Determine if Crowdfunding is right for you.
Crowdfunding is the process of raising finance from a crowd of participants and creditors who can contribute as little as $100 in your pitch. You set a funding goal, a deadline to raise the finance, the rewards you wish to offer contributors and full details of your pitch. Everyday people are then able to view your pitch on lendpool.com and ask questions and make contributions to your pitch online.
In order to qualify to Crowdfinance on lendpool.com, you must be at least 18 years old and meet our criteria.
If Crowdfunding is not right for you, you may qualify for Crowdfinancing or Crowdlending (where you borrow money from a crowd of non/acredited investors). Although not offered on Lendpool you may consider Crowdinvesting on other platforms outside lendpool.com (where you offer shares in your company to investors). In order to determine if Crowdfunding is the right funding method for you, you can answer a few simple questions on our ‘Online Funding Qualifier’. To access this service simply register to pitch on lendpool.com and we will tell you the best funding method for your situation for free.
Remember, you might be able to attract more capital by combining your Crowdfunding with Crowdfinancing and getting yourself operational ready faster.
As a member of lendpool.com, you get to complete our ‘Finance Path Test’ too as well as complete the online training video and worksheets which go through the major funding methods – Crowdfunding, Crowdfinancing, Bank Funding, Crowdlending (P2P Lending), Angel Funding, Crowdinvesting, Venture Capital Funding through to Initial Public Offerings (IPO’s). It is a good idea to plan your funding strategy from start to exit as investors may ask these questions on your lendpool.com pitch.
To complete our ‘Online Crowdfunding Advisor’ you will need to create a free account with us or login to your lendpool.com account and we will take you straight to it.
Also if you apply to pitch by answering a few simple questions about your funding needs while you are there, we will be able to look at your details at the same time and let you know if you qualify to pitch with us.
Once you know that Crowdfinancing is right for you, you will need to get yourself campaign ready before you submit your full pitch.
Warm-up your crowd
At lendpool.com we have given you some tools to determine who is interested in supporting you in your journey. Firstly a good indicator for how well you may do is determined by your social capital score on your lendpool.com profile.
It has an influence score that measures how engaged you are online through social media.
It also has a social score and identity score. By connecting Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google to your account, you will notice an increase in your social capital score. But you can also login to your account and share a special link that requests your contacts to review you and verify your identity leading up to your pitch going live. This is a nice warm up where you can tease people to what will be coming up and asking them to do something that does not involve parting any cash yet. This will give you an indication of how many people are willing to support you and you can connect with your most likely and warm first degree connections from within the platform.
Get yourself Crowdfunding ready
Once you have warmed up the crowd, there are three ‘P’s’ that will lead to your success in Crowdfunding – Product, Proposition and Pitch. You are ready to launch a live Crowdfunding pitch if:
1. PRODUCT – You have a prototype – If your invention, product or service is still an idea in your head then you are not quite Crowdfunding ready yet. We look for somebody that has done all the research already, produced a prototype and done all the work to figure out how to distribute a working model of the invention, product or service should your Crowdfunding campaign be successful. If you are still at the idea stage, then see how much further you can get without Crowfunding then apply again. It will increase you chances of success significantly.
2. PROPOSITION – You know what rewards your crowd will want. As you are asking people to contribute money to your pitch in exchange for rewards, you want great rewards to offer the crowd. The rewards need to be targeted at the crowd that is most likely to be interested in what you are bringing to market. Here is an exercise you can complete to help you craft your offer (as you are Crowdfunding you do not need to value your company, just work through the Crowdfunding section).
3. PITCH – Got yourself pitch perfect. When you study successful Crowdfunding pitches, you will notice there are certain elements that video pitches have in common. Almost all successful CrowdFunding campaigns have a great video to go with it that inspires people to get involved. We constructed a complete guide to creating a Crowdfunding video. If you are accepted to pitch on lendpool.com, we will make this available to you to construct your video pitch with. It breaks a Crowdfunding video down into 5 Acts in a specific order. If you have not submitted your pitch yet, then login to your account to get your complete guide to creating a CrowdFunding video.
