5 Essentials for Your Crowdfunding Project to Succeed

Lots of good projects flop as crowdfunding projects, not because the idea was bad but because the funding campaign was poorly executed.

learn more about Lesya Liu

By Lesya Liu

Drazen Lovric | Getty Images

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You have this amazing business idea, product idea or an art hobby. You want to take it to the next level, but you're lacking the resources. Good thing that websites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and GoFundMe exist. Opening a new account takes less than five minutes, but how do you fund your project on these crowdfunding sites and meet your funding goal?

These days, media is full of successful crowdfunding stories, so people create more projects every year. Stories like The Veronica Mars movie, The 10-Year Hoodie and Fidget Cube make it look like crowdfunding is an easily-achievable goal. Yet, more projects fail than succeed on these websites. How do you fund your project on Kickstarter and don't fall flat on your face with your funding goal? Well, you have to start with an idea. After that, it's all about the right promotion.

1. Know your audience.

This is an essential part of successful campaign. Be as specific with your campaign as possible. Define your audience, identify their needs and where they might need your help.

This is where your idea comes in. Describe all of its benefits as clearly as possible. Make your messaging as personal as it can be, so that potential backers feel like you're addressing them directly.

When you know your audience, make correct social media choices. Use the channels they use most often. Target them when they're online, target them by related interests, or even geographic location. Identify key bloggers in the space that might give you extra exposure. Use social media viral factor to your advantage.

Related Book: Cash from the Crowd: How to crowdfund your ideas and gain fans for your success by Sally Outlaw

2. Use lots of visuals.

Videos can really boost your chances of successfully raising the funds. Use it as your business pitch: entice people, intrigue them, make them love your idea (and you as its creator).

If you can, use lots of images in your text descriptions as well. This will make your project's page reader-friendlier. Better yet, insert photos of rewards, so people know exactly what they're getting. This will make them much more comfortable with giving you their money.

Related: Crowdfunding and PR: Have You Thought This Through?

3. Make the rewards count.

As with anything you do to promote your business on social media, provide value. The easiest way to show value is to create great rewards. Lots of people will back your project if they like it enough, yet it feels great when you get something in exchange for your help.

Think of ways to award your backers with great quality staff that would not break the bank, otherwise, you're running a risk of sending all of the money on rewards and ending up without the funds for the actual idea.

Related: A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign Needs a Video. Here's What It Should Look Like.

4. Communication is the key.

Make people comfortable enough when they give you their money. This is ensured through constant, clear communication. All the parts of your project that relate to money need to be clearly spelled out. Post frequent updates throughout the duration of the project and even when it ends.

You need to be approachable and true to your idea, so in case something goes wrong or gets delayed, people still have confidence in you.

Related: Women Raise More Money With Crowdfunding, Research Shows

5. Begin by taking it offline.

Lots of successful projects start offline. Consider hosting an event or a party and talk to people in person. This will make you look more trustworthy and, also, more likable. When people see all the effort you put in and all of the enthusiasm you have when you talk, people will be much more willing to back your project.

Ultimately, success comes down to an amazing unique idea that people want to get behind but crowdfunding projects consist of much more than meets the eye.

Lesya Liu

Social Media Strategist at The Social Media Current

Lesya Liu helps entrepreneurs create a meaningful and profitable Instagram presence that feels right for their creative businesses. Born and raised in Ukraine, she is a social media strategist and a photographer. Her passion lies in combining art and marketing to create compelling storytelling, both visually and textually. Most days she roams the Interwebs, looking for fresh, inspirational ideas or testing things out on her own social channels.

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