2018 Women's March Posters!

2018 Women's March on NYC

Welcome fellow Women's Marchers! We are so excited to march in solidarity with you on Saturday, January 20th in New York City! Be sure to sign up here if you want to march with our feminist crew of all ages and genders. 

Here are some downloadable posters for your marching enjoyment. These are easily (and cheaply) printed at your local Staples!

RIGHT CLICK on the image below and save to your desktop. 


POSTER #1

iFW_Girls_Just_Wanna_Have_Fun.png

POSTER #2

WomensMarch_Hashtags.png

Why iFundWomen Offers Free Crowdfunding Coaching Now

Karen Cahn, Founder & CEO of iFundWomen. Refers to herself as "Head Coach". Secret passion: getting women entrepreneurs to execute on one idea at a time.

Karen Cahn, Founder & CEO of iFundWomen. Refers to herself as "Head Coach". Secret passion: getting women entrepreneurs to execute on one idea at a time.

Why iFundWomen Offers Free Crowdfunding Coaching Now

Author: Karen Cahn, Founder & CEO, iFundWomen

2017 was a wild year for women, one which reaffirmed that everyone must work harder, must do better, to help women get ahead financially. As Ruth Ann Harnisch, investor, activist, and founder of  The Harnisch Foundation brilliantly put it, “The final frontier of feminism is finance."

The final frontier of feminism is finance
— Ruth Ann Harnisch

Women now make up 40% of new entrepreneurs in the United States, the largest percentage since 1996. Every woman I talk to has at least two or three business ideas that she’s keeping to herself. Many of these ideas are pragmatic, necessary products and services that people actually need.  Access to capital remains the number one issue that female entrepreneurs face in bringing their products to market.  That’s why my team and I started iFundWomen, a crowdfunding platform for female entrepreneurs - giving women a space to bring these dynamic innovations to life. 365 days later, we’ve helped hundreds of budding businesses raise startup capital and we’ve learned many lessons along the way.

Ok, so what are the top 3 things that we learned:

1. You must prove there is demand for your product or service before you invest in building out your offering

We started iFundWomen specifically to create a platform designed to turn traditional business economics on its head. Instead of supply and demand, iFundWomen gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to generate demand before they invest in supply. It’s a smarter approach to starting a business. Crowdfunding offers an extremely efficient, low risk opportunity for women to step outside of their comfort zone, and test out their ideas.

Instead of supply and demand, iFundWomen gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to generate demand before they invest in supply.
— Karen Cahn

 

2. Crowdfunding coaching and a well-prepared marketing plan are essential to a successful campaign

Crowdfunding is like skydiving (but with a much lower risk of physical injury) - if you’ve never done it before, you really have no idea what you’re in for.  The emotional rollercoaster that you will inevitably ride will likely make you want to vomit at times, but at the end of a successful campaign, you feel like you can do anything. And you can.

My team and I experienced the crowdfunding free fall first-hand before building our product, and we have identified the key factors that are essential to a successful campaign.  Most importantly, we know that coaching works. When comparing campaigns that have succeeded versus those that have struggled to reach their goals, the results show that entrepreneurs on our platform who invested in coaching raised 4.5 times more money than the ones who did not.  Data like this is why we’ve changed our product offerings to include free coaching for everyone who launches a campaign. We have built a toolkit and a peer-to-peer coaching system that has reduced the time to market for our entrepreneurs dramatically, while increasing the success of their campaigns.

Entrepreneurs on our platform who invested in coaching raised 4.5 times more money than the ones who did not. Data like this is why we’re offering FREE coaching for everyone who launches a campaign.
— Concetta Rand

3. You need to be legit to win

This is so basic, but it needs to be said. The support of your network is dependent on how you present your business through your campaign.  Your potential backers are going to expect you to have the fundamental markers of a legitimate business.  This means that you must have 1) a website that clearly states what your business or passion project is about, and 2) a professional video that tells the story of your company and efficiently explains what your campaign is all about.

There are very straightforward ways for you to successfully crowdfund and it starts with having a great idea, but ultimately you can’t just talk about it, you have to be about it. Prove that you’re serious about your project with a website, a video, your social handles on point, and a built-up audience of people who believe in you. You are what you do, not what you say.

You are what you do, not what you say.
— -Anonymous Wise Person

To wrap it up, after a year in the game, we feel more confident than ever that crowdfunding, coaching, and connections are the answer to getting women-led businesses off the ground.  So whether you are ready to grow your existing business or you are germinating on a great idea that’s ready to blossom, crowdfunding on iFundWomen is the lowest risk, highest potential opportunity to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. No more waiting. Do it!

Mastering the Art of the Brag

brag_mic.png

By Concetta Rand, Chief Revenue Officer, iFundWomen

You hate to brag. We feel you. Every day we talk to entrepreneurs who tell us they would rather work on their business than focus on selling. So they avoid putting their accomplishments out into the world their and that holds their businesses back. 

Research shows that whether it's touting our own performance or estimating our abilities, women lag far behind men.  We also know that women who are overtly confident pay a price. But if you don’t promote what you’re doing no one else will.  There's no question it’s a tricky tightrope to walk.

When women step up to solve problems, we add a critical perspective. When our businesses are constrained by a lack of funding, everyone loses. Our silence has a real financial cost - from delayed promotions to smaller salary increases to lower fundraising amounts.

When women step up to solve problems, we add critical perspective. When our growth is constrained by a lack of funding, everyone loses.

