How the heck can you choose the best platform for your upcoming crowdfunding campaign? Well, in a lot of ways they two biggies, Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have some subtle differences that should help. Then there are two other platforms that have come on the scene that provide some interesting options too.
Some Tips to Find Success on Any Crowdfunding Platform
These are the key factors determine which projects achieve their goals.
Project + Network + Goods = Success
How you create and connect each of these factors directly influences your potential success in raising funds more than which platform you select. Why? Because all of these crowdfunding platforms rely heavily on you spreading the word about your campaign to your already established following. Thought, to be sure, some projects are so compelling they reach a fantastic ‘tipping point’ that elevates their visibility exponentially as the campaign goes viral. This cooler and these travel jackets have enjoyed that sort of fame and success.
In the case of the “Coolest Cooler” 62,642 backers pledged $13,285,226to help bring this project to life! For the travel jackets whose campaign just closed recently $9,192,055 pledged of $20,000 goal making it the fourth most funded campaign on Kickstarter to date.
Your Existing Networks are Your Biggest Guarantor of Success
Your network is the center of any successful project. Those who press the funding button will make an emotional connection with you and your project. Funders may be moved by your passion, the project itself, or both, but somehow you made them feel they had to support you. Both campaigns mentioned above came to my attention through my own connection to social media. Friends shared their posts. This is the alchemy of ANY such campaign. So you will want to work on creating an engaging, believable, authentic online presence through:
- Your Own Website/Blog
- Google +
- And any other social network you vow to use regularly and compelling
Success Comes to Those Who Solve, Engage or Inspire
Both campaigns featured a solution to a problem people hadn’t realized they had until they realized they did! The products were well thought through, the case made for why you might need them made clearly and compellingly. Plus each had a patina of awesome – that little something extra that guaranteed each back an element of cutting edginess for being an early adapter.
Let’s start with the two that are more known.
- Has more brand recognition as a platform
- Actually does get a fair amount of traffic which can be funneled to new or trending campaigns
- 30-60 day project timeline
- 13 categories: Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theatre.
- Only for US or UK based project platforms
- Must pass an approval process (ostensibly they are looking for the most potential successful campaigns for a win-win for all)
- Charges a 5% payout when your successful campaign ends
- You get nothing and backers are refunded 100% of their money if your campaign does not reach its goal
- Kickstarter is the better bet for more unusual creative campaigns and it’s also believed Kickstarter is best for tech startups focusing on hardware and various design orientated ideas
- Up to 40 days for project timeline
- With over 20+ categories, Indiegogo offers 9 more categories as compared to Kickstarter.
- Categories: Animals, Art, Comic, Community, Dance, Design, Education, Environment, Fashion, Film, Food, Gaming, Health, Music, Photography, Politics, Religion, Small Business, Sports, Technology, Theatre, Transmedia, Video, and Writing
- No geographic restrictions
- Do not need approval from the platform
- 4% payout to IndieGoGo for a successfully reached goal – 9% payout to IndieGoGo if you do not reach your stated goal
- Well presented and promoted artistic endeavors of every ilk tend to do well on IndieGoGo
Two others to consider
RocketHub isn’t as big as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but it’s definitely a useful crowdfund platform. Because it’s smaller your project can stand out more and as already discussed it’s pretty much up to you to bring your own followers to your campaign no matter which platform hosts it.
The success will hinge on your own spreading the word as their search tool is not very useful
- Reach your goal: 4% commission fee + 4% credit card handling fee
- Don’t reach your goal: 8% commission fee + 4% credit card handling fee
- Their categories are: art, business, science or social, with a smattering of others.
- RocketHub is estimated to have nearly 40,000 visitors each month
- Projects can range from 30 to 75 days
RocketHub backers come from all over the world.
The people who started Fundable have a business mindset and were founders of startup businesses themselves. What makes Fundable unique is that, not only does it allow for regular donations in exchange for rewards, crowdfunders can also raise funds in exchange for equity in their businesses.
Fundable is focused on crowdfunding for businesses. They give fundraisers the opportunity to offer stock in their businesses. While doing so means you’re giving up some equity, this stock option can attract larger, more serious and accredited investors, and allow startups to raise much more capital than with reward campaigns.
Fundable is a more “corporate” alternative to Kickstarter. As they state on their website….”Fundable is just for businesses.”
Here you raise capital
- Fundable allows funds to be raised via reward or equity campaigns
- Reward-based campaigns are recommended for startups looking to raise less than $50,000 in capital
- Equity-based campaigns are recommended when startups and businesses are trying to raise over $50,000, or if those businesses do not have a developed product or service that can be marketed with a rewards campaign
- Fundable charges a flat rate of $179 per month along with credit card processing fees for rewards campaigns
- Fundable do NOT keep a percentage of funds earned
They have some great free info guides worth mentioning:
- Their Startup Guide has solid info: https://www.fundable.com/learn/resources/guides/startup-guide
- Great tools and resources list: https://www.fundable.com/learn/resources/guides/startup-guide/startup-tools-resources