My personal belief is – that I don’t want to plan for failure because I will not fail.. But past experience didn’t agree with my belief sometimes. The start of every new thing is extremely chaotic – somewhere you will gain, somewhere you will loose. You will meet hundreds of people who would like to be your contributors, best buddies, co-founders, volunteers and you will have these one hundred coffee meetings with those people, but only 10% of them will actually mean and do what they are saying. But the stupid thing is – you have to have these hundred meetings, pitch in the meet ups to wider audiences for your own experiences and to get the feedback for your product. I promise there will always be some nasty-i-know-everything people who will point their bugger finger straight into your face and will say – I don’t get your product, it will never succeed etc. If they are willing to give you valuable feedback and criticism then you need those people as well – you have to ask them questions, why you don’t understand it, what can be done better, what is wrong with it etc. Those guys will give you some answers and view points you never could imagine off.
SO! One year ago we approached crowdfunding in FundedByMe with the motivated belief that money will fly into our pockets from unknown people as our projects is (obviously) the coolest and most innovative in the market, we tweeted, blogposted, made faceboking-liking, sending the link to all friends, bloggers and stalking people we don’t know to pay us some peso. Even chocolate-crunch cookies were made and we headed to the streets of Copenhagen and generously gave free-cookie to all people and told about our magazine. (TIP: don’t give free stuff to people on the streets, especially food – they will think they have to pay for it later, or they are poisoned or the cookie contains some magic plant which will make them dull so we can rob them afterwards or whatever..weird world we are living in)
That said – our crowdfunding failed and we didn’t get the exposure we wanted and we never found out what was the problem. Therefore, our project had to be self-funded and we blindly rejected any thoughts that campaign was unsuccessfully presented, we thought people just don’t have money nowadays, or our project is not ready to see the light, this is the fault of crowd-funding website we choose etc. Better blame someone not yourself, right?
Obviously, there is nothing wrong with people, us, funding website or what so ever. We looked back at our campaign and saw some issues:
- We have an awesome video editor/director but our video communication was not self-explanatory (we stressed and we are not video people and damn, is it appropriate time for bad hair day?)
- We didn’t have consistent communication between each other as co-founders and internal communication have never been made. Therefore our description of project is hard to understand and estimate
Video is crucial part of the crowdfunding, it have to be no longer then 1:30 sec. as people are not able to keep attention for more. The video have to speak! It have to tell the story and act as elevator pitch, the reason for raising money, and what people will get for this money. Very great explanatory video I came across is made by ColumnFive and I suggest you to see it before making ideas for video.
The other thing is that – NEVER consider making the crowd-funding on the run and as fast as possible, because you need money now and you are out of time. It will not work, you will just generate stress and low quality deliveries in your team. Build a strong communication and set the goals for crowdfunding, where do you want to go with it, what is important to achieve, which communication channels you will approach for going viral, which people will be in charge of what. You have to tweet, write, shout, scream your project 24/7, campaign can not have ‘holidays’. It is great to contact people with big networks, blogs and related interests to make them aware of the product, write to local newspapers and worldwide websites. Do not be shy to poke people you don’t know just search for approach as motivation you have.
And now I will say something from what you will loose the trust for me – we haven’t yet made the successful crowdfunding campaign, hehe. BUT! I can assure you that we are on our way and we are taking all of the previous mistakes into consideration. That said we will start our second crowd funding campaign very very soon and you can be a big part of it! 🙂
Share your thoughts and experience about crowdfunding and what have to be done for it to succeed?