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How to Use Crowdfunding PR, Social Media, Websites and Email Marketing to Launch Successful Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Title IV Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

20 Oct

Crowdfunding PR helps crowdfunding sites and their campaign managers plan effective marketing campaigns that give fundraising efforts a higher than average chance for crowdfunding success!

By Robert Hoskins

What’s the best way to get the word out about a crowdfunding campaign?

Build an in-depth website including a well-provisioned press room full of information such as a primary PR contact info, logos, head shots of executives, press releases, press coverage, product photos, graphs, charts, white papers, and anything else that a reporter needs to write a news brief or a feature length article at 4:00 am in the morning without talking to anyone.

Always cover the: who, what, where, when, why and how much. Use the website as an electronic sales person that provides comprehensive FAQs that lead customers, crowdfunders and investors directly down the path that you want them to follow with regard to product/service education. The goal is to remove all fear, uncertainty and doubt from the sales equation.

Next, offer them a free white paper or something worth of value such as early bird discounts, VIP memberships, etc. that makes them want to share their email address and phone number with your team for future fundraising marketing efforts.

Use this process to build up an email list of 5,000 or more customers that have expressed a desire to purchase your products before the crowdfunding campaign launches. This step will be a major factor in determining its ability to achieve crowdfunding success on the very first day of the campaign.

Build an extensive social media network on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and as many other social media networks as possible. Grow your social media network by sharing the content from your developing website as well as distributing leading industry news stories for your industry.

And, as you are tweeting out the leading news articles, begin building a database of the reporters, their twitter handles and any subject matter experts quoted in the articles. Also note the frequently used buzzwords, catch phrases, and learn what formulas a reporter likes to use when they write a story.

Use these terms to SEO your crowdfunding profile so that customers who are searching for similar products and service to buy may find the crowdfunding campaign accidentally.

Follow reporters, industry analysts and subject matter experts and make friends with them, a process known as building media relations. Learn what they care about, what they do for fun, and what subject matters they like to talk about.

There is a huge difference in trying to pitch a reporter with a cold, un-researched email versus building a relationship with them before asking them to write a story for you. This strategy should also be used to target angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity and institutional investors.

The most important thing to let them know is that based on “my” extensive research, the articles that “you’ve” written, and the “buyers” that have invested/purchased my company’s product and services are a “perfect match” for your “editorial environment” or your current “investment portfolio.” And it is important to note, that this process usually takes around two-to-six months and needs to be done prior the crowdfunding campaign’s launch.

Issue well-written press releases on one of the top four paid wire distribution services. To reporters “free” or “cheap” wire services equal a potential fraudulent company since they are not willing to pay to use a real wire service and, if so, they may not be a reputable company.

Think of press releases as an extension of content marketing. Add links in the press releases to content on your website that goes into a much deeper discussion of the press release’s primary message. Include a “call-to-action” that tells readers exactly what you want them to do.

Also, write the press release as if you were writing the press release specifically to fit within a trade publication’s editorial environment. The easier it is for reporters and bloggers to cut and paste a story, the easier it will be for you to get media coverage.

And don’t think for a minute that a reporter will find your release by themselves. Instead email a copy directly to the reporter, which by now should now know who you are if you have been doing a good job of building a good media relations as detailed above.

Only target publications and media outlets that contain a high composition of the desired target audience with the right purchasing authority and a high propensity to buy your product or service. In other words, if you wouldn’t spend any money to place an advertisement in any given publication, don’t waste your time trying to pitch your story to a reporter that writes for an audience that really has no interest in purchasing your type of product or service.

All of these crowdfunding campaign prep-work marketing strategies should be done at least two months prior to the crowdfunding campaign. The more months that are spent on prep-work before the campaign begins the better the company will be positioned to achieve success on their crowdfunding campaign.

This entire process will educate the founders and their crowdfunding campaign managers and allow the whole team to learn about the industry, their competitors and how to effectively position their product/service and make it desirable in a very competitive global marketplace.

Why? When potential donors/investors like a crowdfunding campaign’s product, the first thing they will do is research how many likes it has on Facebook, what kind of professional resume the founders have built on Linked and how many followers they have on Twitter.

Next, they will do Google searches on the founders’ names, the company name and its brand names. If they find very little or nothing when searching for information on the company, the crowdfunding campaign will be doomed because it means the company clearly does not understand marketing, social media or PR.

However, if there are several pages of Google search results with news stories, press releases, product photos and a huge following on social media, this means that the founders are dedicated, hard-working employees that have exemplified a better than average chance of being successful long after their crowdfunding campaign concludes simply because they understand marketing.

If all of these crowdfunding puzzle pieces are in the correct place, potential crowdfunders will be convinced that there is a very good chance of receiving the high-tech gadget they want to pre-order to help the company get off the ground.

 

What is the biggest unexpected problem crowdfunders face?

The single biggest problem that founders and crowdfunding campaign managers face is not putting together a realistic marketing budget. It will cost at least $20k to shoot a great crowdfunding video and spend several months mastering the marketing prep-work outlined above.

For example, if you went and hired someone off the street and paid them $7.25 times 40 hours a week times 4 weeks a month times 3 months in a prep-work marketing program, that would equate a marketing budget of $3,480.

The reality is that most good marketing people will bill out at least $25 per hour and great talent will bill out at $100 or more per hour.

