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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 October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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