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6 Crowdfunding Tips To Get Your Project 100 Percent Funded

6 Crowdfunding Tips To Get Your Project 100 Percent Funded

What do you do if you have a great idea, but you don’t have the ability to get face time with important investors? One of your options is to start a crowdfunding campaign. In fact, many new ventures have gotten their start thanks to crowdfunding. Unfortunately for every business or project that’s successfully used crowdfunding to get up and running, many more have failed. That doesn’t have to be the case for your project. Check out these six savvy crowdfunding tips to ensure that your project gets massive community and financial support.

1. Validate Your Product Idea.

First things first, before you start hitting others up for money you’ll need to validate your idea. You can start this process by simply sharing your idea with others and getting feedback. Just be careful about who you approach. You don’t want the advice of the perpetually negative, but you also don’t want to seek out the opinions of those who are just going to tell you that you are brilliant.

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Find people that you know will be honest and who will play the devil’s advocate. You may want to consider a patent search to find out if someone else has already invented your idea. You could reach out to a professional organization such as InventHelp. This is a very tough part of this process because it is quite possible that you are going to find out that an idea that you’ve fallen in love with already exists. Of course if you have to deal with failure, it is much easier at this phase than later on.

2. Scope Your Competition And Similar Campaigns.

If your product idea passes muster, your next step is to scope your competition and to see how similar campaigns are performing on crowdfunding platforms. If you go to market, who will you be up against? This requires some leg work. Go to Amazon and see if there are similar products already on the market. Can you disrupt them by offering up something that is better or less expensive? Are there companies in your niche who could potentially come to market and disrupt you? These aren’t necessarily deal breakers, but you do need to be prepared to prove that your product can stand up to stiff competition.

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Next, take a look at other projects on the crowdfunding platforms you are exploring. If they are full of other products and services that are similar to yours, that could spell trouble. Even if you are the only one offering up your specific product, it is going to be tough to get attention or investment dollars if there are lots of similar products in your niche. For example, if you have a sports-related startup that you are trying to launch and there are dozens of other sports-related campaigns on a crowdfunding platform, folks might just scroll right past yours.

3. Consider Alternative And Less Crowded Platforms.

If you are worried about getting lost in a sea of other projects, you might look into alternative platforms or platforms that are niche specific. For example, if you have an idea for a new invention or if you have created a working prototype of an invention, you might look into Fund an Idea which is a crowdfunding platform specifically for inventors. There are also specific campaigns for open-source software projects, funding your college education, environmentally friendly startups, social justice causes, entertainment industry projects, and funding that focuses on members on the LGBT community.

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Another option that you have is to start a self-hosted campaign. In this case, you would create a website for your project and find ways to draw in traffic and convert visitors into investors. It’s a risky bet to take, but it would mean that you will not be going up against hundreds of other projects vying for attention.

4. Invest in Creating Attractive Visuals And a Unique Storyline.

Think of the crowdfunding ideas that you have seen go viral. Most of them had two things in common. They told a compelling story and they used attractive visuals to get that story across. If you have money to spend, this is where most of it should go. First and foremost, what is your story? How did you come up with your idea? Who has you helped so far? What are your dreams and goals? Finally, who are you trying to reach out to with your crowdfunding campaign, and what will appeal to them? You might consider pulling at their heartstrings or making them laugh.

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Once you know the story you need to tell, you have to decide how to get that story across. Video is always a good option as are presentations or infographics. A combination of visual elements might be the best choice. Whatever you choose, don’t skimp. Production values are extremely important. If you aren’t up to the task, you might need to bring in a professional. If you can’t afford a professional, choose a visual medium that you are capable of working with. Remember that a nicely done powerpoint presentation is going to work better for you than a mediocre video.

5. Work on Your Social Media Presence or Find Ambassadors.

Creating a presence on a crowdfunding site alone isn’t going to get your project funded. You have to have a full blown social media presence and a website for your project. This is where you will direct people from your crowdfunding page who want to engage with you and learn more about what you are planning to do with investments. You’ll want to keep people excited about your project by posting updates, sharing images, and even promoting your followers’ own projects and content.

Once you have a following, you’ll want to identify the people who you believe will act as your ambassadors. Reach out to them. Offer them incentives for not only investing their money into your campaign, but for helping to spread your message to others. You can do this by offering up a cut of future revenues, giving away freebies, or simply by forming a mutually beneficial relationship with them in some way. If you’ve got samples of your product available, these can make attractive gifts for potential spokespersons.

6. Be Strategic With Your Press Outreach

You should be promoting your campaign on your social media pages and getting your friends and family to do the same. However, that isn’t going to get you the traffic that you really need to get launched. You’re going to have to reach out to the media. This begins with creating a press kit. Your press kit should be easily accessible on your website. It should contain all of the information that members of the press might need to know if they choose to do a story on your campaign. Of course, your initial outreach won’t necessarily be to media outlets per say. Your press kit will be useful to anybody who wants to talk about your project. To get started, you might consider reaching out to bloggers in your niche and then building up to speaking to people in the media.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

Let me explain:

A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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What’s the bottom line?

Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

You might be wondering how you can get started:

  • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
  • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
  • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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Learn how to delegate in my other article:

How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

Here’s the deal:

Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

Here’s what I mean by process over people:

Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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