So using this math, crowdfunding campaigns should plan to spend at least $15,000 for marketing, social media, and PR support and another $5,000 to shoot a great pitch video and write a well-written crowdfunding campaign profile with language that sells. The campaigns that are raising millions of dollars are typically spending at least $50,000+ on one or more forms of digital advertising networks.

There is a whole sub-crowdfunding industry that will offer press releases, backer programs, social media posts, etc. for a couple of hundred bucks. The problem is that they simply will not provide the success that crowdfunding campaign managers are hoping to receive.  These companies know that founders don’t have much money, but are willing to take whatever they can get.

The same is true for marketing companies that promise to work for a 35% post-paid commission after the campaign ends. The problem is that several days into a crowdfunding campaign that raises hardly any money, these commission-only companies will sever their ties, move onto the next campaign with a better chance of being successful and leave struggling founders hanging out to dry.

We get calls from angry crowdfunding campaign managers all the time that have gone through this disappointing experience. There is no such thing as a “Free Lunch.”

What do crowdfunders need do to achieve excellent results for their campaigns?

In our four years of working with founders on their crowdfunding campaigns, we have seen a trend that is worth pointing out. The single best strategy to prepare for any type of crowdfunding campaign for any founder, entrepreneur, startup or existing small business is to perform an in-depth competitive analysis on as many competitors as possible.

This means researching a minimum of 100 campaigns on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The same is true for equity crowdfunding campaigns. Examine successful campaigns as well as ones that have failed.

  1. How are their crowdfunding pitch videos shot?
  2. How are their crowdfunding profiles written?
  3. What perks sold the best/worst and how were they worded and priced?
  4. What was their original crowdfunding goal?

Even better is to search for companies that failed on their first campaign and then raised millions of dollars on their second campaign, such as the “Coolest Cooler,” and then examine what the changed between the first and second try.

The second most important thing that successful crowdfunding campaigns need to have is enough support from family and friends to raise the first 30% of the crowdfunding goal.

Nothing is worse than a campaign that only raises $100 during the first several days.

This is why smart founders will set their goal as low as possible so that they can raise 50% of the goal on the first day. A low goal doesn’t mean they can’t raise a million dollars!

What is the number one piece of advice for anyone wanting to do a Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign?

We highly recommend taking out a yellow writing tablet and going to Crowdfunding PR’s free crowdfunding training classes at https://crowdfundingtrainingclasses.wordpress.com.

Crowdfunding PR Offers Crowdfunding Training Classes to Help Campaign Managers Plan Cost-Effective Marketing Campaigns

Crowdfunding PR Offers Crowdfunding Training Classes to Help Campaign Managers Plan Cost-Effective Marketing Campaigns Using Social Media, PR, Email and Content Marketing

Reading through these free tutorials will educate founders on the various components of the crowdfunding process. For each section, founders should write down their thoughts about what they might want to do to raise money for their own crowdfunding campaign.

Next, take advantage of Crowdfunding PR’s free 30-minute telephone consultations for founders that are considering launching a crowdfunding campaign. If they are willing to learn about crowdfunding first and then write down their initial thoughts on what they might like to do with their campaign, it will lead to a much better first conversation on what they want to achieve with their Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Title III/Title IV equity crowdfunding campaign.

Call Crowdfunding PR at (512) 627-6622 to setup a call!

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.

Is Title IV Reg A+ Equity Crowdfunding the Right Fundraising Tool for Your Growing Business?

21 Sep

A Checklist of Goals for Businesses Considering Raising Money with a Title IV Reg A+ Crowdfunding Campaign

By Robert Hoskins

Is Title IV, Reg. A+ Equity Crowdfunding the Right Fundraising Tool for Your Growing Business?

Is Title IV Reg A+ Equity Crowdfunding the Right Fundraising Tool?

Austin, Texas – Trying to figure out if Title IV Reg A+ Equity Crowdfunding is the right fundraising tool to help your company move to the next level? Most people consider Reg A+ to be one step below issuing an IPO (Initial Public Offering) at a fraction of what it usually costs, thus it is also known as a Mini-IPO.

Most financial analysts consider existing businesses with several years of operations and generating significant revenue from multiple product/service lines to be the best candidates to launch a Reg A+ crowdfunding campaign. Smaller investment bookrunners will argue that even startups and small businesses are good targets to raise money using Reg A+, especially if they have goal of going public in 18-to-24 months based on certain revenue milestones.

Top Title IV Reg A+ Crowdfunding Questions:

  1. Do you have a strong management team?
  2. Do your founders or investors have any “Star Power?”
  3. Do you need to raise more than $1 million?
  4. Have you developed an effective 30-second elevator pitch?
  5. Have you developed a 3-minute crowdfunding pitch video with a strong call-to-action?
  6. Have you developed a “Pitch Book” for investors?
  7. Do you have a lead investor of $25k+ or more?
  8. Have you raised at least $100,000+ or more from prior investments?
  9. Is your business growing at 20% or more month over month?
  10. Have you generated at least $100,000+ of lifetime revenue?
  11. Is your business projecting  2x to 3x year-on-year profit growth?
  12. Can you provide investors with a 3x to 10x ROI over the next 3 to 5 years?
  13. Is your market valuation worth $5 million or more?
  14. Is your market capitalization realistic from a VC’s point of view?
  15. Have you run a successful rewards/perks-based crowdfunding campaign?
  16. Do you have a database of at least 5,000+ customer email accounts?
  17. Do you have a database of at least 1,000+ investor email accounts?
  18. Have you generated at least 3 or more press articles in the trade press?
  19. Do you have a $20,000 or more for a advertising/crowdfunding PR budget?
  20. Do you have a strong LinkedIn resume and a large social media following on Facebook and Twitter?

