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11 Keys to Getting Your Project Funded on a Site Like Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

by / ⠀Startup Advice / August 1, 2012

Q. What’s the key to getting your passion project funded on a site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

The following answers are provided by The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.

A. Convincing Video

Both sites stress videos for every project; after all, it’s the first thing that people see when looking at projects. Having a passionate, high-quality video can make a huge difference in getting funded.

Ben Lang, EpicLaunch

A. Study What’s Already Working

Research what similar projects have been funded, and reverse-engineer their success. What was their hook? What did they offer to donors? How did they market their crowdfunding campaign on social media sites? Key point: don’t reinvent the wheel, just put your own unique spin on it.

Pete Kennedy, Main Street ROI

A. The Right Incentives

On crowdfunding sites, you’re selling products. Part of the product is the ability to associate yourself with a cool project — but the incentives are just as much what buyers are interested in. The Pebble E-Paper Watch raised so much funding because backers wanted to buy that specific watch, and Kickstarter will be the only way to get it for quite a while.

Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

A. Offer Something Tangible

While you might have a great idea, it won’t necessarily attract an investment. Build something to show off — an early prototype or beta release. Not only does this make your presentation more exciting, but it also lets people know that you’re committed to the project and that their money is going into a credible venture

Michael Tolkin, Merchant Exchange

A. Build Your Credibility

Do what you can to build your professional brand and get word out about your project. Don’t just rely on the sites to help you get a project funded. The more credibility you have and the more people that know about your project, the higher chance of a successful funding round.

John Hall, Digital Talent Agents

A. Take It Off-Site Too

The key to having your project funded is to not rely 100 percent on the funding site. Take it off-site and share it with everyone you know, and find creative ways to get people to head over to the site. Also, lot of people don’t even know what these crowdfunding websites are all about, so educating them on why you’ve chosen this platform and how it works will help build funding security.

Erin Blaskie, BSETC

A. A Solid Business Plan

Have a solid, well-developed business plan in writing. Knowing exactly what you want to do with your funding will encourage investors to give you a closer look.

Jordan Guernsey, Molding Box

A. Tell an Epic Story

People don’t a product, service or solution; they buy the story that’s attached to it. So tell them a rockin’ story. That includes an origin story of how this idea came to be, a story of why this project is so awesome, and a story of the people behind the project. Ultimately, it’s the story you tell that turns potential fans into true believers.

Michael Margolis, Get Storied

A. Build Momentum

Aaron SchwartzAs with a social media competition, getting momentum is critical to funding any project on Indiegogo or another crowdfunding site. Make sure to engage your fans and advocates early on. Provide incentives that demonstrate clear value to your backers. Your goal should be to manufacture an echo-chamber in which your project resonates as THE thing to which people should pay attention.

Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

A. Share, Share, Share!

Those who invest in Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects don’t necessarily care about market size or traction as traditional investors do. They want to hear your story — why you are undertaking this project and what it means to you. The more you share, the more potential funders can relate to you. If they can feel your pain and understand the problem you are trying to solve, you’re very likely to get funded.

Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh Test Prep

A. Convey Your Motivation

The most critical bit of persuasive information you can impart is “why.” Make sure your network of supporters — family, friends, business associates, fans and anyone else who might potentially donate — clearly understand the intent and reasoning behind your project. People will rally around projects they understand, so you can build support by rousing the passions of potential benefactors. The more emotionally invested they are in the project, the more they are willing to participate, including donation and dissemination.

Nick Reese, Microbrand Media

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

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