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Tips for A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Tips for A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding websites have opened up a whole new world of opportunity for entrepreneurs hoping for capital to start a business. Although you have probably read tons of viral stories about incredibly successful campaigns, there are also those that make common mistakes and don’t perform as desired. So, before you kickstart (pun intended) a crowdfunding campaign, read these tips:

1. Pick the right platform.

As crowdfunding rises in popularity, more and more big players are entering the field. To ensure success, it’s important to pick the right website for your campaign. First, decide whether you are offering equity or a small reward in exchange for an investment. Websites like Crowdfunder only allow campaigns that sell equity, debt or revenue-based securities, while others like Kickstarter offer investors small rewards at your expense. Once you’ve made this decision, see if your industry has a niche crowdfunding website. Trying to raise funds for an innovative app? Use Appbakr. Launching a music career? PledgeMusic is the place for you. You should also look at the different fees associated with each crowdfunding site. Most websites take a percentage off of every raised fund and then an additional percentage off for credit card processing fees. Some sites, like RocketHub, take a higher percentage of your earnings if you don’t meet your stated campaign goal. Making the right decision when picking the platform guarantees that your campaign will reach its intended audience and at the right price.

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2. Personalized Pitch.

“People fund people, not just ideas,” says Indiegogo CEO Danae Ringelmann. Follow her advice and make your pitch video personal and convincing. Talk about what motivated you in your journey and how you want to impact the world with your product or idea. What problem are you solving? How will your product or idea personally help the potential investor watching your video? Investors want to feel your passion for the project, so be open, honest and hopefully, convincing.

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3. Do your homework.

Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo keep campaigns posted on the website even after they have finished. What does this mean for you? You have a treasure trove of past campaigns and their results at the click of a mouse. If possible, find campaigns within your industry and see how they performed. Analyze the pitch videos, rewards offered and any other information you can find to see how you can mimic success and avoid failure. After you’ve researched past campaigns, learn about your audience. Most investors are male between the ages of 24-35 earning over $100,000 a year. This is the group you have to win over to make a sale, so keep this audience in mind when creating a pitch.

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What’s in it for me?

Imagine sitting at home on the computer watching pitches for startup businesses. What would it take you to get up, grab your wallet, and pay a stranger online to pursue their dream? Ask yourself this question as you plan your campaign. The reward or equity the investor receives must be enticing enough to convince them to spend their hard earned money on you.

A little trick that Kickstarter suggests is using the $1 donation option. Although it may not seem like much, each dollar donated adds up quickly. The $1 donation gives potential investors an option to contribute without sacrificing much, while still feeling like they’ve made a difference. Also, unlike the larger investments, the $1 commitment does not require a substantial reward in exchange for the donation. Entrepreneurs typically offer a digital thank you note or something similar in size which won’t add to your campaign expenses.

Have you ever invested in or launched a successful crowdfunding campaign? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Joel Goldstein

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Last Updated on June 25, 2019

How to Ace an Interview: 10 Tips from a Professional Career Advisor

How to Ace an Interview: 10 Tips from a Professional Career Advisor

Wondering how to ace an interview? In this article, you will learn everything you need to nail your dream job — from resume submission to the end of the interview cycle.

In order to land a job interview, you must start with submitting a great resume. Submitting resumes is generally done by, “apply now”, the way many apply for consideration to a job requisition. Even if not applying the tradition way, let’s say, emailing someone in your network about an opportunity- you will still need a great resume.

So first thing first, work on your resume.

Today in the United States, 98% of organizations use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to extract information from an applicant’s resume to build a digital applicant profile that can be searched, filtered, and/or ranked.[1] So, a resume that is ATS friendly is part one for landing and acing a job interview.

To do this, a resume must have certain formatting and keywords to get the resume through the scan and into the hands of a recruiter. Without a resume that works with and for today’s technology and requirements, an interview can be difficult to land.

Here’s a great DIY Resume Guide (Do it Yourself Resume Guide) to help you craft an ATS and Recruiter friendly resume:[2]

There used to be a time where a job application was enough, today, an ATS friendly resume leads all methods in landing a job interview.

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Now, let’s talk about acing that interview.

A job interview is part 2 of the job application process. An interview is where applicants that have met the minimum requirements are selected to discuss the job opportunity with the employer or hiring manager.

