Equity crowdfunding has gained a lot of traction and attention over the years. Our prediction: Equity crowdfunding will become more popular than venture capital (€47 billion in 2015) and angel investing (€23.5 billion) by 2017.
Based on this, we have compiled a list of 10 best crowdfunding practices for entrepreneurs. The following 10 tips will optimise your campaign for success on MyMicroInvest.
1. Create a Community Before Going Live
Most companies that have successfully raised funds on our platform didn’t start from scratch.
Grabbing the interest of your crowd weeks or even months in advance will make all the difference as your campaign goes live. The momentum that is created at the outset is crucial for the success of your campaign.
2. Engage Your Network of FFF
Your first fallback should be your friends, family and fans (FFF).
These early investors will serve as valuable social proof towards potential investors who need to know that people believe in your project. This is key to building a community around your business.
3. Think Sales & Marketing
Next, start a conversation online and leverage that momentum to attract investors.
After launching your campaign on our platform, you will get a certain amount of organic exposure. But you should also make use of other tools, like PR, social media, blogging, email and paid advertising (to name a few). Since there is so much going on social media, it’s crucial you remain active both during and after your campaign.
4. Launch at the Appropriate Time
If your project is only at the idea stage, it’s best to hold off applying on our platform.
Why? Investing carries risks, so investors want to be absolutely certain that your business has a solid foundation. For this reason, having a business plan complete with financial projections is a prerequisite on MyMicroInvest. Potential investors need to know what they stand to gain (as opposed to what they could lose), so we only select and work with the most attractive companies who can offer the best potential for high returns, portfolio diversification and market validation.
5. Put Yourself in Your Investors’ Shoes
What will your investors get in return for backing your project?
When it comes to equity crowdfunding, investors have one question in mind: "What’s in it for me?" Investors want to know what equity percentage is offered, when your business will be sold, and what their potential returns will be. Your company’s financial statements can serve as a guideline for investors to know what to expect. They need to assess how much they are willing to spend, so the more detail you can provide, the better.
6. Have a Compelling Story
Crowdfunding on MyMicroInvest is to a large extent about selling yourself to the right audience at the right moment.
Your pitch should captivate funders and grab their attention right away. You’re competing for people’s attention, so it’s important to create a compelling story to stand out. In your video to potential investors, talk about yourself, your company and the positive impact it’s having, in two minutes or less, and in English. Highlight key aspects and keep viewers engaged with surprising, yet truthful statements.
Bottom line: give investors both logical and emotional reasons to invest in your project.
7. Rely on Experts
Equity crowdfunding is a long-term strategy rather that a quick solution for instant funds.
As an entrepreneur, you should always stick to your core business. Get your marketing, finances and accounting sorted before, during and after your crowdfunding round. If you want funding to get you through year 1 of a five-year plan, you could outsource these activities to professionals. It increases the viability of your revenue model and adds a layer of quality to your product and company towards investors.
8. Credibility, Credibility, Credibility
Credibility can act as a powerful leverage that will retain investors’ interest.
Whether your company has been successful in the past, whether you’re working with a kick-ass team or whether you’ve already scored big tickets – these are things investors should know, so make sure they know. The more credibility you can establish upfront, the more you can build trust and rapport with investors on our platform and even beyond. This, in turn, will greatly increase your chances of getting funded.
9. Be Authentic
Potential investors want to know the people behind the product.
Interact with your community of investors through the dedicated Q&A section on your investor profile. When answering questions, give honest, open, professional feedback about your project. Investors are human too: they want to know they’re talking to people, not robots.
10. Be Realistic About the Money
Don’t pull a number out of thin air.
You should know where you will be in one, two, and five years’ time. You need to be able to say how much you believe your venture will be worth at the next stage, and how much capital you realistically need to get there. Figure out what you really need, and then ask for it. If it’s 50k, ask for 50k. If it’s more, ask for more. But whatever you do, don’t set unrealistic goals.
That's it! You're now primed to launch your campaign on our platform! Apply these 10 tips and you’ll be one step ahead of the competition and greatly increase your chances of reaching your funding goals.
Is your startup or scale-up in need of funding?