How to succeed at crowdfunding: Preparation Timeline

The second biggest surprise our clients face when we start working is how long it takes to prepare for a crowdfunding campaign. The biggest surprise is the gap between their project budget and the amount of money they are conceivably going to raise from their current network.

Proper preparation is one of the key reasons our clients have a 97% success rate as compared to the 38% industry average. So, how do we prepare for a crowdfunding campaign?

1. We pick a good launch date.

When selecting a launch date, we consider:

  • At least three months prep time prior to launch
  • The best times to run a campaign are mid-March to mid-May, and mid-September to mid-November
  • The best days to get and hold someone’s attention are T/W/Th
  • Federal and school holidays
  • Psychologically, it’s best to contain a 30-day campaign within a single calendar month

Ideally, we’ll begin working with a client in April (or earlier) for an October launch, or in November (or earlier) for a May launch.

2. We budget enough weekly time.

A typical time commitment starts with a few hours per week several months before the campaign, sloping upward to 10+ hours per week in the month before the campaign.

3. We follow a detailed calendar of task deadlines.

A typical workflow timeline for an October campaign looks something like this:

  • April – Network evaluation and $ target analysis.
    • Whom will you invite to your campaign, and how?
    • How is your network contact information organized so that you can engage efficiently?
    • Who will back your project on Day 1?
    • Who will be your Influencers, and help to spread the word?
    • Who will be your significant Benefactors, and pledge more than $500 to the project?
    • Based on your network, what is a reasonable target $ for the campaign?
  • May – Communication program begins.
    • How will you engage your Day 1 Backers?
    • What do your Influencers need to communicate about your campaign?
    • What will be of value to your Benefactors, and how will you engage them?
    • What is your email communication strategy?
    • What is your social media communication strategy?
  • June – Campaign content and continued communication
    • Rewards for backers – descriptions, pricing, shipping considerations.
    • Campaign copy.
    • Plan month-of-campaign event(s).
    • Keep your Day 1 Backers, Influencers, and Producers informed and engaged.
  • July – Video & Design and continued communication
    • Campaign color palette and design
    • Script, shoot, edit video.
  • August – Campaign Refinement and continued communication
    • Finalize and tie up loose ends on all elements of the campaign from rewards to copy to video and more
  • September – Communication ramps up.
    • Ensure your Day 1 Backers, Influencers, and Benefactors are engaged and ready to roll on launch day.
    • Begin social media communication plan.
    • Meet with key people in person to get their feedback on the campaign and commitment to participate.
  • October – Campaign is live!

If it seems like a lot… it is. But proper planning is a big key to crowdfunding success once you hit the launch button and your campaign is live!

If you would like our recommendation on when to launch the crowdfunding campaign for your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

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