4 Steps to Starting a Referral Program


Whenever we need a product or service, we’ll turn to our family or friends for recommendations. For instance, studies shows that a buyer is 50 times more likely to purchase a product that is recommended by family or friends. Referral programs take advantage of this word of mouth marketing by using your already loyal customers to act as brand advocates. This is done by providing a referral code to your customers to share with their networks. When a friend uses the code to make their first purchase the referrer is compensated. This may be in the form of a discount, a freebie, or a monetary reward.

Referrals are a good way to get new clients because people are more likely to trust their friends and family. This is why one of the most effective communication strategies for organically scaling a company is word of mouth. Via in-person encounters or online social networking messages, we exchange positive user interactions. In a nutshell, referrals are more important and reliable than paid advertisements and other media platforms. Look no further ,this guide will teach you the fundamentals of referral marketing as well as how to run your own referral program.

Why Start a Referral Program?

If done properly, this marketing strategy can acquire a lot of new customers for your business at very low costs. By taking advantage of your current customers to spread the word, customer acquisition cost (CAC) is very low. The customers that you gain will also become of high value and are more likely to refer more people.

Referral programs have been proven to help business generate higher revenue. For example, Paypal is famous for using a referral program and helped the company achieve 7-10% daily growth and a user base of over 100 million people.

With the right software, referral programs are easy to track in sales and provide a business analytical tool to use.

How to Build a Referral Program?

1. Have Amazing Products

Before even considering starting a referral program, make sure you have exceptional products and services ready. If you don’t have any great products, nobody will want to refer your business to their network.

2. Designing your Perfect referral Program

Key things to remember when designing your referral program:

  • Choose the right software
  • Catchy headline
  • Referral messaging
  • Easy to refer

Many different software’s already exists that help you to create your referral program very easily, choose the right one for you and your business goals.

Next, you need to craft the program to  get your customers attention if you want to get them to refer your business. Use catchy headliners that describe what the program is and what are the benefits in one sentence. For example, a good headliner would be “Refer a friend for 15$” or “Give 30$ get 30$”.

On top of sharing referral codes, you should consider crafting automated messages to make it easier for your customers to share with friends. The message should be kept straight and to the point but in a friendly manner. Make sure that sharing the referral code is as easy as a click of a share button either to social medias or emails. If your customer has to take extra steps, chances are they won’t refer. Most referral program software’s already give this option to link to social medias and other platforms.

3. Choose an Incentive

  • Two sided incentive
  • Type of reward

Based on your marketing goals, choose an incentive that will respond well with your customers. First, figure out who will benefit from the reward, either your customer, the referred or both parties. Rewarding both parties is the most effective method, customers will be more likely to refer people from their network.

Next, determine what kind of reward you want to give. Since every business is different, every reward will be different. Its important to know your customers and offer rewards that align with your brand. Don’t offer incentives that wont interest your customers. It can be in form of discounts, cash, coupons, points, company merchandise etc. Also choose something that wont cost you your profits.

4. Promote the Program

Promote the program through your website, social media & emails. Let your customers know! For instance, you can implement automated messages to appear as soon as customers enter your website to get their attention!

5. Track your Progress

It’s critical to set up an analytics and analysis framework for your referral service if you want to see results. Choose a referral program software that has built-in analytics like referral relation delivery, A/B checking, and referral monitoring. Use these analytics to help you determine what content is more efficient.

How Etsy Can Help Your Small Business

Etsy, business

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Etsy is an online buyer and seller community that focuses mainly on handcrafted and vintage goods. Etsy allows sellers to customize online shops with full e-commerce capabilities. This platform has allowed many people to turn their hobbies into full on businesses. If you are a small business or someone who simply wants to turn their hobby into a source of income, here are a few reasons why you should have an Etsy shop.

  1. It’s user-friendly

You don’t need much technological knowledge to operate your Etsy shop.  For your website you would have to do a lot of design and coding in order to get a layout as professional and clean as Etsy’s. To start your shop you simply need to follow a few easy steps that takes just a few minutes. The difficult part is the decision making with regards to pricing, when to offer promotions, how often to add new listings, etc. But these are difficult decisions you will have to make no matter the platform you choose to operate on. Etsy also has an iPhone app, which will help you manage your shop and stay organized. The app’s features will help you manage your orders, access shop statistics, communicate with other buyers, update listings, get alerts when making a sale, and much more.


