In the 20 years since Worldwide Express started up with little more than a good plan and a few thousand dollars, the Internet has opened many new ways for entrepreneurs to raise funds. For today’s aspiring entrepreneurs, one of the most promising avenues available for securing capital is crowdfunding, through websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
As an integral part of the modern Internet business ecosystem, crowdfunding relies heavily on an active social media presence and eye-catching design to draw investors. Such a campaign, however, is more than flashy graphics and viral videos; it is a serious business venture and requires that an entrepreneur stay grounded in business common sense.
Be prepared. Any successful campaign requires months to plan milestones, finalize design, define supporter benefits, and so on. A big part of this earliest stage should also involve significant research into similar campaigns.
Be clear. A clean layout, simple wording, pleasing design, honest timetables—these make a campaign easy to understand. A clearly presented project is more likely to entice potential supporters and builds trust in the entrepreneur behind it.
Engage supporters. Crowdfunding platforms allow a high degree of contact between an entrepreneur and investors big and small. This is an unparalleled opportunity to listen to potential customers and to build flexibility into the business early on.