Most people who fund your project won’t stumble upon your new business. They will need to be herded, convinced, emailed, called, befriended, Tweeted, blogged to and more. But it’s time well spent. You aren’t just raising crucial capital, you are building buzz, and creating a loyal customer base.
1.) Get Tweeting
The biggest predictor of success is the number of Twitter followers you have so start following folks who are involved in the local food scene and, on average, about 40% will follow you back.
2.) Make a Good Facebook Page
Be sure to upload a photograph. There are tips about this all over the internet.Here is a good beginner page, intermediate page, and advanced page .
3.) Get a Big Supporter Involved
Though not critical, if you have a large contributor already lined up – say your mother, who is going to contribute $1,000 anyway- get them to use the Foodstart platform. That kind of social affirmation will help bring in other contributions.
4.) Pick a Reasonable Campaign Duration
For some reason shorter campaigns are more successful than longer ones. No one knows why – perhaps it’s the sense of urgency? – but for whatever reason, 60 day campaigns do best.
5.) Make a Video
This is critical. Even if it’s low budget. Laptop webcams are fine. But people are investing in the story of your business as much as they are great perks. So let them in on the inside and make them feel a part of something new and hip. A professionally produced two-minute video might cost $2k – great if you can afford it. If not, find someone with some local video skills who can help.
- Use a real microphone. Folks are more forgiving of bad lighting than bad sound. You might need to spend a $100 on a real microphone but the quality difference is amazing.
- Add background music. Royalty free music is all over the internet. See for example Sound Cloud and Vimeo Music Store. The music you pick also helps establish what kind of business you are and reinforces your brand.
- Add text at the end of the video directing people to Foodstart.com – in case your video goes viral you want people to know where to contribute.
- Use a split screen – a person talking, say, with a walk through of the facility or video of the menu items you intend to serve. It’s easy to do with most video editors.