketing magazines (including Forbes, The Telegraph, Wired, Prima Magazine, The Sunday Times, Social Media Today and BBC Radio 5 Live). What’s more, her books have achieved No 1 on Amazon for Sales and Marketing and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
When Lilach isn’t working she enjoys spending time with her family and is an avid fan of Zumba.
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