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Overview - How To Plan a Campaign

You may have heard before that launching a crowdfunding campaign is easy and fast. Well, that's true. But, launching a campaign is only one step in the process of running a successful crowdfunding project. You've got a great project idea, now let us help you build a campaign that will help you achieve your goals and amplify your success!

Telling Your Story

Before even getting to the process of preparing a crowdfunding campaign, make sure you're prepared to tell your story. Who are you? What is the goal of your project and why is it important?

Here are some of the things you should have the answers to as you prepare your crowdfunding campaign:

  • An introduction of the members of your team
  • What is the story behind your project? How did you get to where you are now? Many potential supporters enjoy knowing these details.
  • What do you hope to accomplish with the funds raised if your campaign is successful?

Develop your "Elevator Pitch"?

An elevator pitch is an overview of your project that can be explained to someone in the same amount of time it would take to ride a few floors on an elevator. If you want to get people interested in your project, you should be able to let them understand very quickly and clearly what its about. Above all, the most important things are to be honest and to be yourself. Don't be afraid to speak in your own voice and let people see how passionate you are about your project.

Setting A Funding Goal

Setting the right funding goal can be a tricky task for any project. Crowd Amplify has three different funding methods available to ensure you are able to select the right model for your campaign. (See here for details)

Once you decide on the appropriate funding model, the next step is to determine what your funding goal will be. Some important things to consider:

  • How much do you need to accomplish your stated objective? Can you justify that amount to your supporters?
  • What can you realistically expect to receive from your support network? How do you determine what is realistic? (Consult our free interactive campaign planning guide for a free tool to help you make this assessment)
  • Are you incurring any expenses while running this campaign? (Rewards/shipping costs, promotion, etc.) Have you accounted for that in your financial projections?

Stretch Goals

Identifying stretch goals can be a great way to encourage support throughout your project and can offer an additional boost towards the end of your campaign, even if you have already exceeded your initial funding goal.

What is a stretch goal? Stretch goals are benchmarks that explain to potential supporters what you are capable of achieving with different levels of funding once you surpass your initial target. Examples of effective stretch goals could be:

  • The ability to offer extra features for your product if you reach a 110% of your funding target for a start-up project.
  • The ability to provide additional benefits or support a broader audience if you reach 130% of your goal for a cause-based initiative.
  • The ability to provide enhanced production value if you reach 150% of your objective on an arts-based campaign.

Whatever stretch goals might apply to your project, they are a great way to continue encouraging support over and above your initial target.

Campaign Timelines

As you get your project ready to launch, there are two important questions to ask yourself about the timeline for your campaign:

How long should my campaign be?

The two most common approaches for campaign lengths are to do short campaigns (usually about 30 days) that are aggressively promoted or longer projects (usually 60 to 90 days) that take more time to reach a broad audience through prolonged promotion and word of mouth.

There are pros and cons to both methods (which we describe in our free interactive campaign planning guide) so discuss with your team and decide which option is right for your project.

What date should I launch my campaign on?

Are there certain days that are best to launch a campaign on? (Hint: Yes) Are they the same for every campaign? (Hint: Not necessarily). Every project offers its own unique set of circumstances. Consider the unique traits of your project and your support network. Is there a logical start date? If not, feel free to reach out to Crowd Amplify's support staff for additional insight or…you guessed it…consult our free interactive campaign planning guide.

Prepare a Great Campaign Page

Creating a great campaign page is one of the biggest keys to a successful project. This page is the first opportunity you have to really educate potential supporters about what you are trying to accomplish and to convince them to help fund your project.

Use Pictures

Ever heard the expression a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, its true. Images are an essential part of an effective campaign page. Pictures of your project at various stages of development or photos that visualize for potential supporters exactly why there is a need for the project you are running will do more for your campaign page than any amount of text can.

Make Sure to Create a Video

Some people might be intimidated at the concept of creating a video to include on their campaign page and that is understandable, but trust us when we say that you don't need production value or a video editor to make an effective campaign video. The important part is to let potential supporters see you and hear you speak about the value of your project in your own words. Keep it short and sweet... 1-2 minutes is typically enough for most campaigns. If you don't know how to go about creating a campaign video, we can help!

