AIM Hatchfund is a platform that helps artists build successful crowdfunding campaigns. Since their inception they have helped over 1,000 artists raise close to $9 million, with a 75% success rate. SPN sat down with Dillon Nicholson, program officer for Hatchfund, at Big Omaha last week to discuss what it takes to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.
SPN: What’s the biggest mistake that people make when attempting a crowdfunding campaign?
DN: So many times people think you can just put something on the Internet and people will come. That’s not the reality. There are over 20 major crowdfunding platforms now–equity crowdfunding, real estate crowdfunding, etc. The biggest mistake is not knowing where their project actually fits. With all these niches, you have to nail down where you fit best.
Also, people don’t utilize their friends and family–not so much with donations but with the work. Projects that have 4 or more people involved raise 180% more money than a one man band. That’s because more people equal less work. Having a tight-knit team of ambassadors is super-beneficial.
SPN: What do the most successful campaigns have in common?
DN: The best thing to have is an emotion that you’re playing on. Crowdfunding is based on urgency; you have to get behind something. The best campaigns pull in urgency and some other human emotion, like a story of overcoming. That’s why GoFundMe has been so successful. It’s crazy what they are getting away with.
One of the artists I’ve worked with, their studio burned down. The equipment survived, but their music was homeless. They did a crowdfunding campaign to do a debut album. When you come across in a vulnerable way, people check their guard at the door.
If you can make yourself vulnerable and make it clear what you are doing–those are the most powerful projects.
SPN: If someone doesn’t know anything about crowdfunding, where should they start?
DN: We recently created a Udemy course on crowdfunding, and we’d like to give it away for free to readers of Silicon Prairie News.
Just use the coupon code SPNer. (Update: Due to high demand, Hatchfund has started a new coupon code: SPN) (Update 2: Due to continued high demand, Hatchfund has started another coupon code: SP) That course covers everything from how to run a campaign and what free online resources you can take advantage of.