Starting your own web site can be tough. You will likely face a number of challenges when starting out. There are so many things that can go wrong. Even the smallest thing, maybe something that you didn't think about at all, can be turn out to be a huge problem.
When setting up your web site, especially if you haven't done it before, there are many key factors you need to consider. Making the right choices requires a lot of research so you can find the best solution for your particular idea. What you decide will be very important. Worst case is that you might even have to start all over again, and that can be costly and kill your motivation.
CrowdfundHQ covers a lot of these problems by having already solved them for you. In fact, when using CrowdfundHQ, there are so many things you don't even think about that would have been something you would have to spend time fixing if you were to create a site from scratch or use another platform. If something goes wrong, if there are issues or complaints, we will take immediate action and fix it right away.
With us you don't have to worry about software or hardware updates, databases, technology, security or monitoring. We are here making sure your site is running smoothly, even when you sleep, so you can focus on developing your idea and taking care of your users.
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT WHEN STARTING YOUR OWN WEBSITE
There are many ways to build your own website. You may want to build your website from scratch, which can be an extremely time-consuming process. Furthermore, hiring developers can be very expensive, and if you haven't worked with them before it's very hard to predict the outcome. Software projects exceed costs more often than not. With CrowdfundHQ you can spend your money on marketing and customer service instead of risking it all on development.
Another option is to use an existing template, which will save you lots of time, but is the solution you're using good enough? Does it scale when your website takes off? What happens if you are attacked by spammers or need to upgrade your servers? Is it easy to move your data if you decide you want to switch? How do you know the solution you are looking can provide you with what you need? There are always pros and cons whether you choose this one or the other.
Time to market is another important aspect. With us you can customize your site in a matter of days and start collecting funds before you know it.
SECURITY - THINGS CAN GO WRONG, BUT WE GOT YOU COVERED.
The Internet can be a nasty place. There are a lot of hackers looking to spread spam and viruses through your website. In addition there are tons of professional services scanning your site to sell information about it or exploit it if they can. An attack by spammers or a denial of service attack on your web server is devastating and can take your site down for days if you don't know how to fix it.
CrowdfundHQ makes sure that your site is backed up, and security measures are up to date. We store store all content in a database, and back these up in a secure location. Your data is safe even if the datacenter burns down.
We have experienced a few unfortunate cases, for example when one of our customer's web site suddenly was attacked by spammers trying to generate clicks. The link was placed on fake campaigns and was spread around the Internet. Our monitoring system picked it up, and we immediately blocked the fake campaigns and added additional checks to avoid it from happening again, and in a matter of a few hours the problem was solved.
Our servers have block lists for over 5000 ip's, servers and robots, are you sure your provider or custom web site will be able to handle this so your site doesn't go down?
Another issue with software is the fact that there are always bugs, it also happens to us, we are no different from others. Things will go wrong from time to time, and our goal is to minimize the impact of it, because we can't prevent it completely.
Developers are constantly writing new software to replace older versions. After a while, they release entirely new versions, but don't have enough time or resources to keep supporting old versions indefinitely. We constantly experience issues with Facebook, Google and Wepay (just to mention a few), and we make sure to give you all the latest updates so your site stays up to do date.
If you hire developers to build your own site, you will find bugs, even after delivery, that you will keep having to pay for. Code rot, that software needs constant maintenance, is real, and it will happen to you too. Let us worry about it for you.
Since our software is used by many users, it actually helps you in keeping your site up to date. If one user reports an error, when we fix it, all our users get this fix. We often fix things without you even noticing, and often within minutes of the problem being reported.
WE ARE EXPERTS AND WE ARE ON YOUR TEAM
When building your own site, what do you do about choice of hosting service? The benefit of using CrowdfundHQ is that we will host and store all data for you, and we will make sure that our servers are up to date 24/7. If something happens we will fix it right away, without additional cost.
Yes, and you can use your own domain and SSL certificate. We will even set it up for you for free. Need any changes to your setup? We'll fix it.
Don't forget the customer service you get. We give you the support you need when you are stuck, and also give you tips or advice, even snippets of code if it's not too difficult. We are experts at our job, and it is our job to help you to succeed. If you succeed, we will succeed, so it is a win-win situation.
WE MAKE SURE TO DELIVER THE BEST PRODUCT ALL THE TIME
We help you get rid of all the stuff that makes it hard, and make it as easy as possible for our customers to start with a basic site, and help you grow when you need to. Our plans correspond to how many campaigns you have on your site. It's simple, and upgrading is easy and can be done when you need it.
We're focusing all of our attention on results: web sites that get launched quickly, generate contributions, reduce your costs, and do things to help your business be seen and grow. By providing the best features possible, your business will grow and you will see the value in having us as an ongoing partner.
CrowdfundHQ is 100 percent self-owned, and has been financed by our users since we first launched 4 years ago. Some of our customers have been with us since day one. We are still small, with team members that live and work from different countries around the world.
