It takes a lot of dedication to set aside the time a crowdfunding campaign requires—and you’ve put in the effort to make that happen.
No doubt this has been exhausting in some ways. There’s a lot more to crowdfunding than meets the eye. So far we’ve covered how to create a killer value proposition, creating your customer persona(s), how to tell your story well, and social media strategies to help you succeed in your BoostR campaign.
Thank you for sticking with us on this onboarding journey, and more importantly, sticking to your commitment to invest into your business.
You’ve made it to the last step before you launch your campaign—how exciting! Here’s your guide to walk you through how to shoot your video and choose your rewards.
Let’s dive in!
While not a mandatory requirement for your campaign, we highly recommend creating a campaign video.
It takes a long time to make a video—it takes a really long time to make an excellent video. Plan to have your (excellent) video complete a month or more before your campaign starts so you have lots of wiggle room to get it just right.
Your video is vital. Different websites have different stats about how much more money a campaign with a video will raise vs. a campaign without a video. Our stats show that campaigns with videos typically raise 239% more than campaigns without!
If you plan your video correctly, you’ll be able to utilize the footage you shoot in multiple ways by editing different versions. Your 2-3 minute long campaign video can also contain multiple 30 second videos to share on different platforms.
The reality of crowdfunding is that your close friends and family will probably support you simply because they love you. For those who don’t know (and love) you, your crowdfunding pitch video acts as an extension of you, giving viewers a window into who you are and what you’re about.
If you hope to make money crowdfunding outside of your immediate family and friends, your video will have to convince the crowd that your product or service will make their life better, that you can be trusted and that you can deliver. It really should be an extension of your brand and every single second should reflect that. Take the time to consider and review every shot and word in the video to make sure you’re portraying your business in the best way possible.
Your video should include all pertinent information that the crowd needs to know about your business and campaign. This includes but isn’t limited to:
The problem you’re solving
Introduction to your product or service
Description of features and benefits
Introduction to your team
Background story for the team and your progress to date
A call to action (eg. buy now, share this)
The shorter, the better. In general, people’s attention spans are short and they’re busy—show
the crowd that you respect their time by making your pitch simple and enjoyable to watch. Remember, the ideal length for your video is 2-3 minutes!
It’s easy to feel uncomfortable when making your first video. Remembering lines while trying to
be natural and figuring out what to do with your hands can be overwhelming! The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to spend that much time talking directly into the camera in order to make a great video. One or two lines delivered in person with the rest of the video delivered as a voiceover is often enough.
FYI: A-Roll footage is all of the footage with your founder or spokesperson talking. B-Roll footage includes all of the video clips and images that you layer throughout the video to tell your story.
Forget your own perspective and instead frame things from the audience’s point of view. This
means that instead of talking about yourself and your product or service, focus on your customers and how your product or service will improve their life. If the customer is imagining themselves actually using your product or service then the majority of the work is complete and you simply need to ask for the sale or funding.
Script and sound are much more important than your visuals. If you deliver your pitch poorly or your audio is painful to listen to, your audience won’t stick around for long.
Here are some ideas to help you sound your best:
Record your audio in a quiet place with no echo or background noise.
A small room with carpet is better than a large room with hard surfaces.
Don’t be afraid to change locations if the audio recording isn’t excellent. The outdoors may give great lighting, but don’t record on windy days.
A cheap microphone close to your face will sound better than an expensive microphone that isn’t close to your face.
If you’re shooting your video on your phone, consider using a second phone closer to your face (but off screen) to record the audio and merge the two during editing. Our trick to align the two recordings? A single loud clap at the beginning of each take.
Real talk—a lot of people will watch your video on their phones in the bathroom, or at work. Add subtitles to your video so folks can understand your video even when they don’t have their volume on.
Once you’re confident that you have an awesome pitch and that you can record good quality audio, let’s get you looking camera-ready! In general:
Videos shot in natural daylight (eg.facing a window) will look better than videos shot with overhead artificial light.
Videos shot in the early morning or late afternoon will look better than video shot in the middle of the day.
Videos shot on a bright overcast day will look better than video shot in direct sunlight.
Harsh shadows on the face rarely look good.
Use powder or blotting papers on your face to get rid of distracting shine.
Use a tripod or put your camera on something stationary.
If you’re using a phone to shoot your video, remember to orient it horizontally and record every clip with the same orientation.
Folks are likely investing in you as a person more than they’re interested in shopping for your rewards. Unless you have something really cool or clever to reward them with, save the video from unnecessary length and just tell them about you and your mission. Show your crowd why you care and why they should care too. Smile, laugh and have fun—the video doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be “you.”
