Eric Boudreau, the owner of Escape Capers YYC, turned to crowdfunding to supplement his traditional sources of funding for his business. What he discovered was that launching a successful crowdfunding campaign does take a lot of work!(Never heard of an escape room? Check out escapecapers.ca to see what the fuss is all about.)
Here are some of his thoughts:
First off, why crowdfund?
“For me it was a great way to do the pre sale, and kind of get some early excitement building.”
Launching a crowdfunding campaign can be a great way to start generating some early excitement surrounding your business. People who see the campaign and get invested early in your idea might even go as far as to pre order new items or tickets. You also get the benefit of potentially reaching their personal networks as well. Whatever the product or service is, getting the word out early never hurts!
How important are the rewards you offer the crowd?
“I wanted to give people a deal so they feel like they’re getting special treatment for supporting me, and then a better deal the more tickets they buy or the more they donate.”
Potential donors should see the value in your rewards. First decide what your reward is going to be based around- will it be tickets, events, swag? What would your target donor value? Second, remember not all levels of donation will have the same target donor! Really pay attention to your big sponsorship level donation goals. Create a reward that a potential big sponsor, such as a corporate donor, would see value in. This will most often be different than what individual donors will value most.
What advice would you give about setting an achievable campaign goal?
“Leave yourself a little breathing room. If you think you can raise $10 000, maybe just aim for $8 000 because you don’t want to come up short.”
With how fixed crowdfunding platforms such as Alberta BoostR or Kickstarter are set up, you only get your funds if the goal is met or surpassed. And just because you set your goal for $8 000, it doesn’t mean you won’t still reach $10 000. This is because when the crowd gets excited- projects can really take off. Eric’s campaign met its target, and then exceeded it by 10%!
How do you get the word out about your campaign?
“Ask your closest friends and family to donate and to share.”
Anyone you think might be interested, ask them to check out your campaign and share it amongst their own network. The more people that you can ensure see it, the more likely you’ll reach your funding goal. And don’t be afraid to approach someone multiple times. If they were interested, follow up with them!
It’s a lot of work to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign. But for people like Eric, the doers, the thinkers, the makers, and believers, it can be done! Just do your homework, step up to the plate, and knock it out of the park. Check out what other business’s are showcasing their ideas, or launch a campaign of your own at albertaboostr.ca.