9 Tips to Have a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

1) Know What Makes Your Campaign Compelling

What’s unique or exciting about your story? It’s easy for people to lose sight of what makes your campaign special if you yourself haven’t taken the time to emphasize it for them. 

You want to make sure that your story is personal and compelling to whoever makes it to your campaign page.

2) Set Realistic Expectations

If you’re trying to raise a million dollar loan for your new restaurant but you have no food business experience or no strong community support, then odds are you’re not going to meet any of your goals. 

You need to understand what amount of money you could reasonably expect to raise and be self-aware enough to know how your community will respond to your goals. If your expectations are set too high, then you won’t be getting very much out of the campaign process.

Additionally, there’s a certain psychology behind why people do or don’t contribute to crowdfunding campaigns, and a lot of it depends on how viable the campaign itself looks. Even if they truly believe in the campaign’s cause, most people won’t commit money to it unless they have good reason to believe the campaign is going to be successful.

Having realistic goals and expectations for your campaign can help tremendously when it comes to this.

3) Be Specific About Your Goals

In addition to being reasonable, your goals should be specific enough that when your community reaches your page, they understand exactly how their money is going to be spent. 

You need to breakdown your expected costs as clearly as you can, and have a concrete plan for how you’re going to be able to pay your loan back once you start being required to do so, at a date set by you.

4) Be Creative, and Stand Out

For your network to believe in what you’re doing, more than being specific, you also need to make your campaign as unique as it can be. Your community has probably seen plenty of fundraisers that look just like yours. 

Having a compelling story like we mentioned in the first point can help, but how you tell that story is just as important as what that story is. Having good pictures on top of a good story can really make your campaign pop.

5) Don’t Make It Last Too Long

Having a long campaign might seem like a good idea, since it gives you more time to raise your money, but it can also kill any sense of urgency that your followers might have had for a shorter campaign. 

Unless you have a very good reason not to, you should probably keep your campaign length down to about a month or so. 

6) Start Strong, And Talk It Up Beforehand

Don’t let your campaign just come out of nowhere. Talk it up well before it launches -- tell key supporters you know about it in real life and mention your intentions on social media as well. 

The less of a surprise it is to your network, the more context they’ll have for what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and the more likely it is that they’ll already be interested in your campaign. 

It’s important to get 20% of your goal raised within the first few days of your campaign, as studies have shown that this increases your chances of raising your full amount.

7) Think Hard About What Communities You’re Part Of

Make sure that you think long and hard before you launch your campaign about what groups you’re connected to. 

Understand that your network is not just your family and friends, or the people who will see your campaign if you post about it on Facebook: it’s also your church, your workplace, your racquetball team -- anything you participate in will be organized by someone, and you can always reach out to that person and ask them to share your campaign with everyone else in that community.

8) Do Genuine Outreach

Following the last point, you can’t just expect the people you know to find out about your campaign just from reading your Facebook post or getting a single mass email. You need to actually do outreach in order to inform the members of your community and spur them to action. 

That means personalized emails, phone calls, texts, DMs -- by whatever means you have of interacting with folks, reach out to them and ask them personally to contribute. 

Making the ask is important because sometimes just knowing that something exists isn’t enough to convince someone to jump aboard. Check out our [link] campaign outreach templates [end link] for more information on how to do outreach successfully.

9) Follow Up With Everyone and Keep Them Updated

Last of all, once you’ve reached out to everyone and managed to convince people to contribute to your fund, follow up with them and thank them for doing so. If your campaign is still ongoing, this is a good time to remind people of that and convince them to share your campaign a little more than they have. 

If your campaign has ended (no matter how well you did), it’s important to reach out to all of your supporters to thank them for their efforts and to tell them exactly how well you did. Bring up your repayment plans, and get working on that as soon as you can. 

But if you make it that far, don’t forget to take a break and congratulate yourself. Running a campaign is tough work.

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