Crowdfunding is not the same beast that saw the premiere of Oculus, Ouya, or even Potato Salad.
A number of similar campaigns have raised large amounts and then proceeded to disappear in the wind, along with all the contributions. Simply put, backers are more savvy and campaigns are making extra effort to prove that they’re able to deliver on their promises.
These improvements that help prove credibility can be seen most directly on crowdfunding campaign pages. Campaigns now have commercial-grade videos, detailed graphics, and high resolution photos. The creators are not trying to show you that they’re working out of their moms’ garages, instead, they are going full out to impress.
The days where you can write just, “basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet,” are long gone. Now most highly successful campaigns have professional marketing and PR teams behind them to bring their visions to life.
What your description page aims to accomplish
Think of the page as having a booth at a convention. You have a couple of minutes to convince complete strangers that what you’ve produced is worth investing in.
Like any good pitch, your description is going to need three key parts:
- A good narrative
- Highly-detailed descriptions of your product
- Team Introduction
While there are no limits on Kickstarter about how much content you can have on the page, the attention span of the modern human is not well-known for its longevity; be concise, to the point, and honest about your product or service on the page.
One thing you hear during pitch coaching is that a story is your best medium to connect with the audience, and we recommend you do the same on the crowdfunding campaign page.
In a few minutes time, you can narrate your crowdfunding journey from start to finish, giving the audience reasons to believe what you are trying to achieve, and that you have a solid plan to do so.
While this is not a full on pitch coaching session, here are some points you want to cover for your page:
- Personal investment: The personal investment is your stake in seeing a project come to life. Your potential backers have to easily see that you’re fully committed to the project and that commitment will result in your product being produced and delivered.
- Solution: The solution is why your project exists: What problem do you solve or pain do you alleviate? While some products exist for the hell of it, most projects on Indiegogo or Kickstarter improve some aspect of life. Whether it’s a device to recharge your smartphone using solar power or just a fun little toy that travels vast distances – your campaign should demonstrate how and why it fits into daily life.
- Specialness: You want a few points about how your product is special. Why is your product better than what’s out in the market? This gives you a chance to differentiate your product while talking about some of the aspects that makes your product unique.
- Team: Introduce yourself and your team members. While you shouldn’t have your life story posted here, it gives you another chance to further validate your ability to make and deliver your product.
Remember that every item on your page (whether it’s a paragraph, video, picture, etc.) should aim to relate back to one (or more) of these four points.
Your description of the product has to be focused on what potential backers need to know. In the space that you have, you want to showcase your product extensively, highlight its features, how it fits into daily life, and what it looks like in action. This is a difficult to accomplish in a short space, so you’ll want to spend some time figuring out how to combine media and words to create the perfect mix of compelling and awesome to entice backers.
Review every important detail or feature and how it contributes to the product and user experience. While it is easy to leave something to be explained by a video or picture, anything even remotely ambiguous should be clarified with text or an explanatory graphic. You do not want to give false impressions of the product or risk the backer being confused about certain functions or details. Sometimes they may email you, and other times you may lose a backer simply because they cannot afford the time to catch up and clarify details with you.
In this instance, it’s better to have too much descriptive detail rather than too little. Whether it’s technical detail or specs for your product, better to have it on the page than risk a backer close the page because they couldn’t be bothered to ask a question.
When you feel that the visuals and text are able to address your product, you want to start considering the order of the material. The prime features of the product should be highest on the page followed by summaries and in-depth details as needed. As explained in the section above, it’s a good idea to provide detail for those who want it, but make start with general information that’s broadly applicable at the top of the page and work down toward details.
During the campaign you have the ability to rewrite and experiment with your page however many times as you like. Find the order that works but keep in mind you only have a certain number of days before your campaign ends.
I strongly recommend using headers to organize the page. The headers allow you to summarize each section and for interested backers to save time and find what they’re looking for quickly.
Here are some other tips to help your crowdfunding page:
- Make sure everything is spelled correctly
- Double check images and videos to ensure that the size and format are shown as intended
- Show the page to people who aren’t on your team. Ask them to review the page individually and then explain the product back to you. If there are any points of confusion, go back and clarify.