As the children of the new age, we have some astoundingly generous gift bestowed on us that others did not have the chance to receive: 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 no longer have to go on that lane. Want to generate funds?
Raise it online. Want to be that someone who does it for others? Well, build your crowdfunding platform. Want to invest in a bright talent? To be an investor on a crowdfunding website. Though reaching for a 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.Start your own crowdfunding platform with few easy steps. Click To Tweet
WHY YOU SHOULD START YOUR CROWDFUNDING BUSINESS?
When joined with an online impetus, an offline ambition holds power to change the world, which is solely why you should start a crowdfunding business website of your own.
Creating a crowdfunding website gives you a wider reach and connects you with people and resources that are impossible to reach within 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. 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. Because it takes years to build someone’s trust but only a few seconds to break it.
However, a crowdfunding platform is not just a website with few HTML pages but a complete crowdfunding engine consisting of serval modules in front-end and back-end, which helps you and your users to manage crowdfunding operations. These modules are like
- Crowdfunding campaign application
- Crowdfunding campaign management
- Reward/perk management
- The donation, pledge, or investment management
- Media management
- Refund and Payout management
- Crowdfunding application management
- The donation, pledge, or investment management
- User management
- User communication
- API management
- Transaction management
- Content management
- Email marketing
Several free and paid crowdfunding solutions are available via various technologies like WordPress, PHP & ROR. Choosing the right crowdfunding software solution with the right technology is a way to establish your scalable and successful crowdfunding platform, which can help you earn impressive revenue and serve the industry you intended.
Also read: How can I start a crowdfunding website?
2. KNOW YOUR LANE
You get what you don’t want when you don’t know what you want.
Getting into crowdfunding without a niche in your mind may get you somewhere 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 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 business you want to carry. Like every other market, crowdfunding has 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 its 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 crowdfunding platform you will launch to help people understand, but it doesn’t always be necessary. You can go with a generic domain name to ensure 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 is equally crucial for your business and branding.
Landing Page: Install a nice coming soon page on your domain embedded with a newsletter signup form and links to the social media pages of your crowdfunding 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 would you be to understand what they want before even your website is launched? This could save you from a disaster. Collecting user feedback using survey forms and email marketing are free or cost-effective.
4. SHOW THEM WHY YOU SHOULD BE CHOSEN OVER OTHERS
So why would you think you should be chosen over crowdfunding websites backed up by goodwill and years of experience? What do you have that they don’t? If you don’t know the answer, devise it now or prepare to be left behind. We suggest you create unique interaction methods between the campaigners and investors. You can make short videos for the campaigners to mentor them or create market channels to sell their products. You can also give discounts when the campaign crosses a certain benchmark of funds. There are infinitely creative and smart ways to invent and reach greater heights in a short amount of time.
Also Read: How do I start a crowdfunding business?
5. CONTENTS AND PAYMENT
Content is not only a king but also a communicator. You will not be available on your website always to help explain the idea behind your platform. It is your content that 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 conveying 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 your content.
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 smooth and 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.
Also, payment flows differently when it comes to crowdfunding than other online business models. As an owner of the crowdfunding platform, you need to understand how the money will flow from backers to campaign owners and how you will receive your site fee/commission.
In crowdfunding, two business models are generally floating around and used mostly, as briefed below. These two business models define how and when campaign owners will receive funds for their crowdfunding campaigns.
Adaptive Payment Method: In this method, the crowdfunding platform is integrated with payment gateways(Paypal adaptive, Stripe connect, WePay) that offer auto split and pre-approval features. When on the one hand pre-approval feature, the crowdfunding platform can hold funds in escrow until the crowdfunding campaign reaches the deadline. On the other hand, the auto-split crowdfunding platform can automatically disburse the funds raised by the campaign owner in his payment account, and you, as admin, receive your site fee/commission in your payment account.
Wallet Payment Method: In case you want complete control over your crowdfunding platform’s funds as a platform owner, the wallet payment method is your key. All funds will be credited to your payment account as the platform owner. On the campaign’s deadline, you can manually disburse the crowd-funded amount to the campaign owner via direct bank deposit or write a check after deducting your site fee/commission.
Also read: How payment gateway works for a crowdfunding platform?
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, ensure 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; brag about it! But how? Here are some tips.
Event: Book a venue and organize an event in your city. Invite people you know, users who subscribe to your newsletter(as explained in step#3 above), or have already opted-in to create a crowdfunding campaign on your platform.
- Explain to event attendees 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, and allow 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 funds.
- At the end of the event, request attendees to signup for your crowdfunding website as a user, opt-in for newsletters, and follow your platform on social media.
- Ans, of course, appeals to attendees to back crowdfunding campaigns 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 a professional video editor and share on social media, email, and chat applications.
Launching your crowdfunding platform should be your first step but last. You must prepare a strong user base before your website launches. A few pre-launch marketing tasks are building an email list and social media marketing. 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 on your list. MailChimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, and Mad Mimi are a few of the best email marketing tools available on the internet, making your email marketing task easy.
Social Media: Share an appealing and awesome post on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In & Instagram, and let the followers of your social media know about the launch. Use social media marketing automation tools to save time and money and focus on your core activities.
7. MARKETING! MARKETING!! MARKETING!!!
When all is done, you know what’s the only tool you have 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 to gain more trust, reach, and publicity. Foray into all social media platforms and leave no forums to let people know about yourself.
Marketing is an ongoing process and needs to be done regularly. 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.
Besides, getting found in major search engines is also the most important. Optimize your crowdfunding website as per the search engines and social networking sites and improve your overall ranking in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo for your primary keywords. Engage users and visitors by offering informative content, blogs, and freebies to earn more newsletter signups and social media shares.
½. OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SUPPORT, SERVICE & ENGAGEMENT
So your crowdfunding website launched, and you started getting many users? Good job, but this is only half the job done. A lot of crowdfunding business startups make a huge mistake here. They spend a lot of money on digital marketing, PPC, and social media marketing and start getting traction from people.
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.
Your users may need a lot of help creating an appealing crowdfunding campaign with professionally crafted content, graphics, videos, fundraising strategy, building email lists, generating a 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 owners once the platform is launched.7½ easy steps to start your crowdfunding site like Kickstarter Click To Tweet
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 buy them from somewhere else or their campaign will simply become unsuccessful due to a lack of optimization and promotions.
A good crowdfunding platform is not a one-day process. It takes time and an efficient team of web developers, content writers, creative thinkers, and many more to build a successful platform to launch campaigns that bring profit and pride to the campaigner, the investor, and the platform, i.e., You. With White label crowdfunding software, we help you navigate the trials and tribulations of creating a magnificent crowdfunding website. Our highly efficient team and impeccably coherent software launch an indelibly lucid and coherent crowdfunding website at your service. Come work with us and take your platform and campaign ten steps ahead of your competitors.