  1. It’s affordable

Starting a shop on Etsy is free. However there are three small selling fees. You have a listing fee, a transactional fee and a payment processing fee. It will cost you $0.20 to publish a listing. A listing lasts 4 months until the item is sold. Once you make sale there is a commission fee of 5% and a payment processing fee of 3% + CA$0.25 for Canada (domestic orders or orders from the US) and 4% +$0.25 for international orders.

  1. Access to a large yet targeted customer base

>Etsy has approximately 54 million members all specifically looking for hand-made goods and more than 2 billion views every month. The average Etsy consumer is an adult woman between the ages of 18 and 34. She is a member of the working or middle class. Most of her yearly Etsy purchases include jewelry that cost between $21 and $40, often purchased as gifts. She values the variety offered by Etsy in terms of handmade and eco-friendly goods. If your product remotely caters to such a demographic, there is no other platform that will allow you to reach your clientele in such a targeted manner.

  1. Test your new ideas

Being active on Etsy is a good way to see how receptive people are to your new ideas. You won’t feel as tied to keeping products that don’t sell as you won’t need to call up designers or web developers to make the necessary changes to your platform. If you have an existing business and website and are not sure whether or not a particular product or product line will sell, testing it on Etsy first and reading the reviews on the discussion boards can also help you make your decisions.

  1. Can Be Used as a Cheap Marketing Tool

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to use Etsy exclusively. Your website and your Etsy shop can work hand-in-hand. Once you’ve gained traction to your Etsy shop, you can redirect your visitors to your website. If you getting a decent amount of sales on Etsy, you can stay there but also consider working on your website behind the scenes. In order to lead your Etsy clients to your website offer incentive. This can potentially include offering lower priced goods on your website, including website promotion cards when you ship your orders to customers, or including your website URL to your product descriptions on Etsy.

If your target market consists of the people visiting Etsy on a regular basis, give the platform a try. Whether you are an artist, someone with a hobby, or already have an existing business, many advantages and learnings can come to you by operating an Etsy shop. The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t enjoy your experience. But even in this worst-case scenario you tried out a platform and you’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work for you.

The Challenges of Being a Social Entrepreneur

social, entrepreneur
Let’s start off by addressing that being an entrepreneur is difficult. However, being a social entrepreneur brings about its own set of challenges and obstacles. It combines social impact with sustainable business growth. Social entrepreneurs are faced with having to solve or alleviate a real-world issue while also maintaining positive financial performance. . Here are  the two main challenges social entrepreneurs face. Though considered challenges, many have overcome them in the past.

1. Competing on prices while having enough money to make a social impact
In order to remain competitive, social enterprises need to take advantage of creative pricing strategies. Social entrepreneurs need to establish a pricing strategy that will consider price point, allowing for enough revenue to serve their chosen cause, without compromising their customers’ expectation of their product. Though social enterprises have to overcome additional challenges when pricing, they can use original pricing techniques that are not as readily available to other start-ups. Social entrepreneurs should strategically highlight their cause and mission. Socially conscious consumers who agree with this mission will be willing to purchase at a higher price point in order to support the cause. Furthermore, bundling will incentivize sales. Shoe company, Toms, has made great use of this. For every shoe sold, a pair is donated someone in need. In order to build and grow brand equity, social entrepreneurs should also look into certification. For instance, being certified as fair trade, or B Corp will help maintain a positive reputation and better positioning.

2.  Quantifying your impact
Measuring impact for social entrepreneurs can be complex. Not only do you have to establish metrics for your business performance, you have to measure your social impact to prove credibility, as well as attract investors and potential business partners. Impact investments are investments that not only yield financial return, but social and environmental return as well. With the rise of the number of social enterprises, credible organizations have developed frameworks to standardize the calculation of social impact. The IRIS Framework consists of an organization’s description, product description, financial performance, operational impact, and product impact. If your mission is to have impact on a global scale, The Global Impact Investing Ratings System (GIIRS) gathers a range of information with regards to company’s work, size, sector, and region.  These assessments are carried out annually and validated by the GIIRS.
Many resources are available to Montrealers looking to take a step into social enterprise. Luckily, numerous grants, and funding opportunities are available, that do not require giving away equity or paying back an investor. YES Montreal, FuturpreneurQuartier de l’Innovation and  PMEMTL  all offer workshops and/or grant opportunities for social enterprises in the city, just to name a few.

