Over the past month or so, I’ve received many questions about my campaign to get back into school, which I’ve written extensively about here and here. Also within the last month, I’ve seen plenty of other people create their own campaigns. Some people have did it the right way, and others… not so much, LOL.
But have no fear, I’ve got some tips for you.
First of all, I want you all to understand what exactly crowdfunding is. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, usually via the internet. There are plenty of sites to pick for your crowdfunding needs, but the one I used was Go Fund Me. The good thing about Go Fund Me is that it’s super simple to use, you can connect it to your Facebook or Twitter account, and you have options of printing out flyers and adding offline donations (donations that are given to you in cash or by check). The only thing I didn’t like about Go Fund Me was that they take 7.9% of whatever you earn, so I advise people to adjust their goals accordingly.
Whether you choose to use Go Fund Me or another crowdfunding platform, here are 4 tips before you even start:
1. Make sure your story is clear and concise:
No one wants to read a long, fancy word filled book about why you’re trying to raise money. At the same time, no one wants to read something that comes off as brief and evasive. Be honest, but don’t give away too much unnecessary information. For example, if you’re trying to raise money to get your college degree, then leave out the part about your cat going blind in one eye… no one cares, unless your campaign is about raising money for the cat’s surgery. If you aren’t that good with words, I suggest enlisting the help of someone who is. Add pictures to your story if necessary, but above all else make sure your story is clear and easy to read. No one wants to click on a link and feel confused after reading it.
2. Tap into your network(s)
Without people, crowdfunding wouldn’t be where it is today. Everyone thinks that the key to crowdfunding is getting someone’s money, but I beg to differ. Sure, that’s a huge part of it, but it’s also important to reach out to the ones you know so that they in turn can reach out to people they know. For my own campaign, I sent out emails, told all my friends and family, and even printed out flyers to post around campus. Everyone won’t be able to donate money, but as long as you have good rapport with the ones you’re asking to donate, they will hopefully spread the word to someone who can.
3. Research the right platform to use
Everyone I’ve seen create a Go Fund Me simply did it just because they saw someone else do it. That’s fine, but make sure the platform you choose to crowd fund on is even the right one for you. For example, if you are looking to raise money for a film, then you may want to try Indiegogo or Kickstarter. If you’re looking to raise funds to create an after school program, then you may want to learn how to write a grant instead, or hire one. Always do your research and weigh the pros and cons of each site. Different sites have different fees and you want to make sure you’re not getting cheated out your money with limited options.
4. Be relentless in your promotion
As I said before, crowd funding is not for the faint hearted. Therefore, consistency is KEY. Use every medium you can to get your campaign noticed, even if you aren’t heavy on social media like that. I posted about my campaign on everything from my Facebook to my LinkedIn and I don’t regret one bit of it. People helped me promote every single day of my campaign, whether it was online or offline. A common mistake I’ve seen people make when it comes to crowd funding is that they think if they post about it once or twice that it’s supposed to catch on like wildfire and people are supposed to empty out their pockets.
How about NO!
Ask yourself how bad do you want to meet this goal and let that be the motivation to continuously promote. If people don’t know about it, they won’t be willing to help you, simply because you aren’t willing to help yourself.
Bonus Tip: Be Patient
Listen. Just because my own campaign took only 24 days to meet its goal doesn’t mean that the same will happen for you. You have to be patient when it comes to raising money and STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE. I’m about to get spiritual and tell you that what God has in store for you, is strictly for you. Too often, I’ve seen people give up on or delete their campaigns because they aren’t raising money quick enough or they feel discouraged that their campaign hasn’t gone viral. Just keep the faith that your goal will be met and put that extra work in to make sure you accomplish what you’ve set out for. Remember, faith without work is dead.
Have any more questions about crowdfunding? Leave them in the comments below!