How to Start a Crowdfunding Business with 7½ Easy Steps

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As the children of the new age, we have some astoundingly generous gift bestowed on us that others did not have the chance of receiving: The gift of the internet and social media. Until then we always thought that to raise funds we either have to bludgeon our way to the offices of big men and spend years waiting for someone to understand our cause. But now as millennials with the power of social media, we don’t have to go on that lane anymore. Want to generate fund?
Go raise it online. Want to be that someone who does it for others? Well, build your own crowdfunding platform. Want to invest in a bright talent? Go be an investor on a crowdfunding website. Though reaching for crowdfunding website for funds is an easy task. Creating a platform for others to raise funds is where it gets complicated. But don’t worry if you want to know how to start a crowdfunding business like Kickstarter or GoFundme and don’t know how to. We will show you how it is done.

WHO SHOULD START THE CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM

A crowdfunding platform should be started by someone who wants to create a hub where business can take place. If you like being the channel that gives a chance to a worthy dream with connections and big investments you should start a crowdfunding platform. If you think that somewhere as a fundraiser you are left behind due to connections despite being good at it.

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WHY YOU SHOULD START YOUR CROWDFUNDING BUSINESS?
An offline ambition, when joined with an online impetus, holds the power to change the world and that is solely the reason you should start a crowdfunding business website of your own.
Creating a crowdfunding website not only gives you a wider reach but also connects you with people and resources which are not possible to reach in the ambit of your current geographical location and business contacts. A crowdfunding website not only unlocks your true potential but becomes a source of income that is way higher than what you currently earn.

Check this post to know more on: Who should start a crowdfunding business and why?

 

HOW TO START A CROWDFUNDING BUSINESS?

1. AN AUTHENTIC WEBSITE
As they say first the first impression is the last impression and we can’t deny it especially for websites. While a smooth, coherent and attractive interface will intrigue the users to dive deeply into your website. A presentable, user-friendly and thought through content will make you one of their favorites. Since the mission of your website is to generate trust you should know how immaculate your work should be like. Because it takes years to build someone’s trust but only a few seconds to break it.

How to Start a Crowdfunding Business

However, a crowdfunding platform is not just a website with few HTML pages but a complete crowdfunding engine consist of serval modules in front-end and back-end which helps you and your users to manage crowdfunding operations. These modules are like

Front-end modules

  • Crowdfunding campaign application
  • Crowdfunding campaign management
  • Reward/perk management
  • The donation, pledge or investment management
  • Media management
  • Refund and Payout management

Back-end modules

  • Crowdfunding application management
  • The donation, pledge or investment management
  • User management
  • User communication
  • API management
  • Transaction management
  • Content management
  • Email marketing

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There are a number of free and paid crowdfunding solutions available made via various technologies like WordPress, PHP & ROR. Choosing the right crowdfunding software solution with the right technology is a way forward to establish your scalable and successful crowdfunding platform which can actually help you earn impressive revenue along with serving the industry you intended.

2. KNOW YOUR LANE
When you don’t know what you want, you get what you don’t want.
Just getting into crowdfunding without a niche in your mind may get you somewhere which is not far from where you started. Your ambition with your platform wouldn’t be so small. Will it?
So before you get into the business carve a niche for yourself. Don’t think that you want to go with multiple niches or anything that makes you money. Know exactly where you want to be, what sort of investors you want, what sort of projects you want to fund and what sort of business you want to carry. Like every other market, crowdfunding too has a cutthroat competition and an intelligent tip we can give you is to dive into niches that don’t have a lot of competition. Because when it comes to biggies you wouldn’t want to know your probability of winning when you compete with them on your initial days.

Also read: Crowdfunding platform categories, niche and ideas

 

3. EARLY STEPS INTO MARKETING CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

We all take marketing for something that should be done after our product is complete. But if you already know your niche and your target audience why not begin now and let people know that something of their interest is on way. To get an edge over the competitors we suggest an early marketing strategy devised carefully to reach your potential audience. Trust us it will take you miles ahead. There are several ways to engage your marketing team early in this business and gain access to users who are already interested in what you are doing.

