The current Federal Government’s Ideas Boom Agenda would like us Australians to be coming up and realising amazing and innovative ideas which we can sell to the world. This strategy wants us to be embracing “new ideas in innovation and science, and harness new sources of growth to deliver the next age of economic prosperity in Australia”
This agenda is backed by a number of funding initiatives and financial incentives in the Jobs and Growth component of the 2016-17 Federal Budget which you may be entitled to, however, not all new innovative ideas fit into what’s on offer, so an alternative way of funding your next big idea is through crowdfunding.
- as a donation, or
- in exchange for something such as the reward of goods, services or rights, or
- to have an equitable interest in the idea, or
- in a debt-based model where the funds are paid back at a later date
People and businesses are crowdfunding ideas such as:
- making and distributing music and films
- restoring historical sites or recording historical information, and
- investing in property and new technological ideas.
Generally speaking, there is no barrier to what idea could be put up for crowdfunding, it’s just that the idea needs a few things to ensure it gets the world’s backing (or a small component of it anyway).
Disruptive ideas like Uber and AirBnB have come about because they solved a pain point in their industry. Uber recognised that taxi companies were not servicing their clients properly, and AirBnB recognised that some travellers want to experience what it’s like to be a local in their travel destination.
Coming up with an unique idea means listening to yourself, your networks and new channels about what makes you and others unhappy and under-satisfied, then thinking of ways to solve this pain or gain point. This idea could come from people are not getting a good product or service, or that they need help to organise their lives or their businesses in a better way. Alternatively, cultural and community based crowdfunding ideas also attract backing, and so crowdfunding is great for social-preneurs.
Crowdfunding is also a fantastic way of testing out new ideas because you can find out whether your unique idea is needed in the marketplace without having to invest in the prototype or product before going to market.
Standing out from the crowd
Crowdfunding campaigns also help you to hone your branding and marketing skills to promote your idea – essential for any new business idea. That is because it doesn’t matter how unique your idea is or how well it solves a person’s pain or gain point, if you don’t get people’s attention through your crowdfunding message then your campaign will just gather digital dust.
This message needs to ‘speak’ to your donors about their WIIFM (what’s in it for me), so really nut out who your ideas is likely to appeal to, both now and into the future. Also consider how you can make your message ‘newsworthy’. This may be something controversial or eye-capturing such as live streaming a 50 hr loo-in, whereby Who gives a crap toilet paper company owner, Simon Griffith, live streamed himself sitting on a toilet until he raised $50.000 through crowdfunding to kick-start his social-preneur business idea.
Build momentum by drip feeding information about your crowdfunding idea before it goes live through your social media channels. This curiosity will increase the number of people who will be interested in checking out your campaign as soon as it goes live.
Loving all your donors
Ensure you incentify the donors of your crowdfunding campaign by appealing to them by what’s driven them to check out your crowdfunding idea in the first place. Enterpreneurial ideas may offer the ‘be the first to have’ incentive, while Socialpreneurial ideas may offer the ‘be part of creating of something great’ incentive.
Start by asking people in your network to donate or to share your crowdfunding campaign with the people in their network who they think would benefit from your crowdfunding campaign. Aim to attract some ‘big donors’ through possible sponsorship or investment as well through a variety of incentives which appeals to different budgets.
However you decide to incentify your donors to contribute to your crowdfunding campaign, ensure that you live up to these promises. Then use these ‘giving back’ moments to continue to build the momentum around your idea by sharing them through good news stories on your blog, via social media and through media releases.
Don’t give up if you are not successful on your first attempt at crowdsourcing an idea. Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple to be one of the most successful international companies by throwing in the towel when things didn’t go his way. Also, don’t forget that declare the crowdfunding as income (if necessary).
If you would like to learn about being successful online, check out the following events being run for Eastside Business Enterprise Centre:
- 19 October – The Power of Social Media – Building Customer Loyalty & Brand Awareness – Webinar (Online)
- 26 October – Grow your Business with Facebook – Workshop in Payneham (Adelaide)
Or contact us (email or 0400 732 270) now to find out more about how you can take these simple steps to online success to using crowdfunding your next big idea.