Besides being small, CrowdfundHQ has always been a flat organization, meaning we are all responsible for everything. Growth is very important to us, not just financially, but personally and technically as well. We share the same vision, and at the same time we're very focused on being coordinated. That makes us efficient, and we can move quickly using a lean core team.
We want to surround ourselves with great people, people that care, who put pride into their work, and we're not afraid of failure. By knowing what doesn't work we learn, so we can work towards something better.
Hard work and dedication trumps talent, but both together wins every time.
Projects fail before success
Projects or tasks sometimes fail, despite the best efforts of the people on the team. Sometimes the projects are just bad ideas. Sometimes the decisions made make results less than what you hoped for.
Rather than blaming the person who took the decision, your team should find a new way to make that decision work. This increases the quality, and also makes our work more purposeful. The benefit of this process is that everyone feels heard and acknowledged. This is not my project, it's ours.
The user in focus
One of the main key factors is to always aim to make our service even better. Our users are our main focus. We pay attention and listen to our customers. That way we make sure that we create solutions that meet their expectations. Pay attention to creative users and encourage feedback.
It's important that everyone involved are deeply interested in what they do, are encouraged to dig deeper, expand their knowledge, and become better at it. We take responsibility for our own learning and development. Even though many of us work the longest hours, we're happier about our work-life balance, because we are passionate about what we do.
Get involved in everything, make sure that everyone participates on every level. Even though most of us are engineers, we are all taking part in customer support. We know that providing great customer support is when people with the right skills answer the questions.
WHY A FLAT STRUCTURE WORKS BEST FOR US
Here's why we think a flat business model is the best solution for many:
- Saving money. We don't have any management team or a sales team in between, which means less expenses on salaries. All of us are involved in everything.
- Greater productivity. We don't waste time on meetings or long discussions. We rather focus on getting the work done.
- Non-leadership. This means involving all the employees when making big decisions, rather than waiting for a manager approval, which is way too time consuming and will delay the production process. We increase quality because the decision makers are responsible for their actions.
- Self-managing teams that organize their own work will result in a great level of responsibility, and increase the ability to think out of the box.
- Open allocation. It's important that you love what you do, or else you will get bored and you will get a poor quality result. The team have their own freedom in choosing what tasks they want to work on. All tasks are a priority.
HOW WE WORK
At CFHQ, we have a different position on ambition, and we're not big fans of delegating or telling people what to do. As long as you share the same vision, things naturally fall into place. We don't try to solve problems ahead of time, and move fast when things go wrong.
DO WE REALLY NEED AN OFFICE?
We're working online, and are location independent. Most people might feel safe if they have an office to go to every day. We don't! We believe in building your own working environment, and unlike many others, we like to renew our workspace from time to time. Change breeds creativity and inspiration.
Since we're placed around the world, the team travels occasionally and meet up. We're a team with different culture and backgrounds, and we think this is a great way to learn new things.
HIRE FREELANCERS FOR SHORT PERIODS
We've experimented with including new people for certain tasks. If we need to hire an extra designer, we'll do so. We know time can be hectic sometimes, when there are some minor fixes that are easy, we hire a freelancer for a short time period just to get the work done.
Hold on to great freelancers, and hire them again if you're happy. Finding talent is gold. It adds to your flexibility in case you suddenly need more speed.
So how do we communicate with each other, if we don't work together in the same building? We do most of our communication by e-mail, and we use a task management tool, and it works great! We think by doing this, we will be more efficient, and it will minimize the risk of miscommunication.
When everyone knows that we can't always talk, we communicate better and more precise. There can be no office gossip when there is no office. Work when you work, be social when you're social, keep focus.
We like many others, take our job very seriously. When we mean seriously, we mean 100% dedication to the work we are performing and aim to get it done. We try to avoid interruptions, and the main key is to have a silent environment around us. In an office, you don't get that!
Why not rent a cabin in the woods, or a house at the beach? A calming view or fresh sea breeze does wonders for your productivity and energy.
RIGHT FOOD GIVES YOU ENERGY
Good and healthy foods are important while working. We eat lots of natural foods high in energy, and try keep sugar and processed ingredients at a minimum, which gives you more power to do everyday tasks. Healthy foods are good for you, also financially! When you never get sick, you get more things done.
Besides healthy food, we work out as much as we can to lower the stress level. Yoga, rock climbing, martial arts, chopping wood, swimming and weight lifting are our favorites, find the ones you love the most to take your mind off work.
There is no such thing as weekend off! You should not limit yourself from working on weekends. If you feel you have work that needs closure, why not just get the work done, and then take a day or two off. Don't get distracted about having the weekend off, unless you're feeling burned out and exhausted.
Work isn't separate from life. It's part of life, and weekends are part of life too.
