The most obvious benefit of a crowdfunding campaign is, of course, the money. But you might find there are other outcomes that turn out to be just as important. Here are four surprising outcomes – and what some of the people I’ve worked with had to say about them.
Testing market fit
You can use a crowdfunding campaign to try out your ideas, test price points, and see how your audiences respond – without necessarily going straight to a launch.
“Having it overfunded by 50% hopefully validates the product/market fit and gives us some money to over print and really get the business off to a flying start.” – Sophie Cross, Freelancer magazine
“I also used the campaign as market research and a way to test different price points, so now I know exactly what I should be charging in phase 2.” – Zoe Lacey, Pretty Post
Connection with your community
A good crowdfunding campaign can get you up close with your audiences, what they value, and what motivates them – and far more effectively than most market research.
“Our Kickstarter campaign…enabled us to create stronger, and more personal relationships with our audience.” – Transglobal Underground
“The campaign showed us the clear evidence of customer loyalty we were hoping for” – Sidmouth Folk Festival
“It has actually informed the future marketing and steer of the play.” – Giving Up Marty
A good crowdfunding campaign can draw attention to the work you’re doing and the impact it has – or will have. You should still expect most of your actual backers to come from your own marketing work, but you may find once the dust has settled you’ve gained some new fans.
“The crowdfund…resulted in a live performance on the BBC, and a residency at Snape Maltings.” – Cevanne, 1000 Songs
“The campaign got a lot of exposure…lots of pledges came in from people outside of my networks” – Stef Conner, Riddle Songs
“The most significant outcome of our campaign was probably the new contacts we cultivated.” – E-Werk Luckenwalde
Don’t underestimate this one! When you’re busy creating something on your own or with a tiny team, the hard work can sometimes feel isolating. Some days, the fuel to keep making your contribution to the world comes from knowing there are people out there who love what you do. Ordinarily, you might not hear from them – but a crowdfunding campaign will draw out all kinds of support that you might not have realised was out there.
“It has been a real confidence-builder to smash our target AND gain extra funding.” – Tess Berry-Hart, Citizens of the World Choir
“Connecting with [community businesses] was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.” – Ana Torre
Crowdfunding can be a lot of work, but it can also be amazingly rewarding, especially for arts and creative projects. If you’re considering crowdfunding for the arts, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how I could support you.