Crowdfunding with Raimonda Jan

Raimonda Jankunaite Sunday, 30 December 2018

I've heard that many of you have thought about Crowdfunding your ideas. So following our Masterclass video number 5 (above), we're delighted that Raimonda Jankunaite hosted a live Q&A to dive a bit deeper into the topic and answer all of your burning questions!

Did you know that fashion campaigns have the lowest crowdfunding success rate? In fact, just 29% of the garment projects listed on Kickstarter to date have been successfully funded! Well, not if I can help it!

Our Masterclass expert on crowdfunding, Raimonda Jankunaite, will be imparting all of her incredible insight and knowledge when it comes to running a successful crowdfunding campaign. From understanding the different types of funding, to choosing the right platform for your business, to the secrets of a successful campaign, Raimonda will cover all we need to know about crowdfunding. And you can ask her all your burning questions in a live Q&A at the end. If you’re feeling intimidated, or you don’t know where to start, Raimonda is here to help.

Los Angeles
Sunday Dec 30th, 2018 - 10:00am
London
Sunday Dec 30th, 2018 - 18:00pm
Kolkata
Sunday Dec 30th, 2018 - 23:30pm
Sydney
Monday Dec 31st, 2018 - 05:00am


Key Takeaways

Why crowdfund?

Validate, raise awareness, sell before you make, low risk, feedback, new audience.

Two types of crowdfunding:

Equity - when you give away a percentage of your business. Usually for businesses who are already generating a lot of revenue - it requires a lot of paperwork. Not for early stage startups

Peer-to-Peer

VS.

Rewards & Donations - don’t need to give up equity, although you are expected to give them rewards

What can you crowdfund?

  • Film
  • Fashion
  • Arts / creative
  • Sustainable
  • Ethical / eco
  • Music / Events
  • Product
  • Technology
  • Design
  • Innovation
  • Games

How do you validate your idea?

It’s important to research: what are you creating. Is there a need? Is there a problem that you are solving for someone. Join groups that are in your area of expertise where you know they’d be interested, engaging in conversations, using Quora, to see what people are talking about in your area.

Do you have a story: Is there a story behind what you’re doing. Is it inspiring? Will someone get behind your idea. Stories are one of the best tactics for crowdfunding campaigns.

Unsure? Head to a different crowdfunding website - has what you are going been done before Select five to eight campaigns that are similar to yours. Compare them. How much money have they raised. What were they offering? How did they present it? You will learn a lot from doing this exercise. It’s very important that you do a little bit of research in this area.

What do you need to succeed?

Strategy & Plan

Planning starts with: how much money are you looking to raise. Lots of people haven’t properly figured out “how much money do I need?” Budget and plan ahead. How much do you need to produce it and ship it, build your website, build a business. Think about WHY you are crowdfunding - and think about it all.

Launch plan: Who are you targeting? How will you get the word out. Some journalists need two months notice!

Early Backers: There is a misconception - "if I put up my project, someone will back it". The truth is you need to do your own work behind the scenes. If you see a successful campaign, it’s because someone has put in a lot of work behind the scenes. Campaigns work on algorithms. The more successful your campaign is, the more likely it is to be shown to more people. Once you launch, it’s important to have 20 - 30% of your goal already reached. Set yourself a lower goal for your campaign so you can reach it easily. Aim to overfund.

Rewards: Put yourself in the mindset of the backer, the person who would buy. Why would they support you over someone else??

Your story
Yourself - has the person connected with you
Great rewards. Price in a way that’s attractive.

Video: Try not to overthink it. Shoot it yourself. Campaigns that don’t have videos are more likely not to do well. It doesn’t have to be long. It could be 1 minute - 90 seconds. Don’t do one more than 3 minutes. Short and sweet. Have a call to action. Show your passion. Make people want to connect with you.

Build a community: the stronger community you have before you launch, the better.

Pre-Launch

You must build anticipation and excitement.

Start as early as two to three months in advance. Let people know you’re about to launch something exciting.

Your perseverance and input is the most important ingredient!

Why Does It Fail?

No plan or know-how
No action
No audience
No momentum
No video

Your Strategy

Pick a platform: Choose one that’s in your area of expertise.
Kickstarter works on a fixed funding model: if you don’t reach your goal you receive nothing.
Indiegogo have flexible funding: you keep whatever you raise.
The benefits of a fixed campaign - you have to reach the goal. Backers will feel motivated to help you. You also won’t feel motivated to reach your target on a fixed funding platform.

Set yourself goals: it doesn’t have to be monetary. Raising more awareness. Count your followers and email list. Have an idea of your followers before you start and track the increase. What is your goal? Divide the goal between the amount of days you’ll run your campaign - so you know how many you

How long is a campaign? A sweet spot is 30 - 40 days. It’s an intensive process so you want to have a cutoff period. You need to be strategic and focused on it.

Your Story: get creative. Don't be boring!

Once you launch: share your journey as you go.

  • Keep momentum
  • Build anticipation
  • Ask people to share

Time is of the essence - you only have a small window, so make that known! Some people may not know how crowdfunding works.

The product that you’re crowdfunding has to be totally unique and not yet available. If they can buy it from you directly, there’s absolutely no incentive to buy!

Before you launch

Start preparing early: give yourself a good two - three months. Reach out to journalists, bloggers and influencers.
Build momentum
Generate your email list
Grow your following
Ask for help

What are the best rewards for fashion businesses?

The types of rewards should be the unique products you are making - include different priced products and bundle products together. You could even do a full makeover for a premium price.

Also offer service based incentives, or experiences - like a styling session, a workshop, a visit to the studio, meet the Founder - people are excited to get to know you!

What should you do if you haven’t hit your target?

You must get in touch with your backers and the people who supported you once the campaign closes and contact them to say, "Thank you for your support, encouragement and being part of this journey". If you have not been successful in your business, you may still have a customer - so engage with them and be lovely.

Which platform would you recommend for fashion businesses

Either use a local-based platform or Indiegogo. There are some smaller more focused platforms. Indiegogo doesn't require so much pre-approval.

What are your thoughts on creating your own crowdfunding platform, so you keep the majority of the funds raised

Why not! If you have the technical knowledge, then go for it. The things you lose out on is the potential ecosystem of an existing platform - there is a lot of support that can be offered to crowdfunding businesses, such as events, where there will be a new audience to reach.

What are some tips for getting your crowdfunding campaign noticed by the press before you launch?

It doesn't just have to be about the crowdfunding campaign. In fact, it should be about your business - what makes it unique. Build a relationship with bloggers and journalists before the event. Make sure you send the press release in good time. Make sure it's the area that they are interested in. Have a really interesting press release with as much material as possible and images. Prepare as much work for them as possible.

Any tips of different ways to get attention?

Host a live event. A follow up meet and greet. A launch event, that you can also stream live.

People are naturally curious - try and gamify the experience.

Is there anything else we should be doing after the funds have been raised to maximise on it?

Keep your audience updated on social media and emails. If you've promised your rewards, give them the personally touch - handwrite a note, add a little message.