With no shortage of crowdfunding options like Kickstarter and popular cash funding contests like the SMB Challenge, entrepreneurs have more options than ever to earn capital for their business without giving up equity.
But using these tools also means marketing them to your network. Without support in the form of pledges and votes founders may find their efforts go unnoticed.
Here’s our list of ways to get your company crowdfunding page more juice without breaking the bank.
1. Email Marketing
Email may be the most common form of online communication, but it should be one of the first places you go to get the word out about your new crowdfunding endeavor. An engaging subject line with a short description and a clear call to action to your crowdfunding or voting page will generate the best results.
2. Display Ads On Your Digital Properties
Have an existing web property? Blogs, Facebook pages and websites offer opportunities for you to place display ads showcasing your big idea. Provide a clear call to action and link directly to the crowdfunding or voting page. Even email footers can contain valuable links to your crowdfunding or voting page.
3. Pay Per Click Display Ads
Does your product target a niche market? Paying for display ads in social networks, search engines and ad networks can have a big impact on pledges and votes. Be sure you are well versed in digital paid media or risk flushing precious cash down the drain.
4. Give and You Shall Receive
Know other motivated entrepreneurs with crowdfunded projects? Help them out by contributing or sharing information about their crowdfunding endeavor. Know someone who made it big in the crowdfunding game? Ask them to review your crowdfunding or voting page and avoid reinventing the wheel.
5. Don’t Forget Print
Community message boards and networking events offer opportunities to get your idea in front of the right crowd. Replace your business card with a “crowdfunding card” offering a short description and enticing visuals. Link directly to the crowdfunding or voting page and watch the pledges come in.
6. Phone It In
Dust off the Rolodex and start making calls. Friends and family can help garner early support, but don’t be afraid to extend the outreach to close colleagues and old acquaintances. You may find the conversations leads to other opportunities.
7. Informative Press Releases
Covering unique crowdfunding ideas is the latest hobby for tech-savvy reporters. While press releases are no guarantee of coverage, a well-worded press release backed by a truly awesome idea could net major press mentions that lead to big bucks.
8. Event Sponsorships
Meetup.com offers a unique way for entrepreneurs to get involved. Sponsoring and attending events can lead to grassroots participation around your idea. Eventbrite and similar services offer other ways to get in touch with local communities with similar interests. Smaller groups may contain big influencers and often require little (read: snacks and drinks for the event) for the privilege of introducing your idea to the group.
9. Reporter Matching Services
Services like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) allow entrepreneurs to connect directly with reporters looking for subject matter experts. Know a topic like the back of your hand? Pitch your expertise and be recognized.
10. Content Marketing
Your audience may not be aware of how crowdfunding and cash contests for small businesses work. Help them see the big picture by creating compelling blog posts, social network updates and instructional videos about the process. Share these valuable pieces of content to increase the odds your other promotions will make a dent and perhaps help them fund their own ideas.
Did we miss something? Tell us how you funded your big idea. Looking to take these tactics for a spin? Register for the SMB Challenge and get started on the path to funding!