Writing an effective crowdfunding pitch will likely be one of the hardest parts of building your campaign. For new companies, this will probably be the first time you’ve had to write a pitch, unless you’ve had experience with creating pitches for VCs and angel investors. But even with that experience, creating an effective crowdfunding pitch will be a completely different experience.
Without an effective crowdfunding pitch, you’ll lose prospective customers and investors immediately. Your pitch needs to grab people immediately as the crowdfunding market is saturated with bad ideas and dubious products. You need to establish the superiority of your product, why people should trust you, and why people should care with a very limited amount of time.
But just because writing an effective crowdfunding pitch may be difficult, it’s not impossible. Let’s take a look at what you need for a successful crowdfunding pitch.
Crafting a Compelling Story
The writing lessons you learned from elementary school still apply when crafting an engaging story for your crowdfunding pitch. You’ll have to answer the basic questions of who, what, when, where and why. I put emphasis on “why” as it’s a common mistake to leave this critical question unanswered.
All of these questions should be answered in a seamless and consistent way. Each answer should always reiterate why your product exists, why it’s better than the competition, and why people should care.
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Passion is great, but you’re not selling your passion. You’re selling a product so you’d better make sure the product can deliver on high expectations.
Another important aspect of crafting a compelling story is to answer the above questions in the correct order. Most people won’t immediately care who you are until they’re hooked by your product. In this case, you should answer “what” as quickly as possible to draw people in.
Here’s the order you should tackle your questions:
- What: What is it that you’re selling and will it make my life better?
- Who: What’s your story? Who are you and why is it relevant?
- Why: Why did you make this product? How is it better than the competition?
- When: When do you expect to ship your product? What are the stretch goals?
- Where: Where will the product be available.
Unlike pitches for VCs and angel investors, your pitch to the public needs to be tailored to a wide audience who may not be as technologically or as business savvy. This means you need to convince the public that your product is good while also proving that you’re able to bring it to market in a timely fashion. There’s no quicker way to destroy your company than to over promise and under deliver.
Although the general public may not be business savvy, it’s up to you to convince them that you have a solid business plan and strategy. People will only pledge if they trust you and feel that the money they give to you will result in them having your product in their hands. The best way to convince people that your business is legitimate is to be transparent.
Tell your audience exactly how much capital is needed for the product to move forward. How much money will be spent on development? How much on marketing? These are questions that will put a prospective buyer at ease.
Don’t Skimp on Photos or Video
Although this article has focused primarily about the written portion of your pitch, you shouldn’t disregard the importance of multimedia. For a crowdfunding pitch to be truly effective, you have to have quality photos and videos.
If you don’t have experience with filming and editing video, hire someone who does. Your pitch needs to be distilled down into a short two minute video, with the first 10 seconds being extremely important. The first 10 seconds need to grab your audience, otherwise they’ll lose interest before you even get to your pitch. Obviously there are cases where a longer pitch video can be longer, but being short and concise will give you the best chances of hooking someone quickly.
The Coolest Cooler was one of the most backed Kickstarter campaigns of all time.
Having video allows people who don’t want to read a wall of text to see your product and hear your pitch in the quickest way possible. It also allows your campaign page or video to be shared on different platforms.
Whereas Kickstarter offers its own video hosting, Indiegogo lets you choose between YouTube and Vimeo for hosting your video. For more, be sure to read our breakdown of Kickstarter vs Indiegogo.
Video is also a great place to answer the question of “who” you guys are and why you’re doing what you do. Leverage the unique personalities on your team.
Being on video is nerve wracking and stressful, and that’s why rehearsing your pitch is crucial. You have a very limited amount of time to get your points across and there’s no room for stuttering or awkward phrases. Polish your script and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
Execute your pre-launch strategy
You do have a pre-launch strategy, don’t you? Before your campaign even launches, you should have set up your company’s own blog and then social media accounts. Did you decide on the voice you’ll be using across your social media channels?
Without all of this in place, your pitch won’t be as effective. You need to have a destination for your prospective customers to find you. While having your campaign page on a crowdfunding platform is great, having your own company blog gives you another avenue for customer acquisition via SEO.
Your pitch needs to be consistent across all platforms. That means your voice and story need to be polished well before your campaign page goes live.
No matter how good your product is, you won’t be able to sell it without a good story. Effective crowdfunding pitches will convince users that your product will improve their lives and that you are passionate about bringing it to life.
It’s easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of your product, but what people want is a story about why they should care. It’s easy to be passionate about something, but your customers aren’t buying your passion; they’re buying your product and it’s your product that has to be a focus.
Remember, your story and voice should be consistent throughout your entire campaign, from social networks to your Kickstarter or Indiegogo page. There’s a lot of pre-campaign work to be done, but it will ultimately be worth it when you nail your crowdfunding pitch.
CHECKLIST: CROWDFUNDING PITCH PREP
- Highlight your product, not your passion
- Communicate quickly why your product will improve someone’s life
- Use a consistent voice across channels during all parts of your campaign
- Keep your crowdfunding pitch video under 2 minutes
- Your campaign pitch and assets should grab a user in the first 10 seconds
- Be as transparent as possible about your business plans