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Crowdfunding for Students; How to Successfully Crowdfund Your Startup

Gone are the days of gatekeepers that made launching a business extremely difficult. In modern days, there is no need to get a bank for a loan or pitch to investors, if you want to make your startup successful. With internet opportunities, such as crowdfunding and digital marketing, many companies managed to raise money just in several days or weeks.

All you need to know about crowdfunding

For students, it can be extremely difficult to finance their ideas the traditional way. Luckily, banks are not the only option. Crowdfunding allows raising money from multiple backers that donate small amounts instead of getting huge amounts from one investor.

But it is not as easy as it seems and requires dedication, so take care of all your college duties, order an essay at an essay writing service to get more free time on your hands, and plan a perfect crowdfunding campaign. Here are the pros and cons of this type of financial support for startups.

Pros
  • You can raise money for a startup and bring a unique idea to life;
  • It is pretty safe and there are almost no risks involved;
  • It helps to increase brand awareness and make a name for your company;
  • You can attract a new audience and partners interested in the idea.
Cons
  • To create a good campaign, you’ll need some time and research;
  • Not every campaign raises the required amount of money;
  • If you do not patent your idea beforehand, someone may steal it.

There are lots of various platforms that offer such services, the most known are Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and Gofundme. But there are also many less-known yet attractive offers. Research them beforehand, read some reviews the same way you would writing services reviews at Nocramming before choosing a credible academic helper. Look at what percentage they take, what campaigns they host, and what options do they offer.

Three crowdfunding options

Overall, there are three ways one can organize their campaign.

Donation

It means that backers will just donate money with no benefit for them. It is not really suitable for startups unless you are doing something with a strong social or environmental impact. It is often used for charitable causes.

Reward

This is the most common among startups. People invest money for a reward, such as early access to a product, a discount, company-name apparel (T-shirts, mugs, pen, etc), or any other type of benefit. It is a great idea to set a reward system with different things available for a larger amount of money.

Equity

In such a case, investors get a share in the business. It is a bit tricky as it is regulated legislatively, depending on the country. It is better to use it only in case you have a good lawyer and you are ready to share your company with others.

Step-by-step guide to launching a campaign

When you’ve chosen the platform and the crowdfunding option, you may start working on your campaign.

Set your goal

The first step is to evaluate how much money you need. The best way to raise money is to be transparent with backers about your idea, mission, product, and end goal. Think about what sets you apart and what problem can your idea solve.

Be realistic and remember that there are options to create flexible campaigns (you may be able to get funding even if you didn’t reach the goal). Even if you’ve reached the goal, do not stop it as you can get more funds.  Also, decide on the reward system for backers.

Prepare a crowd

It is better to have an interested audience much before you launch a campaign. Otherwise, it might go completely unnoticed. Set a website with a mission; create a landing page where people can leave their emails to stay updated. You can also post a message a couple of months prior to the launch to notify all interested people, so they will be ready.

Use your email list to set letters about crowdfunding and promote it on all company’s social media platforms.

Create a video pitch

Videos work better than anything else. Keep it short, but honest and interesting. It should not be the best quality when it comes to resolution, but it needs to be informative and engaging. Backers want to see people behind the project. Tell a story, use the right music, and add a call to action.

Publish your campaign

Now you’ve got everything ready, docs, message statement, video, and reward system. It is time to go live!

Reach out to influencers

Ask your friends to promote your campaign on their social media. If you have an opportunity to reach out to journalists or influencers, it is a great advantage. Do it and ask them to share the story, post, and help to get more people to the page.

Keep backers updated

Whether you’ve already reached a goal or not, always keep backers updated regularly. They are your investors after all. Send emails about the campaign’s success. And after you’ll get funds, update them on the company’s activity and products.

In summary

When done right, crowdfunding can be a massive boost for a startup. Not only can it raise the money needed, but also can bring brand awareness and more interest in the product. Make sure you are prepared and ready to go.

 

Staff Writer at CPO Magazine