So you have a great idea. It sounds ground-breaking!
With your potentially revolutionizing product idea in mind, you’ve realized crowdfunding is one of the best ways of bringing your idea to life.
You’ve explored Indiegogo and Kickstarter, looking through some of the best-performing campaigns that raised millions of dollars.
And you thought to yourself, “I could do that, too!”
A nice video. Some photos. A description. That should work?
Nope. It won’t!
Even today, around 65% of all crowdfunders fail to reach their target goals.
Please, don’t add your campaign to those stats.
Out of those 35% of campaigners who are successful, on average they don’t raise more than $25k.
Only 2-3% raise more than $100k. And only 0.1% raise more than $1 million.
Yup. Out of 1,000 campaigns, only 1 raises over a million dollars.
So, it’s hard. But it’s not impossible.
There are certain things you can do to make it easier on yourself.
In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of going at it alone, and compare those to working with a professional crowdfunding consultant. Having this context behind how crowdfunding works will help you make a more informed decision.
You’re 100% in control.
During this intense learning period, you will gain a lot of valuable experience in digital marketing. This will help you carry on the activities after the crowdfunding campaign is over.
No additional payments to crowdfunding agencies.
You’re 100% in control.
Crowdfunding campaigns require very specific knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t have this, chances are you’ll end up misusing and wasting a lot of your budget.
You’ll have to spend time learning this knowledge and developing experience in paid media, PR, influencer marketing, SMM, design, copywriting, chatbots etc.
If you decide to go forward with just your team, we’ve broken down all the steps you need to carry out in order to succeed in this article.
You’ll have the help and advice of a team of knowledgeable crowdfunding experts.
You can set a higher goal and expect to raise more.
You could end up with a strong portfolio of digital materials, pictures, data on your audience and strong market insights that can continue helping you develop your brand for years.
They’ll develop a strategy that builds you a bigger brand and allows you to continue growing your company valuation after the crowdfunding campaign.
When the campaign is over, you’ll need to start handling all activities with your team.
The added cost, either from the raised amount or fixed fees.
P.S. If you are short of funds don’t fret. You can use this specialized crowdfunding fund to get a marketing budget for your campaign.
Good crowdfunding agencies do. And there are two main reasons to explain it.
Crowdfunding agencies have built up the expertise to execute crowdfunding campaigns. They have learned the many nuances within the industry, through years of experience. Someone that just walked into crowdfunding marketing may well be unaware of these.
Take the choice between the two leading crowdfunding platforms—Kickstarter and Indiegogo—as an example. What are the benefits of each platform?
Or how much should you spend on targeted ads, and on which audiences? Or how should you structure your crowdfunding page to convey the right information? In the right amounts? And in the right order?
Another important reason why crowdfunding agencies work is their vast network of journalists and influencers. Thanks to these partnerships, they are able to garner visible coverage for lower rates, land featured posts with affiliate commissions, and guarantee the maximum possible ROI for your campaign.
While there is a lot of comprehensive information on running crowdfunding campaigns, the insights and experience gained through years of exposure is ultimately what will help a professional crowdfunding agency make the right decision.
There are many crowdfunding agencies, consultants and so-called experts in this field, who will offer you their services. Unfortunately, the vast majority are scams and most probably will not bring you any results. When somebody offers you traffic of 1 million people for $25—you might think, “$25 isn’t much, let’s try, what if it works?”
You will waste time and lose your $25—for sure.
Be aware of “too good to be true” offers. And always try to get references from their previous clients.
Most crowdfunding consultants also only offer advertising services, while some only take care of PR or influencer marketing. Others go much deeper. Services that crowdfunding consultants might offer—roughly in order—include:
Depending on the crowdfunding agency, these all may or may not be carried out. And the extent to which they are, varies greatly.
Some might attempt a one-size-fits-all approach, reusing the same worn strategies. Others are constantly restrategizing, discovering the best ways to market your product to new audiences you may not even have considered!
Some may spend your budget indiscriminately. Others find the most optimal tactics to maximize your budget and increase your ROI.
There are several ways you can find professional crowdfunding marketing consultants.
First, check out Indiegogo’s Experts Directory where Indiegogo-trusted crowdfunding agencies are listed. While listed on Indiegogo, many of them manage campaigns on Kickstarter too.
Agencies place their logo at the end of their partners’ campaign pages. Go back to your favorite campaigns, take note of how much they raised, and see whose logo you find.
Don’t forget to get a reference from the campaigner about their experience with the consultant. There are cases when the campaigner canceled their contract with the agency on the second day, but the logo is still there… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Search Quora for crowdfunding experts. Look for crowdfunding-related questions and see who has replied. You’ll definitely find some notable crowdfunding experts among them.
And check out our list of recommended agencies.
We’ve seen a lot of agencies come and go, these are the ones that have stayed, demonstrated their experience, and we’ve heard a lot of good feedback about them:
Strongest Skill: Facebook & Google Ads for Kickstarter
Jellop runs targeted advertising on Facebook and Google for Kickstarter campaigns only. Thanks to its proprietary ad technology, the Jellop team provides remarkably high returns on ad spend, driving waves of targeted traffic to your campaign.
Strongest Skill: Dedicated Team of Crowdfunding Experts
TCF dedicates a 15-person team to work solely with you, during the whole campaign. They design and execute a growth strategy specifically tailored to your product and audience. The team covers the full spectrum of services, with their full campaign management, including Market Analysis and Lead Generation, Campaign and Video Design and Copywriting, Email Marketing, SMM, Sales, PR, Influencer Marketing and Advertising.
Strongest Skill: Video & Automations
Tross boasts mind-blowing campaign videos that achieve virality across different social channels, triggering large volumes of traffic. Tross is also widely recognized for its automations, which allows the team to streamline many of the repetitive processes and instead divert their focus to more important creative aspects.
Strongest Skill: Audience
Rainfactory has a lot of experience in running campaigns on Indiegogo and over the years has built a great audience. They know how to drive a large amount of traffic to your campaign page and make it a success. With an impressive portfolio of 7-figure campaigns, Rainfactory is a full management agency that covers a wide range of activities.
Strongest Skill: Testing & Launch
Launchboom has great methodologies to test whether your campaign is a good fit for crowdfunding or not. If their testing results are positive, they can prepare you for a very strong launch. Launchboom has mastered product testing and launching, laying a solid foundation for the subsequent stages of a crowdfunding campaign.
Disclaimer: I work for The Crowdfunding Formula. But the ideas here are solely my personal ones and don’t represent TCF.
While the industry of crowdfunding agencies isn’t as saturated, you want to do thorough research to find the best crowdfunding consultant that will unleash your campaign’s full potential and take it to the next level.
Here are some actionable tips and hints to put into practice as you choose a crowdfunding consultant:
Whether you’ve decided to hire a crowdfunding consultant to manage your campaign or do it on your own, good luck!
No matter what path you decide to take, make sure you have a team behind you. Friends, families and business partners will help you navigate the many different aspects of a crowdfunding campaign, overcome setbacks together, and remind you to be flexible if something doesn’t go to plan.