The crowdfunding manifesto is the tool that every entrepreneur should have in their pocket to efficiently raise capital. The manifesto points, in fact, hold the essential know-how for conducting one (or more) successful crowdfunding campaigns.
Crowdfunding = Marketing
A crowdfunding campaign is NOT a financial operation; rather, it is a marketing operation that provides visibility for your project. Doing a crowdfunding campaign is primarily about putting in place marketing and sales processes to find investors to reach a financial goal that is, after all, just a consequence.
Alternatives to the "marketing first" approach
So, is marketing a necessity to raise capital? With crowdfunding, yes. Those unwilling to adopt a "marketing-first" approach for capital raising will need to use other tools: grants, banks, club deals, etc.
Launching a crowdfunding campaign means making a marketing investment to attract capital, so it is not a suitable path for those with zero budget. It is a more efficient marketing campaign than normal promotion activities because it takes place in a terrain where there are no competitors at the same time, and it allows you to offer mechanisms with a deadline. But if you invest nothing, you receive nothing: the greater efficiency of zero is still zero.
There are 8 modes of capital raising enabled by marketing and sales: equity, lending and reward crowdfunding, real estate crowdfunding, IDO (Initial Decentralized Offering), STO (Security Token Offering), SAFE, Crowdlisting.
Focus on customers and potential such
The best investors for a crowdfunding campaign are the customers (or potential customers), because they are already interested in the company or even already in contact with it, as well as more sensitive to the main levers that can be leveraged to lead to investment. Identifying them is easy: they are the target audience you would target to sell your product/service, regardless of the crowdfunding campaign.
Onboarding, Precrowd, Campaign
- Onboarding: preparation of marketing strategies and materials;
- Precrowd: implementation of the sponsorship strategies to gather expressions of interest in the investment;
- Campaign: beginning of the actual capital raising, with the same strategies already implemented in the precrowd phase but with the online page on the platform and the possibility for investors to make the economic transaction.
The importance of expressions of interest
Before opening the campaign, it is important to collect 90 percent of the minimum goal in the form of expressions of interest during the precrowd phase.
Making the rewards exclusive
The reward should not be a trivial discount, but rather a unique and rewarding experience for the investor, able to offer something different than the normal promotions a company may do on a daily basis.
Serial investors do not exist...
… or rather, they exist, but not in sufficient numbers to base the success of a crowdfunding collection on them. Most people, in fact, normally make 1 or at most 2 investments, so they do not invest "at random," but rather in realities they know and have come into contact with: it is the company that has to go out and get investors, the opposite does not happen.
Platforms do not bring investors
Systematizing capital raising
A crowdfunding campaign is not done by chance, improvising and putting something together in your spare time. It is not a marginal activity, but a real line of business of the company, which must therefore devote structured and systematic processes to it.
An onion-style tool
The search for investors must start with the 4Fs of Family, Friends, Fool&Fans and then gradually reach out to people outside one's circle through word of mouth and marketing. This must lead to more crowd campaigns, broadening the reachable contacts to be involved from time to time.
Crowdfunding is not just for specific types of business
Crowdfunding is not only for startups, nor is it only for high-innovation and high-tech companies. Suffice it to say that the most famous case in the world is that of a craft brewery (Brewdog).