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How to write a killer crowdfunding campaign pitch

Writing a crowdfunding campaign pitch

Crowdfunding has been one of the biggest upheavals to the business world. It has shifted the control of investment and enabled a whole new generation of entrepreneurs to bring their visions to life. But not every crowdfunding campaign turns to gold. Here are five key steps for how to nail your pitch.

Choose the right crowdfunding platform

Before you start building your crowdfunding campaign, you’ll need to choose a home for it. Many entrepreneurs are getting off the ground using established crowdfunding websites. These sites offer a huge boost in visibility,  but they often hit you with high fees which can put a real dent in your funds. You may want to consider one of the smaller sites, each with their own benefits and niches.

The most high-profile option is Kickstarter. The site is mainly for creative and tech projects and has an all-or-nothing funding policy. This means that if your campaign doesn’t reach its funding goal, none of the backers pay you anything. This has its disadvantages, but also reduces the risk for backers so they’re more likely to fund your project. Kickstarter’s main competitor Indiegogo is quickly catching up by offering more flexibility. It allows the all-or-nothing funding method, but also has the option of flexible funding, whereby you keep however much you’ve been pledged. Indiegogo also has a lot more campaign options.

IndieGoGo or KickStarter?

IndieGoGo offers more flexible funding options than competitor Kickstarter

The other giant currently on the crowdfunding scene is GoFundMe. This site is primarily geared towards individuals for personal needs rather than business ventures. GoFundMe is full of nice reminders of how generous strangers can be, but the site has been criticized for its usage fees. YouCaring has less name recognition, but is considered a strong alternative with no cost to use other than credit card processing fees.

Find the hook for your pitch

Once you have your platform, it’s time to start writing the pitch itself. Like any marketing campaign, it’s important to determine the problem your product solves and make your solution compelling to backers. 

If English isn’t your native language, you’ll likely want a multilingual content agency to prepare it for you, or at least edit it. You may also want to offer your pitch in multiple languages, which can be a bit tricky. Kickstarter doesn’t have the option to change the language, so you’ll have to put your translation on the same page, which could more than double the amount of copy your potential backers will have to read throughso keep it simple and concise.

If you really want your campaign to go viral, a well-made video is a great idea. This works especially well if your product is at all visually interesting, or if it does something cool that can be demonstrated. Smart gadget videos are catnip to Facebook sharers and their procrastinating friends. Invest in help if nobody on your team is savvy enough to make a good video. It will pay off. Also, bear in mind your video will need to be translated if you’re offering your pitch in multiple languages, although subtitles could be a simpler option.

In terms of style, phrases like “receive” and “offer” will pull better results than words like “help” and “support”. Make it clear why you need the money and why you’ve decided to crowdfund. People can be kind, but they’re also pragmatic; they want to know what’s in it for them. Speaking of which…

Make the backer rewards appealing

The most important thing in any marketing campaign is to make people want your product, but in crowdfunding, there’s an intermediate item to sell: your backer rewards. These are the bonuses that backers get for contributing, generally with a scale of increased rewards for larger contributions.

How to offer Kickstarter rewards

Make your rewards appealing and you’ll attract more backers, as this one from Bishop Games demonstrates

Don’t underestimate the power of these rewards. We all love free stuff, even when it’s not really free. Someone who’s teetering on the edge of backing you might well be convinced by a good reward. Set at least five reward levels, with each level getting all the benefits of those below it, plus something extra.

Be sure to have a stretch level as well—something way higher than you might imagine anyone would pay. Even if nobody forks out $10,000 to back your artisanal macaroni and get a custom piece of their face, you never know. It shows you take your project seriously and expect it to be a success.

See how others are crowdfunding

It’s always a good idea to peruse your competition. Most crowdfunding sites have a homepage that features high-traffic campaigns. Go see what they’re doing right!

Timebound - a succesful Kickstarter campaign

One of the top campaigns on Kickstarter recently was Timebound, an app that teaches you about history. That doesn’t sound like an obvious winner,  but the campaign surpassed its $20,000 goal in a short period. Why? It brands itself as “the app that makes time travel possible,” with the tagline “Live through the most important events in history—in real time!” That’s the kind of magic that people visit crowdfunding sites for. That’s not to say you can only succeed if your product promises actual science fiction, but almost anything can engage a certain spirit of adventure.

Get the world watching

Once you have a well-written campaign page with fabulous rewards, it’s time to get the world’s attention. Start by using any leverage you already have. It’s not unreasonable to post some sort of reminder about your campaign to your company’s social media every day. You can even start hyping it up before it actually launches. Just don’t bash people over the head with it.

Call on any famous friends your company has that can give you a boost. One tweet from a big name can change the life of a crowdfunding campaign. This is another thing you can be working on well before your campaign actually launches. People are more likely to support something that others are already supporting. 

 

There will always be a certain amount of luck involved in wooing crowdfunders, but all of these strategies will help ready your campaign for greatness. If you really want to get ahead, think about hiring someone who specializes in writing for crowdfunding. Experience with successful campaigns goes a long way to teach someone what works. This is why if you’re tackling the job on your own, researching successful campaigns is a great idea.

Crowdfunding ventures flop every day, but if you strike gold, your life could change overnight. With such bright possibilities, it’s no wonder crowdfunding is gaining so much traction. We hope these steps bring you closer to your golden ticket.


Need someone to take the stress out of writing your crowdfunding campaign? Whether it’s a multilingual pitch or in one language, VeraContent’s experienced multilingual copywriting and marketing team would be happy to discuss your project and make sure your crowdfunding campaign is a success.

Tova Seltzer

A lifelong writer, poet, and seeker of just the right words, Tova is excited to be spending time abroad immersed in Spanish, although she misses the breakfast scene back in Washington, D.C.


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