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57 Secrets of Crowdfunding

This guide unveils everything you need to know about successful crowdfunding

  • Get Traffic
  • Create a Compelling Campaign
  • Raise Money to Make Your Exceptional Idea a Reality!
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Narek Vardanyan

Crowdfunding Expert, Founder and CEO of The Crowdfunding Formula
#Growth-hacks #Contentmarketing #Emailmarketing #Crowdfunding

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Narek Vardanyan is the CEO of The Crowdfunding Formula, a leading international crowdfunding agency, and the author of the bestselling 57 Secrets of Crowdfunding.

He has managed hundreds of campaigns, all with a 100% success rate and many of them raising more than $1 million!

He enjoys sharing his insights on digital marketing and growth hacking. He’s spoken at TEDx conferences, published articles in Forbes, Bloomberg and other well-known media outlets, and has been recognized as one of the top Crowdfunding Experts in the world!

AMA with Narek Vardanyan

Questions

Suren Zadoyan

27.11.2019

Barev dzez , inchpes kapnvem dzer grasenyaki het shnorhakalutyun

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Suren, please write to [email protected] the team will get back to you soon.

Linda Logan

28.11.2019

I am interested in reading your Free Book, 57 Secrets of Crowdfunding, but wasn't able to access it from the email you sent me. Advice on how to get that? Thank you.

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Linda, you can download it with this link: https://bit.ly/2RkAwzR

Patricia Garcia

29.11.2019

What is crowd funding exactly

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Patricia, imagine a large number of people (crowd) paying small amounts of money (funding) to bring innovation to life. The concept started long ago and even such famous structures as the Eifel Tower and the Pedestal of the Liberty statute have been financed by crowdfunding. Crowdfunding significantly emerged with Kickstarter and Indiegogo internet-based platforms, which eased the process of creating a project and receiving funding from all over the world :)

Tom Moynihan

02.12.2019

Hi Narek. I got a dilemma here: I did all of my planning and deadlines a few months before but now I see my production got delayed. Do I need to inform the backers or can I just not share that info?

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Tom, great question. Crowdfunding is a billion-dollar industry based primarily on trust. If you get backers' trust they will fund your project without any contracts and legality. In order for it to work you need to be fully transparent with your backers. Treat them as your team and share all the relevant information disregarding whether it's good or bad news. We've seen many campaigners got silent when something went wrong and with that they made it even worse... Delays happen, especially in crowdfunding, but honestly sharing all the reasons that caused the delay will create more trust and understanding among your backers. Good luck with the shipping :)

Grace Ivy

02.12.2019

Why should you take your project to indemand instead of selling on your own website? And even if I do end up going to igg indemand, how long should I stay there. thanks

Narek Vardanyan

The short answer is to benefit from Indiegogo's traffic as well. Also, if you don't have your products ready it might be difficult to sell them on your website, hence Indiegogo gives you the buffer to get additional funding and deliver the products later on. It's a typical activity now, very common among campaigners, who start the campaigns on Kickstarter/Indiegogo and then move to Indiegogo InDemand. You can stay there until you have your production ready and start delivering the products. That's a good time to shift to your e-commerce website.

Soumella Movsesian

03.12.2019

Barev dzez. vor khndrem dzer hajoghutyunneri masin k patmeq? challenge-nere , dzerq berumnere, failures... ? flexible mindset against failures... shnorhakalutyun!

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Soumella, There's a big set of small and big failures in all the success. In order to succeed you need to be ready to fail many many times and never give it up :) My story with crowdfunding started with a failure in crowdfunding. Then I decided to learn how others raise millions of dollars and started to interview people who did it before me. As a result I got some great ideas and combined them into a book and placed it on Amazon. The book, named 57 Secrets of crowdfunding became really famous in there and I started to get requests from people to help them. Please note that at that time I never succeeded in crowdfunding :) Of course I failed a lot but as Paul Arden says in its famous book - If you can't solve the problem it means you are playing by the rules. So you need to break them whenever you see something is not working.

Johnny Griffis

03.12.2019

What was the coolest crowdfunding project you worked on? and the worst?

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Johnny, I'll start from the worst one - my first crowdfunding campaign, where I raised... $15 :-D Other than that, most of the campaigns I worked on were pretty cool. Every campaign is different although there are some patterns that work for most of them. We raised more than $1 mln. both for Bristly, which was a $20 toothbrush stick for dogs and Fuell Fluid e-bike, which was $3500. Of course we employed totally different strategies for both and if you check out their pages, you will notice a lot of differences. That said, I really like our Volterman campaign, as probably I've worked on it the most, taking into account every single detail. We were sure that we were creating something big as it was total quality management of all the processes in the team. I remember how exhausted the photographer was when I returned the 250th shot of one single photo, asking to re-take it again, as the light was not properly positioned in the logo... :-D After many sleepless nights we achieved the results we wanted!

Omri Abate

03.12.2019

Hey Narek! I admire your work a lot and wanted to get your opinion on a few things; how important is the pre-launch subscriber generation? If the product is an awesome innovation, won't it just sell itself through the platform? If I do end up doing lead generation, how many subscribers do I need to have before I launch. Thanks a lot!

