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Hardware Talks: Planning Is Life (Especially For Crowdfunding)

posted Jun 17, 2014, 10:52 PM by Siamak Ebarhimi

(Welcome to the first in a series of posts adapted from a talk given at Highway1 by Kate Drane of Indiegogo about the finer points of crowdfunding.)

We all know what crowdfunding is, so let’s get right into it: here are some things to think about while you’re planning a crowdfunding campaign.crowdfunding marketing

Crowdfunding has many purposes, only one of which is to make money. The others are:

  • To connect with your audience
  • To gain visibility and expand your reach
  • To prove demand for your product and mitigate risk

What does this mean for you? Think about what you actually want to accomplish with your campaign: are you looking to raise money or visibility? Interestingly, this has an impact on where you should focus your time, money, and attention when it comes to making your campaign video (easily the most key component of any crowdfunding campaign).crowdfunding advertising

  • If you’re looking to raise money, spend less on your video: if it comes off too slick, it runs the risk of making potential backers think “They don’t really need my money.”
  • If you’re looking to raise visibility, spend more: you’re trying to get your name out there, so make your pitch look the best it can.

Another hint for making a good campaign video: it needs a talking head. If you’re camera-shy or not particularly photogenic, that doesn’t have to be you, but find somebody to be your spokesperson. Potential backers have a hard time trusting someone they can’t see.indiegogo marketing

Ultimately, backers contribute for a combination of the following reasons:

  • Passion: real excitement for the product.
  • People: a likable, competent team.
  • Perks: the actual campaign rewards.

Most crowdfunders tend to miss at least one of these things when putting their campaign together. Make every one of these elements shine, and you’ll be in a good position to meet your goal.kickstarter marketing

Speaking of which: set your goal at the minimum dollar amount necessary to actually deliver your core product. This will make it easier to achieve multiples, which can be highly useful for PR or even funding reasons down the line: 5x your goal is an interesting news story, but 10x is something you can bring to investors. That’s something to think about after your campaign is done, anyway; in our next installment, we’ll talk about getting the word out!kickstarter project

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