Are You Ready to Launch Your Next Chapter?
Start Your Campaign Here...
Here at Next Chapter, you'll be able to:
Our goal is 100% funding success, so we'll offer you mentoring, education and support to help you create, manage and market your campaign. So it's vital that YOU passionately believe in, market and OWN your campaign.
Want to Learn More?
Use our 5-step process to create your campaign
and be part of the Next Chapter community.
Research & Submit Your Idea
Design Your Campaign
Launch Your Campaign
Celebrate Campaign End
Decide why you're launching a campaign
Think about what you want your campaign to achieve. Is your goal to launch a new business or to expand your existing business through raising funds, testing the market and building a community? You can always come back later and launch another campaign for the next chapter of your business.
Do your research
Research crowdfunding campaigns for similar companies, products, services, industries and target markets. What are their funding goals and timeframe, and what kind of rewards they offer at what price points? Were they successful?
And what evidence do you have about the potential demand for your product or service?
Tell us about your proposed campaign
Give us some brief details about your proposed campaign:
- Title: Keep it short and memorable, but be very clear about what your campaign is about
- Brief background about the campaign, your business, the product/service and the target market (tell us about WHY you're doing this and WHY people should care)
- Your funding goal and timeframe. Keep them realistic!
- Proposed launch date
- Product or company website, if you have one (but it's not required), so that we can verify your information
- Your phone number, so we can contact you
Craft your story
When you're writing your campaign "blurb" and marketing material, make it compelling and shareworthy! It's all about emotion.
- Why do you want to launch your new business, product or service as a campaign?
- Why might potential Supporters want to support your campaign? What's in it for them (not you)? How will your product or service make their lives and the world better? What will your product or service enable them to do, have, be and feel?
- What makes your project innovative, different, interesting, better?
- Why are you so passionate about it?
- What is your big vision for your company, and why is that good for your customers and the world?
Design your rewards
Design your rewards programme carefully, to appeal to potential Supporters. Make the rewards relevant to your product or service, in keeping with the personality of your brand, and within a realistic price range. Think about what people might be willing to pay – most people donate small amount, e.g., between US$10 and US$75. Keep the number of rewards to 6-8 so you don't overwhelm your Supporters with choice.
And consider how much it will cost you to create and deliver the rewards, because you'll need to build those costs into the various amounts you're asking Supporters to pledge. Also, set a date for delivery of the rewards.
Set your funding target
Aim for a realistic funding target, because the higher your funding target is, the more difficult it might be to reach. And remember, if you don't reach your target, none of the pledged funds will be released.
Create visuals: a video, photos, your logo...
The most powerful way to share your story and inspire people is with a short video about your product or service (1-2 minutes). In fact, research shows that campaigns with a video are more successful than those without one. It doesn't have to be a big Hollywood production – use your smart phone to record yourself, then use a simple editing tool. Create several videos for different stages of your campaign. Alternatively, we can help you use pictures or slides to create a video montage for your story.
Also, have a recognisable, well-designed logo that's relevant to your product or service and consistent with the personality of your brand. Use it in all your communication with everyone, even in the signature of your personal emails, with a link to your website.
Plan plan plan!
Plan and prepare as much in advance as possible, because once your campaign launches you'll be busy managing it and responding to enquiries, challenges, opportunities...
Before you launch your campaign, make sure to plan and schedule all aspects of your campaign: admin tasks and responsibilities; your website; marketing; media relations; content creation; social media; customer service; budgets and finance; IT requirements...
We'll go into much more detail about this in the campaign manual we'll send you once your campaign is approved.
Oh, and be sure to get your family and close friends onboard, and let them know that the 30-45 days of the campaign are going to be an amazing yet busy time.
Prepare your budget
When you're planning your campaign and your rewards, be sure to consider all the costs you'll need to cover, including:
- the cost of producing the rewards you're offering
- all the other costs of running your business and your campaign
Do a pre-launch marketing campaign
We recommend that even before you launch your campaign, you start your marketing campaign and spread the word to your most likely Supporters and influencers, so that your campaign gets off to a strong start. That will build your credibility and attract more Supporters.
Just a few ideas to get you started: get active on social media well before your launch date; send media releases; write blog posts; attend networking events; speak at industry events; send a regular enewsletter to your subscribers...
We'll give you more ideas and how-to tips in the campaign manual.
Turbo-charge your campaign by getting "pre-pledges" – ask your closest friends and family members to commit to pledging funds as soon as your campaign goes live. That builds credibility and momentum.
Launch your campaign
Yay, the big day has arrived! Make sure all your systems are in place to spread the word far and wide, receive pledges, thank Supporters...
Promote your campaign
Please don't just launch your campaign and then sit back, relax and wait for the money to come rolling in. You'll need to market your campaign assertively and consistently, and keep in touch with your Supporters, right up to and beyond your deadline.
You'll probably find that, in the early days of your campaign, most of your funding comes from your immediate family, friends, workmates and social media friends/followers. The word will then spread to THEIR immediate friends and followers. That's where the magic of marketing (especially social media marketing) will kick in, and people you've never met hear about and support your campaign.
Your post-launch marketing plan could include your website, social media, media releases and interviews, blogging, attending networking events, speaking engagements, a regular enewsletter to your Supporters, publicity stunts... Also, be sure to keep us informed here at Next Chapter so we can help you promote your campaign.
We'll give you more smart ideas and how-to tips in the campaign manual we'll send you, and we'll also offer mentoring by successful business people.
Update your Supporters
Throughout your campaign, use updates on the Next Chapter platform and via your own channels to tell your Supporters about the campaign's progress, exciting goals you've achieved, any changes to the campaign... And keep inspiring them to spread the word to their friends.
Don't disappear! Make sure you and your team are available throughout the campaign, because people will probably have questions and comments, and they'll expect answers quickly.
Keep track of progress
Unexpected stuff happens – some of it good, some maybe not so good. Keep track of your progress towards your goals, and be prepared to adjust your strategies quickly. Ask us for help and advice.
Document your campaign
In the midst of the excitement and craziness of running your campaign, don't forget to document what happens every step of the way. That will help you make course corrections quickly, get ideas for your content creation, spot opportunities...
So we recommend that you take lots of photos and videos; keep any press clippings; gather feedback and testimonials...
You reached your crowdfunding goal? It's time to party!
Reward your Supporters
Keep your promises and send your Supporters the rewards they deserve. Include a personalised thank-you message. After your campaign ends, keep your Supporters informed about your progress, especially if it looks like there might be any delays in sending the rewards and launching your product or service.
Say "Thank You"
Thank anyone and everyone who contributed to the success of your campaign (even if they didn't actually pledge funds). Acknowledge them on your website, in your enewsletter, in your tweets and Facebook updates, at your events...
Give back to the Next Chapter community
Building a community of generous, like-minded people is important to us, so we strongly encourage you to give back by sharing your experiences and lessons, and celebrating other Campaigners' successes.
- Become a Mentor
Keep in touch for your Next Chapter
Once your campaign is funded, it's not goodbye – we'd love you to keep in touch and let us know how your business grows. And please come back to launch another crowdfunding campaign, or explore other funding options, when you're ready for the next chapter in your business.