Buy your domain: Book your domain before someone else does it. Your domains should reflect the kind of crowdfunding platform you are going to launch to help people understand, but it doesn’t always necessary. You can go with generic domain name too just make sure your domain is easy to remember and not too long.

Register social media accounts: No one can ignore the power of social media. If buying a domain name is important then registering social media accounts and pages are equally crucial for your business and branding.

Landing Page: Install a nice coming soon page on your domain embedded with newsletter signup form and links to the social media pages of your crowdfunding the platform. Do not forget to link your newsletter forms to your email marketing or CRM tools.

Surveys & Feedback: It is important to understand the behavior of your targeted audience. And how nice it would be for you to understand what they want before even your website is launched? This could save you from a disaster. Collecting user’s feedback using survey forms and email marketing are free or cost-effective ways to do it.

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4. SHOW THEM WHY SHOULD YOU BE CHOSEN OVER OTHERS
So why would you think you should be chosen over crowdfunding websites that are backed up by goodwill and years of experience? What do you have that they don’t? Well if you don’t know an answer to it, devise it now or prepare yourself to be left behind. We suggest that you create unique methods of more interaction between both the campaigners and investors. You can make short videos for the campaigners to mentor them in the process or create market channels to sell their products. You can also give discounts when the campaign crosses a certain benchmark of funds. There are infinite creative and smart ways you can invent and reach greater heights in a short amount of time.

5. CONTENTS AND PAYMENT

Content is not only a king but also a communicator. You will not be available on your website alway to help explain the idea behind your platform. It is your content who will speak on behalf of you with your users all the time. So carefully drafted pages with unique & original content and professionally designed graphics are key to convey your message effectively. Make use of explainer videos wherever possible.

Good content can take you to places you can never think you could be at. Honestly, that is one of the most important factors in deciding the credibility of your websites. So no matter what, do not compensate with the quality of the content that you put out.

When money comes into the picture we know how wary people can be. So an effort should be made to make a payment gateway that is not only smooth but also trustworthy. We all know how hackers and frauds are just waiting for all of us online to steal our money. So make sure of a gateway with solid encryption and security.

Crowdfunding payment flow and process

Also, payment flows differently when it comes to crowdfunding, comparing to other online business models. As an owner of the crowdfunding platform, It is really important for you to understand how the money will flow from backers to campaign owners and how you will receive your site fee/commission.

In the crowdfunding industry, there are generally two business models floating around and being used mostly as briefed below. These two business models define how and when campaign owner will receive funds for their crowdfunding campaign.

Slipt or Adaptive Payment Method: In this method, the crowdfunding platform is being integrated with payment gateways(Paypal adaptive, Stripe connect, WePay) offer auto split and pre-approval features. When in the one hand pre-approval feature, crowdfunding platform can hold funds in escrow until the crowdfunding campaign reaches the deadline. Where on the other hand auto-split feature crowdfunding platform can automatically disburse the funds raised by campaign owner in his payment account and you as admin receive your site fee/commission in your payment account.

Ask expert How to Start a Crowdfunding Business

Wallet Payment Method: In case if you want to have complete control over funds of your crowdfunding platform as platform owner, wallet payment method is your key. All funds will be credited into your payment account as the owner of the platform and on the deadline of campaign you can manually disburse the crowd-funded amount to campaign owner via direct bank deposit or writing a check after deduction of your site fee/commission.

Also read: How payment gateway works for a crowdfunding platform?

 

6. LAUNCHING
With all the preparation done comes the time to take off. An early tip we would like to give you is that when you launch yourself, make sure you have some campaigns ready to be hosted on your site. This will help you not only gain publicity but also goodwill.

But launching your crowdfunding campaign shouldn’t go silent, just brag about it! But how? Here are some tips.

Event: Book a venue and organize an event in your city. Invite people you already know, users who already subscribe to your newsletter(as explained in step#3 above) or already opted-in to create a crowdfunding campaign on your platform.

