As part of our series of Pro Tips sessions we invited Declan Cassidy (MakerClub) and Sophie Giblin (Kollektiv Gallery) to answer questions about crowdfunding projects and events. Here’s a brief overview of what #BDF15 Event Organisers wanted to know:
Can I secure backers before I even start my campaign?
– You’ll need a pre-existing loyal community of people who are genuinely engaged with what you’re doing.
– Build a simple website purely for capturing data. All you need is some clever copy and a sign-up box.
– Ask for their feedback when you’re designing or prototyping your product. They’ll feel like it’s their product before it’s even finished.
– Use “Share or like to win ____” online campaigns to increase your reach.
Should I put any money in myself?
– Pretty unanimous statistics say that you need to reach 30% of your goal in the first week of your campaign. Do whatever you need to do to reach that – a lot of successful crowdfunding campaigns have put their own money in early-on.
What kind of incentives should I set?
– Be creative. Look through other Kickstarter if you need ideas, but ultimately your incentives should be relevant to you, your project and your backers.
– Many higher cost incentives are for one-off events; dinner with the makers, parties.
– Do something bespoke and personal; hand-written thanks or artisanal abusive postcards.
How do I stand out from the crowd?
– You’re probably not going to stand out from the 1000’s of other projects on Kickstarter.com, so make everywhere else count.
– Draw upon your community, family and friends. Make sure they know your project is live.
– Whether you’re using a PR agency or doing it DIY, make a press list early on and start making valuable connections sooner rather than later.
– Thunderclap is a great tool for starting your campaign with a bang.
– Don’t forget to tell people about your campaign face-to-face. Go to as many networking and public-facing events as possible and tell people about what you’re doing.
Any general advice?
– Don’t overthink things – you can make a crowdfunding video in a day without a budget or any production experience.
– Kickstarter or Indiegogo? It’s down to personal preference, so research the pros and cons of each (or any other crowdfunding site, for that matter) before making a decision. That said, Kickstarter is definitely more recognisable as a brand.
– Friends and family are invaluable.
– Leave at least one month between campaigns. Let yourself regroup and reflect.
– Once you’ve got a few successfully funded projects under your belt, you might consider looking into equity crowdfunding via platforms such as Crowdcube.
Sophie Giblin, Founder & Curator of Kollektiv Gallery
Since 2013 Sophie has run two of her own crowdfunding campaigns to open galleries in vacant spaces in Brighton. She gives talks about her experience of crowdfunding and now advises students, schools, creatives, technologists & businesses on how to DIY a successful crowdfunding campaign. Sophie has also written an online manual on crowdfunding, available here.
Declan Cassidy, CMO at MakerClub
Having previously run 10,000 capacity arts and music festivals, an underground 1920’s speakeasy and a few giant cardboard robot fights, Declan has 10 years of unconventional marketing experience. During his time at MakerClub, he has been responsible for running two successful crowdfunding campaigns and believes it now an essential tool for taking any new product to market.