In crowd funding there are no losers. Sure, victory is sweet for those who meet (or exceed) their funding target first time around. But there are the spoils of war, even for those who have seemingly lost the battle. A campaign that does not meet its target comes with many lessons, and when these learnings are applied to the old adage of “If at first you don’t succeed….” the second bite of the cherry can be sweeter, and more rewarding, than the first attempt could have ever hoped to have been.
The holy trinity for the success of any crowd funding campaign is made up of rewards, project description, and promotion. Get one of these wrong or neglect to include one of these, and it has the same effect of omitting a key ingredient when making a cake – the result is pretty unpalatable. Often, a failed campaign is like a taste test, and a keen sense of taste will quickly identify what is the missing ingredient.
The most common piece of the puzzle that project creators get wrong is that of rewards. When creating the rewards, a project creator really needs to ask “would I be moved to pledge to get one of these? Are the rewards enticing? Are the rewards good value for money? Are there a number of rewards, catering for those that want to just pledge a little, through to those who might want to pledge a lot?” Well worded campaigns with a lot of promotion can be let down when they fail to underpin their efforts with very “soft” rewards like a hug or a certificate – these are great rewards for charitable campaigns, but don’t cause a commercial initiative to get the funding they need. The best campaigns offer a great buy, spectacular value for money, or an experience that the recipient will remember for a lifetime.
A cake made with the sweetest of sugar will still fall flat if the other ingredients are not added in the right ratio. A project description of a single paragraph does little to gain buy-in from the crowd. A project description is the skeleton around which your campaign is built. It defines your campaign, gives it substance, and engages (and motivates) the crowd. A video in your project description shows your passion to the crowd. The text then tells them in more detail about you, your team, and the goal you hope to fund. The inclusion of pictures will help build the emotion, and develop a greater bond with the reader (hopefully soon to be the supporter). And please don’t forget to include information about what you plan to do with the funds raised.
Imagine you knew the greatest news in the world. What news would it be if you told no one? The answer is, it wouldn’t be news at all – it would simply be a secret. Similarly, you could have the best campaign in the world, with wonderful rewards and a well worded outline with a really engaging short video. But if you don’t tell anyone about it, what value do you think your campaign holds? Often we see great campaigns that fail to raise the funding they need, simply because the project creator has done nothing (or very little) to tell the world of their quest. Most successful project creators never miss an opportunity to tell the world of their plans and efforts.
So when a project creator falls short the first time, it is usually because they have missed one (or more) of the key ingredients to crowd funding success. Reviewing, taking stock, and going again a second time often leads to greater levels of success than the first time around. You have already won the admiration of the crowd. You are able to make a new start with a crowd who you know will support you, who are familiar with you, and know all about crowd funding. Ask them why you may have missed out first time around (and this will further engage them), and ask your crowd funding platform as to their suggestions.
With a little experience and a lot of will to go again, crowd funding may often bare greater success second time around.