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Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

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Empowering smart, ambitious and passionate women to set up businesses through crowdfunding – Anastasia Emmanuel, Director of UK Tech and Hardware at Indiegogo, shares her expert tips

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Anastasia Emmanuel is Director of UK Tech and Hardware at Indiegogo, having previously been UK Marketing and Community Manager for the crowdfunding platform. Since 2013 she has also presented ‘The Week in Tech’ for Tech City News. Prior to joining Indiegogo, Anastasia co-founded content organisation platform Publicate and she held various roles at internet media company, Newspepper, having graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2007.

Anastasia Emmanuel
Anastasia Emmanuel

 “…47% of campaigns that reach their funding goals on Indiegogo are run by women, so don’t be afraid to start a campaign…”

Smart, ambitious and passionate women who want to start their own business

There are countless smart, ambitious and passionate women in the world who want to start their own business, but they worry about how to raise the capital to get going. The stumbling block of trying to get funding via traditional channels, such as banks or investors is often enough to sadly dissuade people.

Crowdfunding levels the playing field and empowers people all over the world to get their idea off the ground by going directly to the crowd. It is not only a great way to raise funds, but there is huge value is being able to validate your idea or project, raise awareness and build a community around what you are passionate about.

Popular misconception: Crowdfunding is easy

However, lots of people are still under the misconception that crowdfunding is easy. It’s not easy, but it’s so rewarding and such a valuable exercise at the start of your business. Indiegogo has seen over 300,000 campaigns so we really have seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. So I wanted to share some of my best tips on how to successfully develop a crowdfunding campaign.

Interestingly enough, 47% of campaigns that reach their funding goals on Indiegogo are run by women, so don’t be afraid to start a campaign. Just roll your sleeves up and give it a go.

Start by setting your goals

Think of your crowdfunding campaign as a marathon, not a sprint. I would say it’s best to run a campaign for 30-45 days; it’s a long enough period to raise awareness, but not so long that you lose momentum and drive – it’s like a full-time job running a great campaign!

It’s great to be ambitious, but also realistic. From our experience 87% of the campaigns that hit their goal will overfund by an average of 32%, therefore pick an attainable goal and hit it as soon as possible.

The old adage no one likes to eat in an empty restaurant holds true with campaigns. People love getting involved with campaigns that have momentum and seem likely to succeed, and people don’t stop funding. It also becomes an interesting PR story, e.g. “We blast through our goal in 24hrs’ or X company doubled their funding goal in 5hrs!”

Get your pitch right

The first thing to do is to craft a clear and compelling message, then get in front of the camera and explain why you are so passionate about your business. Storytelling is key, explain what you are raising money for but also tell your story! A good two minute video explaining your project will help you raise 370% more money on average, and always remember that people fund people, not projects.

Secondly, consider your perks. Be as creative as possible and think about what will interest your potential audience. Start with between five and seven and you can add more throughout the campaign, as well as create impetus with featured perks, limited edition perks as it helps keep momentum after the initial wave of funding.

Have a team to support you

Don’t think of crowdfunding as a one man band. On average, campaigns with four or more people on the team will raise significantly more money than those who only have one person managing everything.

A campaign needs to be nurtured throughout – this is your child for the next 30-60 days! The more people you get to support you the better. Perhaps you know someone who is a social media whizz kid that can give you a hand, for example.

Be proactive

When you start a campaign it’s crucial that you keep your funders, and potential funders engaged. Keep them updated on a regular basis, from our experience if you update the campaign at least three times raise you will raise on average 239% more than if you only update it two times, or less during their campaign.

Keeping up momentum is really important, if you get 25% of your funds during the first week you are five times more likely to hit your target or even surpass it. This is another reason having an attainable goal helps!

We know that most of your funders will come from email campaigns, Facebook and Twitter, so don’t forget to revamp your social media skills and start a conversation – you will definitely see the results coming through.

Find your audience

The word ‘crowdfunding’ can be misleading, keep in mind that the initial people who fund your campaign will come from your network: your friends, family, colleagues. This is typically the first 30% and it’s important to ‘soft launch’ to establish this base so that the wider Indiegogo community feels that they can trust the campaign and want to get involved.

The next wave of funding will typically come from your close networks inner circle and the last funding is the ‘stranger pounds’. This tends to be the largest cohort of people but it all depends on your early momentum.

It’s so important to build your initial supporter base; you need to have an audience before the campaign starts. Think about your strategy and how you are going to attract and engage people outside your initial circle, either it’s by going to networking events, exhibitions, partnering with organisations or associations, or by reaching out to press.

Having this in mind, remember to have your family and friends to help you get the ball rolling, no one will fund a campaign with zero contributions, so the more you can do initially the better. Then the trick is to be authentic, share your story and make it resonate with your audience.

After the campaign

When the campaign is finished you need to fulfil your promise to those who have funded you. Whatever perks you offered, as rewards during your campaign need to be sent out to your community of funders.

Make sure you deliver what you said you will and keep your funders updated on what’s going on, they will appreciate it and hopefully become your early enthusiasts and evangelists – this can be invaluable for word of mouth marketing. You always want to delight and over-deliver rather than make your funders regret sharing in your vision.

Resources to help you create a successful campaign

There is a huge amount that goes into creating a successful campaign but we have created a plethora of educational resources to help wanting to run a campaign, we have mined seven years of data and researched past campaigns to share our insights on what makes a great campaign.

The first port of call is our Crowdfunding Field Guide, you can download it here.

The Indiegogo Playbook is also a great resource to run a successful campaign. Also remember to look on the website for similar campaigns in your category. You can filter by most funded so you can see what has really worked in similar campaigns and learn from them, as well as looking at campaigns that have not done so well and learning from their mistakes.

Research is your friend – the more preparation the better… and then just go for it! Good luck!



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