You just have to change the way you think. No matter when, if you feel inspired, just go with the flow. If you're in the flow, you won't get tired. Work is supposed to be fun, so look for challenges and prioritize learning.
Lastly, sleep when you're tired, take a break or a trip when you need to. Listen to your body.
DON'T HAVE MEETINGS!
Our experience in working with executives and managers is that most of their time is taken up with meetings, which leaves little time left to actually get work done.
Meetings are just a soul-sucking waste of time, and it kills productivity.
Think about the last few meetings you went to. Did you wish you were somewhere else, or finish the meeting wondering what the point of the meeting was? Or worse yet, feel that the same thing could have been accomplished through a simple email? Did it break your flow?
Kill the meetings in your life, and get a ton more tasks done.
REMOVE ALL MANAGERS AND MIDDLEMEN
Do we really need managers? By getting rid of them, you'll have plenty of freedom to make your own decisions about the projects you're working on. It also give all employees 100% control of their time and let them decide what they work on each day.
If they don't know anything about coding, they shouldn't work on a project that involves code.
It's time to start get rid of the management, and rather make everyone a chief. Of course there's always going to be some disadvantages choosing one or the other, but from our perspective and experience, the flat business structure works best for us, and we think that you should definitely try it out.
Want to write a text that not only attracts attention, but also makes your audience keep reading? We show you how to put the golden rules of copywriting into practice. Your goal is to sell more with less words, and getting your reader to take action. With a little bit of preparation you will have a great text in next to no time. After reading this you will be an expert in the science of persuasion and how to get that yes. Read our five simple steps for anyone who wants to become a better copywriter.
1. Know your audience - find your scenario
A golden rule for copywriting is to always know who you are writing to. In addition to gender and age imagine some of your audience's patterns, like her hobbies, her relationship status and her wants and wishes. What is her motivation and what triggers her attention? Keep a list to remind yourself of who you are writing to so you don't lose focus.
2. Concepting - find your angle
Now you have a better knowledge of your audience, but which angle will you use to lure your audience in? Imagine that your audience is looking for their next travel experience. Consider what is important for the target audience and what triggers her action to buy a trip. Is it curiosity or boredom? Is she looking for a unique and adventurous trip she can brag about to her friends and family?
Appeal to the fear of missing out: Everybody else are going on amazing trips, of course she wants to have that same experience! Is the audience looking for a trip to book as a surprise for a friend? Perhaps the audience is feeling guilty about not having spent enough time with her loved ones. Choose a few angles that you incorporate into your text as you want to appeal to more sides of your reader. Say that she needs an escape from her every day stress, wants to book a trip for her husband and a unique trip that she can brag about to her friends?
3. Approach - find the right package that fits the message
Now that you have found your angle consider how you want to communicate your message. Start a dialogue with her, take her on the journey she wants, and remind her of the cold weather at home, before you take her on a journey to somewhere warm and sunny. If you want to provoke her a little bit, tell her that she has neglected both herself and her loved ones and that only a perfect trip that can create happy memories for everyone is the right thing to do.
Examples of approaches:
The Dialogue – speak to her: Still haven't booked a holiday? Looking for the perfect sunny destination? We have the trip for you!
Visualization – paint her the picture: Hear the sound of waves playing against the white sandy beach and feel the warm sun caressing your skin- welcome to the Caribbean!
Make the contrast: Leave the dreary weather and everyday stress at home and enjoy the relaxing island life on Jamaica!
Provocation: Surprise your family with an unforgettable holiday that will create wonderful memories for everyone.
4. The art of persuasion - Dr. Cialdinis six principles of persuasion
The author and scientist behind the book “Influence: The principles of persuasion” shows us how influencing people is not luck or magic, but a science. After 30 years of research he has boiled it down to six main principles of persuasion for anyone who wants to get that yes!
1. Reciprocity: Give your audience something extra by giving them personalised and unexpected insider tips that makes them think they owe you something. Research has shown that people will be much more positive towards you (and buying your product) if you offer them something for free, no matter how little it might seem.
2. Social proof: When people are in doubt they often turn to others for advice, or simply do whatever other people do. That is why testimonials from satisfied customers should be displayed on any page. In your text you can appeal to that sentiment by simply insinuating that your audience should go on the holiday that everybody else wants to go on as well.
3. Consistency and Commitment: People don't like to back out of agreements. Research shows that when people have publicly said yes to doing something they are far less likely to back out of it. So your task as a copywriter is to make the audience make commitments in a "yes-loop” they will not want to get out of. Ask your audience if they are going on a trip, if they want to experience something new and also bring their loved ones with them on that trip. Yes, yes, and yes.
4. Liking: People don't like to say no to people they know and like, and are also less likely to say no if the person they are talking to is similar to them, gives them compliments, or those who are physically attractive. Even a small thing as sharing someone's name can be important if you're trying to persuade someone to give that yes. A way of getting people to like you better is simply finding something you have in common or show that you also have the same problems as they do. “Are you also looking forward to the summer? Come with us to Spain!"
