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Be Inspired! Six Tactics of Successful Crowdfunding

Be Inspired! Six Tactics of Successful Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is all the rage these days. If you have a dream project you want to complete but lack the capital, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other similar sites are the perfect places to make it happen. But it takes work for your campaign to be successful. Here are six tactics to help make sure your crowdfunded campaign is successful.

1. Have the project near completion.

This is a controversial tip, but I stand by it. Backers get antsy when they pay for something that is months or years away from being delivered. To reduce the wait time, you should have as much of your project finished as possible before people start pledging their dollars towards it. The larger the gap between funding and delivery, the more hesitant people will be to back your project, and if you’re a month or two late on delivery, your backers’ impatience will start to rear its ugly head.

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2. Build a fan base first.

Launching a campaign with no prior support worked for a certain potato salad Kickstarter, but that crowdfunding behemoth is the exception to the rule. The best thing you can do to find success is cultivate followers over an extended period of time who like your work and will, eventually, be happy to support it with their dollars. Order of the Stick was an extremely popular self-published webcomic before it went to Kickstarter for help. The fandom helped the author raise $1.25 million dollars when it came time to reprint the Order of the Stick print editions, an impressive total for a comic book made up of stick figure characters.

3. Use it as a marketing tool, not just fundraising.

Crowdfunding sites are so much more than simply avenues to raise money; they’re also one of the best ways to promote your product. Crowdfunding campaigns get a lot of attention from the media, oftentimes more than tradition product debuts. Even if you don’t need much money to fund your dream project, you can benefit from launching a Kickstarter with a low financial goal and receive a marketing push you couldn’t have achieved with a typical product launch. Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter for a record, art book, and tour was a masterclass in drumming up support from people by connecting with her fans on a very personal level.

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4. Make good art.

Do you know what Order of the Stick and Amanda Palmer’s million-dollar album have in common? They’re both crowdfunding campaigns for creator-driven, quality works of art. There are a lot of elements to a successful campaign, but in the end people want to support good projects. Make it a priority to produce the best rewards you can, and the backers will come.

5. Solve a problem or fulfill a need.

If your campaign is for something unique that fills a niche, it could find massive success. Classic watches went out of style with the rise of cell phones, but people still want something to put on their wrists. Tiktok came along in 2010 with a Kickstarter to make wristbands that allow you to wear devices like an iPod Nano, as a watch. That campaign raised almost one million dollars. Two years later Pebble came to Kickstarter to fund an early version of the smart watch, raising a staggering $10 million–a record for crowdfunding.

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6. Be transparent.

It’s understandable if things fall behind during the fulfillment stage; almost every Kickstarter I’ve backed has delivered its rewards at least a few months late. Backers accept that life leads to delays, but what they don’t accept are lame excuses and radio silence. Admit when you make mistakes and provide backers with a steady stream of updates so they know you haven’t abandoned the project. They need to know that the project is still of utmost priority and that you will deliver what you promised. The biggest Kickstarter disasters have resulted from miscommunication or just a complete lack of it. Do yourself a favorite and communicate with the people who supported making your dream a reality.

Featured photo credit: Kickstarter Project Shelf at the Kickstarter HQ/Scott Beale via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

15 Best Entrepreneurs Books to Start Reading Now to Be Successful

15 Best Entrepreneurs Books to Start Reading Now to Be Successful

Knowledge is power, and you’re going to need a lot of it if you’re going to be able to steer your business to success.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 15 best entrepreneurs books to get inspirations about success and grow your business.

1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

    This book has been dubbed the Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature, and it was actually the first book that gave a prescription of what it takes to be a winner.

    Napoleon Hill draws from the stories of millionaires like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and Thomas Edison to illustrate the principles he put forth.

    Get the book here!

    2. The Lean Startup by Eric Reis

      A lot of startups end up failing, but many of these failures are actually avoidable. The Lean Startup provides a different approach that is now being adopted all over the world and changing the way that companies are developed and products are being launched.

      In The Lean Startup, Eric Reis describes what is required for a company to penetrate the fog of uncertainty in order to discover a path to a sustainable and successful business.

      Get the book here!

      3. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

        In a revised edition of the 150,000-copy bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber refutes some of the myths that surround starting your own business and shows just how commonplace assumptions can end up getting in the way of being able to run a successful business.

