Is Crowdfunding for you? 5 Questions from Expert Debe Fennell

Crowdfunding expert Debe Fennell provided students with her insights into crowd funding from years of experience. She offered a free crowd-funding workshop on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. In case you weren’t able to make the workshop she provided a few questions to consider before launching your next crowdfunding campaign. Before you begin it is important to realize crowdfunding is not for everyone, if you aren’t willing to participate in social media, ask for donations, and have an active mailing list, this list is not for you.

1.  Are you a business?

Sounds simple but the importance of having a business plan will help you identify how much financial support you will need. Before you begin you must begin to establish a legal business and have a business plan. This includes having a marketing strategy and ramping up your social media presence.

2. How much money do you want to raise?

There is a correlation between the amount of money you want to raise and your crowd. For example if you want to raise $5,000 and you have 100 people in your email database, your goal would be to have everyone on this list donate $50. Now you must consider realistically how many in your list will click on the link and donate. A smaller list lessens your funding ability. Social media is another key component of crowdfunding.

3. How big is your database?

Not everyone will donate, but using social media gives you the opportunity to grow your crowd and increase your funding pool. Assessing your crowd can help you identify how you can potentially grow that crowd, using lists you can access from connecting with your network.

“The whole point of crowdfunding it to spread the word about your project, what you’re trying to do, and get others talking about it, sharing it, and widening your sphere of influence to a larger and larger group of people,” according to Debe.

4. Who can benefit from your success?
Once you begin sharing your product or idea there may be clients or vendors who can benefit from your success, meaning they will be more inclined to help you find success.

Debe said, “It’s up to you to create a community with the people who’ve shown an interest in what you’re doing.”

5. How hard are you willing to work?

Successful crowdfunding takes a great amount of effort and the willingness to use all available mediums, including Facebook, Twitter, interviews, articles, attending networking events and mixers.

Crowdfunders ask relatives, friends and businesses to help them and employ creative ways to get their product, business or message out. Crowdfunding requires actively telling people about your project and telling them how donating to the project will reward them.

Debe said, “It takes work, but rewards can be great. You can be sure that if you don’t do the work, marketing, no one will ever know.”

Find out more information about crowdfunding follow Debe on Twitter and Facebook.