Home > Uncategorized > Crowdfunding 101: 5 things to keep in mind before you launch a successful crowdfunding site

Crowdfunding 101: 5 things to keep in mind before you launch a successful crowdfunding site

Crowdfunding is all the rage at the moment and has seen an unbelievable amount of activity over the last 3 years. Statistics say that a new crowdfunding site is launched almost every week with different aims and purposes attached, be it a site to help developers sell their mobile phone apps (http://www.appbackr.com/) or sites to help rejected writers publish their books online without the need for snobbish publishers(http://unbound.co.uk/) or even social cause giving sites that help the community make donations to good causes: the list is endless and keeps growing every minute! If you’re thinking of a way to join the revolution and start your own crowd funding site to attract the masses, here are some tips on how to go about it:
1. Find a resounding theme that creates passion
I just mentioned a couple of crowd funding sites above and all of them cover really interesting themes like self- book publishing, funding independent artists or even helping people get funding for pet projects that never made it past the door of that Venture capitalist! When you select your theme, make sure it resonates with people and fills a gap in the market place effectively, most of all make sure you have a passion for it! Be it philanthropy/ giving, funding artists or film funding make sure it’s relevant and address a real need in the community. There are still loads of themes that haven’t been explored yet in crowd funding but I’m keeping that to myself for now!
2. Create a community before you launch the site
This is a really key issue to consider and execute that loads of people completely miss. The whole idea of crowd funding is bringing together a community of like-minded people to achieve a certain purpose, without this community of people you won’t have an iota of a chance to achieve anything! There are loads of ways to do this, for example while building your site, allow users who land on your page to sign up for email updates or a newsletter or use social media such as Google plus, Twitter or Facebook to create a following while you build your site. This way people will get to know you and your purpose before the site is launched and you will have followers who will already be curious to see what you’re up to. For example, Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/) had thousands of followers before they launched and now have over 150k followers a short time after going live.
3. Make sure your site is secure and hacker-proof
Yes I know that there is no site that is hacker proof (we know how many times the US Pentagon servers have been hacked and they are supposed to be the world’s most secure!) Do all you can to ensure that the site is secure as people will be providing you with their secure data such as credit card and bank details. The least you should have is an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) capability which is easy to build and integrate into your site. If your crowd funder community has any inkling that your site is not secure they will leave the site in droves and you will never be able to recover from that in a million years!
4. Powerful visuals and a neat site design
You’d think this goes without saying but I have seen a huge number of awfully constructed crowd funding sites that are a real pain to use and click through. This is something you need to think through during the site development stage. What helps is to have a look at sites such as Kickstarter or Crowdcube (http://www.crowdcube.com/) which I would say have really versatile, user friendly interface with great visuals that are not ‘in your face’ and that are a joy to use. Take time to think through the design of the site with your site provider and don’t feel shy to look at what’s already out there to get ideas!
5. What’s in it for me/ the crowd?
This is an easily forgotten tenet of the any successful crowdfunding strategy: your cause has got to have some kind of reward for the crowd funder’s participation. This could be in the form of a cash prize or simply providing motivation so that people have real meaning in their lives from participation. Also, some kind of acknowledgement and recognition could be another way of giving the crowd something back. For example, Crowdrise (http://www.crowdrise.com/)promises its crowd winning each week for the users with the highest value of points that are gained through donating on the site. Crowd cube also encourages projects featured for funding to create rewards for their funders.

Whatever cause you decide to pick have fun creating your site and good luck!!

Author: Kanini Mutooni
Founder: www. myAzimia.org and http://www.inuka.org

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