Crowdfunding Handbook (Part 1)

Welcome to the Woodshed Agency's Crowdfunding Handbook! This guide will walk you through everything from planning your shipping to communicating with backers. This handbook will be released over the next 7 weeks so be sure to check back each week. Let's get started with Part 1- Telling Your Story. Don't want to wait 7 weeks to get all of the info? Click here to pick up our Crowdfunding Success Roadmap

 

Getting Started - 

Your project can be anything that you want to create and share with others. It could be a book, a film, a piece of hardware... pretty much anything you dream up can find a home on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Just keep your project focused, with a clear end goal, and you’ll be good.

Every Crowdfunding project should have the following:

  • A project page with a video and description that clearly explain the story behind your project

  • Rewards that backers will receive when the project is completed

  • Updates that share the creative journey as the project comes to life

Let’s go through these, one by one. We’ll get started with your project page — where you’ll tell people your story.

 

Telling your story

Imagine explaining your project to a friend. What would you say? What might they ask you? And how would you show them you’re serious, prepared, and capable of doing a great job? Your project page is your chance to tell people that story: who you are, what you want to make, and why.

Wondering how to get started? Listen to a few episodes from our podcast Successfully Funded to hear creators share some insights on what makes a great project page. Looking through successful projects in your category is another good way to see what kinds of information backers will expect. Our crowdfunding success roadmap can also help you craft a campaign that will get people excited about your idea.

If your project is simple and straightforward, then maybe your project page can be, too. If you’re doing something more complex, share details to demonstrate that you know what you’re doing. Either way, there are some basic questions you should answer:

  • Who are you?

    Introduce yourself, your team, and any similar work you’ve done (show some examples!).

  • What are you planning to make?

    The more details, the better. Sketches, samples, prototypes — it all helps backers get as excited as you are.

  • Where did this project come from?

    Tell people how you got the idea, and how much you’ve accomplished so far. Sharing the project’s history helps others understand the kind of work you do, and how you go about it.

  • What’s your plan, and what’s your schedule?

    Lay out a clear, specific timeline for what backers can expect.

  • What’s your budget?

    A simple breakdown lets people know you’ve thought things through and have a workable plan, so they can trust you to use funds wisely.

  • Why do you care?

    Tell people why you’re passionate about your project and committed to making it happen.

A lot of your story can be conveyed with words, but there’s more to a good project page than text. Images and video are a huge help for bringing people inside your story. Check out the tips here and below for more on what we think makes a standout project.

  • Choose a great project image.

    Remember: it’s the first part of your project people will see — you’ll want to make a good first impression. Here are some tips on choosing an image and grabbing attention.

  • Make a compelling video.

    It’s the best way to introduce yourself and to give people a closer look at what you’re working on. It doesn’t have to be super slick; some of our favorite videos have a very DIY feel. In fact, here’s how you can make a project video on your own, without extra equipment or a film crew.

  • Still feeling a bit camera-shy?

    Try watching this collection — we promise it’ll leave you feeling more relaxed.

  • Consider adding captions and subtitles.

    Captions, subtitles, and translations help more people understand what you have to say and get involved with your project (whatever their language or hearing level).

  • Get creative.

    Include gifs, soundclips, and graphs. Try to keep some media items under 5MB so that they're easily shareable.