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Got a question about crowdfunding?

We like to think we’re a helpful lot. We’ve created this page to answer some of the questions our clients ask us – we hope you find it useful.

Is my idea suitable for crowdfunding?

When it comes to reward crowdfunding, almost any project is suitable. However, there are some restrictions you need to be aware of. For example, Kickstarter won’t allow you to raise money solely for charity, or for tech projects that don’t have a working prototype. Indiegogo are more relaxed, but still have some restrictions you’ll need to think about. Equity crowdfunding sites, such as Crowdcube and The Syndicate Room, are much more stringent, and we recommend researching these options extensively.

Which type of crowdfunding should I consider?

First of all, you need to decide whether you’re looking for reward crowdfunding (where you offer backers a reward in return for backing your project) or equity crowdfunding (where you give each backer a percentage of your company in return for their investment).

If you decide that reward crowdfunding is right for you, there are two platforms that stand out: Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The main difference between the two is that Indiegogo allows you to keep whatever money you raise, even if you don’t reach your goal, whereas Kickstarter returns any funds donated if your target isn’t met. They both have different specialties and we recommend you do your research before you decide which is right for you. Alternatively, there are many more niche platforms popping up every day – check out Unbound and Inkshares which are solely for crowdfunding books, for example.

If you’re more interested in equity crowdfunding, we recommend you look at the platform with the best offering for your business. The big three are Crowdcube, Seedrs, and The Syndicate Room, but don’t be scared to look around until you find the platform that’s right for your business. Be careful as equity crowdfunding sites tend to be very selective and don’t host a large number of campaigns.

Finally, charitable crowdfunding has grown rapidly, and there is a number of platforms to choose from. Among the largest are JustGiving and GoFundMe, as well as Indiegogo’s own Generosity. As with all crowdfunding genres, there are other smaller, more niche platforms out there, so we recommend you shop around and find which works best for you.

If you’d like to talk through the best platform for your campaign, Big Agency can help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and talk through your ideas.

How do I set my goal?

Setting your goal is not simply deciding how much money you want to raise. There are a few psychological tricks to think about. Sometimes setting your goal lower than you need builds more confidence in backers. But if a goal is too low, people may question why you need the money in the first place. Take your time and look at comparable projects, then decide on a goal that will inspire confidence in your audience.

Can I raise more than my goal?

Yes! Your campaign doesn’t stop when you hit your goal, and you should aim to blast through it. It’s important to be strategic with your target and set stretch goals for your backer community to hit throughout your campaign.

What if I don’t reach my goal?

While we’re confident that every campaign we work on will succeed, we know things don’t always work out. But don’t worry if you don’t reach your goal, you still have plenty of options. Indiegogo allows you to keep whatever money you’ve raised, while the experience and contacts you’ve made will be useful on your second attempt. Just remember: it’s vital to communicate clearly with your backers to make sure they stay on board with what you’re trying to achieve. That way, if you do launch again they’ll be right there with you to ensure your next campaign is a success.

Do I need to refund my backers if I don’t reach my goal?

No, not unless you want to. Be aware that if you raise some money, a percentage will be taken by the platform, so it is better to try and deliver somewhat on your promise than to refund and end up out of pocket. Crowdfunding is about building a community who believe in you, and if you aren’t successful try and reward that belief by doing your best. Legally, as long as you attempt to deliver on your promise, you don’t have to refund your backers

What do I need to get ready before I start my campaign?

The weeks and months before your campaign’s live launch are the most important of the whole project. You need to create an attractive proposition for your audience from day one, so spend time showcasing your project in the best way possible via a professional video and eye-catching artwork. The first day of your campaign is vital, so it’s important to get your audience in place. Take the time to build email lists and social media channels, while developing a strong PR offering (we recommend hiring a professional team for this).

How do I attract backers to my page?

When it comes to crowdfunding, a “build it and they will come” mentality just doesn’t work. You either have to bring supporters to your page yourself, or use an agency to identify your audience and work with you to execute a strategy that will best attract your audience. We also recommend getting any friends and family you can to support the campaign as early as possible, as the quicker you raise part of your goal, the more chance the platform of your choice will promote you via their own channels. Social media is one of the most important ways you can bring an audience to your campaign − we recommend spending time before you launch, sometimes for six months to a year, developing an engaged audience that you can depend on when the time comes to launch your campaign.

What if I don’t have a social audience to start with?

If you don’t have a social audience, and don’t have the time to develop one, we recommend working with a team such as Big Agency to quickly identify and engage a new audience. However, you should always try to identify ambassadors for your campaign that you can rely on. These are people with large social followings who will ‘fly the flag’ for your campaign. Get enough ambassadors, or one with a large enough audience, and you may not need to depend on your own social media at all. If you’re interested in working with Big Agency to build your social audience, we’d love to hear from you.

Do I need a website of my own?

