How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Crowdfunding

  • — January 26, 2017

    Crowdfunding has revolutionized the way entrepreneurs raise money. The industry provides an alternative to venture capital funding and traditional bank loans, raising billions of dollars for artists, nonprofits and startups every year.

    Even though it’s easily accessible, crowdfunding still requires some preparation.

    Most fundraisers spend majority of their time planning a campaign. While this is vital to fundraising success, getting bogged down in details such as choosing a platform, writing emails and testing products and ideas can suck up all your time.

    Instead, use the 80/20 rule to focus on tasks that will help launch your campaign and successfully maintain the momentum once it’s up and running.

    The 80/20 Rule

    The Pareto Principle, named for its founder Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto and also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of results will come from 20% of actions. In crowdfunding, that means focusing on things that will connect with potential backers to get your project funded.

    How to apply the 80/20 Rule

    Whether you decide to fund raise on CircleUp, FreeFunder or Kickstarter, here are five ways to apply the 80/20 rule.

    Assemble a Team
    Assembling a great team should be one of the first things you do. Find people within your professional or personal network who are committed to helping you reach your funding goal.

    This team serves as ambassadors who create content, promote campaigns, post updates on social networks and even plan and provide strategic campaign advice. They help keep your campaign going on day 30, 60, 90 and beyond.

    Use Tools
    Use an online product discovery platform such as Gadget Flow or Product Hunt to put your product in front of potential backers. Even without a fundraising plan (but you should have one), this platform can sell products and promote crowdfunding campaigns.

    If you need to distribute physical items, select a fulfillment tool such as Fulfillrite before you launch. Failure to send rewards and products to your supporters will have negative ramifications on your campaign and your business.

    Create great photos and videos
    A great picture or video shows potential backers what or who they are supporting. They tell visual stories. Whether you are on a shoestring budget or can afford to hire a professional, compile the right visuals upfront to share during and after your campaign.

    Use your pictures and videos, along with great storytelling, to connect and build rapport.

    Media coverage
    Friends and family usually donate the first dollar but you also need to plan to spread the word beyond your network.

    Before you launch your campaign, compile a list of publications, podcasts, influencers and bloggers that cover your industry. Follow them on social networks. Read their articles. Get to know their work. When you launch pitch your story separately (with an appropriate story angle) to each writer or publication. It’s easier to pitch the right story to someone when you know what they cover. Do the research before you launch.

    Write, write, write
    While securing media coverage can get your campaign in front of the right audience, you can also target and write for your audience on platforms such as Linkedin and Medium.

    The articles should be different from what you share on your fundraising page but definitely shared on it. Write about behind-the-scenes happenings, then post the article link on your social networks. Ask your team to promote it, too.

    You are the best person to tell and share your story. Prepare to do it.

    In all, there are lots of small details that help to reach funding goals. Use the 80/20 rule to focus on the right ones.

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    Author: Stacey Williams

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