If you cannot answer “yes” to the majority of these questions, then your business may not be ready to launch a Reg A+ equity crowdfunding campaign. These are many of the milestones that private equity investors and venture capitalists like see in a pitch deck to make your company worth serious consideration for a seed stage or private equity investment. If not, use this list to set some goals and objectives for your business and work hard to achieve them.

Title IV Reg A+ vs. IPO

If you think you are serious about issuing a Reg A+ offering, it would be wise to read through the following white papers on Title IV Reg A+ vs. IPOs. Learning how a bookrunner works with various investment banks, institutional investors, venture capital and private equity firms can provide valuable insight into how Wall Street has been raising money for startups for the past 100 years.

The white papers will also provide key insights into how much money it will cost as well as the actual fundraising process including what it takes to put together a “Pitch Book” and how to market it via “Dog and Pony” investment road shows. The key to raising for a company’s management team to travel from city to city meeting with potential investors to pitch Reg A+ investment opportunities.

Title IV Reg A+ Background

The SEC has previously stated that the primary purpose in adopting Reg A+ was to provide a simple and relatively inexpensive procedure for small business use in raising limited amounts of needed capital. Reg A+ issuers submit a paper-based offering statement to the SEC; this offering statement is essentially an abbreviated version of an IPO prospectus and it must be “qualified,” or cleared, by the SEC and delivered to prospective purchasers.

In addition to SEC review, Reg A+ offerings have traditionally been subject to review under state securities laws (also known as “Blue Sky” laws). In comparison, a traditional registered IPO listed on a national exchange is exempt from Blue Sky requirements. Securities sold in a Reg A+ offering are freely transferable in the secondary market, though Reg A+ issuers are not subject to Exchange Act reporting requirements.

Title IV Reg A+ as Outlined by 2012 JOBS Act

Title IV of the 2012 JOBS Act directed the SEC to expand Reg A to exempt offerings of up to $50 million in equity, debt or convertible securities. The law mandated that issuers relying on this new exemption would be required to file audited financial statements with the SEC on an annual basis.

However, without infrastructure currently in place for A+ securities to trade on national exchanges, lawmakers left it within the purview of the SEC to settle the state jurisdiction question by establishing the definition for “qualified purchaser” in the rulemaking process.

The 2nd Tier of Title IV Reg A+ Offerings

The SEC’s final rule was adopted on March 25, 2015, and became effective during the summer of 2015. In the rule, the SEC expanded Regulation A into two tiers: Tier 1 for offerings of up to $20 million and Tier 2 for offerings up to $50 million.

By removing key procedural obstacles and introducing common-sense investor protections, this new Reg A+ framework creates a viable capital-raising alternative for issuers that want to remain independent and innovative. Below are some of the key provisions included in the SEC’s Reg A+ rule:

  • Testing the waters: Issuers may solicit interest in a potential offering with the general public, either before or after the filing of the offering statement.
  • Blue Sky: Offerings made under Tier 2 are generally exempt from state securities law registration and qualification requirements. And while Tier 1 offerings would still be subject to state Blue Sky regulations, the states’ new Coordinated Review process has dramatically reduced the burdens associated with this process.
  • Offering Circular: Issuers can confidentially file statements for SEC qualification. Offering circular must include audited financial statements and balance sheets for the two most recently completed fiscal year ends. The Offering Circular format is narrative disclosure, similar to what is required from smaller reporting companies in a prospectus, but more limited in certain respects.
  • Proceeds: For Tier 2 offerings, there is an annual offering limit of up to $50 million in equity, debt or convertible securities, including no more than $15 million from selling security holders. For Tier 1 offerings, the annual limit is $20 million, with not more than $6 million from selling security holders preceded or accompanied by a preliminary offering circular.
  • Transferability/Liquidity for Investors: Securities sold in these offerings are not “restricted securities” under the Securities Act, and thus are freely tradable in the secondary market.
  • Ongoing Reporting: Issuers that conduct a Tier 2 offering must electronically file annual and semiannual reports with the SEC, but those who conduct Tier 1 offerings generally have no ongoing reporting obligations.

Are Title IV Reg A+ Shares More Liquid?

Securities offered under Reg A+ are freely tradable, which makes them more valuable to employees, investors and founders.  This is beneficial for investors but also for issuer constituents, who may be early investors or insiders, seeking liquidity.  The issuers’ choice of venue is mostly to do with the size of the offering and the company’s market capitalization.

Need Help Preparing a Title IV Reg A+ Offering?

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.
In addition, due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for information on crowdfunding, he empowers entrepreneurs, startups and existing businesses with the internet’s most affordable crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.

