Figuring out how to crowdfund successfully takes a lot of time and effort. And it’s definitely not as simple as finding a platform to run your campaign on, and then launching right away. If you are looking for help with your crowdfunding strategy, there are many steps you can take outside of hiring a costly crowdfunding agency.

Ultimately, a lot of work needs to be done before you launch your campaign if you want to succeed. So, to help ensure you’re ready to start crowdfunding, here are a few quick checklist items to make sure you’re best prepared.

A quick note as you look at the steps below. While you may need to adapt your plan and content strategy slightly depending on the platform you choose, i.e., Kickstarter vs Indiegogo, this checklist will still help you prepare for launch. In any event, social media is the key platform to be telling your story on.

Know Why You’re Creating Your Campaign

First and foremost, you need to develop your campaign’s story. This story or pitch is what is going to tell your audience why they should care enough to invest. It’s not enough to just tell people what the product, project, or service you’re raising money for is. People want to know who you are, and how your idea will benefit them. Never underestimate the power of a strong narrative.

Sharing your story is important for two main reasons. First, having background information about how your idea came about is going to show people that you actually put a lot of thought into your project, making it more legitimate and authentic. And second, it’s going to get people’s attention by making them feel something when they read the story behind your idea. So, make sure your story is ready to be shared with the world.

Of course, just having a story without an audience is a miss as well, so it’s important that as you are shaping your campaign, you also are genuinely looking to connect and engage with your audience. After all, the more care and effort you put into really connecting with your potential supporters, the more willing they are going to be to help you achieve your goals.

Have Your Reward Ideas Finalized

Most crowdfunding platforms will include offering rewards to your supporters in exchange for contributions. Before launching your campaign, you need to figure out what these rewards are going to be. Think outside the box. Get creative. Offer things that people will want at all contribution price levels so if someone has less to give, they can still support your campaign. And if someone has more to give, offer something interesting and worthwhile to motivate them to contribute a higher amount.

 Determine Contest Ideas and Surprise Perks

A great way to keep people active and involved throughout your campaign is doing contests. Mini-giveaways on social media can help keep supporters interested, and even attract new supporters. Additionally, you can offer surprise perks—a special prize for your 50th supporter, or something along those lines, can be a simple way to further show your appreciation. The Storyblaster crowdfunding templates include several different contests that build engagement and get you more contributions.

Promotion: Paid Media

Paid promotion on Facebook is a must to not only reach a whole new network of contributors, but even your followers since Facebook only shows your posts in 2-10% of your followers’ feeds without paid promotion. A carefully laid out plan of how much you are going to spend in paid promotion, and when you are going to spend it, can make a significant impact on achieving your crowdfunding goals. Storyblaster has researched hundreds of thousands of data points through our crowdfunding partners to assess when is best to promote and with what messaging. Better yet, we’ve made One-Click Paid Promotion a feature through our software, so you can just sit back and watch the contributions roll in.

Outreach: Contact Influencers About Your Campaign

One of the best ways to increase the chances of success for your campaign is getting the word out beyond your own network. While it’s certainly a great idea to ask your friends, family, and co-workers to share your campaign, you should also reach out to bloggers, writers, and other influencers who would be interested in what you are doing or selling. This can be anyone who has a platform they can share your idea on—someone like a micro-influencer who has between 1,000 and 10,000 social media followers. So, if you have a new technology product, reach out to bloggers and influencers who write about technology. If you’re raising money for a film about a particular subject, find communities of people who are interested in that subject. They will want to know about what you’re doing and support it if it aligns with their interests. Doing this can help quickly spread your campaign and give it validation. While a crowdfunding agency can help determine which people will be best to reach out to, they can charge hefty fees and keep a percentage of what you raise.

Make Sure You Create Compelling Assets

After you’ve finalized the positioning of your story and determined who your target is as you’ve been building up your audience, it’s time to create your visual assets. These assets can be both videos and images. You should have a full video explaining your story and your campaign idea, but you should also have a shortened version between 15 and 30 seconds that can easily be shared and watched on social media. You can see how many opportunities there are for pieces of content like this in Storyblaster’s crowdfunding templates.

Additionally, you should have multiple images that represent your campaign and brand that can be shared across a variety of social platforms. These assets are going to be crucial in attracting supporters. You can use stock images or videos, and find resources here.

As you can see, there is a lot of work that goes into creating a crowdfunding campaign to make sure it has a high chance of success. So, while you might think a crowdfunding agency can help, Storyblaster’s proven crowdfunding storytelling templates bring you agency-quality social media campaigns at a DIY price. And you keep every penny you raise.

Every success story starts somewhere.

Make sure all the preliminary steps are completed before launching your campaign. When you are looking for help along the way, look no further than our step-by-step template that help you reach, and even exceed, your goal. See how it works from start to finish.