Montag, 11. März 2013

I have a Crowdfunding Platform

... what do I do now?

 by Arik Marmorstein,

So, you have your own crowdfunding platform, I know the feeling… It’s so exciting you can't sleep at night, you feel like a missile waiting to be launched. So what's stopping you? In this post I`m happy to share my experience in launching a crowdfunding platform, trying to save you time, money and disappointments. Let's start!

Arik Marmorstein

The first thing you want is users. In your case, you have two types of users, project owners (fundraisers), followed by backers (contributors). The project owners are the most important at the beginning, simply because they can bring potential backers and most importantly, they create something around which to focus your PR - an extremely important aspect when launching a new platform. 

If you are embedding our Plug & Fund in your site with your community, launching is much easier. You know your community and your domain. You know what your users need money for, and most importantly, you probably know potential project owners. In this case, you are one step ahead. However, keep reading…you'll thank me.

So without any community we went hunting for our first projects. We were looking for a campaign which would create the best (and free) PR. Once we had that, both types of users would become familiar with, and use our platform. I can't really say which project would create the same impact on your platform, but you probably could, and that`s enough. In our case, we went live 6 months prior to the Olympic Games in London. It is known that in Israel, Olympic athletes don't get, how should I put it, the best financial facilitation from the authorities. The athletes are always looking for sponsors and only few get lucky, several reporters wrote about this issue repeatedly as time advanced toward the impending Olympic Games. In one article, we read about Sergey Richter, a young Israeli shooter, who was looking for a sponsor. Unlike his competitors, he needed to work and train concurrently, even in the last months prior to the Olympics. I called Sergey and suggested he upload his project onto Mimoona. As most people, Sergey didn't know what crowdfunding was, but he was eager to learn. After a short meeting, he was even more excited to upload his project. We offered to help with everything and build him a great campaign (including the trailer) in an effort to eliminate barriers. Our plan was to address the reporters who wrote the articles about the funding issues athletes face.

In my opinion, the following is the best way to do PR if you are not a PR professional. Find a reporter who wrote about the projects` domain and contact him/her. If you can't get to him/her through the front door, do it through the window.

Never the less, and as I wrote in the beginning of my previous post, the reporters found us and 14 hours after Mimoona launched, we were on the front page of the largest news website in Israel. A week later nearly every big media channel mentioned Mimoona, including ESPN in the US. The reason his campaign made such big buzz is simply that it’s a great story.

To sum it all up, find a good story, even if the fund seeker is only looking to raise $1,000. Not only did Sergey raise more than $10,000, we gained many new projects in a matter of hours, and people started to become familiar with what Mimoona is and does. It’s hard to put into words how gratifying it is when someone says, "Oh, I know Mimoona!" when I tell them what I do (: