Although very much a reality and a success story for some, crowdfunding is nonetheless a concept , and therefore needs to be understood. It’s a good idea to cast an eye over projects already funded on Ulule in order to see an example of a solid crowd funding community with a lot of motivation.
Before getting down to the bare bones of the subject, it is necessary seek out an introduction to crowdfunding. If you don’t know exactly what hides behind the name ‘crowdfunding’, you can read a little history of the concept online.
In short, crowdfunding is a project supported by people through social networking, behind which lies a single goal: the realisation of the project. It is in the collection of a number of small donations that a more handsome budget is born, a budget which has the ability to make a project come to life. Pretty simple, right?
Crowdfunding isn’t a donation given without genuine interest, it is not an act of charity. The online user who donates is not just a subscriber, he becomes a prescriber, because he is able to turn the project around, he is now involved with the notoriety, visibility and the credibility of the project as he carries its reputation.
Now for the implementation stage. Since you have read what came before this paragraph, I now consider you as well informed crowd funders! This means you also are ready to mobilise your online community. The word 'community' encompasses a fairly wide group of people including a circle with whom you are familiar, if that makes sense. If not, cast a quick glance at the ‘The 3 Crowdfunding Circles'
Ready for more? See below an A to Z of crowdfunding! And as the list is open don't hesitate to make additions!
An A to Z of crowdfunding!
(a work in progress)
Brief- make sure you keep your bios and project descriptions punchy- long intros tend to be abandoned half way through
Community- it's the basis, made up of three circles. A crowdfunding platform is about a community forming and growing. A crowdfunding campaign must address your different circles of acquaintance: the first circle (relatives, family, friends), the second circle (friends of friends) and the third circle (people you do not know not yet ...). For this, read the article '3 Circles of Community funding.'
Deadline- the end date is always a topic of discussion, but know one thing- the shorter the better! It's not about putting the maximum amount of time in order to get the maximum amount of money, in fact just the opposite is true.It is beter to concentrate on communication in a short time frame, which creates a sense of urgency. Those which extend over several months give the impression to visitors that there is always time to give a donation in 30, 50 or 60 days...they have the tendency to procrastinate and that are you are making a fuss for no reason.
Energy- the more effort you put in, the more you get out…a pretty familiar saying and that’s because it’s true! Especially when it comes to crowdfunding. Make sure you are always on top of pre
Facebook- an invaluable base to talk about your work, get your closest circle of friends and aquaintances interested and link back to your Ulule page.
Gratifying- it's a great feeling when a project you supported went all the way and turned out as a great success.
Human- don't forget that someone has stopped, taken the time to read your project and help you out because they like it. Take the time to see who is following you, who had funded you, thank them, send out their rewards, keep them updated and take into account any suggestions they make. There is a real person behind that avatar or screen name who cared enough to give you the time of day and reach into their wallet for you!
Independence- because you remain in control of your project. No capital, no producer who tells you what to do and takes royalties. With Ulule, you stay in control of your idea, it's development and its future.
Kickstarter.com- a model of crowdfunding that has democratised the principle of cfinancing a project, notably in the United States. Some truly great projects can be found on Kickstarter! It still only remains accessible to american project owners.
Media- Use everything available to you to make your project eye catching and appealing, meaning use videos and photos! Then there is the question of The Media- if someone writes an article about you, make sure to share it with your readers!
News- makes sure to update the 'news' section of your website in order to keep people's interest and let them know about developments that are taking place or your 'personal journey' ( see 'Project Updates: The How and Why').
Open- be clear from the very beginning about what it is you need the money for and how it will be spent if you meet your target, and also if you were to exceed it. With full details, people will fell more confident that you know what you are doing and it will therefore be more likely that your project will be a success once it is funded.
Presentation- make sure your profile in Ulule is as attractive as possible. It may seem obvious, but some people still manage to get this wrong. Keep things short, simple and concie, use plenty of images and videos if you have them and bold or italics when necessary (but don’t go overboard with these either!)
Questions- if people leave questions under your project, make sure you respond! It is possible that they are in need of more information before they decide whether to fund you or not. If you take several days to answer, they may have already lost interest and decided to fund a different project.
Rewards- this is the motor of your crowdfunding campaign. Firstly for practical reasons (to raise money), but also because they bring a playful touch to your project and remain the most effective way to encourage visitors to become supporters of your project.
Social Networking- make use of all the social networking tools available to you- Vox on Ulule, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest perhaps, an online blog, email, websites etc..
Twitter- worth it’s own special mention, Twitter is particularly useful due to the regularity with which you can update it and the potential to gain new followers who might not otherwise be aware of your project. Check out this user contribution for 10 tools to manage and analyse your twitter account.
Ulule- Here you have it ! Ulule is a platform for community financement (launched in October 2010) with the motto ‘’Make Good Things Happen!’’, it is used by project owners, supporters and the Ulule team who take care of the site and keep an eye on projects. With an international site (in six different languages with payments made from 180 different countries) and is a true help to project owners , offering feasible and flexible soluions to best meet your needs. Ulule sees a growth in the list of it’s projects online day after day. And it continues to do so !
Videos or Vimeo- videos are a great medium to make your project attractive and impart more information, to really give a feel for what your project is all about. Sites like Vimeo allow for free video hosting and embedding. If you are a talented editor, videos can be a powerful tool to incite certain emotions in the viewer, if that is a necessary part of your campaign.
Welcome- a crowdfunding project is also an invitation to share ideas. Be positive, take the time to write an intoductuction to your project and to give thanks where it’s due.
Z- The End!