“Hey, stranger, can you give me some money?”
No, you’re not begging on the street. You’re crowdfunding. In the most basic sense they’re the same – you’re asking people you don’t know to give you some cash. But with crowdfunding you’re not just collecting change for a bite to eat, you’re trying to finance your dream business or super cool project.
You can’t just expect people to absentmindedly drop some change in your bucket as they pass by. You have to completely convince them that your ideas are worth their sizable contributions.
In order to succeed with crowdfunding, you must have a plan. Your business is at stake. Here are some tips to help you earn money through crowdfunding and reach your goal.
Choose Your Site
The first decision you’ll make is where to list your project, and your decision is crucial. There are lots of crowdfunding websites out there, but not all of them are right for you. There are also lots of new crowdfunding websites popping up, but the trouble with those are they lack the traffic volume that more established sites get.
Most importantly, you want to choose a site that focuses on your type of project or business. For example, if it’s a creative endeavor, try KickStarter.com.
With crowdfunding, you generally have to reach your target amount in order to get any money. For this reason, don’t ask for hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund your entire business right off the bat. Start with small goals; for example, first ask for enough money to incorporate your business and launch your website.
If you set smaller goals, you’ll be more likely to reach them. After you’ve tested the crowdfunding waters and successfully reached your first target, you can always try again with a bigger and more ambitious goal.
Sell, Sell, Sell
The most important part of your crowdfunding effort will be how you sell your project. Not only will you sell your project, you also have to sell yourself. You have to convince people to go from thinking, “Hey, this seems interesting,” to opening their wallets for you. Make sure you have a very thorough description of your project.
Answer all potential questions about it, including the who, what, where, when, how, and why it matters to potential donors. Explain exactly what your goals are and what you plan to do with the money. One of the best things you can do is create a video. The more you personalize your project, the more people will be enticed to give.
For different contribution tiers, you should have different rewards. Get creative with your rewards, and try to offer something of value, even if it’s very small. If you’re producing a film, offer a signed copy of the final project to all donors, for example.
If you’re launching a financial consulting business, offer donors a free review of their taxes. And the most important way to reward your donors is with ample thanks. Send a personal thank you note and shout out your donors on Twitter. Hopefully, they’ll be encouraged to continue to support you throughout your endeavors.
Priya N writes about make money topics on her blog. You can find quality tips & ideas about blogging & earning methods on her blog.