Having the right music in your video will establish a mood and foster emotional connection with your viewers. The key to using music in your videos is to not use any tracks that you don’t have permission to use.
Here are some great resources for music that you can use in your videos:
YouTube Creator Studio is probably the easiest and affordable choice for royalty-free music for your videos hosted on YouTube. Just a warning: it can take a lot of work to find the right track. The other sites listed all have subtle differences with how and where you can use the music, so be sure to read the fine print when picking your track.
Check his funded BoostR campaign out here! Please note that this campaign was on the original BoostR platform and the campaign information may be limited.
I started my business because:
There was a gap in the market for a local clothing company that allowed people to proudly represent where they were from.
I did a crowdfunding campaign because:
We had launched our Giving Toques (buy one, give one) and used the BoostR campaign as a way to launch the product to the public in a way that promoted the product and brand.
I chose ATB BoostR because:
We are a local Calgary company, and were interested in using the ATB platform. We also saw an opportunity to potentially pitch on the BoostR stage in Banff at the Tourism Alberta conference.
My BoostR campaign length:
My BoostR goal:
Actual amount raised:
My rewards were:
Giving Toques, Local Laundry Sweaters, Playfield Bracelets, Calgary Heritage Roasting Co.
The biggest challenge I faced in my crowdfunding campaign was:
That lull in the campaign after the initial promotion and success. We did roughly 45% of our campaign goal in the first week or so, (from what I remember), and then Boosts really slowed down as we expected the momentum to carry itself forward.
How did your business pivot from the challenge you faced above?
We had 2 weeks left and were 75% of the way there and the all or nothing model. Our goal was $10,000 and our Giving Toque was only $30-40.. That’s a lot of toques to sell! We decided to create a new B2B reward at $2000 each for 50 custom branded t-shirts, and we had 3 businesses take us up on it. Just like that, we made our goal!
My favourite part of running my campaign was:
Collaborating with other businesses for rewards. This was a fun way to boost each other's businesses together.
I wish someone told me:
There is a direct correlation between effort contributed to the campaign, and boosts you receive. Taking your foot off the gas after the initial boosts, will result in a decline in Boosts you receive.
The scariest part of owning a business is:
The uncertainty of it. We are in the retail business, which means we rely on new designs, and new products to keep our business alive. We rely on customers to continue returning to our brand and spend money with us. If we miss the mark on new pieces, or new designs, and customers do not like or purchase the products, our business is in jeopardy.
The best business advice I was ever given is:
Read a great quote this morning that summed it up.
"The most overlooked and underappreciated growth strategy is patience.
(More specifically, consistently producing great work over a long time horizon.)"
What was the secret-sauce to your success?
I can’t stress this enough: The power of connection. The entrepreneur journey can be a lonely one—it’s important to make as many connections as you can to build a web of support. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get to know people on a personal level—figure out your network and make it a win-win for you and your potential partners.
How much time did you spend getting ready for your campaign?
Our campaign was 45 days, so we spent about a month getting ready. We got away with spending a little less time planning as our videographer already had some content to use for the BoostR video, I’d recommend spending at least 30 days planning for your 30 day campaign. Spend the time to plan, you’ll likely run into hiccups you’ll need to account for or other reasons you’ll need to pivot your campaign
How did you choose your rewards?
We chose our rewards based on the businesses that wanted to collaborate with us at different price points.
How did you create your network?
We had attended a couple of networking events—you know, when we could do that sort of thing in person—and they were hit and miss. So we started our own. We discovered we all had the same problem: we were ready to grow but not sure how to get there. Instead of scheduling 5+ coffees in a week with different entrepreneurs, we decided to all get together in one room at a pub and “Startup & Beers” was born.
Social media is your BFF—DM businesses with similar numbers to yours. If you find another small business starting out, they’re more likely to collaborate with you on a number of things, from a product collaboration, joint photoshoot, or guest blogging. Find something that will help boost both of your businesses together.
What did you do after your campaign?
Kept the momentum going. We announced our funded campaign on social media, we personally thanked all our business partners for collaborating with us, and we kept meeting people to continue to grow our network. We also thanked all our supporters who boosted us via email with an option to opt-in to our mailing list—we wanted to keep the door open for customers to stay in the know with Local Laundry.
We are so busy we often forget to take the chance to pause and celebrate our wins—we did make sure to pop a bottle of champagne for this one!
Before considering the types of rewards you’ll be offering, spend some time figuring out who you’ll be offering rewards to. By identifying two or three different types of customers who are likely to support you, you can tailor your offerings to those groups.
