Sunday, April 12, 2015

Don't Assume Everybody Knows about Crowdfunding

One of the lessons I quickly learned is that even though you're so familiar with Kickstarter or Indiegogo, a lot of people, both technical and non-technical never heard of them and have no idea what crowdfunding is.

Most crowdfunding books and articles talk about that you need about six months of preparation before you launch your crowdfunding project, especially building a community of interested people, your social network and your social presence. Makes sense. Sometimes though it's hard to reveal too much details of your idea that early on. This was the case with So, instead we've focused on the general space that will play in. Posted relevant articles about cloud computing, social networking, collaboration, smart apps, etc. and launched ad campaigns around these areas of interest.

Knowing what I know now, it would have been equally as important (if not more) to use that time to also educate your community (your friends, your network and your social media followers) about what crowdfunding is. Engage them with polls and surveys if they've heard of Kickstarter (for example), know how it works, have an account there and even if they've ever backed a project on it. This interactive dialog is a great investment one can make well ahead of their crowdfunding launch.

It's tough enough to get somebody interested enough to visit your crowdfunding project page and read more details. If they don't understand how crowdfunding works, there is a significantly higher hurdle to cross before they click on the Back this Project button, pull out their credit card information and create an account in this website that they've never heard of before. Clear this hurdle long before your project starts and the clock is ticking. Back some projects early on and share it with your social networks, you benefit somebody else (Karma), and you also educate your network on crowdfunding and you lead by example.