21 Reasons to Crowdfund in 2021
Happy New Year and welcome to 2021. If you made it through 2020 in ‘one’ piece, crowdfunding might not immediately be at the top of your list of things to do. But if you need capital to launch your product, brand, service, or organization, crowdfunding might be exactly where you want to start in 2021. In this post, I will give you 21 reasons you should consider investing your time in crowdfunding this year. I’m confident that as you read through this list you will see the great benefits to your idea and the eventual business that might emerge from your campaign.
And since I know you’re ready to crush it – whatever “it” is for you, I’ll get right to the point. Without further ado:
1. To raise the needed capital to fund your dream
Number one on the list is a no-brainer. If you need funding for a legitimate idea or venture, then maybe you should add crowdfunding to your 2021 to-do list. Lack of capital is usually the top reason why most ventures, ideas, or independent creative projects never get off the ground. If you need money, then keep reading because I have a hunch you will find other things on this list that resonates with your goals.
2. To create buzz & excitement
Let’s face it, it’s noisy out here on these digital streets. It is hard to get people’s attention but people tend to pay attention to messages, products, and services that are tailored to their specific interests and needs. A crowdfunding campaign can be the perfect medium to create that buzz around your new venture.
3. To find your tribe
One of my favorite quotes is by Earl Nightingale, who said “everything in the world we want to do or get done, we must do it with or through people.” I think the quote speaks for itself. If you want to launch a campaign or a business or anything else you need people – and a lot of them. If you want to know if your idea is good you need a group of people to buy-in to the idea. This is your tribe or community, or audience, depending on which word resonates with you the most. Crowdfunding is one of the fastest ways to start finding and attracting your tribe.
4. To monetize your idea
You have an awesome idea, check. An idea that can help people, check. An idea that has a unique spin on something that is well-known to the world, check. Your idea solves a future customer’s pain point, check, check, check. Once again, you need “buy-in” for your idea. You will never make money from an idea unless people are willing to use it. Crowdfunding is an inexpensive way to test if the idea can be monetized – or in other words, will people give you their hard-earned money because they buy-into your idea.
5. To validate the idea you have before investing more time and money
I might sound like a broken record at this point, but all ideas need validation. If people aren’t interested and don’t want what you have or don’t even know what you have to offer, then you don’t have a valid idea yet. But if you present that idea to people and they give you money for it, you’ve validated your idea. Crowdfunding expands on the idea of validation in that it allows actual customers (in the form of backers) to not only support your idea but also offer feedback on the idea. Sometimes an idea may not resonate with an audience, not because it isn’t awesome, but because it needs a few tweaks here and there. It’s hard to get that feedback without first having customers who will share it.
6. To help you develop deeper insights into your market
It can be hard to figure everything out about a particular market before you start really trying to grow and access the customers in that space. With all of the research and trial and error you’ll likely tackle during the crowdfunding process, you will develop deeper insights that you just can’t get without the “doing” part.
7. To quickly build brand awareness
This is one of the fastest ways to help people find out about your new venture. When people support you during crowdfunding they have a deeper sense of connection with your brand and story. I speak from experience as a backer of dozens of creative projects. When I support a campaign creator, I am much more likely to continue to follow them and possibly support their next venture. That is of course if the creator is building a brand that I am inspired by.
8. To increase your social media presence and following
With all of the required marketing and engagement you should do during the crowdfunding campaign, you’re likely to win a few fans and followers. Of course, you will need to invest time and effort into organic social media engagement to attract the right audience.
9. For future opportunities to collaborate with other brands
This is something I can’t guarantee but I’ve seen it happen. Once you start to create buzz and social proof you may find partners in related industries that might be interested in collaborating. You can also reach out to potential partners and try to engage them and get them on-board to help spread your message before and during the crowdfunding launch.
10. To build massive social proof
Running a successful crowdfunding campaign can help build massive social proof for your new venture. If the campaign reaches its financial goal, that is great! But what is even better is if the campaign gets hundreds of backers – that creates massive social proof for your venture and has a lasting benefit for the brand. Think of sites like Yelp or Trip Advisor that thrive on social proof and have become part of our daily lives. Those sites are successful because people rely on the experiences and opinions of others.
11. To build massive credibility for later fundraising via venture capital
Credibility is built in part by social proof – there is no doubt about that. But credibility speaks more to the brand promise and helps to develop brand trust. During the crowdfunding journey, creators can start to lay the foundation of brand credibility by being consistent, delivering on the campaign promises, being transparent, and much more. During this time, creators have an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in their given field, which also builds credibility.
12. To learn how to market your ideas
Honestly, the “M” word can be a scary and intimidating word when you need to launch something new, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. But the truth is, a huge part of crowdfunding is marketing. If you aren’t savvy at marketing that is OK. But there really is no time like the present to start learning. If you are thinking about crowdfunding or launching something in the near future, you will have to digest the notion of marketing and come up with a marketing strategy.
13. To learn how to pitch to a large audience
Woah! Just hear me out before you run screaming at the thought of pitching or speaking to a large audience. I get it, the thought would make the most confident person a little nervous. The first time I decided to crowdfund I had no idea what I was doing. And at first, the thought of how many people I would pitch to one-on-one didn’t really hit me, let alone the fact that I was really pitching to hundreds of people via my campaign page. Before the campaign was live; however, I practiced the pitch one-to-one and got a few dozen people on-board to support it. And voilá, all of a sudden, the more I pitched, the easier it became. And I actually like it now!
14. To tackle your fear of showing up
Most of the clients I work with share this fear. They are wary of really putting themselves out there. Maybe it is because they fear judgment or don’t think they have much to say, but I assure you that your audience needs to hear from you and by showing up consistently over time you will quickly tackle this fear. Showing up on social media and putting your message out there CONSISTENTLY, especially before and during your crowdfunding campaign could be the difference between a failed or successful campaign.
15. You have a story to tell
The best brands tell a story to connect with their audience. You may not have an established brand just yet and your audience may still be growing, but storytelling can still be used in your overall brand and marketing strategy. Crowdfunding lends itself very well to telling the developing brand story and, in my opinion, the crowdfunding campaign eventually becomes part of the story and the overall evolution of that brand regardless of the outcome of that single campaign.
16. To give people a chance to be part of your movement
People WANT to be a part of the good you’re bringing to the world. Whether that is in the form of charity, entertainment, solutions, services, social good, or technology. There is a crowd out there for every idea, venture, product, or service. The thing is, people can’t join you until you create and put it out there for them to find. Crowdfunding is the perfect medium for the “first launch” and finding your first crowd and first fans.
17. You’re ready to be a serious entrepreneur and be taken seriously
You’re ready to be a serious entrepreneur, business owner, independent creator, or whatever title resonates with you most. And you want to be taken seriously. It’s tough getting into business and sometimes the people closest to us are the ones who take the most convincing that we are serious about our goals. A crowdfunding campaign can help quiet the doubters and turn them into supporters.
18. The crowdfunding pie is big and you need to claim a slice
The crowdfunding pie is HUGE – you should help yourself to a slice! Let’s talk about this for a moment. I often get the question, “Is crowdfunding really a thing?” So I wanted to address this topic – Yes, it’s really a thing – a very lucrative thing! So much so that in 2019 the crowdfunding Industry in North America alone was at $17.2 billion*. That number is expected steadily to increase and I suspect in this first quarter of the year, we’ll see how much the industry grew in 2020, or at the very least held steady.
19. You have an idea
So you’ve been ruminating on an idea for a long time and it’s now or never. You’ve likely heard similar advice to this, but just in case you needed a little nudge, here it is:
It’s time to build *self-confidence* in your idea by doing. There is no time like the present to get to work on sharing that idea and crowdfunding is an avenue to do that.
20. You need debt-free funding
SERIOUSLY, who doesn’t WANT or NEED debt-free funding? As awesome as I know your idea is, it will be a load off your mind to not have to risk your personal savings or try to secure a loan from a bank to get your dream idea off the ground. Just keep in mind that debt-free doesn’t equal, “responsibility-free.”
21. You want to preserve your company and vision
You want to bring your product, service, idea, or venture, to people without giving up equity in your company or compromising on your vision. You have complete authority over your venture and while it is a good idea to listen to your audience about their wants and needs, you are still ultimately in control. A reward-based crowdfunding campaign can help you satisfy this objective without giving up control of your company (if you aren’t ready for that yet).