Have you heard of Kickstarter, Gofundme and Indiegogo? These sites are a part of the rapidly growing wave of crowd-funding sites and could be a great tool for you to aid in funding your business idea. Crowd-funding is one of the latest options to consider when funding your business. Crowd-funding is a method of financing that allows individuals to utilize their personal networks to raise funds for their cause or business. Crowd-funding campaigns can be used to fund non-profit creative projects and causes as well as for-profit businesses. Listed below our 5 tips to consider before beginning a crowd-funding project:

1. Research
– Each of the crowd-funding sites allow you to search through current and completed campaigns. Begin by searching for similar campaigns to yours. Specifically look at what they are offering.  How did they structure their donation increments?  What type of details/visuals did they provide? Are they gaining interest? How are they promoting their project? Was the project successful? Why or why not? Also spend some time on the comment sections and see what people are directly saying about the campaign. This information will be extremely valuable to you when beginning your project.

2. Create a Video
– By creating a video for your project you can tell your story, show off your product/service, bring awareness to your event, etc. You will also want to include the video on your website and social media outlets. Remember first impression is crucial so consider hiring a videographer.

3. Promote Promote Promote
– Promoting your project is an absolute must. You should promote it on all of your online outlets, such as website, social media, newsletter, etc. Do not forget your offline promotion tools as well. Create a business card, brochures and flyers for the project and set-up a booth at local events. In your networking, actively encourage people to visit your project site.

4. Use it to Gauge Interest
– Crowd-funding isn’t just for when you’re strapped for cash. You can also use the process to market your company to customers or investors and gauge their interest in new products.

5. Know Which Site to Use
– The two largest crowd-funding sites are Kickstart and Indegogo, but not every type of project is best for these sites. Be sure to read the funding rules for each site before beginning your project. For example, Indiegogo allows backers to keep the funds they’ve raised, even if they miss their funding goals. In comparison, funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. Evaluate your funding needs carefully before you launch your campaign.