Who are the people in this group? Are they family and friends who don’t need convincing to purchase, or are they very targeted end users who’re experiencing the problem you’re trying to solve?
What types of things does this group already spend money on? Does this group prefer to purchase local products from craft fairs and markets? Or maybe they enjoy experiences, like restaurant meals and adventure tourism?
How much money is this group likely to spend per transaction? A friend who wants to give you a little boost will spend differently than an established business who needs the solution you’re presenting for their problem.
How’s this group going to hear about your campaign? Are you going to find them through social media or are you going to send them a personalized email?
From a time-saving perspective, the best rewards that you can offer are the products or services that your company already sells. Your campaign will be stressful enough as it is—you don’t want to add the burden of figuring out how to deliver something new.
Many businesses turn to crowdfunding as a way of turning their prototype into reality. If this sounds like your business, make sure your rewards can be easily produced once the campaign has wrapped up.
Shipping is expensive and time consuming. If you can avoid shipping a product, you can avoid a lot of work and keep more of the money you raise through crowdfunding. Consider sending a digital gift card that can be redeemed at participating stores or online, or set a pickup time and location for your supporters to redeem their reward.
If possible, avoid any production costs for your rewards until the end of your campaign—the all-or-nothing nature of the platform could mean you walk away from the campaign with a ton of inventory and no funds!
Don’t forget our payment processing system fees from Stripe that are charged at the end of your campaign:
2.9% for the total amount raised
$0.30 per transaction fee
As a reminder, you have two options for your BoostR campaign:
Take it all: Whatever funds you raise, you receive! This also means any rewards purchased will need to be fulfilled.
All or nothing: If you don’t hit your goal, your boosts will be refunded and the rewards will not have to be fulfilled.
The easiest way to determine which option will be best for you—think about your primary goal for doing a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign and how much money you need to crowdfund so you’re at least breaking even.
We don’t recommend the Take it all model if you’re going to lose money fulfilling the rewards purchased that are below your goal. The All or nothing model is more geared towards companies looking for proof of concept and validating your business idea.
Time is your most precious commodity.
If you can reward multiple supporters at once, do it. Hosting a live event for supporters can save a lot of time while also building community around your brand. An added bonus to a live event is that your supporters will be able to advocate for you with other supporters, and come away feeling more connected to you and your business.
Crowdfunding is a great way to connect with people who are genuinely interested in your work, because those who support crowdfunding are there for more than the rewards. They aren’t just buying something—they’re paying to be a part of something. Rewards that let some supporters “peak behind the curtain” to see how your operation functions or rewards that offer facetime might end up reaping a lot more than a financial boost.
One of the major drawbacks of reward-based crowdfunding is that you don’t get the same access to proven entrepreneurs, angel investors and mentors. It might be worth having a reward category that can pull those types of people out of the crowd and foster a relationship that could last longer than the campaign. Just keep in mind that too many one-on-one interactions will take up a lot of time.
Avoid branded T-shirts. Most designs end up looking tacky, not to mention the headache for you to get them manufactured, pick the right quantity, and package them. Our second tip? Skip custom offers. Reward packages with multiple products or options (sizes, colors etc.) can create a daunting workload when it comes time for fulfillment.
Ask your targeted customers what they actually want. One of the best things about rewards-based crowdfunding is getting constant feedback from the crowd. Use this to your advantage—ask your target groups what they’d buy from you and how much they’d spend.
Consider early bird pricing for certain rewards, or giving your most loyal supporters access to your campaign ahead of the general population. Early momentum in crowdfunding is often correlated with success.
Quick tip: ATB BoostR offers you the option to share a private URL before your campaign goes public. Use this to get early momentum from your inner circle. When you go live 3 days later the community will see that you’ve (hopefully) already raised 30%.
$88 seems to be the most popular price point across multiple crowdfunding platforms. Yet Raw Distillery sold a $12,500 barrel of rum as one of its rewards. If you’ve targeted specific customer groups you’ll have a good idea of the price point each group is willing to spend.
Here are a couple of charts showing the price points that the record-breaking bakery Sugared and Spiced used, and approximately how much money the campaign raised at each price point.
When you set your goal with your crowdfunding campaign, keep in mind that you’re pre-selling your product, service or experience, and you’ll have a profit margin for each. Make sure to keep a healthy profit margin across all rewards to make sure you walk away with funds you need to achieve your goal. Do some research before setting a reward price if you’re unsure what the actual cost would be, and what each group is willing to spend.
