Crowdfunding courses, seminars, and tutorials are available all over the web. But are they really worthwhile, or is crowdfunding something you’ve just got to learn on your own? Here’s my two cents on it.
There are some things in life that you have to learn by just doing them; no amount of tutorials can quite capture what it’s like to experience it firsthand. Say, for example, riding a bike. It’s impossible to fully prepare yourself for riding a bike by taking bike-riding courses online (does that even exist?). There’s something unique about just sitting on the seat, feeling yourself wobble, and figuring out how to find your balance. I can’t tell you how to do that because you and I have different bodies; you could be heavier or lighter than me, or you might be leaning forward while I sit upright. So it seems like you just gotta get on the bike and ride.
But let’s consider another perspective. If I’m a professional rider, I can help you buy a bike by educating you on the most reliable and affordable brands. I can explain the safety features on a bike, and what common rules you should obey while riding. I can show you good biking technique and tell you how to move your feet when you pedal or how to handle a downhill. You get the gist of it; I can prepare you for quite a bit. But you do need to prepare yourself for if you do lose balance and need to catch your balance.
That tangent had a purpose, I swear. As you know, this article isn’t about bikes; it’s about crowdfunding courses, which happen to be extremely similar to bike riding in the above example. Crowdfunding courses can give you a solid foundation on which to build an successful campaign. They can teach you about everything from start to finish. But keep in mind that they’re intended to be a broad base of knowledge; just as a bike riding class can’t tell you how your sense of balance is or how your body might react to a quick turn, crowdfunding classes can’t tell you exactly where to find your special audience or how to fulfill your promises.
Long story short, the courses don’t completely eliminate the work you’ve got for yourself; they can give you a starting point and equip you with an understanding on how to proceed further.
So, at the end of the day, are they useful? Absolutely!
The way I see it, crowdfunding has so many variables that the more you can narrow down and solidify beforehand, the better. Once you get a solid understanding of how aspects like rewards and crowdfunding videography work, you can tailor your knowledge to your campaign and goals.
This seems obvious, but most valuable courses are the ones written by people who actually have crowdfunding expertise. Keep in mind that IndieGoGo and Kickstarter were founded in 2007 and 2009, respectively, so the rewards-based industry is extremely new. Because of that, it can be difficult to tell who really knows their stuff and how they know what they’re talking about. We recommend taking courses from individuals who have run their own successful campaigns, preferably in the same area/category that your crowdfunding campaign will be in.
You do want to invest some money in your crowdfunding courses, because getting the information from the right experts can save you countless hours in trial and error. However, you shouldn’t have to pay more than a couple hundred dollars for crowdfunding courses. The web has countless resources and tips for aspiring crowdfunders; make sure you scour those for information before you pay for crowdfunding courses too!
Our personal favorite for crowdfunding courses is HowToCrowd.fund. This website is a new learning management system that has split up the art of crowdfunding into 15 courses so you can take each of them individually according to your needs. We love this setup, because you’re only paying for the knowledge you want! For example, if I’m having a friend or a colleague shoot videos and photos for me, I don’t have to buy that course, and I’m not paying for information I’m losing. Plus, the courses are only $27.97 each, so you can get the whole education for only a couple hundred dollars. We love these courses because they integrate valuable examples of other successful campaigns and it’s easy to read, understand, and employ their strategies. Check them out and let us know what you think!
At the end of the day, crowdfunding courses can give you just the push and the knowledge you need to get started. Always remember: the combination of knowledge and preparation can lead to unstoppable success.
By Rafah Ali