With millennials harnessing the wave of activism and social awareness, social entrepreneurship has risen for the past decade. They are working towards incubating ground-breaking innovations, alleviating life-threatening issues, and pioneering some of the future’s most resourceful projects. While it is true that many obstacles can interfere with business operations, the key is taking advantage of the resources available your given city and finding creative ways of overcoming these challenges.

Why Investors Like Startups Focused on Solving Social Problems

The social impact of businesses has been held to the highest of regards in the past decade. Part of the reason for that is millennials have grown up with a more socially responsible mindset than previous generations. Though this has now become today’s norm, many entrepreneurs have gone the extra mile by making solving social problems their main focus. Companies such as Thread International, TOMS, Belu Water, and CellInk are just a few example. With unfortunate social problems making news headlines, one thing is for certain, solving social problems has become what the corporate world would refer to as “good business”.

An uneasy relationship has always existed between investors and entrepreneurs when social problems were in question. If you planned on utilizing socially friendly practices the hope was that it did not excessively affect your profit margins, and if you’re main focus was solving a particular social problem the worry was that you wouldn’t be making enough revenue. All this to say that many investors were hesitant to put too much focus in such businesses. However, with changing societal climates, we are in the midst of a shift. What we see today is that investors no longer have to choose between money, and their values. Hence, the rise of sustainable investing. The reason for its rise in popularity amongst interested investors is simple. People want to make a difference, and figuring out which companies are truthful to their social initiatives has become easier to monitor.

Sustainable investing is a term for investment approaches that consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and their impact. Point in fact, after the controversial era of banking secrecy, sustainable investing has come to the forefront and become one of the fastest growing segments in finance. It is an opportunity to make money and make a difference in the world. By acknowledging its importance and popularity, organizations have further facilitated and incentivized investments in companies focused on solving social problems. For instance, PME funded company Co-Power, identifies energy efficiency projects that generate, or are expected to generate steady, predictable revenue streams by either selling clean power or by reducing energy consumption.

With societal consciousness becoming of increased importance in today’s corporate culture, investors have begun to fish out companies promoting such agenda simply for positive PR. Genuine social impact companies integrate doing good into everything they do. Successful social impact ventures balance for-profit work with community-oriented resources. Failing to do so diminishes credibility and increases customer mistrust. Therefore, entrepreneurs should make a habit of working with institutions and platforms that help verify and certify social impact, examine their supply chain, look for like-minded investors, and build a team that understand the importance of its principles. Act on your beliefs instead of just talking about them.

Making the world a better place and making money can go together. Startups focused on solving social problems endure many challenges that other businesses might not. However, it is important to remember that this is a better time than ever before to appeal to investors. Assuming millennials continue to make social responsibility a priority when it comes to where they work, what they buy, and whom they support, it is safe to say that many investors out there are open and willing to contribute to a greater good.

The Importance of Brand Building

brand startup

As Jeff Bezos so eloquently said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The statement seems straightforward. But the process of building your brand is the difficult part. As an entrepreneur, you should commit to building a brand identity that resonates with your target market. So many people forget that businesses, especially those that are B2C, must have and portray a brand identity that will be the foundation of all future marketing initiatives. There are essentially 3 ways to build a brand: creating brand elements, secondary associations and marketing programs. However, before you start pouring your heart into your marketing strategy, take a moment and devise a market research plan. Investing in thorough market research is the only way to brand successfully.

How does an entrepreneur build a brand that will resonate with my customers? Though large corporations have more resources to create and develop a brand identity and conduct appropriate research, the process is practically the same. There are 6 steps to the marketing research process (click on the hyperlink for more details). (1) Defining the objective and problem (2) Determining research design (3) Designing and preparing the research instruments (4) Sampling and collecting data (5) Analyzing data and (6) Visualizing and communicating results. Though this seems complex, the hassle is definitely worth the effort. Following these steps, by conducting quantitative and qualitative research, will let you get to know your customers and their expectations of you. This implies conducting surveys, looking into credible secondary data, running focus groups, conducting interviews, testing for brand recognition, testing for recall, and associations. The goal is to know your customer enough to develop a brand identity that will appeal to them, compared to that of the competition.

