The days flew by, the money poured in, and before you knew it, your project was successfully crowdfunded. As the celebrations begin and you start to imagine things on a larger scale than ever before, reality begins to set in.
The hard work is just about to begin.
Now more than ever, crowdfunding or equity crowdfunding campaigns have begun to go viral, with some project creators raising 10 times more than they had anticipated. While this seems like a great scenario, metrics are very precarious with new businesses. If a company is prepared to create 1,000 units of their product, and they receive 10,000 orders, they may not have the production means to keep up with such demand.
Huge delays and frustrated consumers might lower their brand value in the public’s eyes, and what seemed like an incredible stroke of luck could end up hurting that business.
In order to help organize yourself and deliver on the promises you made to pledgers, follow these steps to end your campaign on a positive note.
As we always tell our project creators on RockThePost, it’s important to inform every single person who pledged to your project that you were successfully funded. Everyone involved helped you reach this point, from the strangers who gave $1 to those generous family members who funded half your campaign. Send a thank you email expressing your appreciation for their donation and outline your next steps. Then start spreading the word through social media. Just because your crowdfunding campaign is over doesn’t mean those contributors will lose interest in you or your brand.
Once you have informed everyone of your success, they will typically start expecting their promised rewards immediately. Consumers are still adjusting to the concept of crowdfunding, and in this age of instant technology and gratification, most people are not too fond of waiting. If you listed a specific delivery date, it’s imperative to stick to that. With campaigns that tripled the amount of orders expected, its natural to experience production and shipping delays, just make sure to be upfront with your followers.
Update your campaign page and send email alerts with the situation and an apology. Assure everyone that the delays are necessary to ensure quality control and that you are doing everything in your power to expedite the process. Transparency is really key to have. Following through on your rewards will not only establish your credibility, but will offer another way to keep your consumers engaged. Include a note with your package hinting to the exciting changes ahead. Chances are, if they are happy with their product they’ll keep checking back for more.
For businesses of any size, credibility is crucial to keeping your customers coming back. Once you receive your funding, it might be tempting to use that money for a host of other problems in your company, but stick to your promises. You listed out a number of reasons you needed those funds, and you should do just that. Going back on your word would be ethically wrong and might drive consumers away. Keep your company credible from the beginning, and you’ll develop a loyal fan base, that will keep supporting future projects.
As the orders are eventually distributed, and your crowdfunding experience feels like it is finally coming to a close, it’s a good idea to try and keep the conversation going. Just because you achieved this goal doesn’t mean you should stop reaching.
You should have received an email list of all of the backers who thought your project was awesome enough to give money towards, and you should utilize this. Keep updating them on your brand, invite them to answer polls or submit suggestions for future products. Building up a strong user base will help transition your company into a stronger future, and can only benefit.
Completing a successful crowdfunding campaign is a huge accomplishment, and if you stay on track, you should be able to leverage that success into further growth. Don’t forget where you came from; always show appreciation for the people who helped you along the way, and aim to build an honest and ethical business.