Are You Ready for Crowdfunding?

Think you’re ready to launch your crowdfunding campaign?


Each month we receive hundreds of inquiries from inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs wanting to launch their consumer product on Kickstarter.  Some are extremely polished and ready to launch. The majority, however, fall short.

This article is intended to share the collective knowledge we’ve gained over the past seven years of evaluating projects so you can be sure you’ve got everything in place for a successful campaign.

Make sure you’re ready for the crowd.

Take the quiz.

Enventys Partners is one of the largest and most experienced product launch companies in the industry. That means we’ve evaluated 1000’s of crowdfunding projects.

We’ve put our expertise in a simple-to-complete quiz that will score your project’s chance for success.

Considerations before you launch your crowdfunding campaign

Launching a crowdfunding campaign can be exciting. But, all too often creators get caught up in the excitement and forget the details to kicking off a “successful” campaign. It’s one thing to have a great idea; it’s another thing altogether to bring that idea to life.

So, where do you start, and what are the prerequisites for running a robust and rewarding campaign? Crowdfunding, especially if this is your first time running a campaign, can be an incredible amount of work up front and there are no shortcuts. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating the opportunity for a crowdfunding campaign:

Status of your prototype
A prototype isn’t necessary if using Indiegogo as your platform, but it doesn’t hurt to have an image to show on your campaign page.

Kickstarter requires a working prototype.

Choose the most logical platform
This decision is typically between Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo. You can also look into the other crowdfunding platforms, but understand that Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the two most popular and have the largest followings.
Make a (great) video
Ask any marketer today, and they will say that a campaign pitch video is a vital part of your campaign. It doesn’t need to be professional, costing you hundreds of dollars, but it should be good enough to get your message out in a professional manner
Be the the driving force behind your project
Sell yourself and your team; contributors to your campaign will feel better backing your project if they know you’re passionate and committed to seeing your campaign through to the end. You can easily keep in touch with your backers through updates, email and social media.
Set up reward tiers
The best way to calculate rewards is to research similar campaigns and see what worked (and what didn’t).
Set a funding goal
Although setting a funding goal takes a bit of guesswork, you will be better off if you run some basic calculations before launching. Consider the costs of fulfilling any rewards, public relations efforts, and marketing, such as the cost of running ads on Facebook, and platform and processing fees, which can run between eight to 10 percent. Also, add in a thirty percent cushion to be sure all costs you haven’t thought of are covered.
Set up an LLC
Opening a business bank account and setting up an LLC isn’t required, but for tax reasons, it could be a good move for you and your company’s future. Note – this is not legal advice.
Having time to run a pre-launch campaign
Get the word out to friends, family, coworkers, your network and even strangers via email, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, YouTube or by other means. Announcing your intent before launching your campaign will give you a head start on acquiring leads who could turn into backers.

When should you launch your campaign and for how long?

The short answer? Run a 30 day campaign that starts at 1pm on a Tuesday in the month of August.

Timing your project’s launch depends a great deal on the product itself. If introducing a product, you should have a prototype (if launching on Kickstarter) and at least have a sourcing and manufacturing chain under consideration to meet your reward tiers once your campaign ends.

According to Kickstarter, August is the best month to launch a campaign with October holding a close second. Weekdays seem to be better than weekends, and Wednesday is the favored day for pledges. Past data also shows that creators will typically launch on a Tuesday and end on a Thursday, and if getting even more granular, 1 p.m. EST seems to be when most people pledge.

What dates should be avoided?

As a whole, launching around the holidays in December is less than ideal, as most shoppers are buying tangible gifts for others and many peoples’ funds are reserved for other holiday-related activities.

Evaluate Your Campaign Like A Professional


To gain a different perspective, we asked our sales team what criteria they use when evaluating a crowdfunding campaign for a potential partnership.
Innovation
What’s your disruptive value proposition?

What makes you unique vs. anything a buyer could get from Amazon today?

Backers of crowdfunding projects are early adopters. Not every product is right for crowdfunding and certain industry verticals perform better than others.

Product State
Do you have a “works-like, looks-like” prototype?

Has your product been developed by a design studio or manufacturer?

Can you obtain packaged samples prior to the campaign’s launch?

You’ll improve consumer confidence in your offering by showcasing how developed you are and coming across as professional as possible.

Seasonality
Do you buy snow gear in the summer?

Do you buy bathing suits in the winter?

Am I planning to market my product at a time where people are in the state of mind to buy a product like mine?

Coupled with your fulfillment timeline, it’s important to think about the right timing to launch your campaign and prepare diligently in advance.

Fulfillment
Do you have manufacturing lined up?

Third-Party Logistics for fulfillment?

Can you set, and stick to, realistic expectations for shipping timelines to your backers?

There’s no better way to maintain momentum, improve brand equity, and scale your business than fulfilling your first orders quickly and reinvesting in your marketing. Conversely, there’s no faster way to damage your reputation by taking too long to fulfill your first orders.

Financial Model
Do you know your per-unit CoG?

Is your price point finalized?

What’s your price based on?

Have you allocated a marketing budget?

Are you prepared for the variety of possible outcomes inherent in crowdfunding?

There are no guarantees in crowdfunding and your model must be carefully considered.

Creative
Do you have high-quality, professionally-shot photography and video assets to market your product?

Do you have both product and lifestyle (“in-use”) photography?

Do you have enough creative assets for diverse digital marketing initiatives?

Does your video compel people to buy?

Second to actually having a great, disruptive product is having stunning creative assets with which to market it.

Pre-Launch Preparedness
Have you been building awareness of your product and campaign before you launch?

Do you have a sizable social media following?

Email lists?

Do you have pre-launch commitments to buy?

Are people ready to buy on Day 1?

Have you tested and optimized your advertising strategy?

Simply put, early on you must generate your own traffic and interest and engineer your own success.

Intangibles

Certain things are hard to quantify let alone self-assess.

Are you charismatic? Attractive? Honest with yourself? Do people get along with you?

Intangibles are, well, pretty hard to define but here are a few triggers we look for:

  • Do you have experience in your product’s industry? Experience sells. An electrical engineer who plays electric guitar in a band as a side hustle has credibility when crowdfunding an IoT-enabled guitar pick.
  • Are you making this product regardless? Confidence sells. If you have enough in the tank to build the minimum order quantity (MOQ) regardless of the results of the crowdfunding campaign’s results, you will get more orders.
  • Are you vested? Passion sells. Are you relying on the crowd to front all the cash or have you sunk everything you’ve got into this project because you believe it needs to exist.

Need professional help with your crowdfunding campaign?

Skip the quiz and go to the front of the class but starting a conversation with our sales team.

With over seven years marketing crowdfunding projects, Enventys Partners is one of the largest and most experienced product launch companies in the industry.

Want to make sure you’re ready for the crowd?

Take our quiz.

Enventys Partners is one of the largest and most experienced product launch companies in the industry. That means we’ve evaluated 1000’s of crowdfunding projects.

We’ve put our expertise in a simple-to-complete quiz that will score your project’s chance for success.

Want to keep learning about crowdfunding?

Not quite ready to talk with sales or just here to learn? Here are some of our most popular articles on how to run a winning Kickstarter campaign: