Aren’t crowdfunding campaigns used to spark enthusiasm, create more customers, get in touch with the media, and bring in some money? Then why would you want to reduce the time your campaign takes? Let me name a couple; you have to run a company, the campaign requires energy and you need the money before a certain deadline before your network is exhausted. Before I continue to list more reasons that inspire a “crowdfunding crisis,” let me assure you that preparing and running a campaign are fantastic things to do for a maximum of approximately four weeks.
Here’s how to reduce crowdfunding campaign duration:
Prepare your network
An often-recurring mistake in crowdfunding campaigns is to first go online or “live,” and activate your networks later on. The campaign doesn’t start until you do, and you should start preparing your campaign before it’s live.
You’ll need to gather, develop, and process required information; like a business plan, financial information, and a pitch video. This takes somewhere between 1-4 weeks, if you’re a motivated entrepreneur; and I’m assuming you are. In the meanwhile, don’t be shy and tell the people around you! You’d be telling them about your marathon training before you actually ran it, and there are very few who won’t respond positively.
Why tell them before your pitch is live? Because by the time you’re ready to go online they’ll be informed, even if it’s just a little bit. You need the “incubation” time per network. Your friends need to be able to update each other about it (“Did you hear, John is planning a crowdfunding campaign!”), your sports buddies need to be able to encourage you (“We can’t wait to contribute”), et cetera. The more you tell them about your campaign, the more it creates an expecting and enthusiastic atmosphere surrounding you pitch. By the time you go live they might already be asking you about investment opportunities.
Create a single launch date
You have several enthusiastic groups of people willing to invest. How to get them to invest as soon as possible? Create a kick off date. Communicate to your network that “event X” will take place, or that you’ve set a deadline that must be reached. Make sure you network knows the date and time, and why they should invest then and there. Make sure they also know who is going to invest too, so they won’t hesitate due to cold feet.
It’s very important to make sure you have a certain percentage of funding committed before you start. 10-15% is usually a good start, that’ll convince your network to jump in. Yes, even your best friends might have second thoughts when they see nobody’s investing. This is not a problem; just make sure they see people are investing.
A good reason to finish the campaign as soon as possible and therefore to invest as soon as possible is so you’ll be able to make the headlines or break a new record. Another option is to create a noteworthy event for you network. Invite a part of your network, officially start the campaign with a short pitch to your network (which will also let you practice your pitching skills for a later stage,) and send them home with a thrilled feeling and a great story to tell.
Last but not least, follow up. Immediately. They promised to invest on Saturday evening and didn’t do so? Call them on Sunday. Make sure they understand everything (your plan, their return, and the platform on which your pitch is hosted) and ask if they have any other considerations. Focus is critical in order to create momentum, and without it, your campaign won’t take off.
Strategically use your bigger investors
You might already have some bigger investors of whom you’ll know that they’ll invest. Make sure they break up their investments in smaller bits, especially after the 30% funding. After the phase of 30% funding, your network is usually depleted and it’ll be harder to hold on to the momentum generated in the first phase of the campaign.
That’s where your larger investors come in. By strategically planning their investment(s), you’ll be able to continuously showcase progress. You want to prevent your campaign from stopping so any luxury you have in terms of money to come; use it wisely.
Plan, communicate, and energize you network and your campaign. Success doesn’t require luck; success requires organization and persistence.