Crowdfunding has a lot of advantages, but, as in our case, it can be a rollercoaster ride, peppered with many small stumbling blocks.
This is where we see the advantage of crowdfunding
We decided to bring our idea of an outdoor blanket and thus our small label Eulalia Blankets to life with crowdfunding. Besides the financial aspect there are several reasons that speak for crowdfunding in addition to funding the idea.
OBJECTIVE EVALUATION OF YOUR IDEA Now and then you live in a small bubble in which you are so convinced of your own idea that you won't recognize other opinions. Crowdfunding is also worth its weight in gold, because others evaluate your idea very objectively and support you if they think the idea is great and not just you as a friend or family member.
SOCIAL PROOF As a rule, the supporters of your crowdfunding campaign are also your first customers. This means that you can send your product to your won customers after the campaign, who will provide you with a social proof. This will help you to build trust with your future customers even after the crowdfunding campaign and you will immediately receive feedback on your product.
SUSTAINABLE What actually played a major role for us was the concept of sustainability: we did not want to have any goods manufactured that we did not know whether they would sell or end up in the warehouse as "slow-moving goods".
Despite the good preparation of the Startnext campaign and the financing phase of the crowdfunding, we have some points that we would definitely do differently or better.
#1 Let friends and family know
The most important move is to inform your friends, family and other networks about your idea and the crowdfunding. The people who know you trust you and help you get off to a successful start in the financing phase.
Take your time and tell your friends and family about your idea, explain the principle of crowdfunding to them (many do not know the principle of crowdfunding) and put everyone on an email list or create a WhatsApp group. The more successful the campaign is in the first "minutes" after the start, the more attention and support you will get from Startnext itself. At the beginning of the campaign, remind the Friends & Family group that they can support you from now on by saying thank you buy or share the project with their friends and family. Keep them up to date throughout the campaign.
#2 Educate newspapers and magazines in your area
Use newspapers and magazines that want to write about you and your idea. Offer them an interview with you or send samples to the editorial team. Above all, agree on the date of the article's publication with them. It is best to organize this before the start of the financing phase. We only used this mouthpiece for our label Eulalia Blankets during the ongoing campaign and got another boost by publishing the article.
#3 Instagram, Facebook and your own homepage
Even before the start of the Eulalia Blankets crowdfunding campaign, we created an account on Facebook and Instagram and filled it with "life". We know it all too well from us that we rate a product according to the image on Instagram or the like and on base of this we decide for or against a purchase. It is important that you can collect some followers for yourself and your idea in advance. It's similar with your own homepage. You can prepare your idea well with the image film and the detailed description at Startnext, but you can create your own website according to your ideas and precisely tailored to your product.
Another tip here: use the reach of friends and acquaintances on Instagram. Talk to them and find a way to advance your crowdfunding together.
#4 Do not limit "thank you"
For supporting your idea, you offer "thank you" Packages on your project page. We had limited early birds for two of our Eulalia outdoor rugs, which sold out pretty quickly. In retrospect, we heard from several quarters, "We would have liked to support you with Startnext, but your Eulalias were already sold out!". Therefore our tip, do not limit or hide thank-you gifts if they are sold out.
Looking back on the start with our small label Eulalia Blankets, Dennis and I agree: we would go back to crowdfunding for the realization of our Eulalia blankets.