31 Suggestions For What Comes Before Your Campaign Goes Live

  1. Read the rules; 25% of campaigns don’t get approved.
  2. Commit to at least 200 hours to Pre-planning; it’s a full time job to do solid preparation; anything less is just not enough. A team is 80% more effective because you have that many more contacts and personalities that connect with a wider variety of people and splitting the workload is always better!
  3. Do research; read other campaigns to learn from them. Funding someone else’s campaign gives you the experience to plan your feedback based on what you liked and didn’t in other campaigns.
  4. See which titles grab the most attention. You can test titles and ask advice beforehand. Bloggers you connect with ahead are a great professional resource. And you’re allowed to test and change during the campaign.
  5. Make sure your product is wanted by the market and will still be relevant as technology and the market progresses. An accessory or app that won’t work on a next generation model that will likely be released while you are working, (e.g. new version of a phone), will create huge challenges. There are several routes to avoid this pitfall in Phase 1 tools at Focus Product Design: www.focuspdm.com
  6. Research who your buyers are and where to find them. Search forums, blogs and ask friends where they visit online. Make a list of the active ones you want to revisit and use Similarweb to find similar sites and info about their visitors. Then use Facebook search to find more. Ask people what they want (features, color, best use of the product, favorite shopping method, is it a gift, etc.., to get them engaged in your idea early. Adapt your shop online accordingly, but make sure your supplier can meet the demand first!
  7. Contests work. Have a “name the product” or “select the colors” contest and let people vote on it. Ask if people would purchase the product. Use that email list to ask for a donation, before you launch.
  8. Create a proper email address that will live beyond the campaign, into your project’s life. People may want to find and follow you, leading to social awareness and sales. An established company is more likely to be trusted by contributors. Have a shop for pre-orders, plus a way to pay beyond 30 day delivery and updates. A reward for most campaign and site link shares does work.
  9. Build a social network early. Be everywhere, daily. A team vs an individual is 80% more effective.
  10. Plan your crowdfunding campaign, complete with data, visuals, and schedule of updates and content of updates ready at least 30 days ahead.
  11. Make your biography personal and real, using short paragraphs. Use images/video too. People are visual and scanning a ton of projects. Be unique. Ask for the donation.
  12. Download Streak (https://www.streak.com/). It’s free software that will tell you when your emails to bloggers and media are opened and where. You’ll be able to track effectiveness of media impact.
  13. Create a press kit, ready for the first person who reaches out to find out more. Have emails to post on Facebook, messages on twitter and other social sites. Responses to radio, tv and newspapers are very different; have templates for each ready for lightning fast responses.
  14. Build social & community awareness via charities, radio, Facebook, parallel project support on social media. Comment productively on other projects, in blogs, etc… to gain a following.
  15. Campaign with partners who like your favorite charities and ask other local / similar businesses to drive donations to them. This partnering enlists exponentially more awareness to your project. Also follow products that appeal to the same niche market on Facebook, join groups with these interests, etc… They’ll spread the word of your campaign when the time comes.
  16. It’s critical to find bloggers with the audience you want to sell to. Read, follow, comment and build a relationship for months before launch. Help them with tips, suggestions, etc… Send your product/project so it arrives at least 2–3 weeks before your launch. They want first crack at the story, they want time to research, ponder and write a posting, to add into their schedule in a timely manner. They will drive the most attention to your project. Bloggers are the most important drivers to campaigns.
  17. Kickstarter and Indiegogo have a limbo phase, which allows you to create your campaign without launching — it will appear exactly like a regular campaign, it’s just not live. You can gather feedback and make suggested changes before launch by directing people to your unique URL. Read more at:http://nextshark.com/18-kickstarter-tips-you-wont-find-anywhere-else/#rmns
  18. Ask for support, not donations. The mindset is different. The average person gives $25 but smaller contributors share your campaign much more on social media, which has huge value. Repeat donors often come back in the first two weeks; make sure you’ve updated the campaign and added content.
  19. Make a short 60 sec — 3 min maximum video that’s personal, engaging, tells WHY you need funding in a genuine, real way. Video updates, as the campaign progresses, are even better. People are visual and want to engage with those they support. Send these to bloggers who support your campaign, along with positive media coverage. Don’t wear gray clothing in your video; it detracts from visual appeal.
  20. Women get funded more easily in crowd funding than with VC’s and they are supported by a larger percentage of women in crowdfunding than men’s campaigns.
  21. Get commitments of funding from your social network of at least 30% before you launch. If you can get commitments ahead and schedule it to happen on the first day, hitting 100% of goal is NEWS that avalanches and brings more supporters. People back winners.
  22. Post your campaign on Monday. Friday night is literally, the worst time possible time to launch your campaign!
  23. If you’ve launched on Kickstarter, 40% of your backers come directly from Kickstarter traffic, so launch Monday. To become a staff pick on Kickstarter, email: stories@kickstarter.com and share your story. Kickstarter itself recommends this course of action. Share a blog post or article about your campaign- not just a link.
  24. Post press releases, new videos on your campaign.
  25. Answer every single question promptly and warmly. Many campaigns get suggestions that make the product better. Be open and responsive. Otherwise, it seems secretive and suspect.
  26. Offer rewards for donations that are in line with the retail cost of the product. A t-shirt in exchange for a $50 donation is too little. A hearty “Thank You” for a few dollars is fine. 4–5 tiers of gifting is the average, 3 is too few, 8 is too many. It creates enormous work to sort and fulfill them. Of course, also offer free shipping.
  27. When you create your donation gifting, plan for wild success and have the delivery and color options available. Have them select that directly on your website, otherwise the paperwork, manual entry, then shipping and handling interferes with getting your product out on schedule. Handmade or customized rewards are particularly difficult. If you choose to do this and need to send 10,000 gifts due to your wild success, allocate that in your budget and schedule while planning your campaign.
  28. Source your parts ahead of time, with padding in your schedule for holidays, dock strikes, quality control issues, etc… It is crucial to know what your costs are.
  29. You need to know how much money you need to ask for and what a realistic delivery schedule is for the final product. If you are doing this yourself, plan twice and long and twice the price. If you use a company like Focus Product Design, they will do this for you. They have a supply chain and manufacturing in place, plus EE’s, ME’s and ID’s with design and manufacturing experience for volume production and assembly.www.focuspdm.com/
  30. Plan a 31 day campaign with a fan base to build momentum. Urgency and momentum tend to drop off after that. If you plan to go live the first second of the day, make it a 30 day campaign. Don’t lose half a day’s momentum in a crowd of projects.
  31. Have the staff you need ready to go, whether you hit 100% of goal or 1,000% of goal. Working with a company like Focus Product Design, who has an experienced staff in house, that regularly takes ideas to market and onto shelves, will cost you less money and no equity. Focus creates expertly designed, built, quality products on budget and on schedule. Focus Product Design also does the manufacturing, so you don’t have to move to China and we handle quality assurance, packaging and big box relationships. Idea to shelf, by a team all under one roof.

For more in depth information on Product Design, Prototyping, Engineering, Manufacturing, or New Product Marketing like us on Facebook!

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.