  • Explain to event attendees what is the mission and vision of your crowdfunding platform, what change you want to bring and how your platform will help society/community.
  • Spread word about campaigns already created on your platform, give an opportunity to the creators of those campaigns to share the stage with you. Let them pitch for their crowdfunding campaign and explain why they want to raise fund.
  • At the end of the event request attendees to signup your crowdfunding website as a user, opt-in for newsletters and follow your platform on social media.
  • Ans of course appeal attendees to back crowdfunding campaign already posted on your website or invite them to create a crowdfunding campaign if they want.
  • Record your entire event, edit video with the help of professional video editor and share on social media, email and chat applications.

Launching your crowdfunding platform should be your first step but last. You need to do prepare a strong user base before your website is event launched. Building an email list and social media marketing are few of the pre-launch marketing tasks. If you already have done these tasks well as we already discussed in step#3 above, you might have enough eagerly waiting users onboard to announce your launch.

Email Marketing: Design a nice email template and shoot it to the subscribers already in your list. MailChimp, Constant Contact, Aweber and Mad Mimi are few of the best email marketing tools available on the internet which will make your email marketing task easy.

Social Media: Share an appealing and awesome post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram and let the followers of your social media know about the launch. Use social media marketing automation tools to save your time and money and focus on your core activities.

Hire crowdfunding software developer now

7. MARKETING! MARKETING!! MARKETING!!!

When all is done you know what’s the only tool you that can put wings to your ambition and make you fly? It is marketing. Use social media extensively to enhance your audience and make people understand your cause. Integrate your crowdfunding campaign with other crowdfunding campaigns so that you can mutually gain more trust, reach and publicity. Foray into all social media platforms and leave no forums behind to let people know about yourself.

Marketing is an ongoing process and needs to be done on regular basis. If you have already followed all steps of this guide, you might have learned how to make an email list for email marketing, how to build a social media fan following, how to organize an event and market your platform.

Apart from these, getting found in major search engines is also most important. Optimize your crowdfunding website as per the search engines, social networking sites and improve your overall ranking in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo for your primary keywords. Engage users and visitors by offering informative contents, blogs, freebies to earn more newsletter signups and social media share.

 

½. OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SUPPORT, SERVICE & ENGAGEMENT

So your crowdfunding website launched and you started getting a number of users? Good job, but this is only half job done. A lot of crowdfunding business startups make a huge mistake here. They spend a lot of money on digital marketing, PPC, social media marketing and start getting traction from people.

How to Start a Crowdfunding Business

They spend a lot of money on digital marketing, PPC, social media marketing and start getting traction from people. But then they just wait and watch hoping crowdfunding campaigns will get funded automatically.

But then they just wait and watch hoping crowdfunding campaigns will get funded automatically. They spend less or simply ignore customer support and engagement. This is not the right way to successfully run a crowdfunding platform.

Your users may need a lot of help creating an appealing crowdfunding campaign by professionally crafted contents, graphics, videos, fundraising strategy, building email lists, generating social media presence, marketing, and PR. People need a lot of support before and after they create a crowdfunding campaign on your platform to help them reach their funding goal, and this is a real challenge for crowdfunding platform owner once the platform is launched.

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However, this challenge is an additional business opportunity. Offer content creation, graphics design, video editing, digital marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing services at a low cost to your users. If you fail to offer these services to your users, they will end up buying these services from somewhere else or their campaign will simply become unsuccessful in the end due to lack of optimization and promotions.

A good crowdfunding platform is not a one day process. It takes times and an efficient team of web developers, content writers, creative thinkers and many more to build a successful platform to launch campaigns that not only bring profit and pride to the campaigner and the investor but also to the platform i.e You. With White label crowdfunding software we help you navigate you through all the trials and tribulations of creating a magnificent crowdfunding website. Our highly efficient team and impeccably coherent software launch an indelibly lucid and coherent crowd funding website at your service. Come work with us and take your platform and campaign ten steps ahead of your competitors.