If you would like a professional to create your video with you as well as get support and guides on scripts and content then Platinum members get to work with a professional video crew and a Crowdfinancier at Lendpool.
Promote with elegance
Whilst our Crowdfinancing platform will automatically give your pitch exposure to our online community, you still need to be the driving force for your pitch. Don’t make the mistake of relying on the platform. You might as well give up now.
So here is how you do it:
1. Reach Out To Your Own Crowd – For most Crowdfunding pitches, support comes from within their own networks and their networks’ networks. Your friends and family are a good place to start.
Your friends and family (aka ‘1st degree supporters’) should be your immediate first point of call; not only because they are perhaps your easiest targets but it will also help get your project rolling and will enhance its credibility. A project that appears to already have a following with numerous backers will help resonate a degree of credibility and will encourage people to trust your pitch and makes them want to back it.
2. Use our sharing tools – Once your pitch is live, one simple way to gain some traction with your campaign is to gather as much ‘attention’ for your pitch as possible.
On every pitch we give you the ability to share your pitch via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and even embed the pitch into your website or blog using our tools.
Using the ‘embed’ tab will let you share your pitch widget (or video) on any website and will automatically drive more traffic to your page. Simply copy the embedding code, and paste it into your own website, a friends, or anyone with a website who will let you.
3. Speak to people one on one – Your email contact list should be the next point of call, but don’t just spam mass emails. Take the time to contact people individually. It makes a big difference. Another tip is to simply add a link to your email signature; this will help promote your campaign with every email you send. Remember you are asking people to hand over money, how would you like to be approached if somebody wanted your support? Would you want them to mass mail you or reach out to your personally? Exactly.
4. Cash In On Your Networking – Once you’ve exhausted all your close friends and relatives, it’s now time to hone in your target audience and get the word out there. You need to reach out to your target audience in any way possible.
Contact your local newspaper, TV and radio station and tell them about your project. Get in touch with online media outlets, magazines and bloggers to request coverage. Seek out any like-minded organisations and go to all the MeetUp.com groups where your crowd may be, that might help promote your pitch. However, with any pitch, a large amount of promotion will be done online.
Social media is one of the best ways to reach an audience, with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ playing a huge role. It is also a great way of keeping people up to date with your progress and how your pitch is getting on. If you haven’t already created a Facebook page for your pitch or created a Twitter account, then do so.
5. Share. Don’t Spam – When marketing and promoting your campaign, be careful not to sound desperate. Any hint of desperation will taint a campaign with such a stench that no one will come anywhere near it! In other words, don’t just talk about money, money, money. Tell people about your pitch, promote your social capital and keep them up to date with your progress. If people want to help back your idea, they will. Your job is to just make sure people know about you. It’s important therefore to network like you’ve never networked before. Don’t rely on people just finding you on Lendpool.com; find related tweets and posts by other people and re-tweet them on your account. This way you come off as recommending high value opportunities and thoughtful ideas to your fans and the original poster will (hopefully) then re-tweet or re-post something of yours in appreciation. As a result, you will be reaching their fans and ultimately increasing your audience. A great book on this is the ‘Pay It Forward’ philosophy.
Make the most of Lendpool
There are two tabs on your pitches’s page that should not be ignored: “Questions and Answers” or “Comments” and “Updates”.
Updating your supporters and backers is crucial to the success of any Crowdfunding campaign. These are people who have already showed an interest in your pitch and who will ultimately want to help you reach your target. Regular updates are important so that you can involve your supporters: Share with them how you’re getting on and what difficulties you’re experiencing, or how pleased you are with its success so far. They are perhaps your easiest source of help and can help share your project and they will be emailed your updates direct to their inbox.
Start funding your vision today with Lendpool.