BY JUSTIN ZASTROW
One year ago this month, my team and I officially launched our campaign on Indiegogo. We had spent nearly a year prepping, more than $50,000 on lead generation advertising, and countless hours working with reporters to get our story out there. It was a ton of work, to say the least. It was absolutely worth it, but I had no idea just how difficult launching a campaign would be. Like many, I was under the impression that I could create a good video, add some great imagery and get a couple of reporters to talk about us and we’d be set. I was so wrong.
Crowdfunding has opened the door for so many startups that wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to get off the ground. What so many people fail to realize is that a successful campaign doesn’t just go viral and get lucky. Most of us that see any level of success spend months and sometimes even years building the foundation for a big campaign. Below are a couple myths that I’d like to bust:
1. You don’t need any money to start.
Sadly, this is false. The old saying still proves to be true: “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” For our campaign in particular, we had to spend money on things like photography, videography, marketing, PR and advertising. It was all of these things combined that got us to funding.
2. You have to get covered by all the biggest outlets.
Let it be known that first comes funding and then comes the reporters wanting to write about you. Granted, we were fortunate enough to have TechCrunch break the story of our launch, which gave us a ton of traffic but not a ton of backers. You should absolutely spend time targeting bloggers and influencer marketers that will help bring you more backers and not just traffic.
3. “It’s a great idea. It will do great!”
Wrong. The best ideas need strategy to get the word out and that strategy involves time and targeting. You need to first identify the different types of people who you think will back and support your campaign and then you need to figure out how to tell them about your campaign.
4. Your backers will be your biggest and most patient fans.
The majority of crowdfunding campaigners underestimate when the product will finish. It is extremely important to explain this risk to your backers. Many people are unaware of the concept and don’t realize that their financial backing is an investment and creating a product can present many unforeseen issues that cause delays. Keep your updates transparent and frequent to help with this.
Don’t let this information get you down. I know it’s hard having to reevaluate, but I can assure you that taking this information to heart before launching your campaign will only help. And a piece of advice: Indiegogo has a very supportive team that will help you strategize and plan so I highly recommend connecting with them before you decide to launch on Kickstarter.