Crowdfunding PR Rolls Out Title IV, Reg. A+ 2-Month Crowdfunding Prep Work Program to Help Startups and Existing Businesses Learn How to Launch More Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

29 Aug

The Crowdfunding Prep Work Program Helps Campaign Managers Amass a Large Crowd of Followers on Social Media and Utilize PR to Generate Hundreds of News Articles on Leading Media Outlets

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Want to learn how to launch a successful Title IV, Reg. A+ equity crowdfunding campaign? To help crowdfunders achieve this elusive goal, Crowdfunding PR announced a special two-month Crowdfunding Prep Work Program that will significantly improve a crowdfunding campaign’s success rate by amplifying its management team’s social media profiles and by utilizing an effective crowdfunding PR campaign to generate hundreds of stories via electronic news media outlets prior to the crowdfunding campaign’s launch.

How to Plan a Successful Crowdfunding PR Campaign by Following this Secret Step-by-Step Process

How to Plan a Successful Crowdfunding PR Campaign by Following this Secret Step-by-Step Process

Social Media Campaigns
Conducting a strong social media marketing campaign is one of the biggest challenges that many Title IV, Reg. A+ Crowdfunding Campaigns will face. Improving weak social media credentials for companies is critical to crowdfunding success. What many entrepreneurs and startups need to recognize is how important social media is in the world of crowdfunding.

“The very first thing that an investor/donor does when they read through a crowdfunding profile they like is to look up the company and its team members on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to check out their credentials,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding PR’s Director of Crowdfunding Campaigns. “Having a strong resume on LinkedIn, lots of likes on Facebook and an army of followers on Twitter is crucial to determining the strength of the team and the likelihood that they have the tenacity and marketing skill set to deliver on their crowdfunding campaign’s promises.”

Public Relations/Publicity Campaigns
The second biggest task is generating stories on electronic news media outlets and blogs prior to launching a crowdfunding campaign. Not only can a well-orchestrated crowdfunding PR campaign generate hundreds of free, positive trade press articles to support the fundraising effort, but the same targeted, search-engine-optimized (SEO) press releases will continue to drive new investors, potential customers as well as sales/distribution partners to the business long after the crowdfunding campaign ends.

“Most investors/donors will do a Google search to see what they can find online for both the company and its team members,” Hoskins continued. “With a two-month crowdfunding prep work campaign there will be several pages of search engine results that link to the client’s website pages, their social media posts/profiles and the crowdfunding campaign’s temporary landing page until they launch an equity crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest.comStartEngine.com, Republic.co, WeFunder.com or any other Title IV, Reg. A+ equity crowdfunding sites.

Contact Crowdfunding PR
If you would like to speak with a crowdfunding PR, social media and/or marketing expert regarding your crowdfunding campaign, please call Robert Hoskins at (512) 627-6622.

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Mr. Hoskins consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Mr. Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.

Crowdfunding PR Rolls Out Title III Equity Crowdfunding 2-Month Prep-Work Programs to Launch More Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

16 May

The crowdfunding prep work program helps entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses amass a large crowd of followers on social media and utilizes PR to generate hundreds of articles on leading newspapers, TV/radio stations, trade publications and leading blogs

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas (May 16, 2016) – Want to learn how to launch a successful Title III crowdfunding campaign on one of top 100 equity crowdfunding sites? To help crowdfunders achieve this elusive goal, Crowdfunding PR (http://crowdfundingPR.wordpress.com) announced a special two-month Crowdfunding Prep Work Program that will significantly improve a crowdfunding campaign’s success rate by amplifying its founder’s social media profiles and by utilizing an effective crowdfunding PR campaign to generate hundreds of stories in the electronic news media prior to the crowdfunding campaign’s launch.

How to Plan a Successful Crowdfunding PR Campaign by Following this Secret Step-by-Step Process

How to Plan a Successful Crowdfunding PR Campaigns, a Step-by-Step Process

One of the biggest challenges that most crowdfunding campaigns face are weak social media credentials and the lack of a large group of social media followers that are needed to support crowdfunding campaigns with donations and/or investments. Building strong, professional Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and amassing the largest possible group of followers on social media networks is crucial to conducting a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The second biggest task is generating stories on electronic news media outlets and blogs prior to launching a crowdfunding campaign. Not only can a well-orchestrated crowdfunding PR campaign generate hundreds of free, positive trade press articles to support the fundraising effort, but the same targeted, search engine optimized press releases will continue to drive new investors, potential customers and sales/distribution partners to the business long after the crowdfunding campaign ends.

“What many entrepreneurs and startups need to recognize is how important social media is in the world of crowdfunding,” said Robert Hoskins, Crowdfunding PR’s Director of Crowdfunding Campaigns. “The very first thing that an investor/donor does when they read through a crowdfunding profile they like is to look up the company and its team members on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to check out their credentials. Having a strong resume on LinkedIn, lots of likes on Facebook and an army of followers on Twitter is crucial to determining the strength of the team and the likelihood that they have the tenacity and skill set to deliver on their crowdfunding campaign’s promises.”

“Next, most investors/donors will do a Google search to see what they can find online for both the company and its team members,” Hoskins continued. “With a two-month crowdfunding prep-work campaign there will be several pages of search engine results that link to the client’s website pages, their social media posts/profiles and the crowdfunding campaign’s prep pages that will point to their live fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.com, Indiegogo.com, GoFundMe.com or any of the other 2016 Top 100 Global Crowdfunding sites.”

