In the current post-recession marketplace, small business owners have less access to traditional sources of funding, like the bank loans they did in early eras. Consequently, burgeoning entrepreneurs have turned to crowdfunding platforms to get the seed money they need to get business ideas off the ground. However, seeing as 98 percent of crowdfunding projects with a target of $100,000 fail, founders must realize the important role public relations plays in securing funding through that channel.
Establish a social media presence
As this Entrepreneur piece notes, social media is a must when it comes to generating excitement and interest for any new project in the 21st century. As such, it’s mission critical to establish your brand on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram months before your project launches to give it some visibility. After the project launches, it’ll be useful in maintaining interest by providing regular updates on its status and letting the public know about the latest incentives your company is offering to potential backers.
Contact the media
Another way to drive traffic to your project is to attract some media attention. An article published in a major outlet highlighting your project could mean the difference between exceeding your goal and narrowly missing it. However, when contacting members of the press, it’s important to take a nuanced approach. One tactic you should avoid is sending out generic press release email blasts to dozens of outlets. That’s an easy way to get your message ignored. Instead, look into outlets that have covered crowdfunding projects in the past, and personally contact the writers who have covered them through their preferred method of communication. You also need to make sure that your press emails are free of spelling and grammar errors, and offer a clear and concise description of your aims and rewards for your projects.
Hire a consultant
When the crowdfunding revolution began in the late 2000s, project creators were operating as if in the Wild West. There were no set in stone guidelines regarding the best way to start or maintain a project. Seven years in, crowdfunding has become part of the landscape, and there are now many consultants that specialize in helping companies launch their projects, connect with consumers and hit their funding goals. To get the best results with a specialist, Business Insider recommends insisting on making part of their payment contingent on the success of the project. That way, you’ll know that they’ll be as dedicated to the success of your project as you are.
This article was written by Mario McKellop of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.