Project Creator’s Handbook

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a way of financing projects and businesses through small contributions from a large number of backers, rather than large amounts from one or a few sources.
At LEOcrowd, our aim is to reach the far flung corners of this earth, affecting the lives of millions of entrepreneurs in their journey to greatness, and setting their entrepreneurial spirit free through the time-tested means of crowdfunding their projects, passions and purpose driven business ideas.

RULE #1
BUILD YOUR
TRIBE

It doesn’t matter if you have the best marketing material, or the most dynamic strategy in the world, or even if your product is literally the greatest thing since space travel. If nobody knows who you are or what you’re doing, you’re going to fall flat on your face.

That is why we’ve done some of the hard work for you and created our signature LEOcrowd starter pack, which you can find here. Our signature Crowdfunders Course includes 7 videos modules, each one accompanied by easy-to-follow worksheets for you to fill in and use.

Crowdfunding is a community driven process of raising finance. That means your community ARE your investors, your greatest supporters, and possibly even lifelong customers, if you’re doing a good job.

All crowdfunding campaigns fail when the tribe of people who believe in the idea is too small... Crowdfunding is the last step, not the first one... it’s a way to organize and activate your tribe
Seth Godin

Spend as much time as you can afford building your tribe and momentum before you even begin to think about crowdfunding campaigns. We don’t say this to discourage you, we say this because we want to see you succeed, and we believe you have what it takes to make it.

Your friends, family, colleagues and any other relevant groups associated with you or your business will be your initial benefactors, and your launching pad, so test things out with them first.

Document everything, build a following through social media outlets and gain as much traction as you possibly can. Build a holding page for your site at the very least and start building your email list. Update everyone with the progress of your product or project, and get people EXCITED, so that they are ready and waiting with open wallets and open hearts when you do finally launch.

RULE #2
GET
EXCITED!!!!

In reality, setting huge funding goals can often work against you, so think of this as your first round of funding and keep it simple. Raise your minimum to make your project or business work now. Also, don’t go in low expecting to raise a lot more than your target. Be realistic and optimistic all in the same breath, set targets that allow you to actually complete your project and provide your backers with whatever gift you promised them.

Expect the sceptics; the most common question you will face from a backer is:
How do I know the project creator will spend my funds wisely?

So be as prepared as you possibly can to answer that, and show that you’ve done your research and run your numbers. A solid business plan will serve you well here.

  • Reasonable Expectations: Always ensure you are asking for the right amount; just enough to complete the project and have a contingency fund.
  • Set the Deadlines Right: Between 30 and 50 days is usually the sweet spot when it comes to crowdfunding campaign lengths. Also, choose a weekend, preferably a Sunday, to end the campaign.
  • Build the Trust of your Backer: Give your backers as much necessary information as possible, in the shortest and sweetest way possible, ensuring a level of engagement and trust in you and your project.

VIDEO is KING

Projects with video are more likely to succeed in being fully funded; don’t you think you deserve to give yourself and your passion that kind of a head start in this game?

Trust, trust, trust. If I don’t know you, how can I trust you? As a backer, in fact, as anyone in this world, I feel immediately more connected to a person when I see them on camera, or when I hear a voice and see an image; something to make me believe in their genuine passion and capacity to create the project they have set out to bring to life.

Tell a story. A story is the number one way in which we communicate and understand one another. It is our oldest form of communication and it elicits emotion. Emotional reaction sells. Draw people into feeling what you feel about the thing you are creating, and if they are your tribe, they will instantly be drawn into buying from you, and in sharing in your dream with you.

FACTS

  • Enthusiasm is infectious. Get excited about what you are doing, and they will too.
  • Knowledge is Power. Let them know who you are, what you’re doing, and most importantly, WHY you’re doing it.
  • KISS: Keep It Simple Silly. Yes, be silly, have fun, but also keep it short and sweet (1-3 minutes is ideal) and keep it simple, there is no need for an expensive production, just an effective one.
  • Give Your Gifts: Keep your rewards simple, exciting and cheap - the most successful campaigns have the most backers, buying at reasonable prices. Yes, you’ll get a few big-spenders, but the majority of your crowd may not have millions in the bank. Ask yourself what YOU would want, and then give it away.
RULE #3
ASK
FOR WHAT YOU WANT!!!!

So you’ve got the Rules 1 & 2 down, you’ve built your tribe and you’re ready to launch, right? Wrong! You’ve got to be strategic about this stuff, and that means thinking clearly about who your tribe are, what audience or niche you’re pitching this to, and how you can reach them.

Who to ask first?

The intitial donations that get your campaign moving are from the friends, family, and close groups you have contact with who are supportive of YOU, not just your idea. You have long standing trust in these relationships, and these are the people most likely to support you and share in your ideas and success. So make it personal, start by sending emails to every one of your personal facebook friends, linkedin contacts, colleagues and friends; anyone and everyone you think would have an interest in this.

Big Supporters

You may want to look into any business or organisations who have a similar message or intention to you, and who serve your same audience in a different way to you. Connect with them, connect with their directors and managers, and see if collaborative efforts, marketing to their networks, or even receiving donations from them might be possible sources of revenue and backers for your project.

Online vs Offline

While social media and online interactions are vital and very useful, promotion and marketing should not be confined to this space. Local media, national print and online media, groups, talks, events, conferences, workshops, your local hangouts, places where your “tribe” hangs out… ALL of these are vitally important and useful to you in marketing your planned campaign and then using events or face-to-face interaction to build trust and get loyal backers and customers on board.

MAKE IT PERSONAL

We cannot stress this enough. Get out in front of people, and when you get in touch contact them personally, and write to them specifically. Do not send blanket emails and updates unless they have signed up to a mailing list. Personal communication builds trust and excitement.

Ask for HELP

Search for any business, facebook group or person related to your project and go and ask them for help, advice, and anything else you think of that might be mutually beneficial. Offer something in return too.

Say THANK YOU!!!

Whether your project is successful or not, say THANK YOU to every person who pledged to your dreams and offered you a helping hand. Keep everyone updated after, and keep in touch with your tribe; you never know when and how you might need them, or who will be a lifelong loyal customer and friend.

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