If you would like to speak with a crowdfunding PR, social media and/or marketing expert regarding your crowdfunding campaign please call Robert Hoskins at (512) 627-6622 or fill out the contact form at: https://crowdfundingpr.wordpress.com/about-crowdfunding-pr-campaigns/ to setup a telephone consultation.

# # #

Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Mr. Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.
Mr. Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites in the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and other Global Markets in 2015

3 Apr

Seeking New Crowdfunding Sites on a Worldwide Basis to Be Ranked for the Upcoming June 2015 Top Crowdfunding Sites in the United States and the Rest of the World

 By Robert Hoskins

[Click to Tweet this Top 100 List to Your Friends]

United States – We are currently updating our List of the Top 100 Crowdfunding Sites for 2015 in the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and other global markets.  

Clicking on the website traffic links below will take readers to one of the most insightful resources of information that details each website’s traffic ranking; the number of unique visitors per month; the average time spent on each site per visit; and the number of pages viewed per each visit.

Of more interest to crowdfunding campaign managers will be the precise ratio of social media, content marketing, search engine marketing, email marketing and display advertising that is being utilized by each crowdfunding site’s marketing campaigns to drive readers and investors to their crowdfunding profiles.

GoFundMe vs Kickstarter SimilarWeb Stats

GoFundMe vs Kickstarter SimilarWeb Stats

Even though these numbers reflect the aggregation of all of a given portal’s crowdfunding campaigns marketing efforts, they offer direct evidence of what is working and what is not.  Note the difference on how much social media and display advertising is being used by the Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites compared the lower 90 crowdfunding sites. 

This information can be used by crowdfunding sites as well as their crowdfunders to get a thorough understanding on how to plan future marketing campaigns that will have a higher than average success rate.

Want to know how GoFundMe just bypassed Kickstarter as the #1 crowdfunding platform on the planet? Click on the links below and use the comparison tool to show side-by-side comparisons of SEO keywords, link referrals, and social media usage. See the bottom of the page for more crowdfunding marketing tips.

[Click Here to Tweet this Top 100 List of Crowdfunding Sites]

Rank © Front Page PR   Global Rank
#1 (2014: #2) www.gofundme.com    1,318
#2 (2014: #1) www.kickstarter.com    1,373
#3 (2014: #3) www.angel.co    2,010
#4 (2014: #6) www.indiegogo.com    2,277
#5 (2014: #4) www.lendingclub.com    7,545
#6 (2014: #9) www.justgiving.com    8,558
#7 (2014: #8) www.youcaring.com   13,563
#8 (2014: #12) www.kiva.org     15,111
#9 (2014: #23) www.ulule.com   16,099
#10 (2014: #15) www.donorschoose.org    21,617
#11 (2014: #17) www.pledgemusic.com   24,461
#12 (2014: #13) www.crowdrise.com   26,906
#13 (2014: #18) www.tilt.com    29,512
#14 (2014: #10) www.giveforward.com    32,576
#15 (2014: #38) www.crowdcube.com    34,262
#16 (2014: #5) www.fundingcircle.com    34,307
#17 (2014: #14) www.razoo.com    44,329
#18 (2014: #16) www.fundly.com    48,132
#19 (2014: #36) www.pozible.com   48,898
#20 (2014: #19) www.firstgiving.com    58,401
#21 (2014: #20) www.fundrazr.com    64,163
#22 (2014: #27) www.circleup.com   68,095
#23 (2014: #25) www.fundable.com   73,430
#24 (2014: #new) www.kickante.com.br    75,510
#25 (2014: #26) www.crowdfunder.com    77,551
#26 (2014: #34) www.equitynet.com   88,181
#27 (2014: #new) www.zeczec.com   90,296
#28 (2014: #35) www.gogetfunding.com   97,023
#29 (2014: #29) www.fundrise.com 112,206
#30 (2014: #55) www.fundedbyme.com 116,409
#31 (2014: #new) www.experiment.com 133,573
#32 (2014: #22) www.realtymogul.com 134,519
#33 (2014: #61) www.geldvoorelkaar.nl 146,963
#34 (2014: #new) www.onevest.com 149,343
#35 (2014: #24) www.rockethub.com 149,430
#36 (2014: #33) www.wefunder.com 169,021
#37 (2014: #32) www.offbeatr.com 174,673
#38 (2014: #30) www.seedinvest.com 184,226
#39 (2014: #37) www.slated.com 210,555
#40 (2014: #new) www.patchofland.com 220,267
#41 (2014: #43) www.givezooks.com 234,356
#42 (2014: #58) www.pledgie.com 241,865
#43 (2014: #new) www.microventures.com  241,967
#44 (2014: #28) www.fundanything.com 248,200
#45 (2014: #46) www.ourcrowd.com 248,635
#46 (2014: #44) www.pave.com 268,856
#47 (2014: #68) www.growvc.com 285,285
#48 (2014: #62) www.ppl.com.pt 297,874
#49 (2014: #48) www.dragoninnovation.com 306,056
#50 (2014: #54) hwww.seedandspark.com 319,789
#51 (2014: #47) www.pubslush.com 336,465
#52 (2014: #41) www.opportunity.org 354,764
#53 (2014: #45) www.peerform.com 376,044
#54 (2014: #60) www.bolstr.com 388,543
#55 (2014: #new) www.investx.com 403,141
#56 (2014: #11) www.uinvest.com.ua 417,925
#57 (2014: #new) www.plumfund.com  421,110
#58 (2014: #40) www.fundraise.com 433,539
#59 (2014: #new) www.earlyshares.com 442,508
#60 (2014: #new) www.barnraiser.us 482,296
#61 (2014: #new) www.flashfunders.com 485,226
#62 (2014: #new) www.trucrowd.com 485,665
#63 (2014: #57) www.piggybackr.com 518,504
#64 (2014: #67) www.symbid.com 558,247
#65 (2014: #new) www.crowdstreet.com 704,602
#66 (2014: #39) www.assetavenue.com 742,849
#67 (2014: #51) www.microgiving.com 834,667
#68 (2014: #new) pitchfunder.asufoundation.org 861,826
#69 (2014: #77) www.artistshare.com 928,003
#70 (2014: #new) www.nextseed.com 992,563
#71 (2014: #76) www.appsfunder.com 1,047,453
#72 (2014: #42) www.assob.com.au 1,049,032
#73 (2014: #79) www.foodstart.com 1,080,478
#74 (2014: #new) www.loquidity.com  1,087,691
#75 (2014: #70) www.faithlauncher.com 1,089,032
#76 (2014: #80) www.solarmosaic.com 1,108,499
#77 (2014: #new) www.crowdfundingpays.com 1,256,560
#78 (2014: #new) www.dreamfunded.com 1,267,585
#79 (2014: #82) www.propellr.com 1,350,583
#80 (2014: #75) www.pledgecents.com 1,363,715
#81 (2014: #new) www.massventure.com 1,388,521
#82 (2014: #new) www.crowd2fund.com 1,494,834
#83 (2014: #96) www.ipledg.com 1,567,232
#84 (2014: #new) www.texasenetworks.com 1,721,280
#85 (2014: #63) www.icrowd.com 1,769,510
#86 (2014: #65) www.banktothefuture.com 1,836,932
#87 (2014: #new) www.acquirerealestate.com 2,169,205
#88 (2014: #056) www.sterlingfunder.com 2,533,134
#89 (2014: #new) www.realtywealth.com 2,647,893
#90 (2014: #85) www.massivemov.com 2,826,166
#91 (2014: #89) www.venturehealth.com 3,931,192
New www.offerboard.com 4,112,781
#92 (2014: #31) www.rockthepost.com 4,505,534
#93 (2014: #84) www.funderhut.com 5,182,841
#94 (2014: #83) www.fundafeast.com 5,325,919
#95 (2014: #71) www.crowdit.com 5,535,187
#96 (2014: #88) www.crowdhelps.com 5,892,083
#97 (2014: #95) www.crowdfundingbank.com 6,503,461
#98 (2014: #98) www.startacure.com 8,281,014
#99 (2014: #78) www.cMEcompete.com 9,332,644
#100 (2014: #87) www.endlesscrowds.com 12,934,557

