If you are starting a fashion brand it probably didn't take you long to figure out you will need a lot of money to do so. From tech packs to minimum order quantities that make you cringe, plus all the headaches of perfecting production you will need a lot of help. This is why many fashion entrepreneurs turn to crowdfunding to secure early sales in order to meet these demands without outside investment. As you may know, THR3EFOLD just went through our own crowdfunding campaign this summer and from it learned a TON about the benefits as well as hardships of crowdfunding and we'd like to pass that knowledge onto you. Here's 5 things you should know before crowdfunding for your fashion brand.
1 | Create Reward Diversity
Take time to plan diverse rewards from $5 - $1,000+ so everyone can participate. Get creative. You'll be surprised how much people enjoy their contribution returning in the form of a small sticker or a shout out on Twitter. Likewise, what can you offer that is a larger ticket item? If you're starting a clothing brand, maybe it's a 3 hour personal style consultation? Are they a busy mom who could use some free time? Reach out to local play place businesses and pitch free gift cards for your crowdfunding in exchange for advertising during your campaign, and the benefit of likely new future business from a new customer coming their way. Narrow down who is your customer and what do they want/need.
2 | Line Up Early Sales
This is one of the most important steps, and we urge you to take as long as possible securing early contributors BEFORE starting your crowdfunding campaign. Especially for the bigger ticket rewards you may want to offer, pre-sell them so when you launch you have immediate (big) sales and this creates interest and encourages others to follow suit.
3 | Prepare To Be Surprised by Who Supports You AND Who Doesn't
Remember that you are starting a business and not everyone will be your customer. So as personal as this business may be to you, remember that your friends and family may not be able to or even want to support it. This is the biggest emotional blow you should prepare yourself now to expect. Everyone has different boundaries set on personal finances and relationships and you cannot judge them for that. Maybe they've supported you in the past and don't see the need to continue doing so, maybe they have hit financial hardships and therefore have no ability to help you, or maybe they just do not choose to participate, either way, do your very best to not take it personally.
4 | Plan for the Mid-Campaign Plateau
You will see a rush of funding momentum on the first day and last day of your campaign. In fact, 25% of our funding came in in the final 3 hours of our campaign...talk about stress. So expect this and let it guide your crowdfunding strategy. Spend extra time pre-launch securing sales, press, and planning marketing. Create rewards only available the first week. Plan to launch new rewards as you go. Hustle at launch to secure those promised sales and reach new interest. Follow up with people A LOT. Remember in the middle that every day is going to emotionally feel like a dripping faucet, it's hard.
5 | Secure a Social Media Engagement Ring
Creating buzz right out the gate is crucial. So reach out to people in your personal network and ask for them to post about your campaign. Bonus points for any friends you have with a significant following. Also important, make it EASY for them to share. This means in your email you give them the image, copy, and time/date you'd like for them to post, all easily accessible by Google Drive links so they can access later when it's time to post. Also provide platform options like Facebook, Instagram, and Instagram Story image formats. Your network will all have different styles they prefer for each platform so give them a choice and make it easy. Use the same image on all formats so people begin recognizing it down their feed, and for Instagram Story have 3-5 slides that tell a story about why you are crowdfunding from their point of view. Then send a reminder email a few days before, and the day of.
To be honest, there is SO much that goes into a successful crowdfunding strategy but these are key heavy hitters to start getting you mentally prepared so we hope they help. If you have more questions please feel free to reach out, we love giving advice. But if you really want to be surrounded by team of pros to help provide strategy and encouragement as you move forward, you should consider the new thing we are offering and sign up now.