5. Authority: People respect authority and want to follow “experts” with higher education and a great business title, or celebrities who drive expensive cars and own million-dollar homes. We respect authority to the extent that we often don't question it, even if it goes against rational behavior. So if you are trying to sell a hotel by the Como lake in Italy, mention that both Brad Pitt and George Clooney have vacation homes in the area or that the president's favorite vacation country is Italy.
6. Scarcity - People want more of what they can have little of. If you have a unique product make a visualization of what they will miss out on if they don't go. You can also use this to your advantage if you're offering a trip to let's say Poland that might not be on everyone's bucket list, but what if it is a place yet to be discovered by tourist hordes?
5. A few golden rules to keep in mind while you are writing.
- Write in the present tense, you want the audience to feel that they are already walking on the beautiful beaches of Thailand or by the foot of the romantic Eiffel Tower in Paris.
- Minimize auxiliaries, skip the can, may or should, write what the audience is most definitely doing on their holiday. Be specific and concise, like they are already at the destination.
- Use positive words, but never lie: This might seem like a given to some, but in cases when have to write about something with lesser quality you have to find a way to present the product to the audience in a positive way without lying. Selling a bunk bed room in a cottage as a romantic getaway might sound as a difficult task, but nothing is impossible: "Want to escape the city life for a weekend? Find peace and quiet in a cottage in the forrest, and connect with each other on a different level."
- Variation: This is a no-brainer really, meaning simply that you need to make use of a variety of words to make what you are selling different and interesting!
- Use “you” more than “we”: We commit to you, and you are the most important. Always direct your text to the one person reading. This way you are making her commit to what she is thinking and making it a personal experience for her.
- Be careful when using superlatives: It might be tempting to use as many superlatives as possible in a text, but it will backfire. Words like perfect, amazing and incredible should be used very rarely. If you use too many superlatives your text might end up being perceived as ridiculous and untruthful.
- Don't promise more than what is realistic, that will only lead to disappointment. If you are selling a trip to a 3-star hotel in Costa del Sol, don't promise first class dining or a luxurious spa experience when the only available spa you will see is a sauna.
The art of copywriting is like most things, it becomes better with practice. To be a good and versatile copywriter it is sometimes necessary to go outside your comfort zone. Have you nailed the dialogue approach, and become fluent in the language of persuasion? Then try out the approach of visualization and bring your audience to a whole different place without having to actually go anywhere. That is one of the wonderful things with copywriting, it gives you the power to influence people's decisions.
A really good text can invite the audience to something of so much value to them that it will change their life. Maybe your mesmerizing text will make them get out of their chair and do that trip around the world that fulfills a lifelong dream, or go on that sunny holiday that puts a spark back into their life, to start with.
Not everybody needs guidelines, golden rules or to learn the science of persuasion to be an excellent copywriter, but a few tips and pointers might push you to develop yourself further and get some inspiration for your next text, even for those of you who already consider yourselves experts at copywriting.
Most companies, especially startups and organizations, need to offer a service that requires investment in technology. By choosing a white label service, the company can increase sales by using a ready made service without having to put resources into developing it.
White-labeling can be a win-win for all parties. Not every white label product is built to the same standards. However, many white label solutions do represent similar or higher quality than branded products, so you need to do your own research before you decide what you want to do.
There are many white label companies out there, but it is very important that you find a partner which can provide professional, high quality services, and also will match your requirements.
Here are five reasons you should consider white labeling your business:
1) PROVIDE READY MADE TOOLS
Rather than going through the hard way of launching your own product, you can use an already made product with your name attached. You get the full package which includes customizable layout of your website, a powerful back-end administration system, payment handling, marketing tools, and lots more.
CrowdfundHQ gives you a point-and-click service, which gives you the freedom to customize the look and feel of your site. The platform is made to make it easy for developers to work on too. You don't have to worry about servers, API's and databases, it's already set up and working.
The time from idea to market is literally just a few minutes. That's priceless.
2) SAVE TIME AND DEVELOPMENT COSTS
Creating your own product from scratch might sound like a great idea, but unless you've done it before, you probably aren't aware of all the energy and resources that go into creating an original product. Why waste time trying to develop existing product or system when you can white label?
The company purchasing the white-labeled product doesn't have to spend the time and money figuring out the best way to create the product, it avoids all the troubleshooting, working outside of the knowledge base, wasting money in finding the most cost-efficient ways to produce the product, and can instead focus more on the bigger picture. Less money spent on development is more available for marketing and execution.
3) SIMPLE SETUP PROCESS
If something goes wrong with a product or a client complains, if there is a problem with the platform, your white label provider will take responsibility and fix it for you. It's like having a team of engineers on standby for you.
We have everything you need to get started right away. CrowdfundHQ has a great white label support team to help you learn about the platform, and we provide resources including a blogging engine, emails, marketing tools, and more.
