How to make your crowdfunding campaign attractive
Essential tips on how to perfect your content and create an engaging video
Regardless of which crowdfunding platform you decide to use, any campaign should give as much relevant information as possible to potential funders, both at the start and as the campaign progresses.
Getting the content right
Before you begin, have a good look at the format of how the information you provide will be displayed on the platform. Think about each section and what it needs to contain. Write it all up and get it perfect before you submit the information on the website.
Get the text right
Start with a catchy strapline for your campaign and move on from there.
You should think about how the content looks when it is displayed. Make good use of short paragraphs, bullet points, web links and images to tell your story well. Make sure that the type of language you use will be understood by the funders, but also that it reflects the nature of what you are doing. So don’t get all technical if your audience is going to be the general public and don’t use too much slang just because you are a dude in the music industry. Never use profane language.
Make it visually appealing
Remember that a picture speaks a thousand words, so in addition to your video (see below) think about how you can use images and photos to make your campaign more interesting.
Prepare all the relevant information
You must also make sure that all the relevant information on your campaign is already available when you launch and that you update it as you get hold of new information throughout the period. This means ensuring that all background information is available – business plan, financial projections, copies of patent and other IP documents, etc. You also need to make sure that everything you put up is consistent and joined up.
Creating an engaging video
Without doubt the thing that is most likely to “sell” your campaign to a funder will be your video. It is likely to be the first thing they look at and it replaces that crucial first face-to-face meeting that you would typically have in the traditional fundraising world. Think about the following points to create the perfect look and feel in order to attract funders. Remember that above all the video should reflect you and what you are trying to do.
Format: Should your video be a film, a cartoon or a slide show with a voice-over?
Style: Is it going to be relatively informal and friendly or very serious and hard-hitting? Think about how to make the style fit with your own branding and ethos, but also that of your industry. For example, if you are fundraising for a film, you will need to make a film-quality video. Remember that how you portray the opportunity will go a long way to creating a sense of trust among potential funders, so think about the tone in which you say things as well as what you say.
The voice on the video: Are you going to be the voice on the video, or will it be the voices of your other investors, your customers, your partners and suppliers or others?
Length and pace: How long will your video be? How will you break up the time in it to ensure you cover all the relevant points?
Content: Is the video really a teaser to get the funders to look at all the other information you have provided, or is it aiming to do the whole sell in one go?
Professional or amateur production values: If you want to create the video yourself, I recommend you keep it as simple as possible and probably opt for a slide show with a voice-over format.
Unless you are already very experienced in video production, I would suggest that you create a story board of what you want your video to contain, then, approach a professional video producer (even if that is a friend currently on a media studies course!) to create it for you. This may cost you around £1,000–£2,000 but it will be money well spent as great fundraisings always have great videos to headline their campaigns.
As crowdfunding becomes increasingly popular as a tool for raising finance, it’s more important than ever that your business pitch stands outs. Whilst there’s no guarantee your campaign will be successful, having great content and a memorable video will certainly help your start-up’s chance of success.
Crowd funding, How to Raise Money and Make Money in the Crowd, published by Crimson Publishing, is out now.