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The right mental approach can make or break any endeavor. If you’re attending the wedding of your wife’s (annoying) cousin, and you go in grumbling, you definitely won’t have fun. But if you’re determined to enjoy yourself, you’ll make the most of that open bar and cheesy music and have a wonderful night out with the love of your life. It’s all about your attitude.
Crowdfunding is no exception to this rule. It can provide a plethora of benefits, but only if you approach it with the right mindset.
To fix a bad attitude, you first have to believe in crowdfunding as a viable solution to your financial obstacles.
Crowdfunding sets you up for success without having to woo investors or risk your personal finances. And you enjoy greater creative leeway as you bypass the exhausting act of jumping through hoops for professional investors.
You also engage your audience while getting the word out about your project fast. And as you personally interact with potential buyers, you can get instant feedback to help refine your goals. Even with all these benefits, a crippling hang-up still leads entrepreneurs to choose traditional approaches for raising funds: pride.
Entrepreneurs naturally have independent spirits and take great pride in their work. They’re self-sufficient and motivated. These are wonderful traits — unless that pride prevents you from reaching out to others for help. And let’s be honest, you can’t always do it alone.
Other mindset flaws include timidness or a lack of direction. If you’re insecure about how to start a campaign, you’ll have results just as weak as when you’re too prideful. The key to attaining the perfect mindset is to be a conqueror.
Conquering Your Fears
Successful crowdfunding is all about being fearless and confident — but not prideful. Identify your hesitations and negative thoughts, and combat them head-on. The perfect mindset that you’re fighting for is one of determination, passion, and aggression.
- Determination: Like any entrepreneurial venture, crowdfunding is hard work. You need a healthy amount of determination so you aren’t discouraged if your campaign doesn’t immediately take off like you expected.
- Passion: Passion is contagious and absolutely necessary when promoting a project that’s still in the idea phase. You have to inspire and motivate people to support you without showing them a physical product. Many supporters are drawn to a project because the creator believes in it wholeheartedly.
- Aggression: Being aggressive means being proactive. It’s the campaign creator’s job to reach out and ask people for support. Initially, while your campaign is still gaining momentum, no one will support your project without being asked.
Turning the Perfect Mindset Into a Successful Campaign
Once you’ve mentally prepared yourself to tackle a campaign, bring that fearless attitude with you as you take these steps to develop solid strategies:
1. Do your research. Investigate your product, similar products, and successful campaigns that inspire you. Figure out what you like and don’t like. Do research, read articles, talk to people, go to meet-ups — just get out there and network. Study past campaigns that were similar to yours. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those campaign creators and ask for advice. Most people want to use their knowledge to help others.
2. Make a plan. But don’t rush into this. There are many pre-campaign tactics that can improve your chances of success:
Reach out to bloggers and other influencers. See if they’ll support you. These bloggers already have a dedicated audience that might be interested in what you’ve got.
Choose your funding goal. Be realistic and make sure it’s attainable. Look at other people’s goals. You want to be able to make 100 percent of your goal and then some.
Make a calendar. Plan outreach, social media posts, emails, and newsletter blasts. Better organization means better chances for success.
3. Assemble a crew. Get a few friends or family members to be your “wingmen.” Think of people whose opinions you value, but don’t make them your therapists. Take their opinions for what they are, but always focus on your goals.
The day your campaign goes live, make sure you have a few people you can personally reach out to who will serve as your first supporters. It’s crucial that you don’t announce the launch to your entire network while the campaign is still at zero. People are more likely to give to a campaign that has momentum.
4. Engage your supporters. Throughout the campaign, send email updates on fun milestones and thank each one personally. Encourage your supporters to share your campaign with friends and family. If they believe in what you’re doing enough to contribute, they can convince others to believe in it, too. Word-of-mouth marketing is key, and a little push never hurt.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of crowdfunding, preparation is vital. Success or failure often comes from a self-fulfilling prophecy. So push aside any stubbornness or hesitation about asking for support, fearlessly utilize the audience you hope to reach, and do some positive prophesying.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs trying crowdfunding for the first time?