We will do the optimizations on the back-end – you just need to handle your business, and sell it!
4) PROVIDE YOUR OWN MARKETING AND YOUR OWN BRAND
When you are using a white-labeled service, you will also be able to put your own brand name on it, and market it how you want.
White labeled services also offer expertise in specific areas of marketing, such as digital branding, social marketing, SEO (search engine marketing), website development, link building, mobile design and so on.
Recruiting experts to do the job requires time, money and effort, and it's not always easy to find someone who will do the job right. Using a white label service frees up time so you can concentrate on what's important.
5) THE PROFITS ARE YOURS
Some white label platforms take a cut of the contributions. We don't. When you white label your platform with CrowdfundHQ, there are no transaction fees. You set your own fees, there are no limits. We support 12 payment solutions.
The profits are yours, and you get the recurring profits from customers who use the platform. Since you are in charge of supporting end-customers, you can make your own terms and charge as much as you want for support.
You can offer more to your customers than your competitors, quicker.
White labeling allows you to get to market fast. Set up a working web site in less than 2 minutes, or polish it for a while to stand out, either way, you'll save lots of time. Spend money on business aspects and marketing instead of re-inventing the wheel by creating your own site from scratch.
You get to work with talented experts and engineers that work for you to provide the best possible service, and help your site succeed. Easily provide your clients with excellent products, and maintain a high standards of quality, all under the name of your own brand.
The best thing about a white-labeling service is that there is no long-term commitment. You can even try it for free! Send us an email if you have questions, we're here to help.
There are many good reasons why white labeling is the best solution, especially for startups and organizations. Why not just give it a try?
Our team is composed of highly trained and experienced developers, who help us achieve our goals in delivering an optimized and first class service to our users. We set our goals and expectations high, and always aim to make the platform the best out there.
Year 2015 has been both challenging and rewarding, yet we have released many new features, and done lots of fixing.
WHAT TO EXPECT THE COMING YEAR, 2016
We are happy to inform that we have already started working on a big, demanding release that we can't wait to to share with you in the year 2016. We don't like to make promises, but we believe that this will be the most powerful release we've ever done.
Our new product features will make our platform fully customizable, meaning much easier and fun to work with, and so much more flexible. In our opinion we will be the first and only platform with such an amazing product for such a great price.
We hope that you can patiently continue giving us feedback, and keep up with the good work while waiting.
WHAT WE EXPECT OUR USERS TO ACHIEVE
CrowdfundHQ want to acknowledge our users. Your success is our success, and it means a lot to us to see you create beautiful sites with lots of activity.
Any start-up business requires hard work and belief in self. If your product is really great and you know it, there is no way that you're going to fail. You just need to work hard.
Sometimes it's good to think outside the box. Make an effort to push your thinking up to and beyond its limit, everything from brain storming, creative and unique solutions, connecting with others in person, look and listen, always think long-term, and learn, learn, learn!
YOUR VOICE MATTERS
Please continue to spread and share the word about Crowdfunding. Let people know how powerful it is, and what you can use it for!
It will not only be a win win situation for everyone, but we will also make an effort to make the crowdfunding Community even bigger. Sharing really is caring!
If you have anything in mind, please send us an e-mail, and we'll gladly help you. We appreciate the feedback we get from all of you, and we evaluate every single suggestion. Without you guys, we would not have made it so far, so please send us more!
We hope you are as excited as we are about the year to come. Let's set our goals high and aim for a successful working relationship in the year 2016!
Team CrowdfundHQ would like to wish all our users a happy new year!
Let’s face it, regardless of how much time you spend on marketing and sale these days, the first thing the audience is going to base their impression on you, is the design of your website.
You need to have a spark on your website that appeals to your users, something that catches their eye, it’s as simple as that.
Usability, trust and aesthetics
The design of a website is important because it affects how quickly visitors can find what they are looking for. If it’s difficult or frustrating, the visitor will leave and try on another site - and that is a lost of opportunity. A good design will be easy to understand and navigate, helping potential customers find what they need and taking you one step closer to a sale.
Everything on a website needs to have a logical place, helping site visitors easily find what they are looking for. Everything on a page needs to have a purpose. The site navigation needs to be in a logical and consistent place on every single page.
It should be apparent what is the main content on a page and what is secondary, based. If the first impression off the website’s design site doesn’t make sense or is not appealing, the visitor will leave. Luckily, CrowdfundHQ has taken care of this for you with usability that works well.
A website will also need to create trust, make sense and allow people to find what they need quickly and easily - while doing what you want them to do. A user takes only 5 seconds to decide whether they are going to continue browsing your site or not. You need to take note that you are communicating with your prospective customers through your website. When you fail to communicate, it is going to be a loss of customer and income as well.