Interviews are generally conducted via telephone, in person, and or applications/technology such as Skype. When the interview is landed, these 10 tips will help you ace the job interview:

1. Going for a Job Opportunity That Speaks to Your Passion

Having a passion for the job/ industry is extremely important. Doing something that aligns with inner passion is important for quality of life.

People that have passion for the job that they are interviewing for generally have better interview experiences. When we talk about what we love, it is seen in our faces, our body language, and heard in our tone. Here’re 10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money.

In short, consideration of talents, discovering the things that make you happy and sad, and what you love losing yourself in.

2. Study the Job Description: Essential Job Functions and Qualification Requirements

Doing this will allow you the opportunity to develop examples of past and present experience that relate to the essential job functions and required qualifications.

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Examples of experience is always a plus for interviewers, painting a full picture goes a long way. Even when not asked for an example, it is always a plus to tie answers to interview questions to examples from your experience.

If there is a portfolio (work samples: images, writing samples, published work, videos, awards, etc.) of work- that’s even better!

3. Research the Company and the Interviewer(s)

Being an employee means entering into a relationship with an employer. In many areas of life, research is done prior to committing; researching a company prior to an interview is no different.

It is important to determine if the company is a good fit and therefore makes it easier to answer “why do you want to work here?” It helps better verbalize how past experience, skills, and values align with the company’s mission, and it shows the interviewer that you are interested in more than just a job.

4. Think Positive and Tap into Confidence

Positivity exudes confidence and both are necessary, so the employers knows that trust can be given.

Thoughts lead to action, therefore, operating from a positive perspective will reveal confidence. The goal of the interview is to land the job offer; employers need to believe that you believe in yourself so that they can believe you. Here are a few tips for positive thinking.

5. Have Copies of the Resume Used to Apply for the Job

It’s always good to be ready for extra interviewers in the room; many interviews today are panel interviews/ multi-person interviews.

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Though a resume was likely submitted with the application, it is always a good idea to come with extra copies in anticipation of the potential need. If there was no resume submission, it is crucial that you provide a copy during the interview; doing this shows the employer preparedness and resolution to challenges.

6. Plan for Behavior Based Interview Questions

Most companies use pre-selected questions, often times having a list of behavior-based questions. Usually these questions start with: “provide an example of”, “tell me about a time when”, and/or “describe a time/situation when”.

Having examples of problems solved and strategies used, initiatives led, contributions to teams and departments, will help ace a job interview. Painting a picture to help employers see skills, qualifications, and experience is extremely important during a job interview.

7. Make a List of Selling Points

It’s important to be proactive about the selling points that you want to make in an interview. This is where a portfolio works great! It is a great idea to make a list of selling points that reaffirms and demonstrates skills, qualifications, and experience.

Consider: awards, programs/ processes launched that led to cost savings and/or profitability, training/education, etc.

8. Showcase a Mixture of Personality and Professionalism

Companies like to make sure that interviewees are a good match for the company culture. Having a good balance of personality and professionalism during a job interview is key.

Personality can be shown when discussing hobbies, community service or extracurricular activities in answers to behavior-based questions, when describing your passion, and when discussing selling points.

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9. Have Your Questions Ready- Interviewing Isn’t One-Sided

Interviews are two-sided, like all relationships (an employee and employer agreement is a type of relationship). Before entering in many relationships, we all have a set of questions that we need answers to, prior to making the decision to commit.

Beyond doing this for self (because asking questions helps reduce doubt and uncertainty), it also shows the employer that there is interest in the company and its future and, shows that you are informed.

Here are a few considerations: “Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?”, “Why is this position open?”, and “What qualifications/ skills are important to succeed in this role?” You can also take a look at this guide for more idea: 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

10. Follow-up with a Thank You Note

Interviewers love gratitude. Sending a “thank you for taking the time to discuss the job opening with me”, is very important to acing an interview.

Interviewers discuss one job opening with many applicants. A thank you note can serve as gratitude and the final chance to showcase selling points. This is also the opportunity to address any concerns that the interviewer may have had in the interview.

Summing It up

Consider a job interview a house. the foundation for acing a job interview is passion. The frame is a resume that lands the interview. The plumbing and electrical are showing up with confidence, providing a list of selling points, having examples of your experience and qualifications, and engaging the interviewer. The roof is showing gratitude with a thank you note.

More Tips About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Nik MacMillan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Jobscan: What is an Applicant Tracking System?
[2] Veronica Castillo: New Job- DIY Resume

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