If you don’t present your brand identity to the right people in the right manner,  you missed the opportunity to acquire them. This will be time consuming and costly to reverse the associations people have already made with your brand. This is not to say that you can’t change your brand identity in the future. To the contrary, many successful companies have had to make brand-related changes in order to remain relevant over time. For instance, Victoria’s Secret was rebranded countless times before their angel wings took over retail, Apple nearly went bankrupt before becoming a staple in tech, and UPS used to be big and boring before it became personal and innovative. But, changing your brand image is costly and takes time. Keep in mind that you are a start-up, and will likely have a  limited budget. Doing it right early on, will save you money, time and stress.

Whether you are an established business or start-up, there really only is one way to start off the branding process, and that is through market research and knowing exactly who you are targeting. We can’t stress this enough. Get to really know your customer early on. Drafting a brand narrative is strongly recommended. The objective of marketing is to create a lasting relationship, called customer retention, with the customer after the actual transaction has been made . You will only be able to do this once you’ve identified your customer’s problem, their expectations, and built a brand identity that they value.


Comment Etsy peut aider votre petite entreprise

EtsyPour ceux d’entre vous qui ne sont pas familiarisés avec Etsy, il s’agit d’une communauté d’acheteurs et de vendeurs en ligne qui se concentrent surtout sur des produits faits à la main et des articles millésimés. Etsy permet aux vendeurs de personnaliser des boutiques en ligne avec des solutions complètes de commerce électronique. Cette plateforme a permis à plusieurs personnes de transformer un passe-temps en une entreprise à plein régime. Si vous êtes une petite entreprise ou une personne qui veut tout simplement métamorphoser un passe-temps en une source de revenus, voici quelques raisons pour lesquelles vous devriez avoir une boutique Etsy.

  1. C’est facile à utiliser

Il n’est pas nécessaire de posséder de grandes connaissances technologiques pour exploiter une boutique Etsy. Créer un site Internet avec une mise en page aussi claire et professionnelle que celle que vous offre Etsy nécessiterait beaucoup de travail de conception et de codage. Pour démarrer votre boutique, il vous suffit de suivre quelques étapes simples en quelques minutes. Le plus difficile est d’établir une gamme de prix, de décider quand offrir des promotions, à quelle fréquence ajouter de nouveaux produits, etc. Mais ce sont là des décisions difficiles que vous aurez à prendre, peu importe la plateforme que vous choisissez. Etsy offre également une application iPhone, Sell on Etsy, qui vous aide à gérer votre boutique et à rester organisé. Les caractéristiques de l’application vous permettent de gérer vos commandes, d’accéder à des données statistiques concernant votre boutique, de communiquer avec d’autres acheteurs, de gérer des listes, de recevoir des alertes lorsqu’il y a une vente, et bien plus encore.

  1. C’est abordable

Démarrer une boutique sur Etsy est gratuit. Cependant, il y a trois frais minimaux reliés aux ventes. Vous avez des frais d’inscription d’un produit, des frais de transaction et des frais de traitement des paiements. Mettre un produit en vente vous coûtera 0,26 $. Pour chaque article mis en vente, la publication est valide pour 4 mois. Lorsque l’article est vendu, une commission de 3,5 %, des frais de traitement de paiements de 3,4 %, ainsi que 0,25 $ CA sont facturés.

  1. Accès à une vaste clientèle ciblée

Etsy compte environ 54 millions de membres, tous spécifiquement à la recherche de produits faits à la main, et plus de 2 milliards de visites chaque mois. La consommatrice moyenne d’Etsy est une femme adulte âgée entre 18 et 34 ans. Elle est membre de la classe ouvrière ou classe moyenne. Annuellement, la plupart de ses achats sur Etsy comprennent des bijoux qui coûtent entre 21 $ et 40 $, et qui sont souvent achetés comme cadeaux. Elle aime la variété de produits faits à la main et respectueux de l’environnement. Si votre produit répond le moindrement à ces tendances démographiques, il n’y a pas de meilleure plateforme qui atteindra votre clientèle d’une manière mieux ciblée.

  1. Testez vos nouvelles idées

Une présence sur Etsy est un bon moyen de voir comment les gens réagissent à vos nouvelles idées. Vous vous sentirez moins obligé de garder des produits qui ne se vendent pas puisque vous n’avez pas à contacter des concepteurs ou développeurs Web pour apporter les modifications nécessaires à votre plateforme. Par ailleurs, si vous avez une entreprise et un site Web existant et que vous êtes incertain au sujet d’une ligne de produits ou d’un produit particulier, effectuer des tests sur Etsy et lire les avis publiés dans les forums de discussion peut vous aider à prendre des décisions.

  1. Etsy peut être utilisé comme un outil de commercialisation économique
Contrairement à la croyance populaire, vous n’êtes pas obligé d’utiliser Etsy exclusivement. Votre site Web et votre boutique Etsy peuvent fonctionner conjointement. Une fois que vous avez gagné du terrain avec votre boutique Etsy, vous pouvez réorienter vos visiteurs vers votre site. Si vous obtenez une quantité intéressante de vente sur Etsy, vous pouvez décider que cela vous convient parfaitement tout en choisissant de travailler aussi sur votre site Web en coulisses. Offrez un incitatif à vos clients pour les amener vers votre site Web – il peut s’agir d’articles à prix plus bas sur votre site, de cartes promotionnelles expédiées avec les commandes des clients provenant du site d’Etsy, ou d’inclure des URL de votre site dans les descriptions des produits que vous présentez sur Etsy.

Si votre marché cible est constitué de personnes qui visitent Etsy régulièrement, faites-en l’essai. Que vous soyez artiste, une personne avec un passe-temps, ou que vous exploitiez déjà une entreprise, vous pouvez profiter des nombreux avantages et beaucoup apprendre en administrant une boutique Etsy. Le pire qui puisse arriver serait que vous n’aimiez pas l’expérience. Mais même dans ce cas, vous aurez essayé une plateforme et vous aurez appris ce qui fonctionne et ce qui ne fonctionne pas pour vous.

4 raisons pour lesquelles les petites entreprises doivent avoir un blogue

blogueSi en tant que propriétaire de petite entreprise, vous envisagez de commencer un blogue, arrêtez de considérer la question et commencez à écrire. Plus d’excuses! «Je ne suis pas un bon écrivain» «Je n’ai pas d’idées originales» ou «Je n’ai pas le temps» ne sont pas de bonnes raisons; d’autant plus que les avantages d’un blogue dépassent de loin les inconvénients. Si l’on considère que d’ici 2020, les clients gèreront 85 % de leurs relations sans parler à un être humain, et que les blogues sont classés  comme la 5e des sources les plus fiables d’informations en ligne. Ce que coûte vraiment un blogue vous est le temps.

Si vous faites partie de la minorité qui n’a pas encore joint le mouvement, voici 4 raisons pour lesquelles nous croyons que vous ne devriez pas attendre plus longtemps :

  1. C’est économique

Il est généralement très peu coûteux de créer un blogue et de le tenir à jour. Les blogues peuvent être intégrés à votre site Web déjà existant, ou être créés indépendamment. Peu importe, c’est un mode de commercialisation parmi les moins coûteux pour les entrepreneurs. Il y a aussi de nombreux hébergements WordPress bon marché et fiables parmi lesquels vous pouvez choisir.

  1. Génère du trafic vers votre site

L’ajout d’un blogue à votre site Web peut considérablement augmenter la circulation très ciblée de votre site. Les recherches démontrent que les entreprises qui bloguent reçoivent 97 % plus de liens vers leur site Web. Afficher des nouvelles convaincantes et perspicaces dans votre blogue, tout en utilisant stratégiquement des mots clés pour optimiser les moteurs de recherche, grâce à des publications en temps opportun, vous aidera à construire un public fidèle.

  1. Positionnez votre marque en tant que chef de file éclairé

Les blogueurs accomplis sont des experts en stratégie de marque. Les blogues offrent aux entreprises l’occasion de discuter de questions importantes dans le secteur de leur industrie. Par ailleurs, les blogues permettent aux entreprises de montrer à leurs consommateurs qu’ils font plus que simplement vendre des produits ou offrir un service. L’utilisation de cette sorte de plateforme vise à attirer les lecteurs qui ne cherchent pas nécessairement à acheter quelque chose. Il y a de fortes chances que ces lecteurs reviennent dans le futur, quand ils seront effectivement à la recherche d’un produit. De nos jours, les consommateurs ne font pas qu’investir dans des produits, ils investissent dans tout ce qu’une entreprise représente. Les blogues constituent la meilleure façon de manifester que vous représentez le style de vie que vos consommateurs souhaitent connaître.

  1. Établir des relations avec vos clients
Les blogues permettent d’offrir une touche personnelle. Cet aspect informel vous permet de créer une relation amicale de confiance avec votre public. L’ajout d’une section pour les commentaires, ou d’option de répondre à vos messages peut contribuer à susciter un dialogue intéressant. Idéalement, ces relations publiques positives permettront d’enrichir votre image de marque en vous présentant comme une entreprise qui se soucie de ses clients. Si vous créez régulièrement du contenu perspicace pour votre marché cible, vous pourrez vous établir comme source d’information importante.

Maintenir un blogue a aidé de nombreux entrepreneurs à faire passer leurs activités de la misère à la richesse. Dooce et Shoemoney en sont d’excellents exemples. Si ces raisons ne suffisent pas à vous convaincre qu’écrire un blogue est essentiel, posez-vous une question simple : Qu’ai-je à perdre en démarrant un blogue? Exactement. Rien que du temps bien dépensé. Essayez!

Why So Many Crowdfunding Campaigns Fail

crowdfunding, startupCrowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, have become mainstream in the past few years. There are many reasons why early stage entrepreneurs have turned to crowdfunding. Some of these reasons include not wanting to take out more debt, validating product market fit or  simply to create a brand following. Crowdfunding serves many benefits such as crowdsourcing, opportunities to pre-sell, and starting a campaign is usually free. As great as these things might sound, having a successful crowdfunding campaign is harder than it seems. For every successful Kickstarter campaign, two fail, and about 9 out of 10 Indiegogo campaigns fail to reach their goals. Here are a few reasons why experts believe that so many crowdfunding campaigns fail.

  1. Companies Fail to Establish Credibility

There are so many projects and initiatives on crowdfunding platforms, you must find ways to stand out in the clutter. Many crowdfunding initiatives have a reputation for unmet promises. Highly publicized credibility issues run deeper than product or supply-chain issues. The PME funded company, Revols, had managed to avoid such issues with their highly successful Kickstarter campaign, which garnered 2.5 million dollars in just a month. Their Kickstarter video showcased their credible partners, endorsements from industry experts, and specific accreditations to their name. They also hired a PR firm in order to make sure the right image was being spread prior to launch. Two weeks prior to starting their campaign Revols visited established media outlets with product demos in various North American cities. Like Revols, you have to be on top of your PR game.

  1. The Video is Too Long

A video that is too long is not likely to be shared on social media platforms. Keep your video length between 1 to 3 minutes long, so that people who would like to share your video with their network will be likely to. Sharing aside, people are also busy and have short attention spans. They want something, short and informative to watch.


  1. The Video Doesn’t Tell a Story

Videos have the capability to tell stories better than any other medium. Your video should have a story line that elicits emotional feelings from the viewer. If your video doesn’t seem sincere, you will have a difficult time getting investments or even people following-up on your brand down the line.

  1. Companies Aren’t Clear About How They Will Use the Funds

If you know exactly what you’re going to be using your money for, so should your backers. Investors want to know how their money will help you. Putting out vague statements such as “help our business grow” or “we need your help to expand” does nothing to show that you have a strategic plan moving forward. To our previous point, not being specific also doesn’t do anything to boost your credibility.

  1. No Testing

By testing we are referring to two things. The testing of the product and the testing of your Kickstarter page prior to launch. Before investing people want to know that your product has been tested and that it has garnered positive reviews from users and industry experts. Investors and backers want to be sure that their money is going into a quality good that has been vouched for. Testing your Kickstarter page means sending it to friends, family, mentors and trusted individuals in order to get feedback on its presentation and content. Building social capital prior and during your launch will have immense payoff.

  1. Your Goals are Unrealistic

Don’t aim to get millions of dollars right off the bat. Even Revols had the objective of raising only $100,000 before they reached their $2.5 million mark. You should plan and set a timeline for the investments you hope to receive. Being conservative with your estimates is always better. Your goals should be SMART, in other words, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

These are some of the main reasons why crowdfunding campaigns fail. If you do the right planning in order to avoid these mistakes your crowdfunding campaign will already be more likely to rise above the clutter. Even if you don’t achieve your campaign goal, you should still be leaving the platform with more than you entered. You should have more supporters, a longer e-mail list, and most importantly, a better idea of what it is that your consumers want.

Pourquoi tant de campagnes de financement participatif échouent-elles?

Financement Participatif

Au cours des dernières années, les plateformes de financement participatif, comme Kickstarter et Indiegogo, sont devenues dominantes. Il y a plusieurs raisons pour lesquelles les jeunes entrepreneurs peuvent se tourner vers les campagnes de financement participatif, incluant, en autres, le désir de ne pas s’endetter, valider l’adéquation produit / marché, ou tout simplement créer une visibilité de sa marque. Ces campagnes de financement offrent de nombreux avantages tels que l’externalisation ouverte et des possibilités de prévente, sans compter qu’il n’y a généralement aucuns frais pour démarrer une campagne. Cette approche peut sembler très excitante, mais c’est plus difficile que ça en a l’air. Pour chaque campagne Kickstarter réussie, deux échouent, et environ 9 campagnes Indiegogo sur 10 ne parviennent pas à atteindre leurs objectifs. Voici quelques raisons pour lesquelles les experts croient que tant de campagnes de financement participatif échouent.

  1. Des entreprises ne parviennent pas à établir une crédibilité

Il existe tellement de projets et d’initiatives sur les plateformes de campagnes de financement participatif que vous devez trouver des façons de vous démarquer de la masse. Plusieurs de ces campagnes ont acquis une réputation de promesses non tenues. Des problèmes de crédibilité hautement médiatisés vont bien au-delà des questions sur les produits ou sur la chaîne d’approvisionnement. La société Revols, financée par PME, a réussi à éviter ces problèmes grâce à une campagne Kickstarter très réussie qui a recueilli 2,5 millions de dollars en un mois. Leur vidéo Kickstarter présentait leurs partenaires crédibles, le soutien d’experts de l’industrie, et une adhésion spécifique à leur nom. Ils ont également embauché une agence de relations publiques afin de s’assurer de propager l’image désirée avant le lancement. Deux semaines avant de lancer leur campagne, Revols a visité des organes d’informations reconnus de différentes villes nord-américaines avec des démonstrations de leur produit. Tout comme Revols, quand il est question de relations publiques, vous devez bien maîtriser votre jeu.

  1. La vidéo est trop longue

Une vidéo qui est trop longue n’est pas susceptible d’être partagée sur les plateformes de médias sociaux. Limitez la longueur de votre vidéo à 1 à 3 minutes — ainsi, il y a plus de chance que les gens la partagent dans leurs réseaux. Mais, même si on laisse le partage de côté, il faut admettre que les gens sont très occupés et qu’ils ont une capacité d’attention limitée — ils veulent regarder quelque chose qui est court et informatif.

  1. La vidéo ne raconte pas une histoire

Mieux que tout autre moyen, les vidéos offrent la possibilité de raconter des histoires. Votre vidéo doit avoir une trame qui suscite des émotions chez le spectateur. Si votre vidéo manque de sincérité, non seulement aurez-vous du mal à obtenir des investissements, mais les gens auront peu tendance à retenir votre marque.

  1. La façon dont les fonds seront utilisés n’est pas claire

Si vous connaissez exactement la façon dont vous utiliserez l’argent, vos bailleurs de fonds devraient la connaître aussi. Les investisseurs veulent connaître comment leur argent vous aidera. Des déclarations vagues comme «contribuez à la croissance de notre entreprise» ou «nous avons besoin de votre aide pour grandir» ne démontrent aucun plan stratégique pour l’avenir. Comme nous l’avons mentionné ci-dessus, le manque de précision ne fait que renforcer votre manque de crédibilité.

