Crowdfunding 102: Participating in social media

In Crowdfunding 101, we got you up to speed with what crowdfunding is. Crowdfunding 102 provides basic steps to follow if you’re considering trying it out for your latest venture.

The following are five key steps to get you started with social media-based crowdfunding.

Step 1: Establish a [social media] strategy

You’ll need to consider (A) who your target audience is and (B) what social media platforms that specific audience uses most frequently. Part A will stem from what your product or service is and who you think it is most likely to gain traction with. These are likely your prospective investors! For part B, don’t rule out any options — consider Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on to determine which is a good fit.

Step 2: Identify an appropriate team and set milestones

You’ll need to decide who on your team is going to lead the crowdfunding campaign and who the support team will be. To do this, consider who are the best brand ambassadors and your most enthusiastic and driven team members. Once you’ve got the right people on board with the project, set up deadlines and targets, which will keep everyone motivated and on track. Be sure to announce these milestones (and frequently send out reminders) to the team to keep accountability elevated.

Step 3: Create an awesome profile

  1. Upload vibrant, high-quality images that have an authentic feel, which convey your product’s or service’s “personality.
  2. Make use of a captivating phrase and intriguing blurb to draw your crowd in.
  3. Clearly describe the terms of the crowdfunding campaign; you want to minimize confusion and ambiguity as much as possible.

It is important to ensure the crowdfunding profile exudes authenticity so that your crowd is convinced it is legitimate and does not dismiss it as a scam.

Step 4: Develop a buzz

Actively participate in social media to promote your profile and develop a following. You should publish regular posts, flaunting unique aspects of your campaign.

Remember to find a balance between developing a buzz and over-promoting. When a crowd feels that a brand is over-promoted, it loses its cool factor. Fast.

Step 5: Launch the campaign

Get down to business and start reeling in the cash. In your final step, you hope to raise your target funding so, if you’ve done all the legwork in steps one through four, it should be smooth sailing.

So, there you have it! Five steps to get you on board with a crowdfunding campaign.

As with any new project, it is wise to do your homework before you begin, so as to lessen the chances of unexpected obstacles which could slow down your campaign.

Crowdfunding can be an incredibly competitive space, so invest time and energy to communicate your campaign in an AWESOME way so that you’re certain to see AWESOME results. Think BIG and bring in the BIG bucks. Good luck!

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of CPA Canada.

About the Author

Romi-Lee Sevel, CPA, CA

Romi-Lee has a professional background in audit and assurance services for private companies. She is passionate about accounting education and has spent more than 6 years in various teaching roles. She currently lectures financial accounting courses at York University and facilitates various modules in the CPA Professional Education Program. Romi-Lee is committed to community service and has many years of volunteer experience in various leadership positions; she is especially passionate about mentoring CPA students, which she has been doing since the inception of the CPA mentorship program. This year she has served as a member of the CPA Ontario Mentor champion workgroup.