The ultimate Crowdfunding Toolkit to support you throughout the lifecycle of your project
The success rate of Kickstarter stands at 43.4%, and that of Indiegogo is only 9.8%. That explains crowdfunding requires you to be extremely methodical and alert in your approach and action.You will need to educate yourself well about the various nuts and bolts of Crowdfunding.
Your campaign will need to be creatively tight with substance, presented in good taste and sequence to stand out amongst the competing campaigns and win the trust of audiences there.How do you do that? The first step would be developing a strategy to creating an impactful crowdfunding campaign. The second step is to execute that strategy resourcefully. An efficient pre-launch preparation, post-launch management, and journey after that, require you to be geared with decidedly performing Crowdfunding tools.Let us discuss the prerequisites of an ultimate Crowdfunding toolkit that will help you register a crowdfunding triumph
STAGE 1: CONCEPT
Call it the planning phase. At this stage you endeavors are directed towards giving a skeleton to your idea. Important tools you need at this stage are:
Brainstorming– You are getting overwhelmed with ideas and are unsure which are the valid ones and which ones require pruning. Stormboard is one efficient brainstorming tool that will help you do a useful idea mapping. Another one is bubbl.us, with bubbl you do not even require signing up. You get to do the doodling right away.
Prototyping– Creating a prototype of your product exposes you to the flaws in your invention. Rectify them and create the final and flawless prototype of your product that can instantly convince your audiences. Justinmind also has a mobile app that allows you to do the work on go too. Keyshot allows you to do the 3D prototyping of your product. Another one is Marvelapp; this tool allows unlimited users under one registration.
Crowdfunding Agency– Taking help of a Crowdfunding Agency cuts your work to half and lets you focus on real business instead. Seeking professional help is always recommended when you face ambiguity or are getting overwhelmed with ideas. Agency 2.0 is one of the pioneer crowdfunding consulting and marketing firms with numerous success stories to tell. Launchboom is another crowdfunding agency with a great track record in the arena of Reward-based crowdfunding. Many of the campaigns they worked on turned out to be heavily over funded like Ecoqube Air and Zero Breeze.
Human Resource– You will need coders, designers, marketers, virtual assistants, content developers, etc. throughout the lifetime of your project. You can easily find highly skilled and experienced freelancers on Upworkor or Freelancer.
Collaboration– Collaborating in point of fact brings enormous gains to your project. It becomes all the more important, when you are working with a remote team, which happens to be the case, quite often than not, with startups. You can use GoToMeeting for the purpose. It helps you connect with anyone, residing anywhere, using any kind of device.
STAGE 2: PRE - LAUNCH
You are ready with your team, plan, and the prototype. It is time to create a strategy to craft a campaign competently and spread the word astutely. Tools you would require are:
Video Editing & Hosting– Your campaign video can make or break your crowdfunding saga. Quality, content, and call to action are three most crucial aspects of crowdfunding videos. Go no more for than iMovie if you are an Apple proponent. Otherwise, you can take up on Animoto, mixing and editing all comes hand with this tool. Another excellent option is Stupeflix that allows you to make unlimited free videos.
Photo Editing Software– If you are crowdfunding a tangible product, still images are inevitable. You can use GIMP for high-quality photo editing. You can also use FotoFlexer; this tool allows you to directly upload photos from various social media platforms like Facebook, Picasa, or Flickr and do the editing.
Infographic Creator– Support your reasoning behind your project with a loaded Infographic. Infogram is one highly performing Infographic makers. It allows free use for one user for up to 10 charts. For more than 10 charts you will need to shell out $19 a month to use this tool. Another one is Pictochart, which is most recommended for Non-profits and educators, as they have an option of subsidized pricing for them.
Website Creator- Squarespace, Weebly and Wordpress allow you to make informative and attractive websites without any hassle and rather quick. Squarespace and Weebly are the best options if you want to DIY your site. They are very affordable with drag and drop features. No coding required. Whereas Wordpress should be your ultimate choice if you are looking for robust, modular, and scalable websites.
Landing Page–A landing page that will detail your audience about every facet of your campaign is significant. You can effortlessly create a media rich and substance rich landing page that is extremely search-engine friendly within minutes using Unbounce or Launchrock.
Press Pitching– A good PR outreach will do a great deal in creating awareness about your project and product. Use Blogdash or Cision for spotting the top bloggers and correspondents of your industry. You can request them to publish a press release containing the details of your project. Getting published on top media will garner the maximum goodwill and advertising for you. Besides, Crowdfundingpr is one platform where you can post a free press release.
Email Marketing– It is the most cost effective marketing tool with an outstanding track-record of getting the highest number of conversions. Touching base with your supporters or the potential supporters now and then helps you in doing rapport building. MailChimp is definitely the king tool for email marketing; especially when you are still young with your email marketing endeavors. It allows free service for up to 2000 subscribers and 12000 emails.
