When it comes to starting a business there are three options; using your own capital; borrowing capital from a bank; and raising funds using crowdsourcing services. Crowdsourcing has become really popular in recent years and now many businesses have opened their doors thanks to money from strangers on the internet. The following is how to get started with crowdfunding in Hong Kong and use it to fund your innovation and start your business.

#1 Create a Realistic Goal

The first thing you have to do with a crowdsourcing service such as Indiegogo is to set a financial goal and time limit. This can be a lot trickier than you’d think. While setting a longer goal does give you more time to raise the money, it can actually have a negative effect and make it harder for you to reach your goals. It’s also all-too-easy to aim too high financially. Be realistic about how much money you’re going to need and how long it will take to reach it. Research shows that the best time limit to put on your campaign is 60 days. It’s long enough for you to generate a good amount of money, but not so long that you have periods of downtime where you aren’t actively campaigning.

#2 The Video Pitch

An Indiegogo campaign is much more likely to succeed if you attach a video pitch to it. This video pitch gets your message across in your own words, while also showing the person watching it that you’re a real person, with real goals, and you can really make this work. It reassures them and allows them to connect to you, which makes them want you to succeed even more. Make a personal video that tells a story and explains just what you need the money for. The worst mistake you can make with your video is to create a basic ad or trailer. It also helps to put up new videos when you reach a specific goal and make progress; keep people up to date with how the project is going.

#3 Perks

People may be giving money to you, but they aren’t doing it for nothing. They’re doing it for the perks that come with donating. Obviously you don’t want to give away something expensive and eat through your campaign funds, but you still want to make it worth the donor’s time and money. Sometimes the best perk is one that doesn’t even have a dollar value to it, like meeting someone involved with the project and getting involved themselves. If you’re making a product then you can even use the perks for research purposes by allowing donors of a certain level to play with a prototype and give you their feedback.

#4 Spread the Word

After setting up your campaign you need to start spreading the word and making sure everyone knows about it. Indiegogo makes it easy to share your project across social media, and they have their own algorithms that determine which projects are highlighted on the home page. The more effort you put into your project, the more effort Indiegogo will also put into it for you. Try to get money from your inner circle first, as people are more likely to donate to a project that has some funding behind it already. Your project could be half-funded by your friends and family before the money from internet strangers comes in.

#5 Stay in Touch

After running a successful campaign it’s time to send out your perks and get to work. You aren’t done with your supporters just yet though. They’ll want to know how the project is moving and what progress you’re making. It’s important that you send out regular updates and stay in touch with your donors. Let them know you haven’t forgotten them, and that you couldn’t have done it without their help. Show them how much you appreciate them, and they’ll be more likely to donate more and spread the word for you if you run a future campaign.