If you are applying to raise or already getting ready for your campaign, to help you to get off to the best possible start with your equity-crowdfunding campaign, here are eight of our easy-to-follow top tips for success:
Make sure you’re ready for an equity-crowdfunding campaign
To have a successful equity crowdfunding campaign you need to be focused. Plan to run your campaign when you won’t be distracted with other critical projects like producing prototypes or launching a website. If there’s a time of the year when you typically have business spikes or you go on holiday, don’t let your campaign co-inside with it.
Set a realistic investment target
Ask for the amount that you realistically need to reach the next milestone. On most platforms (including Seedrs) it’s ‘all or nothing’, so don’t ask for too much – or too little.
Investors will want to know how you intend to use their money, so share the details of your proposed cost breakdown on your campaign page, making it easy to follow, even for people who aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of your business and industry. This will make it simple for everyone to fully understand why you need the money.
Put together a social media strategy
Start building up your social media followers months – if not longer – before you’re planning to launch your raise.
Check that all the accounts that you use are all fully functioning. You’ll find it a pain if you’re not able to post things easily when you’re busy trying to simultaneously run your campaign and keep your business running smoothly.
Try to keep the messages going out all the way through your equity crowdfunding raise. Talk about:
- General business news.
- People you hire.
- Product/service improvements.
- New lines.
- Any positive press coverage you receive.
If you already have a good social media following before the campaign’s live, you’ll have nurtured a community who will be interested in investing in your business straightaway. It’s usually much easier to meet your investment target when you’ve already developed a following.
Events are a chance for personal contact
Take every opportunity to connect with your audience. One way to build community is to speak at conferences that are connected to what your business is involved with. Create a list of the events that your potential investors may attend and go along to as many as you can.
Turn every event you attend as an entrepreneur into a promotional opportunity. After all, with equity crowdfunding, everyone is a potential investor. Plug your campaign at the end of every speech you give or conversation you have. Consider producing business cards that feature the campaign URL so you can easily hand out the details of where to find out more info. Ask the people you meet to send you their email address so that you can build up a mailing list, making it easy to send them news of your campaign.
Tell the full story
Put a lot of thought into crafting the back story of your business. Is there something unique about how you do things or does your product or service do something that no-one else offers? If so, highlight it. But, be scrupulously honest and don’t make any exaggerated claims.
Describe what your business means to you, and in particular, what difference hitting the investment target will mean. Try to put together a clear and accurate piece that will appeal to potential investors and inspire them to invest in you.
Let people see your excitement and passion, then encourage them to be a part of it. Video is a powerful way to communicate this.
Create a stunning campaign video
Can you produce an excellent video for your campaign? If not, perhaps it’s worth putting out a request for help to your community.
The quality of your equity crowdfunding video is super important to the outcome of your funding. It needs to impress your viewers and turn them into investors. Use it to quickly outline your business and everything you’ve achieved so far, from setting-up and other important milestones to business growth and the PR you’ve generated. Highlight the unique selling points. Introduce your team. Explain the potential.
You need to cover a lot of ground in a short time:
- Product/service demo.
- Why you do what you do.
- How your business solves a problem.
- The size of the market/opportunity.
- Why you and your team are best placed to reap the rewards.
- Sum-up the opportunity and how the investor can share in it.
So, in a video that’s ideally three to four minutes long, you need to feature all the above and try to demonstrate your creativity and winning personality. No pressure then(!).
Before making your video, take a look at some of those currently featured on the Seedrs platform and check out this post that focuses on creating the perfect pitch video – look out for some classic examples.
Create a PR plan
You probably already have a PR plan for your business, but you should map out a press strategy specifically for your equity crowdfunding campaign.
Start with an announcement about your campaign’s launch date – at least a month before it’s due. Cover what you plan to do with the money and the difference it would make. If you’re having a launch party, give the details, along with any news about live pitches you’ll be giving, and where to find your campaign page.
On top of the list of journalists and publications that you usually approach with press releases, research writers that have covered equity crowdfunding campaigns in your area/sector. Remember to feature any articles and mentions in the press that you get about your campaign in your chosen social media channels.
Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the world of PR and how it works, we’ve gathered some useful resources together for you. Emma Featherstone, from The Guardian Small Business Network has shared her advice on how to successfully pitch your company to journalists. Watch her video to find out the top tips on outreach and finding your company story.
Keep investors up to date
Regularly let investors know how your equity-crowdfunding campaign is progressing. Be sure to tell them when you reach important milestones.
Post a quick video to thank all your investors for all their support so far. And, all the way through, encourage your audience to share your updates on your campaign.