It may seem simple to start a successful crowdfunding campaign. However, several different factors are important to keep in mind in order to be successful, which can be summarized as work and strategy. The directors of various platforms helped us to break down these elements.
Verkami, Lánzanos and Ulule are three crowdfunding platforms that have managed to become fairly well-known in Spain. Business ideas, cultural projects to help to publish books, and a wide range of social projects fill their campaigns. They know what works and what doesn’t work. For the authors hoping to raise money, these platforms provide advice, look after them and also make them think.
Even though the three startups each have their own idiosyncrasies, they all admit that success depends on including a series of key elements. Their directors: Carmen Moreno, of Lánzanos; Rubén Gutiérrez, of Ulule; and Jonás Sala, of Verkami, agree that many of these components are essential:
1.- A good pre-campaign. This stage is crucial. When Verkami recieves a campaign, the first thing they do is analyze its entire approach. “We advise creators to develop a good approach, good communication and a good offer so they can become part of the 71% of campaigns that meet their goal,” explains the platform’s co-founder, Jonás Sala.
Ulule and Lánzanos also say this stage is important. They confirm right away the potential they see in the campaign and whether or not it is in line with the brand’s proposals.
2. - A clear, well written project. Of course, it’s essential that the campaign be very well explained and as tangible as possible. “Don’t forget that we are selling an idea that does not yet exist,” adds Sala.
For example, if it’s a book, it would be helpful to let people see a few pages or the layout of the cover, or listen to a few songs if it’s an album. People should be able to imagine the end result.
3.- Of interest to the community. The more interesting a project is for the community, the more likely it is to spark interest in different sectors like institutions.
Rewards are one of the most complicated issues for creators, which is why they developed a guide on this topic
4.- Led by a team that inspires confidence. The public should know who is going to carry out the project, how the money will be used and how and when they will send the rewards, etc.
5.- The right timing. In rewards-based crowdfunding a campaign should ideally be online for 30 to 45 days. It’s also essential that a high percentage of the total be raised in the first week. In Lánzanos, this percentage is 20 to 25%, as “90% of the platform’s projects that obtain this level of early fundraising end up being successful.”
For Ulule’s Rubén Gutiérrez, the first few days of the campaign are crucial. He says that 30% is ideal for this period. They divide campaigns into three circles: a first circle of people who are very close to the entrepreneur (family, friends, acquaintances, etc.); a second circle includes people who follow him or her or the team on social networks; and the third, more diverse and uncontrollable circle consists of people who are recommended by a friend or certain institutions, etc. It’s important to reach all three of these circles.
The first few days of the campaign are crucial
6.- Interesting and enriching rewards. They have to be related to the project, be reasonably priced, and also be unique and exclusive. This is essential, according to Jonás Sala, in order to get people to bet right now on a project in the “pre-sale” stage. The rewards can be very varied: offering patrons to be part of the loans, being a partner in the profits for a period of time, obtaining a special edition of the product, etc.
Carmen Moreno’s reasoning is very straight forward regarding the rewards: “If you want to raise €50,000 and you’re offering €30 rewards, you just need to divide to see how many patrons you would need: 1,200 to be specific. You need to be consistent and the rewards have to be adequate,” she says. That’s why it’s essential to be empathetic with people and put yourself in their place.
Ulule admits that rewards are one of the most complicated issues for creators, which is why they developed a guide on this topic. For example, if the €25 reward is ordered the most, it should not be limited. A more exclusive reward could perhaps be limited.
7.- Good communication. This means approaching the media, create some type of agreement, depending on the project, contact with potential influencers in the sector… A lot of networking.
“It isn’t just creating a profile on social networks, but making sure there is quality content on the networks and that it reaches potential influencers in the sector and target audience,” Lánzanos explains. “It is also very important to contact the media within reach, see if there are any institutions that could get involved and knock on a lot of doors to explain the project and the added-value it will generate,” they add.