Back in 2009, Crowd Funding really started to gain the early attention of the first followers. Small projects were able to benefit by using crowd funding to raise early stage funding, primarily for artistic and creative projects. Over the next 3 years, hitting the elusive $1mil mark for a crowd funding campaign was a pipe dream, akin to pre-1960s efforts to land on the moon. But since the start of 2012, there have been over a dozen campaigns that have burst through the million dollar ceiling, and they have all exercised similar initiatives in achieving their success.
Let’s study the common stats, and benefit by the learnings…..
- 55% have been in the area of Games, with the other successful categories being design, technology, music and comics
- 93% of these successful campaigns had a video, and the video was short and sharp, running for an average of just under 4 minutes
- Further embracing the concept of “short and sharp”, on average these campaigns ran for around 30 days
- The importance of a good sized audience cannot be underestimated, and in the case of these large, successful campaigns, the average number of Twitter followers was just under 15,000 and the average number of Facebook fans just over 17,000. It should be noted that when the campaigns were commenced, these following was nowhere near these numbers, but grew as the word was spread and they successfully engaged with the crowd. However, they did start with a healthy number of followers to whom the message was communicated, and who then passed on the message to their networks and so on.
- Interestingly, these larger projects offered, on average, 14 tiers of reward levels. They started with very affordable “entry level” rewards, and incorporated quite a number of “stretch goals” (really high priced rewards to stretch the project supporters who really wanted to kick the can in a big way)
- Backlinks, referrals and endorsements played a big part in their success. On average, each project had 13 external backlinks to their project page, and these backlinks were usually placed in articles about the experience and qualifications of the project creator, not just the dollars being sought. In most cases, the articles containing the backlink were published before the campaign actually launched, and many also took the innovative step of arranging reciprocal endorsements with projects on the same crowd funding platform
Most campaigns succeed or fail even before they go public. Like a top-flight Olympic athlete, success was largely determined by what was done way before taking their position in the starting blocks. The key is to build a following, and to share your story. Show proof to the world that you can do it. Prepare well. Build and engender community spirit around your project and your passion, and this enthusiasm will spread.
But not only was it important to prepare before launch, once live, communication was the key:-
- Post regular project updates. On average, these successful campaigns posted one update every 1.78 days
- Get good at answering questions from backers and potential backers. This serves to further engage and to give the answers to many questions that are in the minds of potential supporters, but often not put forward.
And for these highly successful campaigns, the results were quick in coming, and well in excess of their initial expectations –
- On average, these dozen large projects achieved $470,000 in funding in their first 24 hours
- Whilst they substantially exceeded their funding goals, almost all of these met their original target within 2 days, and then went on to receive considerable multiples of their original funding target
The learnings are there. The examples have been given. Following these teachings may just give you and your campaign a great shot at not only reaching your target, but achieving multi-million dollar results.
(With thanks to www.KickstartersHQ.com for the stats)