Blog & Forums– Educating people about your product is the best way to create a need and market for your product. You can discuss not only about your product and industry, but also complementing products and industries. Understand that the idea of your blog should be to help the readers and not sell to them. Tumblr, and Blogger, are the most equipped and search engine friendly blog platforms. Pick up on Wordpress, if your ultimate idea is to move from a simple blog to a more functional site. You can also take up on discussion forums to press issues concerning your industry. Make the maximum use of Quora and yahoo answers for the purpose.
Social Media Automation– Your product needs a strong digital presence in this world that is completely consumed by the internet. Register with either Hootsuite or Buffer for automating your social media expeditions. These tools help you schedule your social media posts and publish them on different social media platforms at once. Wondering how to create powerful social media content? Beatrixapp is another tool that will aid you in creating content that will perform for you.
STAGE 3: LAUNCH
Your campaign is up and running. The agenda is to reach the 100% of the set goal as soon as possible and even go ahead with a stretch goal. The deadline date is set; therefore go all out with your publicizing affairs during the stipulated time frame to guarantee your ultimate crowdfunding success. Tools you should bring into play are:
Live Chat and Ticketing– You should be on a constant dialogue with your audiences. Install a live chat tool like Livehelpnow on your website. Also, ticketing systems like zendesk or freshdesk are great ways to solve the queries on your
potential supporters. Apparently, Zendesk is one platform that has ticketing system as well as live chat both available on it. Also, pricing is rather sensible for the bang of buck this tool provides.
Analytics Tool– Analytics help you create strategies and improvise on them. Krowdster is a tool that helps you garner all the essential data to do the marketing of your crowdfunding campaign capably.
Campaign Promotion– Leave no stone unturned while promoting your campaign. Apply on Backercamp to get your campaign promoted aggressively. You can hire one or all of their services, depending on your need. You can also launch events using Eventbrite to showcase your project and product first hand. Live events have rippling marketing effect that you continue to receive much later too, in the form of digital discussions (read: tag and posts on social media) as well as discussion in person within the circles of the attendees. Another must try is submitting your campaign on the Backerclub. The portal has thousands of serial backers. Every backer on this platform has invested on an average of 97 campaigns. Till date, the community members of backerclub have collectively invested in a total of 710,512 crowdfunding projects.
STAGE 4: POST LAUNCH
Congratulations on your win! It is time to deliver on the promises made. These tools will ensure that the whole process of manufacturing till the delivery remains hassle-free for you:
Project Management Tools: You are engrossed in doing the real business now. You will need to do a hell lot of resource planning, budgeting, task scheduling, progress tracking, collaborating, and reporting to make certain that the development of your project in on schedule. Ease down your burden with an outstanding project management tool. Backerkit can help you collect surveys, increase pledge amounts, handle email support, and directly integrate with Easyship for seamless fulfillment. OrangeScrum is best for freelancers are small companies.Open Project is better if the operations in your firm have many layers and is more complex. Another one is Scoro; it is rather intuitive and very easy to use.
Warehousing & Shipping– Warehousing and shipping contribute to being one of the biggest cost centers for 70% of the projects. At Easyship, we get you going with this. International shipping too, is absolutely hassle-free with us. All you need to do is move your packages into our partner warehouse and manage rest of the shipping job like importing an order, choosing a courier and tracking with our dashboard!
Feedback– If you supporter loved the product? No? Why not? Yes? What is the best they like? Collecting all this data will help you improvise on your product and create an improved version. Never miss on taking their feedback. Mixpanel is an outstanding feedback tools available on the shelf. Their clientele includes Venmo, Uber, Airbnb, and many other successful startups.
STAGE 5: MARKET ENTRY
You are ready to face the world now with some great experiences in your kitty already. Brace up well to ensure that the transition remains unspoiled.
Ecommerce– Crowd validated your product. It is time to approach the mainstream audience. If you created your website on Wordpress; add a plugin named woocommerce. It will convert your website into an e-commerce portal. Otherwise, you can also set up a quick online store with Shopify.
Advertising – You have your online store live on the internet make. It is time to make it popular. Do a hard line On-page and Off-page SEO of your web outlet. That will help you pop-up organically in the search. Besides, go all out with the paid advertising too for getting faster conversions. Adroll intuitively places your ad on the correct social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and different mobile apps. Google ads, Bing ads, LinkedIn ads, sponsored videos on youtube, etc., are a few more things to make best use of.
We have created this comprehensive list to help the first time campaigners start better and smarter. It is an initiative taken by Easyship to guide the budding entrepreneurs into making well-informed decisions while working towards bringing their projects to life