Do Crowdfunding in 2021: With Professional Ideas and Examples from Profitable Campaigns

Crowdfunding is an more and more widespread possibility for any small enterprise seeking to increase cash and it is one of the accessible methods of financing a brand new concept or product. However launching a profitable crowdfunding marketing campaign isn’t as straightforward as organising a web page on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and ready for the cash to roll in.

On this information, we’ll have a look at the right way to plan, prep, and launch a profitable crowdfunding marketing campaign, in addition to the right way to transition your concept into a permanent, self-sustaining enterprise as soon as your marketing campaign is over.

What’s crowdfunding?

As an alternative of in search of a big sum from a single supply, like angel buyers or a financial institution, crowdfunding raises small quantities of cash from numerous folks—usually in alternate for direct rewards—who wish to see a undertaking succeed.

The idea of reaching a fundraising aim by means of crowdfunding isn’t new, however over the previous decade or so, on-line platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and Crowdfunder have made the method of elevating cash on-line for a enterprise, product, or charitable trigger straightforward and accessible to everybody. They function digital matchmakers for entrepreneurs and backers, present the construction and area to host your marketing campaign, and the flexibility to simply accept funding.

How does crowdfunding work?

Crowdfunding websites give you a spot to host your marketing campaign, normally in alternate for a share of the cash raised. Backers are given varied “rewards” primarily based on the extent of funding they supply. These rewards can embody an unique promotional merchandise, advance entry to the product being supported, or some type of public recognition—the extra funding supplied, the higher the reward. (Some campaigns provide fairness instead of rewards, however on this information, we’ll give attention to the latter mannequin.)

Most crowdfunding web sites require you to set a monetary aim to your marketing campaign, in addition to a timeframe through which to achieve that aim, normally between 30 and 90 days. Some platforms allow you to preserve all the cash raised throughout a marketing campaign, whether or not you meet your aim or not. Others, like Kickstarter, use an all-or-nothing mannequin that returns funds to backers in case your marketing campaign falls brief.

In case your marketing campaign is profitable, you’ll be in a wonderful place to transition right into a sustainable enterprise by leveraging the viewers constructed by means of your efforts crowdfunding.

Different forms of crowdfunding

Tasks that depend on crowdfunding or on-line fundraising typically fall into considered one of three most important buckets:

  • Fairness: Fairness crowdfunding offers contributors partial possession of a enterprise in alternate for the capital they supply.
  • Donation: Donation-based crowdfunding offers no monetary rewards or incentives for backers, so it is most frequently used for charitable functions.
  • Rewards: As lined above, any kind of crowdfunding marketing campaign that incentivizes contributors with rewards (however not a stake within the ensuing enterprise) upon completion might be thought-about rewards-based. We’ll principally give attention to this strategy all through the remainder of our information.

The advantages of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding gives a number of useful perks on prime of being an effective way to boost startup capital.

Validating your concepts

The extra concerning the goal marketplace for the product or enterprise you intend to launch, the extra you’ll cut back your monetary threat, and crowdfunding might be a wonderful device for conducting market analysis.

Pre-selling your product by way of a crowdfunding marketing campaign helps validate your artistic initiatives by supplying you with a stable reply to the query, “Will anybody purchase this?” Manufacturing your product with none indication of the way it will promote might price you a big quantity of money and time if it seems the demand to your concept isn’t sturdy.

Realizing folks need what you’re promoting permits you to plan and scale your corporation with confidence.

Constructing a following

Having a stable following earlier than you ship your first product is a uncommon and vital benefit. When carried out correctly, crowdfunding, particularly when mixed with social media and press protection, may help you construct a devoted viewers that may ideally stick with you as your corporation grows.

Creating an accessible supply of funding

Securing financing might be each time-consuming and tough for a lot of new enterprise house owners. Untested concepts or new enterprise fashions might not attraction to conservative lenders, like banks, and whereas discovering non-public buyers to assist increase funds is an possibility, you’ll normally want to surrender a portion of possession in alternate.

Working a profitable crowdfunding marketing campaign could be a massive enterprise, however for a lot of founders, it additionally might be simpler and extra rewarding than conventional strategies.

What can I crowdfund?

There aren’t many restrictions on what forms of merchandise or companies might be crowdfunded, however probably the most profitable initiatives are likely to have a number of key issues in frequent:

  • A particular product. In the event you have a look at the most important crowdfunding success tales, you’ll discover most of them targeted on funding particular person merchandise, not shops. There’s a cause for that: backers are likely to wish to assist tangible objects, not broad concepts. For the most effective probability of success, search backing to your finest product. You may construct a retailer later, after your preliminary concept has taken off.
  • A focused, area of interest viewers. Create a product that fills a necessity or a niche, then discover the market that craves it. Typically, founders create merchandise that clear up an issue that exists in their very own lives, like MindJournal did once they couldn’t discover a journaling device designed for what they wanted. Develop a prototype that faucets into these wants.
  • Sturdy differentiation. To generate buzz and appeal to backers, your product needs to be one thing that may’t be discovered elsewhere. Do your analysis to make sure your product is considered one of a form.

