Using Social Funding to Get Your Business Startup Off the Ground

Many people have a great business credit idea, but they lack the necessary funding to get them past the idea stage and drive their projects to completion. It takes money (in some cases a lot of money) to make money these days, and business hopefuls need to figure out how to get the funds they need to start and run their businesses.

Though you may not yet know about them, there are websites cropping up all over the Internet that want to help future business owners and product developers do just that. They’re often referred to as social funding or crowd funding sites, and they provide a place where people can post their business ideas or projects and have others donate money to help them get started. Sites like Kickstarter, Indieagogo, and others are on a mission to help you get – and stay – off the ground.

However, business start ups have to work smart when it comes to using these sites to garner funds. If you’re thinking about using social funding, make sure you stick to the following plan in order to ensure your success with getting what you need to achieve your dreams.

Set a Goal

                           

The first thing you need to think about is your overall funding goal. Of course, your starting point for this will be based on your current budget for the project. Be sure to take some time to really understand the breadth of your project so that you can factor in all of your potential expenses from start to finish. You will also need to think about how much money you have already raised, as well as how much of the funding will come from sources other than the social funding site.

Once you have accounted for all of this, make sure that you set a monetary goal that is realistic for the time frame or deadline that you will set on each of the funding websites. Remember that you don’t want to sell yourself short by setting a goal that is way too low to be of significant value to you as you complete the project, but you also don’t want to set your expectations too high and not end up getting all of the money you need in time.

Formulate a Marketing Plan

You need to realize that social funding sites are merely an avenue for people to donate to your cause or project. The sites will not market your campaign for you. With so many campaigns going on at once, funding sites cannot possibly advocate for everyone who is trying to raise funds for their start up.

This means that you won’t be able to raise much money if you don’t have your own solid marketing plan in place. So what’s a start up to do? Here are a few tips on marketing your social funding campaigns without much money:

  • Start with your family and friends. If you haven’t already asked them for money, this would be a good time to do it. Putting your campaign out there on the social funding sites shows them that you are serious about pursuing the project and have already taken the initiative to get started. Consequently, they may be more willing to help you out.
  • Reach out to people via other online avenues. If you’ve got a social media following, make use of it. Let your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, and blog readers know all about your campaign and ask them to donate and spread the word. Reach out to other bloggers in your niche, and offer them something in return for telling their readers about your campaign.
  • Try to get media attention for your campaign. Write to newspapers and news stations to see if they will cover your story. You can also try pitching your story to magazines, or doing a press release to try to get picked up by major news outlets. In the current economic climate, stories about business start ups should garner a lot of attention.

Continue reading here.

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