  1. Aucun test

Par test, nous faisons référence à deux choses. Tester le produit et tester votre page Kickstarter avant le lancement. Avant d’investir, les gens veulent savoir que votre produit a été testé et qu’il a reçu des critiques positives des utilisateurs et des experts de l’industrie. Les investisseurs et les bailleurs de fonds veulent être certains que leur argent est investi dans un produit attesté de qualité. Tester votre page Kickstarter signifie l’envoyer à des amis, la famille, des mentors et des personnes de confiance afin d’obtenir des commentaires sur la présentation et le contenu. Développer le capital social avant et pendant votre lancement offre des avantages considérables.


  1. Vos objectifs sont irréalistes

En partant, ne vous fixez pas comme objectif d’obtenir des millions de dollars. Même Revols avait pour seule ambition de récolter 100 000 dollars avant d’atteindre la barre de 2,5 millions. Vous devez planifier et fixer un calendrier pour les investissements que vous espérez recevoir. Il est toujours préférable d’être prudent dans vos estimations. Vos objectifs doivent être SMART, en d’autres termes, spécifiques, mesurables, atteignables, réalistes et temporels.

Voilà donc quelques-unes des principales raisons pour lesquelles les campagnes de financement participatif échouent. Une planification appropriée qui évite ces erreurs vous offrira déjà plus de chances de vous démarquer de la masse. Même si vous ne réalisez pas votre objectif, vous devriez tout de même être en mesure de quitter la plateforme plus fort que vous ne l’étiez à votre arrivée. Vous devriez avoir plus de sympathisants, une liste de courriels plus longue, et surtout, une meilleure idée de ce que vos clients veulent.

4 Reasons Small Business Owners Must Blog

If you’re a small business owner that has contemplated starting a blog, stop contemplating and start writing. No more excuses! “I’m not a good writer” “I don’t have any original ideas” or “I don’t have time” are not good enough reasons, especially when the benefits of having a blog far outweigh the weaknesses. In fact, considering the fact that by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human, and that blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate information online, the only thing blogging is really costing you is time.

If you are part of the minority that hasn’t jumped on to the blogging bandwagon yet, here are 4 reasons why we believe you shouldn’t wait much longer:

1. It’s Inexpensive
Firstly, blogs can be very inexpensive to create and maintain. They can be embedded into your already-existing website or be launched independently. It is a low cost marketing channel that is available to you as an entrepreneur. There are also numerous cheap and reliable WordPress hosting companies available for you to choose from.

2. Drives traffic to your website
In addition, Adding a blog to your website can drastically increase the amount of highly targeted traffic your website receives. Research has shown that companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. Producing compelling and insightful news for your blog, while also strategically using keywords, making sure your blog is SEO friendly, and being timely with your publications will help you with building a loyal following.

3. Position your brand as a thought leader
On top of that, it has been proven Successful bloggers are brand builders. Blogging offers businesses a chance to discuss important issues relevant to their respective industries. Furthermore, it allows businesses to showcase to their consumers that they do more than just sell products or offer a service. The goal here is to utilize blog space in order to attract readers when they aren’t necessarily looking to purchase anything. Chances are that these readers will return in the future when they are, in fact, looking to buy.

These days consumers aren’t just investing in products, they invest in everything a business symbolizes. Blogging is the best way to show to your consumer that you represent the lifestyle they want to support.

4. Build relationships with your customers
Finally, blogs have a personal touch to them. This informality allows you to create a friendly and trusting bond with your audience. Adding a comments section, or an option for customers to reply to your posts can help with sparking interesting dialogue. Conveniently, the positive PR will enrich your brand image as a business that cares about its customers. If you continuously create content that is insightful to your target market, it will help establish you as a primary source of information them.

Blogging has helped numerous entrepreneurs carry their businesses from rags to riches. Great examples include Dooce, and Shoemoney. If these reasons aren’t enough to convince you that blogging is a must, ask yourself one simple question: What do I have to loose from starting one? That’s right. Nothing but time well spent. Give it a try.