Earlier this week I attended the Inspire Network Newcastle meeting which was all about crowdfunding. In case you’re not aware of crowdfunding, this is where someone has an idea that they need some money for and they ask lots of people to invest in that idea rather than going to a bank. There are loads of different websites where you can go to put your campaign together, these include: Crowdcube, Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Also check out the UK Crowdfunding Association for more information on crowdfunding. You can also follow Mandy Charlton’s crowdfunding journey by reading her blog, starting here. It was a very successful campaign culminating in a lot of photography all over the UK. The project is not yet complete.
I’ve never crowdfunded anything, and currently don’t have any plans to, but who knows what the future may hold! I thought it would be worth popping along and learning more about it, so here are the crowdfunding tips I picked up:
- Offer people things in return for funding – recipricocity helps! Ie. give them advertising space on your website in return for some funding, send them a photograph of your product or even the real thing – depending on how much they fund you.
- Look at the shortest way to get the money. It would be easier to find only 10 funders each paying £1000 than to have to find 100 funders paying £100 each for example. You’ll need to think of something amazing to make that £1000 package a complete no-brainer.
- The first week and the last week of the campaign are the busiest.
- Have more than one person on your team (it’s hard work.)
- Do all the Twitter hours. (You will need coffee. Lots of it.)
- Have a back up plan incase the crowdfunding fails.
- Costs might be higher than you expect – so add 20% onto what you need as a buffer.
- Get a mentor to be honest with you about your campaign and help you get some great ideas.
- Get some PR. You can do it yourself if you’re clever enough or there are loads of people who are incredible at doing this for you.
- Marketing takes lots of time. (We knew that right?)
- It’s handy to have lots of business connections. Use them! You can also ask others with lots of connections to send an email on your behalf.
- A personal touch is good! Tell your story.
- Successful campaigns typically raise 21% of their money in the first day.
- Work with others eg. bloggers to help raise awareness of your campaign.
- Companies with a video are more likely to succeed by 40%!
- Boost posts on Facebook. This is to help build your likes through specific targeting so that you can ask these people to fund your campaign.
Other sources of funding were also mentioned, so if you’re not interested in crowdfunding (or if you need that back up plan!) you could consider:
- NBSL (North East only)
- Enterprise Revolution have information about a start up loan (pre start or within first 2 years trade) or Micro loan (any length of trade) Email Andrea for more information about that: email@example.com
- Funding Circle
- PayPal Working Capital
Hopefully this will have been really helpful and you might be thinking of ways you can use crowdfunding yourself or maybe invest in some companies with brilliant ideas.
If you are crowdfunding for a project then please pop your link in the comments section so I can go and check it out!