Being a developer aside from executing clients whims also means wishing to create and share your own pet projects, to make the world a better place to live, to make a smartphone much more useful device to use. The main hardship in this process is to reach and embrace our vast world with your idea. This article was written to describe one way to manage and a couple of tricks that increases chances to succeed.
What is crowdfunding?
Every human being strives to be acknowledged even for a brief moment, even by a small amount of other people. To gain that recognition one should perfect his creation to maximum extent. So before starting programming one considers quests like:
- what problem an app solves?
- what features should it contain?
- where to find start funding?
- which platform to use - Android, iOS - or build a cross-platform app?
- how to monetize an app?
- how much would it take?
Crowdfunding is a trendy answer to a question “How to fund an application?” General definition of crowdfunding says it’s a way to raise funding for any kind of project by inpayments of large amount of people.
Crowdfunding app is basically attracting attention of masses to an application and convincing people that your idea is worthy to be invested in, developed and promoted to masses.
Recently crowdfunding has gained truly a global scale, just in 2015 this way was raised nearly $ 34 billion. As a comparison Forbes mentions only $ 880 million 5 years before, which means twofold growth each year on average, aint it? Therefore it’s natural to expect that funding apps this way might work just fine. But do not expect crowdfunding mobile apps to be a piece of cake.
Crowdfunding apps is a hard task
There are quite some difficulties in crowdfunding applications, bite on the following:
- Mobile application is an intangible product, and it’s a common belief that non-materialistic product ignites less enthusiasm.
- Mobile application are expected to be cheap or even free, and people don’t wish to part with their money easily.
- People in general are quite prejudiced against app investments because of high chances of scam or abuse of fund.
- Nowadays there are too many different projects on crowdfunding platforms struggling for potential backers attention, so you should elaborate a strategy to win over supporters.
Also crowdfunding for apps involves two main risks:
- Risk of idea theft. Since there are a lot of information related to app features, unique technologies or original solutions being uncovered by advertisement tools due to crowdsourcing process, there is also a fair risk to get robbed off of your advantages. So while you’re in a spotlight losing your religion, try not to go like “Oh no, I’ve said too much”.
- Risk to acquire a spot on your reputation as a developer in case you fail the campaign. Crowdfunding platforms tends to preserve every project’s achievement in their history - epic wins and fails - and one day you might find yourself among them.
Seems like a challenge. Well, it has no sense to say it isn’t. What makes sense is elaborating a scrutinous plan with use of our recommendations and attaining significant benefits of crowdfunding an application.
Beside getting a starting capital you will also a get free cookie ready-made primary auditory that will provide you the very first feedback and first conclusions whether promoting tools are efficient, whether application is actual and in-demand.
How to use app crowdfunding?
As it was countless times said, if you’ve chosen to crowdfund your app you should prepare a strategy.
Aim. Concentrate on achieving only one main goal - to get the needed funding. It’s fruitless to try at the same time build up an auditory while crowdfunding. Your request should aim the quality
Media. It’s obvious that you need to involve some media advertisement. The most effective tools certainly are Facebook and Twitter. Nice choice to involve some bloggers to promote your idea via Youtube and other channels. Of course, it largely depends on type of target audience you want to attract which in turn depends on apps mission. Also don’t forget to engage public using email.
Price. It’s a common advice that a one-time donation should be lower than app’s final price. Why? Well, try to understand your backers a bit. They pay in advance for an unproven probably bugged app that might even never appear on any apps marketplace at all, basically for a pig in a poke. Would you invest in something that doubtful yourself? There are tricks to make almost anyone say yes, and we know them. Here they are:
- be always active about your project, ask backers their opinion;
- ask for active participation in development or even propose to some backers enter the team as consultants and testers;
- increase your app value in eyes of your backers by adding some exclusivity;
- provide early access and the very first updates to your backers;
- offer related rewards, not T-shirst, but some related services like free guide or courses on related topic, free e-books, etc.
Now that we know our special magic, let’s review places where to use it.
Where to crowdfund an app?
Places for crowdfunding are named crowdfunding platforms. Take a note that for every transaction Amazon takes 3-5% on average of your potential funding as well as each platform gets a 5-7% charge. It’s a business after all. There are three types of crowdfunding platforms that differ by the type of relationship between backers and developers. They are:
Are open to anyone, less demanding on entering conditions and because of that are considered to be less professional and even less reputable.
Buying an equity means backer gets a piece of your business, since share is a tiny piece there is no danger for a founder to lose his business. Equity crowdfunding takes more efforts, because more or less serious investors are hard to attract. But if you’ve caught their interest, stay assured you’ll get all the needed money and even more. The chances to achieve success in here are higher for business applications.
These crowdfunding platforms are the most popular and profitable. Main peculiarity is pre-selling an app or offering related services to gather the needed amount of money to start the app development.
When the question where to crowdfund is raised a perfect choice is not that obvious. So at first you need to chose most preferred option between most popular and app-specified crowdfunding platforms.
First group’s leaders are Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Kickstarter is the leader among crowdfunding platforms, its stats openly say it raised nearly $ 2 billion for the projects while IndieGoGo reaching its first billion. Also Kickstarter’s success rate is higher - 38% vs 21%. BUT. Kickstarter is a place of all or nothing, so if you haven’t reached your goal, you won’t get any funding, instead IndieGoGo offers flexible funding as well as option to extend deadline.
Second group are app-specific crowdfunding platforms, they are:
- AppsFunder (leader)
- SellanApp (also offers promotion, publishing, development, funding, design and coding services)
- Appbackr (Apple centered)
- Appsplit (also offers searching developers, selling code)
Please learn all the needed info about each crowdfunding platform and make a carefully weighed decision regarding your type of app, your target auditory, accessible channels of promotion, etc.