Source: Feb 2015 SimilarWeb Website Statistics

Crowdfunding PR’s goal is simple. We want to make it possible for crowdfunders to shop for  crowdfunding platforms in a similar manner to the way media planners/buyers used to analyze ABC and BPA audit statements to buy advertisements in the business-to-business trade publication industry, where important media buying decisions were based on straight mathematics, not popularity or random guessing.

For example, would you rather run a crowdfunding campaign on a site where visitors are looking at 2-3 pages in around 3 minute’s time or a site where buyers are spending 6 to 11 minutes reviewing 6 to 10 pages?

This is the difference between shoppers who are visiting a site to see a particular crowdfunding campaign based on a marketing campaign versus people who are visiting a site to explore and actually shop around to find good deals to buy or invest their money.

This is why launching a campaign on Kickstarter or GoFundMe does not guarantee success. While GoFundMe or Kickstarter may be the largest sites in the world, people are only spending enough time to shop through more than 2 to 3 crowdfunding profiles before they exit. While other sites like Razoo.com, DonorsChoose.org, and FundingCircle.com have visitors that stay more than 6 to 11 minutes and view 6 to 10 pages.

When researching, planning and executing successful marketing programs for both crowdfunding platforms as well as their individual crowdfunding customer profiles, it is extremely important to see what is driving the most traffic to any given crowdfunding site.  Success is usually determined not only by what site the crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on, but also the marketing programs being harnessed to drive potential donors/investors to a specific crowdfunding profile.

Clicking on each link above will allow media planners/buyers to understand what role direct traffic (content marketing), search engines (SEO, PPC Advertising), social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Quora), email marketing and display advertising (Google Display, Outbrain, AppNexus) are having on the success of crowdfunding campaigns.

For example, when planning a social media strategy, one of the most popular questions we get asked is – what social media networks are driving the most visitor traffic? Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram? The links above will make this answer crystal clear.

Not satisfied with your position on the list? Front Page PR’s team of crowdfunding PR, social media and marketing experts can help crowdfunding sites and crowdfunding campaigns plan the perfect mix of integrated marketing programs to significantly improve the amount of website traffic being driven to any given fundraising campaign or crowdfunding platform.

Feel free to call (512) 627-6622 with questions or request help to improve your website statistics before June.

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If you’d like to add your site to the Top 100 list, please fill out the form below.

