Tom Horbye, senior campaign development associate at Seedrs, shares his top tips for a successful equity crowdfunding campaign.
Here are eight easy-to-follow tips to help you devise and launch a successful equity crowdfunding campaign.
1. Make sure you’re ready
To have a successful equity crowdfunding campaign you need to be focused. Plan to run your campaign when you won’t be distracted with other critical projects, from producing prototypes to launching a website.
If there’s a time of the year when you typically have business spikes or you go on holiday, don’t let your campaign coincide with it.
2. Set a realistic investment target
Ask for the amount that you realistically need to reach the next milestone. On most platforms (including Seedrs) it’s ‘all or nothing’, so don’t ask for too much – or too little.
Investors will want to know how you intend to use their money, so share the details of your proposed cost breakdown on your campaign page, making it easy to follow, even for people who aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of your business and industry.
How to optimise pricing when planning for exit
3. Think social
Start building up your social media followers months – if not longer – before you launch your campaign.
Ensure all the platforms you use are fully functioning. You’ll find it a pain if you’re not able to post things easily when you’re busy trying to simultaneously run your campaign and keep your business running smoothly.
Be consistence and schedule messages throughout the equity crowdfunding campaign. You can talk about:
- General business news
- People you hire
- Product and or service improvements
- New lines
- Any positive press coverage you receive
If you already have a good social media following before the campaign goes live, you’ll have nurtured a community who will be interested in investing in your business straightaway. It’s usually much easier to meet your investment target when you’ve already developed a following.
Preparing for exit: Everything tech entrepreneurs need to know
Take every opportunity to connect with your audience. One way to build a community is to speak at conferences that are connected to what your business is involved with. Create a list of the events that your potential investors may attend and go along to as many as you can.
Turn every event you attend as an entrepreneur into a promotional opportunity. Plug your campaign at the end of every speech you give or conversation you have. Consider producing business cards that feature the campaign URL so you can easily hand out the details of where to find out more info.
Ask the people you meet to send you their email address so that you can build up a mailing list, making it easy to send them news of your campaign.
5. Tell the full story
Put a lot of thought into crafting the back story of your business. Is there something unique about how you do things? Does your product or service do something that no-one else offers? If so, highlight it. But, be scrupulously honest and don’t make any exaggerated claims.
Co-innovation: What tech founders need to know about working with corporates
Describe what your business means to you, and in particular, what difference hitting the investment target will mean. Try to put together a clear and accurate piece that will appeal to potential investors and inspire them to invest in you.
Let people see your excitement and passion, then encourage them to be a part of it. Video is a powerful way to communicate this.
6. Create a stunning campaign video
The quality of your equity crowdfunding video is super important because it will need to impress your viewers and turn them into potential investors.
Use the opportunity to quickly outline your business and everything you’ve achieved so far, from setting-up and other important milestones to business growth and the PR you’ve generated.
Don’t forget to highlight the unique selling points, introduce your team and explain your businesss’ potential.
Be concise, though, as you’ll need to cover a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time:
- Product/service demo
- Why you do what you do
- How your business solves a problem
- The size of the market/opportunity
- Why you and your team are best-placed to reap the rewards
- Sum-up the opportunity and how the investor can share in it
7. Create a PR plan
You probably already have a PR plan for your business, but you should map out a press strategy specifically for your equity crowdfunding campaign.
Start with an announcement about your campaign’s launch date – at least a month before it’s due. Cover what you plan to do with the money and the difference it would make. If you’re having a launch party, give the details, along with any news about any live pitches you’ll be giving, and where to find your campaign page.
On top of the list of journalists and publications that you usually approach with press releases, research writers that have covered equity crowdfunding campaigns in your sector.
8. Keep investors up-to-date
Finally, remember to post regular updates to let investors know how your equity crowdfunding campaign is progressing and be sure to tell them when you reach important milestones.
Post a quick video to thank all your investors for all their support to date and encourage your audience to share your updates on your campaign throughout.