“While planning your campaign you’ll need to figure out what a reasonable delivery charge is for your items. You may want to take a sample package to Canada Post (or your chosen shipping company) and provide a postal code (or a couple) to get an estimate on shipping costs. Take the average cost and use this for your campaign. I found applying a flat rate to shipping charges was the easiest. Some parcels may cost more and some less but should come fairly close in the end. This may help guide your future delivery charges. You may need to increase or decrease your shipping rates as required. “ - Heather Heystack, owner of Bravery Blends coffee.
You can change your rewards! Adding and changing rewards can help keep your campaign fresh, and help you respond to what your community wants. You can also stop offering existing rewards, but once one of your supporters has bought a reward you must fulfill it. Keep in mind though, too many rewards can be confusing—try and strike the right balance.
You have to love yourself! Your time is worth money, so make sure you factor in the time you spend on your campaign and your business—whether it’s for marketing, labour, or running to the post office—into the pricing for your rewards. This sets you up for sustainable pricing long after the campaign is over.
If you have an ambitious crowdfunding goal and you want to get the most out of your campaign, it’s worth giving yourself at least 60 days of dedicated planning and preparation time before you launch. This might seem like overkill but once your campaign launches, you’ll have a set amount of time to meet your goal.
If you already have an established network and strong social media presence, this timeline can be shortened. If you have a brand new concept and limited audience it’s better to delay your campaign launch date and focus on finding your audience.
A crowdfunding platform will give you exposure to people who want to support new and growing businesses. However, it’s unrealistic to think that you can achieve your goal without bringing your own network to the campaign.
Give yourself the time you need to set up your campaign properly—before it launches. Rather than spending the days leading up to your campaign getting organized, hustle so that you can join the majority of successful campaigns and reach 30% of your funding goal within the first week of your campaign.
You’re done all the prep—now it’s time to go public.
Regardless of the preparation you’ve done, if you’re unable to raise the first 30% of your funding goal in the first week of your campaign, you aren’t likely to succeed with your crowdfunding campaign. It may sound hard, but we want to be real with you—and believe you’re up to the challenge.
All those months of planning are meant to set you up to focus the month before your campaign on selling your first 30% to your most loyal supporters.
The crowd follows herd mentality. When people who are unfamiliar with you and your offering discover your campaign and see that it’s popular, they’re likely to join in on the movement. Plus, 42% of funds are raised in the first and last three days of an average crowdfunding campaign. That means that first 30% is crucial to your campaign’s success.
You need two things: a group or loyal supporters who’ll buy your regards and something for them to buy that makes it worth their while.
Offer exclusive rewards for those who act before the rest of the crowd, host an exclusive launch party, or share a private URL with your inner circle to get that first 30%.
Before you launch, it’s worth calculating whether or not you have a good enough “crowd” to fund your first 30%.
Calculate this with some simple math: If you want to raise $10,000 total, your goal is to raise $3000 within a week of launching.
If your average reward is $50, then you’ll want to have at least 60 guaranteed supporters when you launch. Compare this support number with your actual supporters to see how you’re doing.
You’ll know better than anyone who you can count on as a guaranteed supporter. It might be close family, friends or any person who’s explicitly said they’ll support the campaign and you trust to follow through.
With email marketing, a conversion rate between 3-5% is most common. This means that of everyone who’s expressed interest in your campaign and provided their email, you can expect 3-5% of them to follow through and purchase a reward.
An average conversion rate on social media is cited as being as low as 0.75%. That’s why a large social following is important—very few followers will support your campaign.
You have two options: either grow your opt-in email list or increase the number of personal commitments you receive from people. We’ll walk you through each.
How to grow your opt-in email list
It’s time to get serious about email marketing and growing your email list. But where to start? The first thing is to make the process of joining your list as simple as possible. Asking people to do more than one thing at a time rarely works.
For example, if you ask for multiple actions: “Support our campaign, sign up for more info, share this with friends, like us on Facebook, etc.” the odds are that the person won’t do anything.
If you ask for one action —“visit this link,” for example—they’re more likely to act.
What happens when someone visits the link?
Send people to a specific page, not your general site. The key is to always have a clear next step or action for your supporters to take—otherwise, you’ll lose momentum.
Try creating a one-two page microsite or a landing page that’s specific to your campaign, with every experience directing visitors to sign up for your email list.
Tip: whenever you share a link, convert it to a bitly link.
It shortens the link
It allows you to track link analytics and measure campaign performance.
To see the analytics to the link you simply need to type “+” at the end of the bitly URL.
If you have these three things, you’ll be in great shape for launching your campaign:
An email list large enough to support the first 30% of your goal (assuming 3-5% success rate in selling)
A strong social media following
Early bird rewards to persuade people to support you early