One thing is clear: a website has to look good. But it’s extremely important to keep usability in mind and not sacrifice it just for the sake of appearance. The design should lead the eye from what’s most important to secondary items. Minor things can be done, e.g. with space, typography, images and colors. A professional, modern look can immediately build trust. The possibilities are endless, but there are no doubt that a good design will create trust and guide visitors to take action.
The practice of finding a good designer
The first thing you have to do is to find a designer that suits your need, and to do that you need to do some research. These are the following requirements you need to consider:
- Choose 2-3 companies who are among the highest on your list
- Check prices and compare. Who gives the most benefit? What is your budget?
- Always check their portfolio, and base your decision on their previous work/ projects. Is their “style” appealing to you or something you’re looking for?
- Get to know the company. Do you have a good feeling about the company? Is the communication good between you? Favor partners that answer within a few hours instead of those who answer within a few days.
- Be clear and precise on what you want, or you will most likely waste both time and money. The worst case is that you will need to start all over again. This is not good for you business, and is very inefficient.
Remember you’re the client, meaning clients know their business best. Even though you depend on them, they depend on you too.
HOW IS THE DESIGN ON YOUR SITE?
Are you among many who feel like the design is not optimal? Or maybe considering to renewing your design?
As you know by now, the design of your website is one of the key factors. Studies show a well-built website will generate better customer traffic and builds trust among your customers. If you need help with the design of your website, CrowdfundHQ has a few designers with a reasonable rate that we can recommend, just let us know and we will be happy to help you. Contact us today to get a quote.
Crowdfund is the new rage. It is the concept platform that enables anyone from anywhere in the world to host their project online to acquire funds. It is the most amazing "pay-it-forward" concept EVER!
Who can Crowdfund?
Crowdfunding is for "the people", whether you work for a company, all types of communities, political campaigns, universities and all sort of business. Crowdfunding opens many doors for fundraising and creates an online community of people who want to give and share.
Why crowdfunding? …why NOT?
It is true democracy in practice. Crowdfunding enables you to realize your goals without some of the unnecessary hassles and it eliminates:
1. Having to get a bank loan and pay high interest rates.
2. Having to borrow money from friends and family to launch ideas.
3. Having to pay out huge dividends on your business.
So, why should companies use crowdfunding to raise money?
- Crowdfunding has very low fees and 0% interest.
- No risk, meaning if the project fails, you don't go bankrupt.
- You dont have to deal with a strict corporate institution like the banks are
- You know your contributors are interested in your product before you launch, and they will help you promote it end sell it. All of your contributors want to see you succeed. Banks don't provide community or crowds.
- There are no deadlines, meaning less stress.
- It's humane
When Crowdfunding doesn't work… what does that mean?
A few common examples of when crowdfunding doesn’t work:
1. the concept is bad
2. the campaign is running either too short or too long
3. the campaign has zero appeal
4. the campaign does not resonate with prospects
Why you should be a site owner instead of using other crowdfunding site
As a site owner has the power to control their own site and which campaigns to approve. Crowdfund something you're passionate about. Your success if the success of your users, it's a win-win deal. How great is that?!
Choosing the right crowdfunding platform is definitely a crucial step. There are a few white label platform to choose from out there. You should always take your time to do some research, and check what each company offers. You might also check what benefits the company can give you and if the price they offer is worth the money.
We have been searching and trying out different white label platforms, and it's no doubt that we think CrowdfundHQ offers one of the most affordable, customizable and easy to use platforms out there. If you don't believe us, try us out now.
So, let's face the facts…
Not everything can be crowdfunded. The best products are the ones with a community of people who deeply wants it. With that said, crowdfunding can really be effective, if you're engaging and know what you're doing.
Tell the story of your project, and don't forget the presentation. Think things that move people into placing their faith in you. Be passionate about making people happy. It starts with fulfilling their expectations. Give people reasons to care and share.
Remember that crowdfunding is hard work, but if you prepare and execute the plan properly, there's nothing that says you won't succeed.
We already wrote about how to advertise your crowdfunding web site. One thing is to let people know about your web site, the other is to let search engines know about it and present it in the best possible way. In this article we'll go through how CrowdfundHQ supports search engine optimization (SEO).
1. Organic search
Maybe the best way of marketing your site is through organic search engine traffic. This is when people search online using Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and other search engines, and enters your site because they found you right there on in the search results. The reason why this is so important, is that the quality of such traffic is higher since the user is actively searching for a site like yours. You want your site to be shown on the very first page of the search results, so how do you do that with CrowdfundHQ?
2. Your domain name is important
First of all, choose a good domain name. The domain name isn't just a name, it's also a huge part of what the search engines use to determine the relevance of your site in searches. The words in your domain name directly affects your rank in search results. If your domain name is "strawberries-is-a-must.com", then anyone searching for "strawberries is a must" will likely find your site. Keep in mind though, if a lot of other people has similar names, you might not be ranked as high as them, and your site will be less visible. Long names are harder to remember and short names may be more catchy, so there's always a trade-off here.
