A goal without a plan is just a wish.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
At Fund Lifelong Learning you have complete control over your crowdfunding post. You can create your pitch and formulate your strategies the way you want, subject to our standards and guidelines. To reach your funding target, your post should be appealing to gain the support of your audience.
WHAT YOU NEED TO PLAN
Register online for free to create your online profile and crowdfunding posts. Your profile tells us, and other backers who you are and your story, while your posts detail your venture.
After setting up your profile, you can use your dashboard to create, edit, submit, manage and market your post; set up bank details; keep supporters up to date on the progress of your post and view donations received.
SHAPE YOUR IDEA
Now that you have the next big idea that will change the world and you've decided to crowdfund it, it's time to shape and examine your idea to help develop your crowdfunding campaign.
In planning your crowdfunding post, examine the actual venture in itself. Develop it's outline, structure and resources needed to deduce your target. If you present a clear plan for what you are going to do with the funds raised in your post, it builds confidence in you and your venture. This making donors more readily supportive of your cause. Accordingly plan out the timeline for your post, your audience, networks, marketing and communication strategies for your online crowdfunding post.
- What are you are trying to build, improve, discover, achieve?
- Why is this important?
- How long will the actual venture take?
- Do I have to segment the venture and the crowdfunding posts in segments?
- Who or what benefits from this?
- Am I helping one person, a group of people or developing a place?
- Do I have to receive, develop or buy additional resources such as gadgets and tools to help implement my venture?
- Do I have to rely on third parties (like contracted agents etc.) to help me establish my venture?
- Outline how you will carry out your venture and the potential dates for launch.
- Determine the activities to be undertaken after reaching your funding goal and prior to launch.
- Who will this venture impact or effect outside of my list of beneficiaries?
- Who can I receive support from?
- What resources are required and how much money needs to be raised?
- What will the funds I raise through crowdfunding and otherwise pay for?
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Once you have identified all the resources needed for your venture, the first thing to do is to set your fundraising target amount.
Although there are many ways to determine your target amount, it can still be difficult to set as each venture is different. Your goal shouldn't be too high, making it difficult to achieve and shouldn't be too low that it is easily attainable. You should be able to justify how your target amount is going to be used and set your goal accordingly. The more you detail on how funds raised will be used, the more ready and willing donors will be to give.
Here are a few things to include while calculating your target amount:
Remember, the higher target amount, greater the work needed. Keep in mind our rules, funding model and the fees while developing your funding plan.
Create a detailed task calendar or a Gantt Chart based on the activities you need to do during your pre-launch, launch and post-launch phase. Schedule time for planning, crafting and developing content and info-graphics, gathering supporters and planning marketing activities.
It is very important to give yourself enough time to complete each of your activities. This will help you schedule everything in order and make online crowdfunding a smooth and easy fundraising process.
Be sure to leave at least one week or more between the start of your venture and the end of your fundraising campaign.
Now that you have a calendar for your activities, set a timeline for the duration of your online crowdfunding campaign. This timeline you set is just as important as your target amount.
The timeline should be long enough to reach your fundraising goal, but not too long wherein support could potentially be delayed or even forgotten. The generally recommended timeline is between 30-45 days to reach your target goal.
Check out how you can extend your timeline as a one-off if you do not meet your target amount.
DEVELOP YOUR PITCH
Your online post is your pitch to your community of supporters. This should include your story or the content, a feature image and other compelling info-graphics including videos or other forms of media.
Start developing your content early on the dashboard. Here you can save as draft and edit it as many times as you like before submitting your post for review. Read more on writing your post here.
Crafting your content is a critical step in captivating your audience and appealing their support. Your online crowdfunding venture must pitch your idea to the community of supporters.
Even though your pitch can be long, it doesn’t mean it should be boring! Craft an engaging story with just enough information to persuade their support. Don’t leave questions unanswered in your content.
The feature image is often the first thing noticed by viewers and it competes with other feature images to grab attention and curiosity. It should not be too complicated, and should be relevant to the venture.
If your picture can depict what your venture is about, it gives viewers a better understanding of what they are clicking into. This image must be clearly visible as a thumbnail, and a large image.
Videos are a fantastic way to capture peoples attention. They can provide the maximum information in the shortest period of time. You can make a short video (1-3 mins) explaining your venture and even provide video updates.
A clear and concise video with you personally acting or speaking in it can demonstrate your passion and commitment in ways simple text cannot.
By posting your crowdfunding venture online, your audience may include people you know and don't know. However, you can decide particular people to share your venture with. The bigger your audience, the better probability of success.
Put together a list of Influencers who have the potential to fund your venture and can support your idea otherwise. They can be groups or individuals who can share and validate your interest, or can act as an ambassador to your venture.
Every creator has at least three levels of target audience to reach out to.
Friends and Family
It is recommended to gather enough support to obtain at least 30% of your total crowdfunding amount as soon as your venture goes live. Starting strong encourages other donors to support your venture from the very beginning.
This is arguably one of the hardest tasks of crowdfunding. However, a strong pre-launch marketing plan will help you garner the support easily. This is primarily from your first and second levels of audience.
YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
A good marketing strategy appeals to the what an audience wants, needs or could benefit from. A venture that develops and implements its marketing plan in advance has a better possibility of realising the target goal. Craft your marketing plan for the pre-launch, launch and post-launch phases of crowdfunding.
Segmenting your communication across marketing stages and audience types can help you develop a targeted communication strategy.
Create different templates for communication in different mediums (social media, emails, word of mouth etc.) and across the three fundraising stages. Plan ahead to avoid constantly spamming the same people with the same information. There are many ways to segment your audience and timeline.
One way of segmentation is identifying how your venture effects or benefits different groups of people either by demographics, psycographics, lifestyle, profession, beliefs and values etc. and crafting specific emails or communication to each group. You can reach your entire target audience with different messages and announcements, across your crowdfunding cycle.
Apart from generating a buzz on online platforms, collect and develop e-mail contacts of relevant influencers and even your general audience.
In the online word, e-mails are arguably the best form of personal communication. Sending out e-mails with information and updates on your venture, encourages people more readily to support you and your venture.
Social Media Campaign Chart
Create a social media marketing plan to raise awareness for your venture before you launch. By being active online and participating in relevant online groups, you can increase and develop your online presence, which can greatly impact you realising your goal.
Craft and develop posts and templates in advance and have everything ready to go. You can even create new pages or profiles for your post to reach out to many more people.
Be sure to include a call to action on your social media posts.
Tease the Release
Create teasers or 'coming soon' posts on social media to build a community of supporters before you start fundraising. By doing this, you are building excitement within your community of supporters prior to release. Your audience will also know what to expect from your venture and what they need to do as soon you launch your crowdfunding post.