How to Host Successful Crowdfunding Projects

The average success rate for crowdfunding projects evolves somewhere below 50%. Kickstarter’s success rate is 44% as of July 2013. Sound easy to reach? Far from it! Here are a few tips to help you improve your luck and beat the stats.

Curate campaigns

In the beginning, when you have no or few projects, it might be tempting to accept any campaign on your crowdfunding platform. That’s probably the biggest mistake you can make. Even if your site is set up not to prominently display low funding projects (as it should be), more campaigns mean more support time and therefore less time to focus on promising ones. A crowdfunding platform is built on trust and image, and projects are 80% of that.

Design Guidelines

What projects do you accept on your site? Where do you cross the line? Make sure to have such guidelines and make them public so people know in advance if their campaigns are welcome on your platform.

Work with campaign managers to design good-looking project pages. This page is the only window to the world for the campaign. It needs to look perfect. The video is the most important part of it, and hiring a professional videographer is highly recommended; the investment pays out. The video needs to feel inspiring and personal, and be short enough that viewers won’t get bored. The project description needs to contain basic elements like a description of the product and how the funds will be used. Don’t assume anything, and be as explicit as possible. You’ll also benefit from decorating the text with pictures every few paragraphs.

Campaign managers do the promotion work

As an online platform, your role is to allow people to connect with each other. You do so by offering a venue and putting your trust label on the projects you accept. When you grow, you can provide project owners with an audience. However, your role is never to promote individual campaigns; that burden lies on the project manager’s shoulders. This doesn’t mean that you should never advertise projects on your platform, but you should never do the majority of that work.

Community-gathering prep work

A campaign can’t be launched out of the blue even if it has a great-looking page. For campaigns that have a set duration (30-40 days is usually recommended), it’s necessary to start building momentum prior to launch to ensure that supporters will be ready with their wallets open on day one. At a minimum, project managers should reach out to their networks and announce or tease their project. Build a newsletter, a dedicated website, and push it through social media with a Facebook page and Twitter account. Project managers should send status updates and engage their audience. Doing so will show social proof to others who might need more reassurance, and ensure you reach or surpass your funding goal quicker.

No pain, no gain

Raising money is no easy task. Expect bumps on the road. As a platform admin, you should weed out campaign managers who aren’t ready to fully commit to and put every bit of energy into their projects for the entire duration.

It just needs to make sense

In the end, a few close friends might give money out of charity, but the bulk of it will come because people actually believe in the project. If the project itself is not compelling, it will be very difficult to sell.

Good luck!