Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Toma Kondratė from Startup Highway.
On 17th February, 2015 S​tartupHighway​ hosted a noteworthy event focused on successful Lithuanian crowdfunding initiatives that were willing to spread the word about their exclusive stories.

The speakers came from various industries and presented their projects, including most successful Lithuanian gaming projects (N​ovus Aeterno ​and P​athologic)​, design (Esquoia​­ reusable notebook) and creative (Y​ou Can’t Escape Lithuania, ​W​e Will Riot)​campaigns, not forgetting impressive hardware inventions, such as R​ubbee​­ the electric drive for bicycles, Deeper​­ fishfinder for iOS and Android devices, and F​OODsniffer ​(a.k.a. PERES) ­ a smart device protecting you from food poisoning. Every participant shared his own story to shed a light on our minds of what it’s like to run a crowdfunding campaign. Here are all the valuable tips that will serve as great advice for all business starters.

How to make a successful campaign

Every business idea that you dream of needs a great deal of money to actually launch the next big thing. So you can consider crowdfunding a financial contribution from people who are interested in your project and want to “invest” in it. In order to make a successful crowdfunding campaign you have to prepare properly and think of the following aspects.

  1. Idea and the story behind the product. Your campaign backers will definitely want the product to be amazing, attractive and innovative, so prepare a great story that will convince them your product is worth the money.
  2. Financial goal. Many projects fail because of the overestimated financial goal, so make sure you’re not trying to jump too high and think realistic when it comes to money raising. It was commonly agreed that most of the money comes in during the first days. So keep it in mind. If your “crowdfunding pocket” is still empty ­ something is wrong. Try your luck with another project or, if you don’t want to give up just yet, think of a project restart.
  3. Being on top. Your project description, capturing video, plot of the story, crowdfunding platform’s algorithm and everything what makes your project to stay on top of other projects will ensure the best visibility among potential investors.
  4. Communication, marketing and PR. There won’t ever be enough of the press coverage. Keep looking for journalists that would be interested to write about your product. Don’t rely on sending general inquiries to the newspapers, most likely they won’t be read. Be brief, straightforward and brave ­ present your product to journalists, bloggers and industry influencers in reality, it will bring your product out to the light of global media.
  5. Length of campaign. You have to find a golden midst ­ not too short to be able to raise enough money and not too long to keep your backers waiting and worrying about the products tangibility.
  6. Sharing updates. Feel responsible for your project in front of those who have invested in it. Share as many updates (especially visual ones) as you can, whether it is related to product features, delayed product release date, shipping and packaging etc. Social communication is essential in building up the trust with your backers.
  7. Patents and trademarks. Don’t rush to launch your crowdfunding campaign ­ apply for patents to prevent the commercial exploits of your invention. Register the trademark to make your product recognizable all over the world.
  8. Rewards. Create a plan of how you will thank for the contributions, every detail counts. Be kind and pleased for every dollar donated to your project success.

Yes, crowdfunding matters
If you do it right and if you’re ambitious enough to achieve the goal it will result in a massive global awareness. Your crowdfunding campaign will not only open the doors to the media curiosity but will also shape your target market of the future customers. Your campaign can end up making a huge impact on your product’s development, being it a number of new interested partners or a fortunate investment round from the venture capitalists. It is a perfect opportunity to implement unconventional creative projects, so why not kickstart one of your own?

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