Thirty years ago a small business owner had limited resources when it came to collecting the funds required to start their project or passion. With the broad spectrum integration of the internet the pool of resources for business expanded beyond local banks and investors.
In 2009, a small company named Kickstarter presented a new way for artists, creators, and small businesses to reach out and engage their consumers while simultaneously raising the funds they need to pursue their dreams.
Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and other crowdfunding websites provide a unique opportunity for fund raising. On Kickstarter, an individual or company that has a product or product idea builds a leveled donation campaign for that product on their website of choice. Each donation level is paired with incentives or awards which will be provided to the donors if and when the campaign reaches the monetary goal and is fully funded.
In the last 5 years crowdfunding websites have taken root all over the internet. Sites range in specialty from creative project funding, to donations placed through Kiva supporting a wide variety of non-profit and charitable organizations. Hundreds of millions of dollars were donated last year to these small businesses. Entire industries are being founded on this funding model and new jobs are created by passionate people each day as more projects reach their funding goals.
Funded by Fans
What is the benefit of this model, besides the obvious? Well, social media plays a large role in the success of these projects. Fully funded campaigns are frequently accompanied by a YouTube video, which can then be shared and linked with the crowdfunding page website across all the major social media outlets.
One person sees the project and loves it. They donate what they can, and pass the message along, encouraging others to support the project because, after all, they don’t get their incentive unless the project reaches the funding goal. This creates a fan base from the foundation of the business and has the potential to grow exponentially as more people share and become fans of the project. Each investor becomes a mini-marketer, sharing your product with all their friends on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and beyond. Those friends do the same and the cycle continues, reaching individuals and markets that the business owner could have never hoped to reach on their own.
Crowdfunding Your Company
Whether this funding model is one you choose to employ for your small business or not, it is a vital one for you, as an owner, to be aware of. Crowdfunding is not simply a means by which to obtain the cash you need to succeed, but it brings with it a built in network of social marketing and builds a devoted fan base.
If you are looking to build your business through crowd funding or if you are simply hoping to find a few ways to improve your local search rankings, Big Leap can help. We specialize in Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, and Web Desgin. We have the experience and expertise to get the results you are looking for.