While a website is not always necessary for a successful campaign, having a presence online before you launch or during your campaign that is separate from your crowdfunding page, can be very useful. Using a site to capture emails before you launch is also a fantastic way to develop a strong email list for your launch. Having an easily searchable/memorable URL will always make finding your project online easier, and it can act as a portal to your crowdfunding page. A website also gives you more control over visuals and content than your crowdfunding page, which may allow you to convince a potential backer who is still hesitant after seeing your crowdfunding page. If you need help with this, get in touch with Big Agency’s web design experts to talk things through.

How do I get on the front page of the crowdfunding platforms?

There are hundreds of projects looking for funding, so you need to stand out from the crowd. Having an eye-catching, well-constructed page is a major part of the battle, but having an interesting, unique, or original offering is important too. Early success is attractive, so have plenty of people ready to back your campaign in the first few days.

How can I get my project written about online?

There are so many crowdfunding campaigns launching every day that getting noticed can sometimes feel impossible. Journalists and bloggers get hundreds of emails every day about new campaigns, and most are completely ignored. To make sure your campaign is featured in all the right places, we recommend hiring an agency with PR experience and extensive relationships that you can depend on to get your project written about. PR is not integral to every campaign, especially if you have enough ambassadors and a strong social media audience, but the validation it can bring to your campaign is immense.

How do I avoid a ‘lull’ period?

There is a period after the first few days of your campaign that is known colloquially as the ‘lull’ or ‘trough’ (a term preferred by Kickstarter). This is the period of around two weeks where the excitement of your launch has passed, and your deadline isn’t quite yet close enough to make backers feel the pressure. You will find that your progress slows during this period, and that you have to work harder to attract backers. We recommend countering this with regular social media posts and campaign page updates that contain genuinely interesting content (text, photos, videos, new rewards – anything your audience finds interesting). We make sure all of these updates and their content is well planned in advance with a strategy to counter this lull period.

What do people get in return for backing my project?

Depending on the type of crowdfunding you choose (reward/equity/charitable), you can offer different things to your backers. With reward crowdfunding, backers should get interesting experiences, memorabilia, and/or merchandise (to name but a few). Equity offers backers investment in return for their contribution to your business. Charitable/personal crowdfunding campaigns don’t generally offer physical rewards, instead offering backers goodwill and the satisfaction of helping a worthy cause. If you need help developing a reward strategy, contact us today and we’ll be happy to talk through your requirements.

Can I raise money from the whole world, or just the country I’m in?

You can run a crowdfunding campaign from anywhere in the world, and backers will be able to contribute from any country that allows crowdfunding sites.

What currency should I raise in?

The currency you raise in is either dictated by the country you’re in, or the platform you use. If you are able to choose your currency, we recommend identifying where your largest audience is based, and which currency they use.

How is money collected from backers? (paypal/bank/stripe)

There are a variety of payment options employed across the crowdfunding sector. Both Paypal and Stripe (a secure credit card payment system) are common, as are other credit/debit card payment systems. We recommend communicating with individual platforms before you launch, to make sure they have a payment/contribution solution that works for you.

When do I get my money?

This varies depending on the platform, with Indiegogo and Kickstarter generally taking about two weeks after the campaign finishes to pass the money you’ve raised to you. The process is usually a little longer with equity crowdfunding. We recommend seeking advice from your chosen platform, as there are various outcomes of a campaign that can alter the time it takes to receive your money.

How do I make sure my backers receive their rewards/perks?

The fulfilment process that follows a successful campaign should be planned out carefully in advance, especially when physical rewards form part of your strategy. Crowdfunding platforms employ in-built messaging systems and surveys that can be sent to backers to ensure you have all the information you need to send the correct rewards to each backer.

Once you have collated this data, you can handle the distribution of rewards yourself, or work with dedicated fulfilment companies. Some of these, such as Backerkit and Amplifier, are designed specifically for crowdfunding. Depending on your campaign, fulfilment might happen all at once, or it can be an organic process, with your backers receiving items and updates over a period of time. When we work with clients, we offer support after the campaign has finished to make sure plans are in place and that your backers get the best experience possible. Remember, a happy backer will come back time and time again, so make sure you deliver exactly what they’re looking for.

Can I raise money for charity through crowdfunding?

Yes! Sites like JustGiving, GoFundMe, Generosity and Crowdfunder all offer personal and charitable campaigns.

Are there any resources online that I can use to learn more about crowdfunding?

Yes. There are a number of great crowdfunding resources that are full of information. Our own blog, The Big Idea, is full of crowdfunding news and tips, and you should also check out Kickstarter and Indiegogo’s blogs. Make sure you have a look around the platforms you’re interested in, specifically at other campaigns. Have a look at their profiles and social media, see what they’re saying about their own projects, and what they’ve been reading. You can learn a lot from what other people have done right (or wrong).