Crowdfunding Tips for App Developers

With Kickstarter and new crowdfunding platforms like Appsplit for crowdfunding mobile apps, developers have “new” sources of funding. For freelancers and small companies, crowdfunding can help raise the revenue to push your app toward a great release. Everything involved with marketing applies equally to many crowdfunding efforts, and vice versa. In focus here are some tips to help you successfully raise money for your app.

1. Be Realistic. What can you reasonably expect to raise from your personal network of friends and associates? This circle is responsible for 70% or more of most crowdfunding revenue targets. Trying to raise $50k when $10k would be sufficient will be seen for what it is.

2. Cool “Prizes”. Shy away from the post cards. Of course, you can and should offer first copies of your app to your contributors. In app and web site credits plus backlinks are good mid-range options to office business level contributors. You can develop cross-promotional opportunities with other companies, offering their products as prizes in exchange for including them in your promotional mailings.

3. Have something for all budgets: low ($1 – $10); mid-range ($11 – 100); high-end ($101 – $250) and very high end (over $250). Remember the Pareto Principle, 80% of your revenue is likely to come from 20% of your contacts, 4% of which will be your super supporters.

4. Crowdsourcing. There are dozens of sites like DesignCrowd.com where you can get low cost support for any component of development you may need. Other developers may work with you for cross-promotional purposes. Real help is out there, you simply need to look for it and be willing to ask for it.

5. Research. Make a study of crowdfunding and get started in setting up your own infrastructure long before you need it. A full-fledged crowdfunding campaign can require several weeks to set up depending upon how much support and how organized you are. You have many, many options at your disposal when it comes to sites that offer crowdfunding services. There are instances where it could be more advantageous to run your crowdfunding campaign internally, on your own ecommerce enabled web site (especially if it includes subscriptions or memberships).

Crowdfunding platforms are relatively new, but the funding methods are much older. They apply to the same principles used in many charity drives and equally by business in promoting products that have yet to go into production. Your credibility is on the line with crowdfunding, so you want to make sure you deliver all that you promise in a very timely manner to those who have supported your app.

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Project Manager at the Opera Mobile Store providing Sales-Marketing support. Content development and research.

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