You’re getting the hang of using social media to market your business. But let’s say you need to find cash to expand your business (or get it launched)….
Should you use social media? After all, social can be and easy and effective outlet for reaching lots of people.
However, posting that you need cash can be the digital equivalent of sitting on a sidewalk holding a cup and cardboard sign that says “Every penny helps.”
Want to avoid looking like a desperate panhandler? There is a smart strategy for asking for venture capital on social media without looking like you’re begging.
Don’t just post on your profile that you’re looking to raise funds for your [insert business name/idea here] and that anybody interested should private message you. Before you make your first post, create a profile on an online funding site.
Crowdfunding has made it acceptable and commonplace to ask for capital. Think of your crowdfunding profile as an online business plan. Make sure your profile includes a compelling story as well as images and a video. If your friends and family see that you have a compelling business plan they can read (and watch) they will be much more likely to invest.
However, getting a professionally-made video created can cost a few thousand dollars, minimum. So how can you create a video without having lots of available capital in the first place? Use a freelance website such as Fiverr.com to hire both a voiceover artist and a whiteboard animator. You can have an animated video created for approximately a couple hundred dollars. Or, invest in high-quality audio equipment and have a friend record your story using a smartphone and tripod.
Many popular funding platforms focus on philanthropic causes. If you’re seeking funds for a business, select a platform such as Fundable. Most online fundraising platforms collect in the neighborhood of 5% of total funds raised. However, some funding platforms charge a monthly flat fee. Fundable, for instance, charges $179 per month. If you need to raise several thousands of dollars, going with a flat monthly fee can save you a lot of money.
Once you’re confident that your online fundraising profile is ready to launch, it’s time to post your online funding profile. (You may want to hire a crowdfunding expert before creating your profile and launching; some consultants will take a percentage of the funds generated if you don’t have the cash to pony up for flat consulting fees.)
In the post, be sure to mention what you’re offering in return for investments in your business venture. If you’re opening, say, a restaurant, does each friend who invests $1,000 receive $2,500 in comped meals? Get creative and think of unique gifts to give your donors.
Also mention in the post how much you’re looking to raise and by what date. In the immediate days after you post your online fundraising campaign, post your campaign link a couple times a day, several hours apart to maximize visibility. If you only post once in the morning, some of your friends may overlook your post or forget about it.
Once your campaign has been launched on social media (send an email campaign as well), for roughly a week, you’ll want to start posting updates about your campaign’s progress. After you receive a contribution, make sure to call or email that individual thanking them. Ask the contributor if it would be alright to mention their individual contribution in a post. When your friends see on social media that others are taking action, they will be more compelled to invest.
What’s Your USP?
Both in your online fundraising profile and in your social media posts, make sure your unique selling proposition (USP) is apparent. How is your product or service different from and better than that of the competition? Before you can begin to raise capital by posting on social media, make sure your USP elevator pitch is … pitch perfect.
Have you factored in a state of the art point-of-sale system in your fundraising campaign? Contact us today to see how you can maximize profits with our best-in-class POS systems.