Yay! We did it! I am off to Morocco for my first international Jiu-Jitsu competition and it is all thanks so my crowdfunding campaign!

I did some crowdfunding to write my first book and I have crowdfunded for charity projects, but crowdfunding for an overseas sporting trip was not something I had done before. I am happy to report that the steps to a successful crowdfunding campaign are pretty much the same, regardless of the reason for the campaign.

Off the back of this campaign and on reflecting on the ones that have been successful, (not all of them have been!)I am super excited to share a few tips on creating a successful crowdfunding campaign:

1. Share your story

Let your potential funders know how your product or business idea can benefit them. Share who you are, what you’re planning to do, where the project idea came from, what your budget is and why you’re passionate about it. This shows you’ve actually put some thought into the idea, which helps prove the legitimacy and credibility of your project.

Make sure to create a great-looking project-header image as well as a compelling video. You have to have a stunning video pitch. Make sure the video quality is crystal clear, your story is compelling, and your product shines. Show you’re credible by speaking clearly, outlining the concept and the benefits, and demonstrating exactly how it works. Connect emotionally with a personal story in a way that a potential backer will be able to relate to. Finally, talk about why the product is unique. People need to know what problem you’re solving that will be appealing to consumers.


2. Set a funding goal

If you’re launching your campaign on Kickstarter, be aware that it has an all-or-nothing funding model. If you meet or exceed your funding goal, you get to keep the money. If not, you don’t get anything. Platforms such as Indiegogo or Backabuudy and Thunderfund work on a slightly different model, where you get to keep the funding regardless of whether you reach your goal.

At this point, it’s important to think about how much money you need to get your business up and running, and how many people you know might be willing to pledge. Although you may attract the attention of new people with your campaign, most of your support is going to come from those who already know you. Be realistic. Also, keep in mind that you can’t change your funding goal once you’ve initiated the campaign.

4. Promote your campaign

There are many different ways to make people aware of your crowdfunding campaign. Here are a few tips for getting the word out:

  • Use social media to spread the message.
  • Reach out to the media and bloggers to get coverage for your cam­paign.
  • Host a live event to drive up interest and engagement.

Your campaign is unlikely to succeed without a 100 percent commitment on your part. You need to think of it as a full-time job while you’re driving toward your campaign goals. Leverage every relationship and marketing channel available to you.

5. Update your backers as your project progresses

You need to keep your project backers in the loop as you move forward with your campaign. If you don’t share regular updates with them, you could lose their interest and might not be able to attract as many pledgers as you’d like.

Crowdfunding platforms generally have built-in tools that allow you to update your project backers and send messages to them. Take advantage of these tools and keep everyone in the loop.

Be honest and regular with your updates. If things aren’t going exactly as you hoped they would, be transparent. Backers want to know that you can actually deliver on your project and the rewards you promised them.