This article is meant to help young entrepreneurs. I am a freelancer and a business woman and I am using the internet for all of my businesses. I have my own capital and I also use investors’ capital. The internet is an amazing tool to get started and promote your business; at the same time, it can be a tool which will „help you” waste a lot of time and money.
As a business person, I have used both Kickstarter and Indiegogo to promote some of my ideas and my start-up businesses. These platforms are designated to help you raise money; the concept is called crowdfunding. The concept is a business by all means; it hosts your projects in order for you to raise money for your new business or idea. I have promoted some of my ideas on these platforms and I had no success as a simple freelancer if you know what I mean.
What most of you don’t know is that none of these platforms work unless you invest a lot in promoting your business using some of their marketing tools. I am not stupid, I know that you can’t have a successful start without promoting your business; I know that your business can’t grow unless you invest in advertising and marketing, but there is a trap on these platforms.
Let me explain.
There are a lot of successful projects on the crowdfunding websites. And if you are a subscriber, you will receive all the projects that have raised money to start the business. At the same time, you will receive a lot of mails from them trying to get you involved in their marketing strategies. The money you’ll use here will be wasted because all they are going to do is to send an email with your project to all of their subscribers. All the subscribers are there to raise money, not to invest in your business. Other strategies “attacking” are the strategies regarding social media promotion. Another waste of time and money. A social media promotion can be started by anyone. The best platforms are facebook and Instagram. You can make your own ads with less money. You can decide where to promote your business. You can decide the audience. This is one of the trap.
I saw a lot of successful projects. The crowdfunding platforms work and they can be a real boost for your start-up, but with some conditions. First of all, if you’ll take a look at all the successful businesses that raised money on IndieGoGo or Kickstarter you will realize that there is a huge marketing campaign behind these projects. I mean huge…..( video commercials, radio commercials, tv advertising, real social media promotion). That means the developers have a lot of money to promote their businesses and they don’t really need a crowdfunding. Most of these “rich” projects are started by big companies and their interest is in finding if the project can become viral. This way, they will take the money raised and they will also invest more money. But the goal was achieved. When someone puts his own money to develop a stranger’s project that means there are a lot more interested in buying that product or service.
This is how some projects become successful. There are big companies supporting and promoting the campaign.
Think about it.
You are a simple girl or boy who has an idea. You need money. You ask for it to your friends, your family, some close people who have money and so on….Then you discover the crowdfunding websites and decide to give it a try. You post your project, you explain it, and you wait for the money. No money will come. You have to invest in promoting that project big time, but you don’t have the money because you are a simple person who needs some investors to help him. There is no money for you to invest in promoting your campaign and then wait for other money to develop the business. A better way to use the money(if you have it) is to simply promote your business on your own. This way, you will not waste money. You will spread the word and you never know what happens.
My opinion is that crowdfunding platforms are useless for young entrepreneurs who don’t have money and all that they have is an idea. Keep your money and use it to grow. Use your money to invest in your business. The internet is full of marketing tools which you can handle on your own.
I have made the mistake to promote some of my projects and some of my customer’s projects. It was a waste of time and money.
Crowdfunding platforms are for big companies. If you are a small entrepreneur and you have nothing but your idea, start reading, start making successful friends and find real investors on your own.
To be continued…..