Reaching or even exceeding your funding target – and your project then being fully funded – is undoubtedly the main goal of any crowdfunding campaign. Yet the journey towards that end game includes many other goals that will ensure your project is successful.
Setting clear, actionable goals is extremely important for a streamlined and effective campaign. These stepping-stones along the road to crowdfunding success will afford you both flexibility to adapt your plan en route as necessary, while also ensuring that everyone on your team is on the same page.
Goal #1: A good first impression
Your first goal should be to ensure that your crowdfunding campaign offers a good first impression.
In this distraction-rich digital age, it is important that any potential backers are hooked from the instant they visit your campaign page. Make sure you select the right title for your campaign and kick off the interesting and intriguing content with a high-quality video, if possible. An easy-to-follow, catchy and good-looking presentation could well make or break your campaign.
Goal #2: Set the funding goal
Of the many aspects of your campaign to plan before launch, one of the most important is setting an appropriate funding goal. Too high, and your funding goal could discourage backers and you might never reach it. Too low, and it might not motivate enough backers to give you their support. That Goldilocks-esque ‘just right’ goal should motivate your supporters and raise as much as possible – and it takes good planning and strategy to calculate what that figure is for your campaign.
Goal #3: Budget carefully
As the old saying goes, you need to have money to make money. In the case of crowdfunding, this means that you may need to be able to cover the cost of the tools and resources required to see your campaign to its successful close.
Make sure your budget covers expenses associated with promotion of the campaign, both off- and online. All administration and platform charges should be added to your budget, as well as the cost of your rewards, for both the items themselves and for the delivery costs.
Goal #4: Raise money pre-launch
To cover the costs that you’ve established in your budget, it may be necessary to raise some funds prior to the launch of your campaign. However, seeking funds pre-launch can also be helpful in other ways.
Raising some money before you launch can help inspire trust in your cause for your backers, as it will be more established than other campaigns who tend to appear from nowhere when launched. It is also a valuable opportunity for you to test your idea with your target audience before going live.
Goal #5: Go for campaign outreach
Another aspect of your pre-launch strategy should be to consider how you are going to keep your campaign at the top of your potential backers’ mental ‘in-tray’. To this end, plan how you will focus your promotional efforts, ensuring that you are visible and present across your selected online platforms.
Pre-launch is also the time to set audience goals, test your reach, build your existing network and establish your conversion rate from campaign page visits to backing. As always, it pays to make it quick and easy for your supporters to contribute: create ways for them to receive updates via emails, newsletters or notifications, and promote the direct link to your campaign page across all your social media platforms.
Goal #6: Set deadlines
By creating deadlines for every stage of your campaign, you will unify the efforts of you and your team and ensure all bases are covered.
Your campaign timeline should note dates for background work and research, strategy creation, campaign promotion, campaign creation and duration, the pre-launch phase, as well as for the launch itself.
Goal #7: Think SMART
A good way to stay on target for crowdfunding success is to ensure that all your goals can fit into a SMART mindset.
Your goals should be Specific, detailed and straightforward, as well as being Measurable and Attainable. Any goals should also be Relevant and align with your campaign’s overall mission, and Timely so that you can manage the expectations of your campaign’s target audience.