Promoting your crowdfunding campaign

Advertising and marketing and selling your crowdfunding marketing campaign

Consider your crowdfunding marketing campaign as an prolonged product launch. To make it profitable, you’ll must dedicate some severe time to advertising and public relations, each earlier than and through your marketing campaign.

Advertising and marketing

There are a number of key belongings you’ll must convert guests into backers: a compelling video, nice product images, and interesting marketing campaign copy.


A marketing campaign video might be repurposed throughout a number of platforms, making it the cornerstone of your advertising efforts. Whether or not you’re DIY-ing your video or working with an expert crew, be certain that your script explains the next:

  • Who you’re. Inform potential backers about your self and your expertise.
  • The story of your product. Describe the way you got here up along with your concept, the present state of your product or enterprise, why your product issues to you—and why it is going to matter to your audience.
  • Why you want assist. Clarify why you’re elevating cash by way of crowdfunding and the way that cash shall be spent. Ensure that to incorporate a direct ask for assist.
  • The rewards being supplied. Embrace an summary of your most attention-grabbing rewards, or those you’re feeling shall be most interesting to backers.

Hold brief consideration spans in thoughts—your video ought to be not more than two to 3 minutes lengthy and hit your key factors shortly.

In the event you’re planning to DIY your marketing campaign video, right here’s a information that will help you get began.

Visible Property

The standard of your product photographs could make or break a conversion with potential backers, so it’s vital to ensure yours look skilled.

Listed here are some assets that will help you take your individual images, regardless of your price range:

Photographs can exhibit extra than simply your prototype and its specs. Embrace different visuals to assist backers get a way of your model as a complete, reminiscent of behind-the-scenes photographs of your marketing campaign in motion and images that exhibit the progress you’ve made to this point.

By giving potential backers an insider’s view, you’ll create a way of connection to your crew and your course of.


Effectively-written phrases are simply as vital to a crowdfunding marketing campaign as high-quality images. You’ll want a compelling title and a transparent, convincing undertaking description to construct a profitable marketing campaign.

Your undertaking’s title—the headline that may sit on the prime of your marketing campaign web page—ought to be easy, particular, and memorable. Make sure to embody the identify of your undertaking or product in your title. “New chew toy for canines” isn’t as useful or searchable as “Bristly: The World’s Most Efficient Toothbrush for Canines.”

Your marketing campaign introduction ought to give backers a transparent understanding of what your product is, what downside it solves, the way it compares to different merchandise in the marketplace, and why it’s vital to them. Don’t make folks learn the whole marketing campaign web page to grasp the fundamentals, however use the fundamentals to entice them to learn additional.

Marketing campaign copywriting doesn’t cease there. Among the most profitable campaigns learn like long-form gross sales pages, and embody loads of in-depth content material.

Listed here are some extra assets that will help you along with your marketing campaign copywriting:

Public relations (PR)

Reaching out to individuals who write about your area of interest is a crucial a part of any crowdfunding marketing campaign. Whenever you hear “PR,” your thoughts would possibly go straight to pitching tales to massive identify media shops, however whether or not you’re contacting massive media shops, smaller bloggers, or social media influencers, many components of your strategy would be the identical.

Construct a sizeable checklist of contacts, and do your analysis

It’s a tough reality to simply accept: the general public you attain out to will ignore you. Bloggers and media reporters obtain dozens of pitches a day and might’t presumably reply to all of them.

Do your analysis to create a media checklist with a broad attain, however not so broad that it turns into irrelevant. Meaning ensuring the folks you’re contacting really cowl topics and industries associated to your marketing campaign. Pitching individuals who don’t cowl your area of interest wastes your time and theirs.

Take into account if these factors apply to every particular person in your media checklist to be sure you’re pitching the best folks.

  • The author has beforehand lined different crowdfunding campaigns—bonus factors in the event that they had been in an analogous business.
  • Your product is within the business the author covers.
  • Your product builds on or pertains to the author’s earlier protection.

Attain out earlier than your marketing campaign launches

There’s no cause to attend till you go reside earlier than reaching out to press and influencers. Your marketing campaign will do a lot better if it will get sturdy protection—and assist—inside the first few days of its launch.

Write a compelling pitch

Your pitch ought to be concise and to-the-point. Inform reporters and bloggers how your product suits into their beat, and hit your most vital factors. Additionally embody a hyperlink to your video—it’s the quickest introduction to your product, and might be simply embedded right into a story or weblog submit.