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Omri, thanks a lot :) I'd advise to start lead generation either way as it really helps to get early funding and benefit from green-bar effect. When you have subscribers, you can engage them into the campaign, send them more info, make them get ready for the start of the campaign to benefit from early-bird discounts. With early funding, others also join creating momentum, which is really important in crowdfunding campaigns. What concerns the number of subsribers, it really depends on your funding goal and of course on your budget ;-) We typically start with having 10-20k subscribers, which is a good number if you have big goals.

Yoshito Nara

03.12.2019

What are the first markers you take into account to see if a project will be successful or not? Do you test every project to know its potential or select it based on market trends and your own gut feeling?

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Yoshito, great question. Yes we do test most of our campaigns unless we are really sure that the campaign will go really big. We use this tool called Jungle Proof: https://jungleproof.io/ it helps you create a 3-page landing page, where you describe the concept/idea in the 1st page and have a "Learn More" button in there, then in the 2nd page you have more description, details, the price and the "Buy Now" button and 3rd page, when people land on it, it says that the project is not live yet. Then we drive traffic to there and with a a strong analytics and benchmarks evaluate the data. If the proportion of users who clicked the learn more button is good enough, it means people like the concept and the idea. If the number of people who clicked the "Buy Now" button is satisfactory, that's the BEST VALIDATION! Many people can say they are going to buy, but what matters to us the most is the actual number of people who clicked to the Buy Now button. In addition we also carefully research the market, previous similar crowdfunding campaigns and based on the data understand whether the campaign has a potential or not. Hope that helps :)

md Elmella

03.12.2019

Regardless of Product niche and targeted Audience / is there a facebook ad that has a common preference for all the Crowdfunding campaign ? or like, is there a facebook ad that only works best for crowdfunding campaigns only - it is like am mostly targeting the Audience who Backed or interested to indiegogo & Kickstarter, Right? at least those are the conversion statistics of 99% of the Campaigns, Thanks

Narek Vardanyan

Hey there, Do you mean a Facebook ad interest? If yes, you can narrow down the audience with crowdfunding/kickstarter/indiegogo keywords and combine them with your niche segment keyword, e.g. backpack. Only targeting the ads to people who like Kickstarter or Indiegogo will not work :)

md Elmella

03.12.2019

myth or truth, is it true that I need to spend a lot on FB ads ? for an example can a 1000USD make it

Narek Vardanyan

Depend how much you want to raise. Based on our experience Facebook ad spent accumulate about 10-15% of the total raised amount. Meaning if you want to raise a million dollars, you have to spend at least a $100k on ads :)

Aramé

03.12.2019

How much percentage TCF keeps from each crowdfunding campaign? Is it a fixed percentage? Or it is negotiable per case?

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Arame, our commission rates are fixed as it would be unfair to treat our partners differently :) Please contact our partnership dep. for all the details of cooperation. P.S. It usually starts with a great product and the team... :)

Rafo Mheryan

04.12.2019

Hello, thank you for the initiative. I'd like to ask, what are the main 3 conditions for you to take project for crowdfunding?

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Rafo, They are actually 2 conditions :) 1) Product that people want 2) People that are in line with our values. We pay a lot of attention on working with people whom we trust and who trust us. Crowdfunding is a very stressful process and you can make it only with a very high level of trust and team work. We never treat our partners as customers, but rather they are our teammates with whom we are making something big. And as it's in the business, you need to carefully select your partners as you are going to marry him/her for some time... :)

Գայանե Թունյան

04.12.2019

Hi, I am an MBA student and currently I am working on my thesis which is on crowdfunding. Can you please advise some books that are a must for any crowdfunding study and can you please share your vision on future development of crowdfunding. Thanks.

Narek Vardanyan

Hi Gayane, yes, you can read the 57 Secrets of Crowdfunding :) I haven't really read many good books about crowdfunding so I would recommend you. Things in here are changing quite fast and I'd advice to read more articles and case studies than books. We have a great blog where you can find a lot of information. Regarding my vision of crowdfunding: I think crowdfunding is changing. It started as a financial source for startups, but now crowdfunding is used by companies which have billion-dollar valuations, like Philips and Coca Cola... Do they need funds? Of course not. What they are doing is - doing a market research, raising awareness, getting early adopters' feedback untill the full production starts. It saves them a lot of money compared to the typical ways and channels of getting into the market. Is it good or bad? I think it's mostly good as those experienced companies create a very intense competition pushing everybody's boundaries to the next levels... Crowdfunding now is a method to get almost the same results and enter into the market in 3-4 months as companies previously were getting in 2-3 years. :)

Գայանե Թունյան

04.12.2019

I have some more questions. What are the main problems with an unsuccessful crowdfunding and is any world recognised crowdfunding agency to control and study all crowdfunding processes. Thanks in advance.

Narek Vardanyan

There are several great agencies out there (including TCF) who continuously do some internal studies of the industry and learn from its developments. The most common problems with unsuccessful campaigns are that they think it will work on its own. It will not! Even the great greatest products require great marketing activities to bring them n front of audiences. Most of the people think that crowdfunding works on its own and they can just shoot a video, create a campaign and get the easiest one million dollars. And they FAIL. Crowdfunding is hard and the success rate is only about 35%... hence if you want to succeed you have to do your homework: prepare 3-4 months before the launch, gather subscribers, create a compelling video, gather contacts of journalists etc. :)

Narek Vardanyan

04.12.2019

Hey everybody, it was a great pleasure to answer to all of your amazing questions :) Wishing you the best of luck in all your upcoming activities. If you have any more questions, please post them in here and I will get back periodically and answer them all. Thanks, N.