Have you ever heard of crowdfunding before? Not only is launching your brand with the help of crowdfunding the best way to raise funds to develop your brand faster, it also allows you to ensure the viability of your project by directly reaching out to your ideal customer. However, please keep in mind that a crowdfunding campaign needs to be properly prepared! Discover my advice to launch your brand thanks to crowdfunding.
Launching your brand with crowdfunding: how does it work?
Crowdfunding allows you to raise money from individuals to finance part of your project.
Maybe you need to hire a professional to create your website, maybe you need money to produce your first pieces or to invest in specific equipment (tools, machinery, etc…) if this is the case, crowdfunding is just the thing for you!
To carry out a financing campaign, you must register on a crowdfunding platform. There are many of them but the most famous ones are Ulule and KissKissBankBank, especially in the textile industry. Once your application is accepted, it’s time to get started! Do know that you have to fulfill several requirements such as creating a sales page, shooting a presentation video, defining your goal and setting your contributions (we’ll come back to this later).
A crowdfunding campaign can be a real advantage when launching your brand as opposed to another brand that chooses to launch in a more “traditional” way. It allows you to make yourself known, finance your project and more importantly, attract your first customers.
A crowdfunding campaign requires some form of preparation!
The best way to succeed in your campaign is to be well prepared. Many designers jump into a campaign at the last minute, without thinking it through, and then struggle to reach their goal.
The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to succeed. Once your application has been accepted by the crowdfunding platform, you will need to :
1# Create a presentation page and video.
The objective is to immerse the viewers in the universe of your brand. Storytelling thus plays a very important role in a fundraising campaign. Those who will read your page must be able to relate to your brand and identify with it in order to want to participate in the adventure and support you. At this stage of your brand’s development, contributors are true ambassadors and not just customers.
Also remember that nobody knows you yet and that it’s important to emphasize the seriousness of your approach and to explain in detail who you are, what you do and why you do it. And don’t forget to specify what the money collected will be used for at the end of the campaign!
2# Define the objective and duration of your campaign
A crowdfunding campaign can last between 30 and 60 days but it’s preferable not to exceed 45 days so as to not lose the vitality nor ‘energy’ of this type of fundraising project.
As for your objective, don’t set the bar too high or too low. Your main target must be ambitious yet achievable: the money collected must allow you to finance what you need while ensuring a margin to invest in other secondary but essential expenses.
Your goal also depends on the price of your donations and the quantity of items you are offering. If you have two pieces at 100€ and you can only produce 10 at a time, you will not be able to exceed 2000€ (excluding free donations). Please do the math before you set the amount you want to reach.
3# Start by spreading the word around you
The earlier you talk about your campaign, the more likely you are to engage enough people very quickly to reach your goal. Your crowdfunding campaign can reach three circles:
- Circle number 1, the innermost circle, represents your family and friends.
- Circle number 2 is composed of your friends of friends, your professional network, your acquaintances…
- Circle number 3 is the most difficult circle to reach but the most important for your brand. It’s simply your ideal customer, the media and the other actors of your ecosystem (influencers, partners, brands…).
Many designers overlook the last part, yet it’s vital: they’re the ones you want to reach first!
The key to a successful crowdfunding campaign: communication
A crowdfunding campaign is inseparable from a communication campaign: it’s essential to communicate about your campaign beforehand if you want to reach your goals.
Social networks are the communication channel to use to make your brand known. However, be careful not to start communicating only a few days before the campaign: a community takes time to build. Especially since it’s not only about increasing your number of subscribers, but also about creating a bond with your community so that it buys when the time comes. This is why I invite you to create your brand’s account at least six months in advance.
As for networks, it’s best to focus on Instagram and LinkedIn. These are not only two very powerful networks for brands but they’re also complementary. On LinkedIn you speak for yourself, as the founder. You reveal the behind-the-scenes, your progress and the questions you ask yourself at each stage of development. Your network is more professional: it includes circle 2 as well as circle 3 through the actors of your ecosystem.
On Instagram, you’ll reach your ideal customer, the idea being to create a community of people interested in your brand and who’ll be ready to buy your pieces when your campaign launches. It is therefore necessary to take care of your relationship with your followers and plan a teasing campaign to make them want to buy your products during the campaign.