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How to Craft a Successful Crowdfunding Pitch

Although crowdfunding has been around for a while, it is only quite recently that it has become an everyday term. There are currently many different sites and options for crowdfunding platforms, and it has become a very popular method for many new startups and entrepreneurs to fund their ideas and projects worldwide.

Crowdfunding is a very unique way to raise funds for your projects, and very different from seeking finances through more traditional methods. For one, you are trying to impress a completely disparate audience: you are appealing to your exact audience for support and funding, rather than businesspeople concerned solely with the facts and figures.

As you are seeking to appeal to your audience to support this idea or project, you do have to think of your crowdfunding in an entirely different way to traditional fundraising. And, appealing to an audience for support is almost entirely based on marketing strategy.

Crowdfunding = Marketing

Before you kick off your crowdfunding project, it requires a lot of planning. You need to plan your idea, and make the project practically ready to go as soon as you have reached your target funding. This means all of your designing, team and strategy must be in place by the time you go to begin your crowdfunding.

However, while you are designing and planning your project, you need to begin attracting an audience and fan base. It is paramount to initialise an effective presence on social media, in order to get the word around to as many people as possible. If you haven't already, build up a strong fan base and support on your social media platforms, as these will be your primary funders.

As well as a solid foundation of fans and consumers on social media, it is important to build up a strong marketing strategy. Before you even start your crowdfunding project, you need to let people know that it is going to happen. Appeal in the areas you feel your audience will be, and try and rile up excitement for your upcoming project. Tell people about it!

Remember, your audience are your crowdfunders. And, when you get them on board to support and fund your idea, they will be your first consumers after the project has been fulfilled. A brilliant marketing strategy is something you would need traditionally, only with crowdfunding it is essential to get this started well before the product has been created. Also, it is crucial to keep up this audience communication, particularly on social media, after your crowdfunding has ended - use it as a way to keep your funders up to date on the progress of the project, and when they can finally get their hands on it.

Your Business Plan

Only after you have crafted a marketing strategy, and attracted interest and an audience excited about your project, then you can begin planning your crowdfunding strategy.

You need to think of your crowdfunding strategy as a business plan firstly. Find out exactly how much money you need to raise, and work out the minimum amount of money that will impact on your project. Also, work out a deadline to aim towards, as it will keep your funding on track, and help motivate your funders. It is important to work out a plan of how your crowdfunds will be used - including the precise reasons behind your fund goal.

It is helpful to be honest and transparent to your audience: explain exactly how your project will work and why you need the funds. It is important to provide a clear breakdown of the project, and how the funds will be utilised, even though your crowdfunders and supporters may not necessarily be that focused on these facts and figures.

Answer All Questions

When crafting your crowdfunding pitch, there are certain main questions that you need to make sure you answer. Then craft then your pitch around these questions:

1 - Who are you, and what is your relevant background?
2 - Why should I trust you with my money?
3 - What's the project?
4 - Why is this idea special? ⁄ What is the unique selling point?
5 - How much money do you need to crowdfund?
6 - How will it be used?
7 - How long will the project take after the crowdfunding?
8 - Are there any rewards or incentives to contribute, and what are they?
9 - How will you keep in touch, and keep your contributors updated, during and after the project development?

Also, this is the prime time to answer your own questions: research the available crowdfunding websites and platforms, and work out which one is right for you. Remember to fully read the fine print, and understand all aspects of your chosen platform.

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