Launching a successful equity crowdfunding campaign isn’t nearly as simple as posting your page, tweeting about it, and then watching the cash roll in. Equity crowdfunding is competitive, and founders need to be diligent and mindful about drawing in their own investors. In this week’s edition of the Arora Blog, we’re telling you how.
It’s an undeniable fact that most ventures (but certainly not all) will lose steam mid-campaign. In fact, on average, 42% of funds are raised on the first and last three days of a campaign. That’s a BIG gap in the middle, and one that has the potential to derail an entire campaign—but maybe not for the reason you’re thinking.
All the way back in 2017, North Carolina State University published a study which definitively proved something totally counterintuitive to everything the crowdfunding industry thought it knew.
Ready for it?
The number of backers a campaign has is more important to the overall success of the venture than the amount of money raised.
That statistic is nearly 5 years old, but it still tracks today. Making sure your crowdfunding venture actually has a crowd behind it is one of the most important things you can do to supercharge your raise. This goes double if your campaign has fallen into the same mid-campaign slump as the majority of other campaigns, and time is of the essence.
But of course building the crowd is easier said than done! That’s why we’re here to give you some of our best advice on gaining backers and smashing your campaign goals.
Arora Advice #1: Draw Maximum Attention to Your Campaign
This advice is going to look different for every campaign. For some, drawing attention means showing off a flashy or groundbreaking product. For others, it’s calling attention to their investable traction, such as early profitability or a celebrity endorsement. And for still others, being attention-worthy simply means calling attention to a greater issue that they’re aiming to fix, and making sure people understand the depth of the issue.
So here’s our advice: find your hook, and exploit it in creative ways. Even the most traditionally “unexciting” ideas can be attention grabbing if you play the right cards.
Try an optimized ads campaign with attention-grabbing graphics. Already running a static ads campaign? Try video ads. Video ads not converting? Try a different platform (ex. switching from Facebook to Instagram to TikTok).
You can also compile an email list and send a 3-email-minimum investing flow filled with investor value propositions. Make sure your email copy is benefit-driven and truly communicates the potential your startup has.
Investors love ingenuity—make sure that’s what you’re bringing to the table.
Arora Advice #2: Flex Your Social Capital
Look, we understand that no one likes to ask for money. But particularly in the equity crowdfunding industry, a high investor count will lend legitimacy to your campaign that you can’t afford to ignore.
Statistically speaking, your direct network will make up around 1/3rd of total investments on your campaign. But since it’s absolutely essential to the success of your raise, “flexing your social capital” shouldn’t end with your direct network—you need to cast a much wider net.
After making an airtight business plan that shows your financials, noteworthy milestones, and company metrics—show it off! Don’t be afraid of rejection. Ask for input, and if people tell you they’re not interested in investing, ask them why. The insights you can get from your extended network pre-launch are absolutely invaluable.
If people in your extended network do say they would invest in your venture, make sure to still pay attention to why—and then use that to appeal to even more investors.
Arora Advice #3: Take Advantage of Low-Cost, High-Impact Resources
The world is filled to the brim with ways to promote your equity crowdfunding raise that don’t have to cost you a fortune. Many of them are even free! Here are just a few of our favorites:
1.) Optimize your company’s website with a banner or landing page
You probably already have steady traffic to your business website. Many of your regular or potential customers may want to invest in your success, but aren’t aware of your campaign. A call to action (CTA) banner or popup adds urgency and drives traffic and investment.
In addition, creating a dedicated investment tab naturally encourages visitors to learn more about the opportunity and invest. This also serves the double purpose of acting as a landing page for you to link to from social media before your campaign goes live.
2.) Add your campaign link to your email signature
Think of all the emails you send in a day. Now think of how you can potentially market your campaign to each of your recipients without having to actually pitch your campaign to them. Adding your unique campaign link to your signature in Gmail gives recipients a reminder and an easy way to visit your campaign page.
3.) Post on reddit boards and/or host an AMA
Reddit.com, the “front page of the internet” is one of the most popular websites in the world. Promoting your campaign on reddit can drive significant traffic and funding.
- Before you do, find out if redditors are already talking about you by searching for your campaign title and URL in reddit.
- If your product or service solves a problem for a particular community, find that community on reddit.
- Take the time to read each community’s rules so you can share your campaign without spamming. Some communities accept campaign submissions and some do not.
- Host an AMA for people in the community your product is marketed towards.
4.) Publish a press release
An effective way to generate publicity for your campaign is through a press release. Don’t be afraid to get creative, just make sure you include all the necessary components:
Title: Your title should immediately grab your readers’ attention and summarize the content.
Publish date: If you want the press to publish your story ASAP, put “for immediate release.”
Body: All the details of your campaign, answering the who, what, where, how, and why. 300-500 words long. Include an introduction summarizing the content, and statistics and quotes if applicable.
Boilerplate statement: This is like your company’s bio. 100 words max. Be sure to link to your campaign page and social media accounts.
End your press release text with three pound signs: ###, then add your contact information so journalists can follow up directly with you.
Remember to include the most important information first. A lot of people won’t read your press release in its entirety, and you want to make sure you give every reader the most important details of your story, campaign, and most importantly—how to invest.
There are sites where you can publish free press releases:
You should also consider posting one in your local newspaper if you have significant local traction. Your community might be interested in giving even more support by investing.
Arora Advice #4: Understand the Power of Education
In 2016, it was estimated that only 1 in every 3 Americans was aware of equity crowdfunding as a concept. Even if that number has doubled in the years since, that means there are still over 100 million Americans who aren’t aware of the opportunities available to them.
Equity crowdfunding has the potential to be HUGE for unaccredited investors (i.e. the vast majority of the population). By educating more people about the virtues of investing their money in the industry, you have the potential to create your own crowd of first-time investors.
Still Need Help Building the Crowd?
We live and breathe crowdfunding: to date, we’ve raised more than $115,000,000 for our clients. And, at the risk of sounding biased, we’ve built our reputation by being the best at what we do. Our team handles optimized page design, strategic advertising campaigns, and nitty-gritty day-to-day marketing and promotions that some teams don’t have the resources to focus on. We do it all so you don’t have to!
If you’re struggling to keep your campaign momentum going and want some professional assistance, let’s have a conversation about your goals.