SEC Approves Regulation A+ Rules under Title IV of the JOBS Act that Pre-empts State Law and Paves the Way for Selling Up to $50 Million of Equity Crowdfunding Securities to Unaccredited Investors

25 Mar

There are no general solicitation restrictions so companies can freely advertise, market and publicize offerings at demo days, trade shows, mass media and via social media networks

 By Robert Hoskins

Washington, D.C. – The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final rules unanimously to facilitate smaller companies’ access to capital.  The new rules provide investors with more investment choices.The new rules update and expand Title IV Regulation A+, an existing exemption from registration for smaller issuers of securities.

SEC Approves Regulation A+ Rules under Title IV of the JOBS Act

SEC Approves Regulation A+ Rules under Title IV of the JOBS Act

The rules are mandated by Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.The updated exemption will enable smaller companies to offer and sell up to $50 million of securities in a 12-month period, subject to eligibility, disclosure and reporting requirements.

“These new rules provide an effective, workable path to raising capital that also provides strong investor protections,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “It is important for the Commission to continue to look for ways that our rules can facilitate capital-raising by smaller companies.”

The final rules, often referred to as Regulation A+, provide for two tiers of equity crowdfunding securities offerings:

  • Tier 1:  Offerings of securities of up to $20 million in a 12-month period, with not more than $6 million in offers by selling security-holders that are affiliates of the issuer; and
  • Tier 2: Offerings of securities of up to $50 million in a 12-month period, with not more than $15 million in offers by selling security-holders that are affiliates of the issuer.

Both Tiers are subject to certain basic requirements while Tier 2 offerings are also subject to additional disclosure and ongoing reporting requirements.

The final rules also provide for the preemption of state securities law registration and qualification requirements for securities offered or sold to “qualified purchasers” in Tier 2 offerings.

Tier 1 offerings will be subject to federal and state registration and qualification requirements, and issuers may take advantage of the coordinated review program developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

The rules will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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Paid Mentorship Management Consulting Fees Can Help Fund College University Incubator and Accelerator Programs

14 Mar

Allowing Mentors to Earn Revenue while Colleges/Universities Collect a Commission for Facilitating the Knowledge Transfer is Great Way to Bring Leading Expertise to Remote Areas

By Robert Hoskins

Paid Mentor Management Consulting Fees

Another option for schools to generate funding is to create a management consulting practice in tandem with college and university incubators and accelerators. Many sources of mentorship can be attracted by allowing the subject matter experts to generate revenue by providing mentoring services for a consulting fee. 

Incubators/accelerators could take a 15% commission out of the consulting fee to add monthly recurring revenue to their incubator and accelerator programs. Payments for services can be paid in cash and/or might include an option to purchase equity shares in the first class of equity shares being offered during the seed fundraising round.

Using this strategy, schools with video conferencing capabilities can tap into talent on a worldwide basis. Using teleconferencing and distance learning applications schools can access the world’s leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and private equity investors, even in remote locations.

A single community college might not able to afford a speaking engagement with Guy Kawasaki, Elon Musk or Richard Branson, but working with numerous community colleges in any given state they could launch a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign to solicit enough cash to pay for an event that could be broadcast to a network of participating schools.  These single session tutorials, mentoring sessions or consulting engagements could be setup in a very similar manner to the very popular TedX talks.

Other sources of revenue can be earned by hosting conferences, trade shows, pitching competitions and/or training classes.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Want to learn more about setting up a college/university crowdfunding ecosystem?

Please fill out this form to get started:

 

Utilizing Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns to Cross Pollinate College Education with the Opportunity to Launch Real World Startups and Conduct Equity Fundraising Campaigns

13 Mar

Providing students with a way to contribute their skills to a steady stream of equity crowdfunding campaigns is a great way to gain valuable industry experience and make money

By Robert Hoskins

Real World Benefits of Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

Depending on the strength of their various colleges, equity crowdfunding programs can help universities begin to leverage the resources from each college and begin to cross pollinate equity crowdfunding campaigns by harnessing the strength of the entire student body.  

Providing students with a way to contribute their skills to a steady stream of equity crowdfunding campaigns would be a great way for them to gain valuable industry experience while earning a college degree.

Instead of working in non-paid internships performing menial tasks, students can invest their time and sweat equity in real world startups by helping startups work their way through the seed investment raising process.  Getting paid with equity shares versus the opportunity to add one line-item bullet point to their resume is a much more attractive option for students worried about paying off their college tuition.

By providing any of the following services below to crowdfunding campaigns, students would benefit from the opportunity to practice their intended field of study as well as enjoy the potential payoff by aggressively seeking risk, innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities.  As a part of the mentoring process students and faculty could setup a management consulting firm that specializes in equity crowdfunding campaigns. 

  • Research & Development
    • Recognition for discoveries made at the institution
    • Compliance with federal regulations
    • Attraction and retention of talented faculty
    • Attraction of corporate research sponsors
  • Business Administration
    • Accounting/Audits
    • Finance
    • Business Planning
    • Investor Relations
  • Computer Science
    • Ecommerce
    • Social Media
    • Programmers/Coders
  • Law School
    • Private Placement Memorandums
    • Intellectual Property Protection
    • Copyrights/Patents
    • Legal Contracts
    • Corporate Structures
    • Licensing revenue to support further research and education
    • Technology Transfer Offices
  • Mass Communications
    • Advertising
    • Film/Broadcast
    • Journalism
    • Marketing
    • Mass Communications
    • PR
    • Social Media

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Think about launching an Equity Crowdfunding Site?

Please fill out this form to get started:

What is an Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemption?

11 Mar

Due to the SEC’s Refusal to Pass Title III Crowdfunding Guidelines, which are Three Years Overdue, 31 States Have Passed or Plan to Pass Their Own Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions

By Robert Hoskins

Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemptions

List of States with Approved Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions:

The good news is that there are currently 15 states, including Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin  that have approved Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemptions. This represents 33% of the United States population or  106.3 million people.

List of States with Pending Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions:

Another 16 states including Alaska, Arizona (not reflected on map), Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia that have pending legislation.  This represents 38% of the United States population or 112.4 million people.

List of States Who are Asleep at the Wheel:

Apparently Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming are either asleep at the wheel or do not have internet access. This represents 19.7% of the United States population or 63.6 million people.

List of States that have Rejected Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions:

Only Florida and North Carolina have decided not to help small business get access to investment capital. This represents 9% of the United States populations or 29.8 million people.

100% of Colleges and Universities Can Solicit Accredited Investors

This means that 100% of colleges and universities in the United States can solicit accredited investors nationwide using an equity crowdfunding platform to fund their incubator and accelerator programs.

On a state level, 33% can solicit non-accredited investors now with another 38% hopefully coming online by the end of 2015. If that happens equity crowdfunding will be legal in 31 states where 71% of all Americans live.

Map of U.S. States that approved Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Exemptions

      Source: CrowdfundingLegalHub.com

 What are Non-Accredited Investors?

In states where an Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption has been approved by the state securities board or the state legislature, anyone 18 years or older who lives in the same state can invest in local school accelerator’s equity crowdfunding opportunities regardless of income or assets.

This means that even schools in rural areas with zero funding to support startups companies or incubator or accelerator programs can setup an equity crowdfunding sites and begin soliciting angel and accredited investors all over the United States.

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Want to launch an equity crowdfunding site in your state?

Please fill out this form to get started:

GridShare.com Opens New Clean-Tech Equity Crowdfunding Site in San Francisco to Fund Renewable Energy Startups and Community Solar Projects

26 Feb

Potential investors can peruse investment opportunities in a variety of renewable energy sectors, including: solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and small hydropower

By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CA – GridShare.com announced the launch of its clean technology crowdfunding platform to help renewable energy and solar projects and clean-tech companies raise capital. By creating an online platform where investors can independently engage with project owners seeking funding, GridShare is positioned to be the leading force in crowdfunding for the alternative energy industry.

GridShare Enables Everyday People to Invest in Renewable Energy Projects in the Clean-Tech and Solar Companies around the World

GridShare Enables Everyday People to Invest in Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind, GeoThermal, and HydroPower Projects in the Clean-Tech Industry around the World

GridShare is a unique online platform where renewable energy project developers and clean-tech companies from around the world post their funding needs. Potential investors can peruse investment opportunities in a variety of renewable energy sectors, including: solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and small hydropower. GridShare also intends to host funding opportunities for energy efficiency initiatives and early-stage clean technology ventures.

“Raising money has been a huge impediment to the growth of the capital-intensive renewable energy industry,” said Jack Jacobs, CEO and Co-Founder, GridShare. “Now, with GridShare’s help, a project developer or cleantech venture can tap into a new funding channel and, ultimately, spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on their core business.”

There are three different types of investment opportunities that a company may offer through GridShare: debt, equity, and donations. High net-worth individuals, or “accredited investors,” can browse projects online, read pertinent information about the venture, and then pledge funding in exchange for equity or interest. Non-accredited investors can donate funds to a project or company that offers this option. As soon as the JOBS Act crowdfunding rules are finalized, all users will be able to invest freely for equity online.

Posting a project on GridShare is free and easy. Once the GridShare team approves the project, it will be published online. Investors will then have the opportunity to review the project details, and pledge their financial support online. The offeror then contacts the investor to arrange payment and finalize investment terms.

“For too long, large banks have controlled which solar projects can be financed. Finally, project developers like Samba Energy can rely on GridShare to offer high quality solar investments to investors nationwide,” said Michael Hidary, Managing Partner, Samba Energy, a national provider of software and services for clean energy and commercial building energy efficiency. “Samba Energy can now complete more installations and private investors can gain strong, predictable returns from solar power projects.”

GridShare earns a commission from the offeror only if its funding goal is fully achieved. GridShare also offers optional services for users that prefer to sell securities through a registered broker/dealer, conduct legal transactions under the guidance of an experienced law firm, and/or develop their materials with the help of a marketing professional.

GridShare enables everyday people to invest in renewable energy projects and cleantech companies around the world. GridShare is an independent online crowdfunding platform for renewable energy projects and clean-tech companies seeking funding.  

Investors can engage directly and independently with owners and developers through the platform. By significantly expanding the funding options available to business owners and project developers, GridShare opens up the renewable energy industry to a much wider audience of investors.

The platform is clean technology agnostic, posting investment opportunities from all types of renewable energy projects and clean-tech companies.

GridShare allows renewable energy projects and clean technology companies to raise debt, equity and/or donations from investors. By diversifying the available investment opportunities, GridShare offers a more inclusive environment for non-accredited and accredited investors alike. 

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