Undecided how precisely to finesse your pitch? Use this template as a beginning information.

Don’t cease pitching after your marketing campaign launches. Writers are all the time in search of related, attention-grabbing tales, and the media has a mushy spot for DIY successes. Do one other spherical of media outreach as soon as your marketing campaign has some traction.

Private outreach

Consideration on social platforms might be as useful as media protection. Use your private community to create buzz within the days earlier than you launch. Ask folks to share particulars of your marketing campaign on their social media feeds, blogs, or newsletters. This preliminary traction may help you get extra press protection and even seize the eye of your chosen crowdfunding platform, a lot of which regularly search for profitable initiatives to focus on.

Don’t neglect to make use of your private weblog or social media feeds to achieve your prolonged community. Don’t overwhelm with electronic mail blasts and group messages, however ship a number of reminders concerning the marketing campaign and personally contact anybody you assume will assist unfold the phrase.

How to start promoting your crowdfunding campaign

Planning a profitable crowdfunding marketing campaign from begin to end

A lot of your crowdfunding marketing campaign’s success shall be decided by your advertising efforts. However there are different vital components you additionally must plan, together with your marketing campaign’s timeline and the logistics of fulfilling backer rewards—to not point out making the transition to a sustainable long-term enterprise after your marketing campaign is finished.

Setting timelines

Shorter campaigns set a tone of confidence. They need to be lengthy sufficient that you’ve got time to construct curiosity and attain your largest potential viewers, however not so lengthy that they develop into background noise. Seeing {that a} marketing campaign has only a few days remaining creates a way of urgency for potential contributors, motivating them to behave now, moderately than later.

Selecting perk ranges

Selecting and pricing your reward tiers are vital strategic steps within the crowdfunding course of. Provide a spread of rewards that entice customers to again your undertaking or product. If shopping for the product itself is the core perk, embody a number of lower-priced choices for individuals who simply wish to assist you, and scale as much as some unique high-end perks for backers with a lot of cash to spend. Listed here are a number of the extra frequent crowdfunding tiers:

  • Acknowledgments. Public acknowledgment of backer assist is an efficient entry-level perk. For a donation as small as $5, Dominion Metropolis, a Canadian brewery that funded its bottle store by means of Kickstarter, printed the names of all its backers in a full-page advert taken out in an area journal.
  • Branded swag. Backers usually like the joys of being an early adopter. Provide perks that assist them present their pleasure in collaborating, reminiscent of branded stickers, T-shirts, or baggage. These lower-priced perks are particularly good reward choices in case your product price is excessive.
  • Product pre-orders. Probably the most widespread perks is early or discounted entry to a product. That is one of the simplest ways to validate demand. If most of your advertising supplies are targeted on the advantages of the product, you might even see greater conversions on perks that act as pre-sales.
  • Artistic collaborations. These perks provide backers a job in your undertaking or enterprise. For instance, when you’re creating a comic book guide, you would possibly provide to attract a backer into one of many panels or base a personality on them in alternate for a particular degree of monetary backing.
  • Distinctive or unique experiences. Backers might be concerned with perks that provide unique entry to your model, reminiscent of a one-on-one session or an invite to an unique occasion. These experiences will minimize into your working hours, so use them as higher-end rewards.

Value your perks in a method that’s sustainable for your corporation. In the event you’re providing a reduced worth in your product in return for backing, be sure you perceive the total price of delivering that reward to a purchaser, together with delivery. In the event you’re providing one-on-one time, it’s essential restrict the amount of that reward so it doesn’t disrupt your day-to-day operations.


Backers are normally your most understanding clients, as a result of they know crowdfunding a product isn’t the identical as shopping for one off the shelf. However that doesn’t imply they’ve zero expectations.

Earlier than launching your marketing campaign, you must have a stable, knowledgeable estimate of your manufacturing timeline. To construct that estimate, think about the next:

  • What number of merchandise do you intend to make? Producing one unit is completely different than producing 100, and producing 100 is completely different than producing 10,000.
  • How lengthy will manufacturing take in your perfect order dimension?
  • How lengthy will it take to obtain your merchandise out of your producer?
  • How lengthy will it take to meet your marketing campaign rewards? (Use a delivery calculator to estimate the delivery instances for various courses of mail.)

It helps to have your manufacturing or manufacturing course of finalized earlier than you start your marketing campaign. (Don’t neglect so as to add in some extra flex time to account for unexpected delays.) Your timeline principally possible will change as you proceed, however a effectively thought out estimate offers backers an concept of what to anticipate. In the event you do expertise delays, notify your backers as quickly as potential and supply an up to date estimate.

Transport and achievement

Earlier than you launch your marketing campaign and make guarantees to supporters, verify that your producer can ship to your location, particularly in the event that they’ve by no means delivered to your nation earlier than.

