by Jim Taylor | October 13, 2014
Part 3 of a 4-part Series
Crowdfunding has the potential to greatly increase access to capital for small businesses. However, crowdfunding to date has mostly been used for creative or non-profit ventures through reward and donation sites such as KickStarter and IndieGoGo.
A Tampa Bay artist Amber Lynn Nicol successfully funded her last two albums, Broader Horizons, and When the Sun Goes Down; via Kickstarter for under $10,000.
I decided to create a KickStarter campaign to raise funding for studio recording time for a musical performance of just one song. A YouTube video was created explaining the project and it included a song sample. The Kickstarter campaign was registered, approved and listed by Kickstarter and available to be searched on the site and in search engines. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, just before the 20 days was up, two individuals donated $5 dollars to the $500 campaign.
In comparing Nicol’s successful strategy to my failed experiment, there is one clear differentiation. Nicol actively managed her Facebook, Reverb, LinkedIn, Website, and live performances in marketing her KickStarter campaign to her fans and social network. She also had good rewards for donations, and personally contacted each and every person who donated, and thanked them via social media. I did none of those, and failed miserably.
What can you learn from this experiment?
If you build or start a crowdfunding site, and expect people to just find it and send you money, you are setting yourself up for failure. Targeted marketing, promotion, social media posts, emails, and direct contact must be diligently planned as part of a crowdfunding campaign using traditional marketing principles. Crowdfunding in itself will not do the hard work, but is a platform for accepting funding in an easier manner. And remember – promote, promote, promote.