While visuals are key to a great campaign page, the text has to support them to help potential supporters understand your full vision for your project. A few important things to include are:

  • Who are YOU?
  • Why does this project matter? What is the value to your supporters?
  • What will the funds raised be used for? Where does the money go?
  • Are you offering rewards? What are they?
  • Outline any stretch goals you have established (link to definition of stretch goals)
  • A clear call to action.

Remember to use your voice when preparing your campaign. Don't try to sound overly formal. Running a crowdfunding project is a very personal experience, so don't be afraid to let people hear how much you care about what you are doing.

Your Network of Supporters

One of the most overlooked aspects of preparing a successful crowdfunding campaign is to perform an honest assessment of the size and reach of your support network. While its certainly true that some campaigns go viral and attract thousands of new visitors through online promotion, it is much more common for campaigns to reach their goal by growing their crowd through active sharing by their early supporters and targeted promotional efforts.

Some important things to keep in mind when you are evaluating your support network:

The 30% rule

The 30% rule is an unofficial "rule of thumb" that has gained some recognition around the crowdfunding industry as a reasonable barometer of the adequacy of your support network. Basically, this "rule" suggests that for a campaign to be well set-up for success it should be able to achieve approximately 30% of its funding target through contributions made from within their primary support network. (These are known supporters of the project).

Projects that are able to reach this point are in a strong position to receive the necessary support from their broader network as they continue through the campaign process. (For more information on the "30% rule", please see our free Interactive Campaign Planning Guide.)

"Expected Funding" Formula

The "Expected Funding" formula is a calculation project teams can use to help evaluate if their campaign is well positioned to succeed. Here's how it we calculate it:

EF = AACA x eS

  • EF: Expected Funding
  • AACA: Average Anticipated Contribution Amount
  • eS: Estimated # of Supporters from Primary & Secondary Networks

Once you have figured out the information you need to input, let's take a look at how to interpret the results. The table below will offer a guide to give you a good idea of the strength of your network relative to your funding goals.

If Expected Funding is: Then
Less than 70% of your Total Funding Goal You should consider delaying the launch of your campaign until you can further strengthen your network.
Equal to 70% of your Total Funding Goal You are well positioned to launch your campaign and have a good chance of hitting your funding goal.
Greater than 70% of your Total Funding Goal You are doing great! You still need to work hard, but you should be confident in your chances of hitting your funding goal.

Creating a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan may not be something you would normally associate with a funding project…but it should be. The idea of "the crowd" is very appealing when you are in need of support to make your project a reality, and while we're confident that the support you need is out there to be found, getting the right people to see your project usually requires a planned effort.

So What is a Marketing Plan?

An effective marketing plan is a document that helps you map out what actions you will take to support your campaign on a day-by-day basis from the launch date right up until the very end of your campaign.

Some of the things that would be included in the plan might be:

  • A gameplan for when and where you will have either mainstream, local or online media contacts promote your project to their readership
  • A timeline that recognizes the expected peaks and valleys that can occur during the course of a crowdfunding campaign.
  • When and how often will you be posting updates during your campaign?
  • Are you offering rewards? What are they? Will they all be available immediately or will you add some to create additional interest later in your campaign? What is your fulfillment timeline?
  • What is your social media gameplan? How many platforms do you intend to use and which ones?
  • How do you intend to stay in touch with your supporters once your project has ended? How can you keep them engaged in your success?

Rewards and Incentives

Offering rewards can be a great way to encourage more people to support your project.

Not every project is capable of offering a wide selection of rewards and many offer exclusively incentives that can be fulfilled at no cost. Whatever your project, we've got some suggestions to help you create the right reward offering for your supporters.

Great incentive ideas

Units of your product (if your project includes producing an item)

A copy of an album, a unit of a product, a print of artwork

Experiences

A visit to a film set, an opportunity to participate in a community event, meet and greets

Mementos

Thank you notes, photos, letter exchanges

Things you can't offer

While there are many great reward ideas, there are also some rewards that are prohibited on Crowd Amplify:

  • Contests, raffles, coupons or any type of gambling-related reward
  • Resale items
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco, drugs, and drug paraphanalia
  • Weapons, weapon accessories or replicas of a weapon
  • Pornographic materials
  • Offensive materials (hate speech, promoting violence, etc.)
  • Medications or any item that claims to treat an illness or condition
  • Financial or related services

If you have any questions regarding the rewards or incentives you wish to offer for your campaign, please contact Crowd Amplify's support team.