Additionally, be ready to ship merchandise en masse to your supporters. If 1,000 backers pre-order your product, that’s 1,000 orders it’s essential package deal and mail. A little bit of planning can go a great distance in making a clean achievement course of. Have you ever chosen a service? Have you learnt the mail class and postage price? Do you’ve a strategy to print labels? Have you ever taken worldwide delivery into consideration? Hold these components in thoughts as you set and worth your reward ranges and talk timelines to backers.

Listed here are some extra assets that will help you along with your delivery technique:


Don’t underestimate the significance of realizing the right way to handle your earnings and bills throughout and after your marketing campaign, particularly when you don’t have a lot expertise with enterprise finance. An excellent accountant can begin you on the best foot by serving to you optimize your marketing campaign earnings and take advantage of your taxes, bills, and cashflow.

Communication with funders

Your marketing campaign’s funders are your earliest followers, supporters, and clients, so preserve them updated. Speaking incessantly with them builds belief, conjures up additional assist, and retains them apprised of any unexpected delays or issues. Most crowdfunding platforms have instruments, reminiscent of an electronic mail publication, that will help you inform backers of your progress all through and after the marketing campaign.

Some info you would possibly wish to relate in a publication might embody:

  • Information about funding milestones
  • Updates concerning the manufacturing course of
  • Behind the scenes images
  • New merchandise or product variants
  • New or expanded reward tiers
  • New inventory obtainable
  • Thanks messages

Examples of successful crowdfunding campaigns

Examples of profitable crowdfunding campaigns

There are numerous profitable companies that began as crowdfunding campaigns. Listed here are a number of examples you possibly can dig into from present Shopify retailers.

  • GNARBOX: A multimedia administration firm that constructed a pre-launch checklist of 20,000 potential clients earlier than it launched its crowdfunding marketing campaign, which raised greater than $500,000 in 30 days.
  • BodyBoss: A bodily product and associated digital service that goals to “deliver the fitness center to you.” It launched throughout a number of crowdfunding platforms, one after the opposite, and within the course of raised greater than half 1,000,000 {dollars} on Kickstarter, adopted by an additional $1.3 million on Indiegogo.
  • Wipebook: Two entrepreneurs had an concept for a zero-waste pocket book that erases like a whiteboard and bought the primary model of their product to validate demand earlier than utilizing crowdfunding to scale up and construct buzz. They met their funding aim of $4,000 inside a number of hours, and went on to boost greater than $500,000 over their 30-day marketing campaign.

Establishing your individual internet presence

The very best time to ascertain your internet presence is earlier than your marketing campaign launches—or on the newest, throughout your marketing campaign.

In case your crowdfunding platform finally ends up that includes you, or when you get some social media or press buzz, you’ll most likely see loads of guests coming to your marketing campaign web page. When you’ve an online presence of your individual that may reside on after your marketing campaign ends, you’ll have the ability to construct hyperlinks from established web sites early on, and that may pay long-term SEO (search engine marketing) dividends.

You need to deal with your marketing campaign as a strategy to finally deliver folks over to a platform you personal and management—and that may reside on past your marketing campaign.

Do you’ve a particular voice which may work as a weblog? Would you like folks to know the story of your model, not simply your product? Do you’ve different merchandise on the market you’d like folks to learn about? These are all good methods to construct connections along with your backers, and there’s solely a lot info you possibly can match on a marketing campaign web page.

When you have lively Twitter and Fb profiles, you’ll most likely get an inflow of followers as soon as your marketing campaign launches. This shall be helpful for future advertising and engagement. That very same logic applies to your web site. Not solely will it offer you an opportunity to get consideration, it’ll additionally offer you an incredible head begin on constructing an electronic mail checklist for future engagement—and gross sales.

For an in depth tutorial, right here’s a information on transferring from Kickstarter to Shopify that covers all the things it’s essential learn about organising an online presence to take pre-orders, capitalize in your marketing campaign’s momentum, and make the transfer to a sustainable long-term enterprise when it’s carried out.

Learn to create your on-line retailer

Get step-by-step assist organising a Shopify retailer to your marketing campaign with Shopify Academy’s new course, Getting Began With Shopify. Be taught from a six-figure retailer proprietor who constructed her enterprise on Shopify and may help you construct yours, too.

Your marketing campaign is just the start

Profitable crowdfunding initiatives may help you get the capital it’s essential produce a product, however don’t take your eyes off the long-term aim of constructing a permanent enterprise.

Consider a crowdfunding marketing campaign as a marriage: you need it to be spectacular, however what’s most vital is how issues work out in the long run. When you’ve run a profitable crowdfunding marketing campaign, you’ll have confirmed market demand, linked with lively supporters, and earned the funds to begin an actual enterprise.