Crowdfunding Training Program
Front Page PR Crowdfunding experts offer free consulting services to help SCORE mentors develop low-cost Crowdfunding training programs that will teach entrepreneurs, startups and expanding businesses how to build a Crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to get their company off the ground.
The good news is that there is zero risk, other than a little time and effort to build a profile. Unlike a real business launch where a business owner invests everything they have into a business and hope that it works, it is free to build a Crowdfunding profile on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and give it a whirl.
Crowdfunding allows small businesses to test the waters first, kind of like a free online focus group to see what customers think. It is very cost-effective to spend a little money on producing a video, shooting pictures of some prototypes, writing and issuing a couple of press releases and then marketing the Crowdfunding profile to their crowd of social media network contacts to see if fans will support the product via donations. Compared to signing a three-year lease for retail space, buying equipment, hiring staff, and spending a lot of money on marketing only see a business fails in less than two-years time, Crowdfunding makes very good common sense.
If a Crowdfunding campaign fails, Crowdfunders can step back and analyze what went wrong and keep trying until they get it right and lose nothing in the process.
If the Crowdfunding campaign is successful, it allows them to establish a customer base from the very beginning. Not only do they receive the investment capital they need to get their business started, but they have pre-sold hundreds to thousands of products to customers who actually want the product. A side benefit is that early Crowdfunding customers become brand champions during the campaign and actually help the Crowdfunder promote the product/service to additional circles of social media contacts because they like it and want to share it with their like-minded friends.
Once Equity Crowdfunding becomes legal, Crowdfunding donors can become investors that receive an equity stake in the company, not just a free product or perk. After an equity Crowdfunding campaign is complete, a local retail store, restaurant or some other type of business opens up, its brand champions will not only continue to encourage their friends to support the business, but they will receive a portion of the future dividends, revenue sharing, or some type of return-on-investment as the business grows. For the first time in American history, 98% more Americans will have the ability to steer the economy by investing in the products and services they really want to buy. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
For SCORE mentors that have an interest in teaching their clients how to get involved in the growing Crowdfunding industry, we recommend setting up a conference call to discuss the following Crowdfunding topics. In addition, we will share several different text books, guides and forms that will be very useful in walking business owners through the Crowdfunding process. Please contact Robert Hoskins to setup a conference call to learn more.
SCORE Crowdfunding Training Outline
I. Introduction to Crowdfunding
- Rewards – Usually first shipment of the product
- Perks – VIP treatment, photos, meetings, visits
- Donations – Giving money to needy people or community outreach programs that help others
- Equity – Investing money to obtain an equity stake in a company: equity, revenue share, debt, etc.
- Title II vs. Title III – Accredited investors Q1; Unaccredited Q4 2013
- Crowdfunding Service Provider – Selecting the right platform based on target audience composition
II. Building a Crowdfunding Campaign Statement
- Mission – what is the primary business directive?
- Management Team – who will be running the business?
- Bios – what experience qualifies Crowdfunders for this management role?
- Goals & Objectives – overarching goals and objectives needed for success?
- Strategies – what strategies will be used to achieve goals?
- Universe – how large is the market opportunity?
III. Crowdfunding Campaign Elements
- Company/Product Names – Making the A-list without an explanation
- Videos – passionate testimonial(s) from the campaign managers
- Photos – photos or preliminary designs of products
- 3D Prototypes – early versions of what finished product will look like
- Patents – file a patent to protect your intellectual property
- FAQ Sheets – know your industry well to get the facts straight
- Marketing Campaigns – determining the right mix of adv, PR and social media
- Manufacturing – don’t wait until the last minute to line things up, plan for success from the beginning
IV. Crowdfunding Budget Needed
- How much do you want? – Ask for a realistic amount that is fair and achievable
- What to do plan to do with it? - Provide a simple budget to show how the money will be spent
- Step-by-Step – Raising money in steps builds credibility
- Crowdfunding Timeline – details a timeline from money allocation to final delivery
- Crowdfunding realty check – it requires work to become successful
V. Building and Leveraging Donor Databases
- Inside Circle – Friends, Family, and Business Colleagues
- Social media – Extended circles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Meetup, Twitter, Youtube, etc.
VI. Pledges and Rewards
- Reward Levels – small, medium and large
- Pre-selling products – to establish market demand
VII. Building Crowdfunding Campaign Buzz
- Publicity – using press releases to generate positive publicity
- Social Media – leveraging the power of large crowds
- Event Marketing – what to do during the bottom of the U
VIII. Approaching the Finish Line
- Thank You Notes – Thank donors for their money
- Quick Replies – Answer Crowdfund campaign comments quickly
- Ask for Referrals – Don’t be afraid to ask the crowd for help
IX. Mission Complete
- Success – Satisfaction of achieving your goal
- Business – Next comes the hard part, building a functional business
- Fulfillment – Managing time, effort, budget and scalability
- International – Requires additional shipping time and costs
- The Upside of Failure – Unlike most many startups that lose everything when their business is not successful, Crowdfunders can use a Crowdfunding campaign as a very cost-effective focus group prior to a hard launch
# # #
- Top 10 Crowdfunding PR Tips for Fundraising Campaigns, Platforms and Websites
- Bellevate Launches Boutique Crowdfunding Site for Women Entrepreneurs, Startups and Inventors with Great Ideas
- Crowdfund it Today Partners with CommunityLeader to Deliver Crowdfunding Solutions for Entrepreneurs, Startups and Small Businesses in Atlanta
- Top 10 Value-Added Business Marketing Programs that Every Crowdfunding Platform, Portal or Fundraising Website Needs to Attract Potential Investors and Fundraising Profile Managers
- Dun & Bradstreet Kicks off Crowdfunding Town Hall Meetings on May 22 in Chicago
- Early Growth Financial Services Adds Indiegogo Crowdfunding Platform and Niche Crowdfunding Companies to Growing Client Base
- Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners
- Big-Concepts Launches New Crowdfunding Platform in Virginia to Fund Creative Projects
- View into Crowdcube’s Successful Equity Crowdfunding Platform in the United Kingdom