        Gerber succeeds in walking the reader through the steps that occur in the life of a business, from infancy, through the pains of growing as an adolescent, to the perspective of the mature entrepreneur.

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        Get the book here!

        4. Rework by Jason Fried

          Most of the business books that you get today will give you the same advice: draft a business plan, study the competition, look for investors, and all that.

          However, Rework shows you a more effective, easier and faster means of succeeding when running a business. By reading it, you’ll be able to know why some plans are harmful, why you don’t really need to get investors, and why you’re better of shutting out your competition.

          Get the book here!

          5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

            This is one of the most successful motivational books in history, selling well over 15 million copies since it was released in 1936. The book is timeless, and it appeals to businesses, self-help startups, and general readers.

            Carnegie believes that a lot of successes come from an ability to communicate rather than having brilliant insights. In his book, he teaches how to value others and make them feel appreciated and loved.

            Get the book here!

            6. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

              Through this amazing book, Malcolm Gladwell is able to take the reader on an intellectual journey through the world of ‘outliers’. He asks the question of what truly differentiates high-achievers.

              His answer to this question is that we tend to pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and less attention to where they are actually from.

              Get the book here!

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              7. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

                This is the best personal finance book ever written. It tells the story of Kiyosaki and his two fathers; his real father, and that of his best friend (his rich dad), as well as how the two men helped him shape his opinions on money and investing.

                It refutes the myth that you need to earn high to become rich, and it distinguishes between working for money and having money work for you.

                Get the book here!

                8. The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

                  Niall Ferguson, in this book, follows the money to tell the story behind the evolution of the word’s financial system, from the beginning way back in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest occurrences in what he had dubbed Planet Finance.

                  Fergusson also reveals financial history as the backstory behind our very own history, with an argument that the evolution of debt and credit is as significant as the history of technological innovation and the rise of civilization.

                  Get the book here!

                  9. Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis

                    Michael Lewis landed a job at Salomon Brothers after getting out of the London School of Economics and Princeton within three years, he had risen to the rank of bond salesman, making millions for the firm and cashing out steadily.

                    Liar’s Poker is the amalgamation of these years — a look behind the scenes at one of the most turbulent times in American business. His book is Lewis’s account of an era where greed and gluttony were the order of the day.

                    Get the book here!

                    10. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Michael H. Pink

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                      A lot of people see money as the best motivator. Michael pink says it’s a mistake.

                      In this provocative book, he asserts that the secret to high performance anywhere is the need to direct our lives, to learn and create, and to do better by our world and ourselves.

                      Get the book here!

                      11. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

                        Outdated methods don’t work in today’s world. In this book, Allen shares some awesome methods for stress-free performance that he has shared with thousands of people all over the world.

                        His premise? That productivity is proportional to your ability to relax.

                        Get the book here!

                        12. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

                          In this book, Stephen Covey presents a holistic approach for overcoming both professional and personal issues. With insights and anecdotes, Covey presents a way to live with integrity fairness, service and dignity.

                          Get the book here!

                          13. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

                            In this book, Ferriss dishes on the tips he has learned from studying the New Rich, a subculture of people who did away with the deferred life plan and mastered time and mobility to developed luxury lifestyles for themselves.

                            If you’re looking to make your way in this revolutionary new world, this here is your compass.

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                            Get the book here!

                            14. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

                              The CEO of Zappos shows how a unique kind of corporate identity can help deliver a huge difference in the way results are being achieved — by creating a company that values and delivers happiness.

                              Get the book here!

                              15. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

                                From Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records and V2 to Virgin Cola, Virgin Megastores and a wide array of other companies, Richard Branson is the rockstar billionaire that a lot of us want to be.

                                Branson, however, did business by following a simple philosophy:

                                “Oh, screw it, let’s do it”

                                Losing My Virginity is an unusual, borderline outrageous autobiography of one of the greatest business geniuses in the world. Branson and his friends named their business “Virgin” because that was what they were — virgins at the game.

                                Since then, he’s written his success rules, creating a global business that has no headquarters, no management structure no corporate identity as it were.

                                Get the book here!

                                More Inspirations for Entrepreneurs

                                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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