12 Key Strategies to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding is a great way to earn money for a project, product or personal business venture. Since getting its start, crowdfunding has helped entrepreneurs all over the world get the financial support they need. In 2015 alone, crowdfunding raised $34.4 billion – more than twice as much as was raised in 2014, and the numbers have only continued to rise.

As of this month, Kickstarter has launched over 300,000 campaigns and more than $3 million in donations has been pledged — and that’s just one of multiple crowdfunding platforms!

Projects funded via crowdfunding platforms are also wide-ranging. People have gotten the funding they needed for causes ranging from paying for funeral expenses to school trips or medical expenses. And of course startups have been a primary focus.

But not all of these projects and campaigns do well. Many have failed to raise what they asked for. Even big projects which seemed well-planned and advertised have failed.

Some of the biggest crowdfunding failures? They’ve included the iBackPack — a chic backpack that could have been a data hotspot but suddenly went dark; the Elio Motor Scooter, a three-wheeled electric vehicle, whose release date was indefinitely pushed back; and the Cataldo Medical Care fund, intended to help a woman in Alabama fight “cancer” (she was later convicted of fraud).

If you want your crowdfunding campaign to avoid a similar fate, these 12 keys can help you establish and market your new personal project or business venture.

1. Do your research.

Before you even start your crowdfunding campaign,do your research. This doesn’t mean exploring your product or idea (that should already have been done!): It means researching everything you need to know about crowdfunding, to mine for more success strategies. Not only should you know how to run a successful campaign, you should be aware of all the rules and regulations surrounding this funding source.

2. Choose the right platform.

There are a lot of different crowdfunding platforms out there. While some are general, others are specific to particular industries and niches. Consider your project parameters and do your research to find the platform best suited to what you’re offering. Remember that the right platform will help you connect to your target market and potential investors.

3. Offer more than just an idea.

When you’re ready…