By Narek Vardanyan
In the process of writing my guide, “57 secrets of Crowdfunding,” I interviewed entrepreneurs who conducted 206 successful crowdfunding campaigns. I wanted to discover the incentives that drive people to back crowdfunding projects time and time again. Here are the 6 incentives that will make people back your crowdfunding campaign:
1. You’ve Just Solved A Problem
It can be a simple product — revolutionize the humble bottle-opener, devise a nifty changing mat, a jacket that folds into a chair, or a service, a novelty — a cat-lovers cafe or a barber shop for beards (hipster’s ahoy).
And if you’re feeling particularly crafty, or still waiting for a muse to strike, you can always pop on over to alibaba.com. You’d be amazed at how many products selling there appear on Kickstarter, rebranded and repackaged. Don’t backers know they can get the product anywhere else? Of course they do, they just get the warm glow of supporting someone and being a part of your startup success story.
2. Your Idea is Cool
It might be ever so handy in real life, but that isn’t the only thing that drives backers. They want your clever gadget to make it into the real world because it’s a cool idea. Take a look at a recent campaign for a Greek Bailout. It’s cool; it’s fun, and it’s attracted about $1.3 million in support from over 60 countries.
3. You’re Kind of Likable
This Golden Rule is as applicable to venture capitalists as crowdfunding success stories. People fund People; not ideas, projects, or services. If they don’t like you, if they don’t have confidence in you, then they’ll never part with their cash — even if you create a holographic phone or the coolest jacket that transforms into a chair that transforms into bed (I may be focusing a little too much on this chair idea). If you’re not likable, you’re not fundable. So, use all your charm and charisma, make people like you!
4. You’ve Nailed Social Benefits
You are feeding the undernourished, helping the poor or fixing earthquake damage. You are providing a community with social benefits, and igniting the interest of backers while you’re about it. People want to invest in good causes that make a difference.
5. You’re a Story Worth Being Part Of
So this is where friends and family come in, but they’re not the only ones with a part to play. Make your campaign personal and you’ll be inundated by strangers willing to help, to play a part in your success story.
6. There’s Something in it for Backers
You wanted people to help you for free? It doesn’t work like that. People (even kind ones) want something tangible for their money.
Provide some great perks at great prices, make sure they can’t get them anywhere else, and watch the backers roll in.
Eric Reyes, the author of “Lean Startup,” has this point nailed. He introduced his new book exclusively on Kickstarter, mentioned that the book would not be sold anywhere else and created a limit market with all the attendant frenzy and excitement. The outcome? A cool $600,000 pledge total.
But we’re not all well-known authors. Most crowdfunders make discount quotas instead. They’ll offer the first 100 backers a 50 percent discount, the next 100 backers 30 percent, the next 15 percent discount. They incentivize their backers to buy the ‘discounted product’ and reach their funding goal quickly.
More about how to make your campaign successfully funded you will find here.
• • •
Narek Vardanyan is a researcher, entrepreneur and Crowdfunding advocate. He is the author of bestselling strategic book “57 Sectrets of Crowdfunding” and founder of thecrowdfundingformula.com where he shares tips, hacks and success stories of people, who used Crowdfunding to start doing what they love. Narek has used Crowdfunding to raise funds for his startups and helped more than 60 people to successfully reach their Crowdfunding goals. He is passionate about Crowdfunding and its emerging ability to act as a sustainable source of alternative finance.