Campaigns Do's and Don'ts
Submitting a project
- Submit a project which has a solid idea and a sellable vision behind it. Preferably submit your most innovative and ambitious project. You are a true design innovator after all, aren't you?
- Ask yourself if your project is really a project. Is it well-structured, consistent and feasible? Above all, does it have meaningful and relevant purpose? Don't forget to make all this evident in your project description!
- Set the minimum - not maximum - amount that you need as your fundraising goal. Remember you can keep raising funds after your goal is reached!
- Be realistic when setting your minimum fundraising goal and be sure to take into account all the costs you will incur in bringing your project to completion, fulfilling the commitments you make in respect of rewards and covering any additional fees that might be involved.
- Set a realistic length for your campaign but try to keep it as short as possible, preferably no more than 30 days. The power of a crowdfunding campaign is the speed at which it can raise funds.
- Submit a good idea, which you haven't actually translated into a structured project yet. Having a good idea is not enough to launch a campaign.
- Submit a project with a weak idea behind it. Would you back your campaign? Ask yourself this simple question.
- Set a fundraising goal which is either extremely high or extremely low.
- Drive yourself mad building your project. It shouldn't be so taxing. Remember that crowdfunding is crowdsourcing meets fundraising: the crowd is there to help you build a better project and tweak it along the way so make use of that resource.
Setting up and fulfilling rewards
- Offer only non-monetary rewards.
- Put some thought into what your backers would really like to receive from you and what they would consider appropriate recompense for their commitment to your campaign.
- Offer value. Who gives little gets little in return, but who gives a lot should receive something truly unique! Rewards that offer special opportunities are always perceived as the most valuable.
- Offer an outcome to the project itself, something tangible (an object) or intangible (an experience), or something which commemorates the campaign in some way, or public recognition of your backers' support. Your backers might also be interested in becoming a part of the project itself or influencing its eventual outcome in some way. Be creative!
- Be realistic when you estimate your rewards' delivery time.
- Keep your backers updated on how the delivery process is going.
- Offer equity, revenue share or investment opportunities. Backers can't acquire ownership or intellectual property rights in your project. Entry into lotteries, raffles or sweepstakes are also prohibited.
- Offer flimsy rewards. Again, who gives little gets little in return.
- Let your backers wait too long for their rewards. If you're going to be late delivering them, inform them of this as soon as possible and clearly explain the reasons.
Presenting your campaign
- Be strategic: don't speak to a crowd, speak to your crowd.
- Clearly explain what your project is about, why you're raising funds for it and how you're planning to use them.
- Highlight your value proposition and the benefits that your backers will gain from supporting you.
- Prepare a video to accompany the text portion of your project presentation. Storytelling is the best way to communicate an idea in an informal, engaging way to your audience.
- Show your audience that you're a true innovator who can bring something new to the market. Explain why your project can really make a difference not only to you and your crowd but to the design community as a whole.
- Post frequent updates on your project's progress to keep your backers and fellow Onclaude networkers in the loop. Posting updates on your campaign page is also a great way to attract new people to support you.
- Empower your crowd. Encourage people to give you feedback and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice, test their proposals and involve them in decision-making as well as in promotion.
- Express your feelings and be yourself!
- Address a generic audience. Who is your crowd? Why might they care about your project? Identify a target audience and try to work out the best way to communicate with them.
- Ask yourself if you should make a video or not; just make it - it's easier than it seems. Remember this is not a short film competition; people will be interested in your ideas and what you're saying and not in the quality of your video but do try to do your best as presentation is important.
- Take for granted that people will understand what your project is about just because you do. Try to explain things in a clear and concise way.
Promoting your campaign
- Spread the word around your target audience. Start from those closest to you, your family, friends, colleagues and fellow Onclaude networkers and then expand your scope to looking at your network's network and all the different groups of people and communities who might be interested in what you're doing.
- Also target your crowd's opinion leaders and influencers. If they like your project and trust you, they can be your greatest ambassadors.
- Empower your crowd if you want it to actively engage with your project. Encourage them to give you feedback and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice; test their proposals and involve them in decision-making as well as in promotion.
- Be strategic when looking to pitch your campaign to online media/communities. What does your audience read? What online sources do they use to keep themselves informed and updated? What communities do they belong to, other than the usual social networks?
- Involve your fellow Onclaude networkers in your project as much as possible. They can help you to spread the word by sharing information about your campaign and the progress it is making with all the people they know.
- Underestimate the role and influence of the offline world. Think outside the box. Go beyond the web and use the physical environment that surrounds you as the responsive tool it is to empower your campaign.
- Stalk your crowd. Always be respectful when you approach your audience, fellow Onclaude networkers or potential backers. No spamming, no email bombing, no double posting, please!
- Don't be too self-referential. Yes, it's your project, but keep your enthusiasm under control. Avoid, for instance, posting self-referential comments on other networkers' personal or campaign pages.