The second part of your domain name, the ".com", also matters. ".com" sites tend to be ranked higher for searches done in English and especially the United States. If your crowdfunding site is based in Spain and is mainly for Spanish users, you might want to choose a domain name that ends in ".es" instead, since that will rank higher in Spain.
3. Web master tools
Google, Bing and Yahoo has something called "web master tools". One of the first things you should do after deciding on your domain name is to tell the search engines that your site is live. It may take a few weeks before they add your site, so do this as soon as possible. Our marketing docs on search engine tools explains where to find them.
With web master tools you can submit your domain, and also your sitemap, which tells the search engines about the structure of your site. The sitemap for your CrowdfundHQ site is found at http://yoursite.com/sitemap.xml, and should be added as well. To update your sitemap manually, go to Manage Site > Configuration > Settings > Sitemap & RSS feed and click Update Sitemap. This will be done automatically for you every time you save a campaign. We also notify both Google and Bing automatically every time your sitemap changes.
Explore web master tools, there's lots of things to do there. You can see who's linking to your site, and delete links that no longer exist to optimize.
If your domain is not .com but you still want it to be appear in search results outside your country, remember to tell web master tools about it, or it will be restricted to the country of your domain.
4. Site title
After you domain name, the most important thing for getting a good search engine rank is your site title. The site title is what the users see in the search result (the blue link) and in the web browser tab, but is also used by the search engines for ranking your page. The different search engines use the title a little differently, but generally the title should be between 100 and 160 characters and contain key phrases that accurately describes your site. If it's too long, it won't be shown in the search result, but the engines may still use it for determining relevance in searches. If you use simple key words or key phrases that are not relevant for your site, you might draw in more users, but they will leave quickly when they see that your site is not what they were searching for, so keep this in mind.
You can experiment with searches and key phrases that will both draw in lots of people and keep them from leaving. Web master tools will show you which keywords people used to land at your site. Use that to tweak your site title and monitor the bounce rate and number of hits to measure the effect. To set you site title, go to Manage Site > Configuration > Site Title.
5. Meta description
The meta description is an HTML tag that describes the pages on your site. The meta description is built right into CrowdfundHQ, and is what you see in the search results below the blue link. The search engines does not use this for ranking your page, it's only for humans to read. If you don't set your own meta descriptions, the search engines will generate it from your site's content, but it's recommended to write it yourself to be sure that they are relevant. Use key phrases and readable sentences instead of just keywords, remember, this text is what may persuade the searchers to actually enter your site, so the same thing applies for relevance, don't overdo it, just tell them what the site or page is about. You are looking for conversion, meaning people that contribute, not just hits.
To set you site's meta description, go to Manage Site > Configuration > Settings > Meta Description. The campaign page will have automatically generated meta descriptions, but you can set your meta description for all your pages as well. The search engines like it if every page has a different meta description. Go to Manage Site > Pages and select your page. For each page that is visible on your site, scroll down to fill in the meta description and hit Save. To see how it really looks, try searching for your site or page, hopefully you'll be able to see for yourself what your users see.
6. More page rank fields
The search engines will also look for the H1 and H2 tags, as well as page content for words to index. It is important that you think about the words you use, as well as keeping them consistent throughout the site. For example, the search engines distinguish between singular and plural of words, should you write "Campaigns" or "Campaign"? Or maybe both? Use web master tools and analytics to measure the effect of what you do, or use specialized software like the Google Keyword planner. Key phrases in the header tags (H1, H2, H3) may be more important than the content, so write descriptive but readable titles everywhere.
CrowdfundHQ has built in support for the H1 and H2 tags through the tagline just below the header of your crowdfunding site. To set your tagline title and subtitle, go to Manage Site > Configuration > Settings > Tagline Title / Subtitle
7. Set up your own blog
In addition to creating the static pages on your site, the easiest way to create content is to set up your own blog. Search engines love sites with original content that updates often.
At the moment, CrowdfundHQ does not have a separate blogging engine built in, though it's on the road map, but you can add your own blog in (at least) two different ways.
- Set up a subdomain for your blog (for example http://blog.yoursite.com), and use a different host like Wordpress or Blogger. If you apply the same styles to the blog as on your crowdfunding site, the experience for the users will almost be seamless, except that the user would maybe need a separate login to add comments. This depends on the software you will be using.
- Use the Pages (as in go to Manage Site > Pages) and create a new page for each blog post, or do several posts on the same pages. Be careful to not have too much content to load, as users don't like to wait too long.
The content on your blog will be indexed by the search engines and will be searcheable by your potential users. Make other people and sites link to your articles for even better ranks, or even better, become an authority on what your site is about, and people will come to your site just to read your posts. Get people talking about it too, have news sites link use your articles for reference, people and search engines alike like high quality content. Don't just write something, share your unique knowledge instead.
8. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an amazing tool for analyzing how you site is doing. Not only is it 100% free, but it can tell you everything you need about your users: how many hits you get, how they arrived at your site, when, who they are, how long time they spend, enter and exit pages, and lots more. It's everything from a hit counter to a super advanced statistics tool and how to use it is an article in itself, but you can find info on how to use it online and as online courses, for example at Lynda.com.
Go to Google Analytics to set up your account. To integrate with CrowdfundHQ, go to Manage Site > Configuration > Sharing > Google Analytics Tracking ID and input the ID from your Analytics account. Within a few hours, you will see that you have hits on your crowdfunding site.
9. Social Media
CrowdfundHQ integrates your campaigns directly with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Sharing on social media can give an incredible boost to your traffic if it's something that your users love. If your content is good, it might "go viral" and you'll see thousands of hits in a very short time. It is sometimes hard to predict exactly what people will like though, but social media marketing really works.
We all have dreams
It's something that scares us, but also energizes us at the same time. So why is it that so many people seem to put those dreams away for a day that never comes? The biggest common excuse, aside from people's fears of failure, is lack of funds to make it happen. With crowdfunding, we can no longer use that as an excuse.
It isn't just about making a donation or volunteering your time. It's about engaging, participating, and being a part of something bigger than yourself. And the cool thing about it is that you will also help other people to make their dreams come true. So, its simply a win-win situation.
The keys to success
Do your research, engage, and do lots of marketing! You want as many people to know about you, right? At the same time, don't rush to make things done, but instead spend a lot of time to create your site to be more attractive, unique, and valuable.
Never give up
That's the golden rule of any business. You need to be able to bounce back no matter what happens. As long as you believe in yourself and your business then nothing should stop you from achieving your dreams.
CrowdfundHQ Gives you a platform that is simple to use and, with a variety of options to be creative. If you're not convinced, try us today.
Don't give up on your dream. Sign up for the 14 day free trial now.
Getting more users is one of the major challenges for all websites, including crowdfunding websites. These 7 steps will teach you how to get more users and help your site grow.
1. Find Partners
All crowdfunding websites face the challenge of having few running campaigns, especially start-ups. The more active campaigns your website has, the more likely new users will sign up. The less active campaigns your website has, the less likely new users will sign up.
To get users, especially in the beginning, you need to find partners who are willing to create campaigns on your website. If you are a start-up, you can then release your site with existing campaigns created by your partners. A partner can be anyone you can think of - friends, family, colleagues, organizations, companies, charities - who would benefit from running a crowdfunding campaign on your website. Contact potential partners, tell them how they can benefit from your website and consider giving them an introductory discount.
2. Advertise In Social Media
It can be a disastrous mistake to think users will come flowing in through search engine hits once your website is up and running. They won't. After you have become an established website, they can, but in the meanwhile, you must advertise.
Using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, is a cheap and efficient way of advertising your website and your users' campaigns. Social media marketing is not posting as much of your stuff on as many different walls as possible or tweet every update. This could be considered spam and backfire. Social media marketing is more complex, but everybody can easily learn the basics. To get you started, read 21 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros.
3. Get Media Attention
Getting attention from the media can be a huge boost for your website. You must not wait for the media to find you, you must actively advertise yourself to the media. Follow these simple steps:
- Identify a media channel - newspaper, website, TV channel, radio - which you think might be interested in your website or one of your user's campaigns.
- Write a short message and send them an e-mail letting them know about your site or campaign.
- Expect 10%-20% of the recipients to respond. If you want two articles, send 20 e-mails.
4. Use Classical Advertising
Here is a list of more than 40 marketing channels you can take advantage of.
5. SEO Your Website
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing the visibility of your website for search engines. In short, the more easy you are to find on Google, the more traffic your website will get, the more users will sign up. SEOing your website is not a one-off job, it's a constant process. Whenever you modify your website, keep SEO in mind.
So how do you optimize your website for search engines? The topic is too long for this article, but I'll point you in the right direction. SEO is not rocket science, in fact anyone can learn the basics easily. Having web design skills is an advantage. To get started, read How to Optimize Your Website for Search Engine Use.
6. Care For Your Users
Having excellent user care will have two important benefits for your business. Firstly, a user who has had a positive experience with you is much more likely to come back. Secondly, there are few - if any - advertisements working better than a recommendation from a friend. If you provide an excellent user experience, the user is more inclined to speak positively about you to others, which again increases your chance of gaining new users.
7. Care For Your Users' Campaigns
Only around half of all crowdfunding campaigns reach their funding goal. Both you and your users will benefit from successful campaigns. You must therefore help your users to create campaigns which are more likely to succeed. To learn how, read How You Succeed With Crowdfunding.
Did we miss anything or did you have success using an advertisement strategy not described here? Please let us know by placing a comment below.