When it comes to raising money for your business, bragging is table stakes. So what’s the secret to mastering the art of the brag?  How do those who may be more introverted get comfortable with touting your accomplishments and claiming your seat at the table?

1)  GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME

Mindset matters. Instead of ‘bragging’, think of it as a means to an end, and that “end” is growing your business.  Recognize that if you don’t start talking, no one else will. And you owe it to yourself and your business to get the word out about what you’re doing.

2)  OWN YOUR STORY

Your pitch is critical. You need to love it and own it in order to sell it.  Write out your pitch using our script template and practice constantly - with friends, in front of a mirror, to strangers, and to your phone while recording yourself.  Flexing your brag muscle like this will inevitably increase your confidence and your ability to share your successes with others.

3)   ASSEMBLE YOUR CHEERLEADING SQUAD

It can be daunting to put your accomplishments out in the world. If a post hits social media and no one likes, did it even happen? Take a page from some of the women who served in Obama's White House and enlist a friend – or 5! – to amplify your accomplishments. Take an advertising approach to your news – frequency matters. The more people who talk up your campaign and goals, the more likely they are to break through the clutter.

4)   DO THE WORK UPFRONT

Crowdfunding requires you to put yourself out there over and over again. Do that in whatever way is most authentic and organic to you, but be sure to prepare ahead of your campaign launch.  Your campaign is not a one-and-done sort of thing. It's not something you set and forget. It’s a marathon – not a sprint – and you need to keep your all-out media plan going all the way to the finish line. Be thoughtful in planning what channels you’re going to use and how you’re going to make them work for you.

It comes down to this: it’s not bragging if you’re really invested in what you’re doing. And if you’re not willing to invest in your business, why would anyone else be?

3 Things Every Female Founder Should Know

RedHat_Blog_2.png

This week's blog post is brought to you by DeLisa Alexander, Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer at Red Hat.  As an advisor and board member for several organizations advancing the entrepreneurial community in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the founder of the Women's Leadership Community at Red Hat, DeLisa understands the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and she has rounded up her top three tips for women navigating the startup world.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical—to our community, to our country, and to the world. Entrepreneurs are a key part of a robust business ecosystem, because they generate new ideas, challenge the status quo, and help us solve the big problems that our world is facing.

But it’s hard to solve these problems when you’re missing part of the population. While research shows us that women make great entrepreneurs, they’re half as likely as men to start a business.

Entrepreneurs...help us solve the big problems that our world is facing. But it’s hard to solve these problems when you’re missing part of the population.

I’ve seen this play out many times throughout my career, particularly as I’ve worked with organizations like Soar Triangle, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), and other groups that support our local entrepreneurial community in Raleigh.

While the barriers women face in starting a business may be steep, it’s worth the climb. We know that diversity of many types (gender, ethnicity, age) creates greater diversity of thought. For the startup community, that means a better representation of customers, more innovative ideas, and better risk management.

I’ve observed some common traits among women who have been successful in creating and sustaining their own businesses. Here are three tips for those aspiring to be founders or leaders in the startup world:

1. Be aware of the odds and be ready to beat them

Women face additional barriers to entrepreneurship, including bias, greater responsibilities for family and life, and a lack of mentors. Being aware of these obstacles is the first step to overcoming them. For example, finding a mentor in your community might be a challenge. In addition to applying for programs that are open to everyone, take advantage of the resources offered by organizations like iFundWomen. They’re not only connecting women-led startups with mentors, investors, and resources, but also celebrating the successes of startups that are making an impact.

2. Be willing to bootstrap in order to stick to your vision

Entrepreneurs are innovators, and to innovate ahead of your time, you have to stick to your vision. The research tells us that women are resourceful, and they start companies with nearly half as much capital. So as you’re building prototypes and getting started, do what you need to do to bring your ideas to market. If your startup is addressing a problem that the market isn’t ready for yet, you may also need to be willing to make adjustments or find creative, cost-effective ways to communicate your vision. Striking a balance and being flexible on this journey doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your idea. If you’re open to new perspectives, they may improve or shift your idea and make it more fundable. This approach will prepare you to push forward when the market is ready.

3. Be resilient and open to feedback

Starting a new business is a risky undertaking, and there are times when you will get it wrong. It’s important to continue to iterate and build resilience as you approach roadblocks along the way. If you fail, what do you learn from it? How do you quickly iterate and shift your focus to better address the needs of the market? As entrepreneurs and innovators, you're often extending yourself to play many roles, climbing out onto skinny branches to bring your ideas to life. It's easy to want to seek perfection and avoid failures. I’ve learned that while critical feedback can be hard to hear when it’s something you’re deeply passionate about, it will help you avoid the big failures. At Red Hat and in open source communities, we call this “failing faster” -- constantly putting your early ideas out there, accepting input of all kinds, making those ideas better, and abandoning the ones that don’t pan out. This approach means you’re setting yourself up for continuous improvement, and laying the groundwork for the long-term success of your business.

There's no denying the obstacles that female entrepreneurs will face on their way to success, but preparing for these barriers ahead of time might just be the key to your success.

Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions designed to provide customers with scalable & flexible technologies that meet their needs. iFundWomen is honored to have Red Hat as a sponsor of iFundWomen Raleigh, the region's dedicated crowdfunding platform. 

A Hidden Figure Crowdfunds on iFundWomen

Sandra Johnson.jpg

This week's guest post is brought to you by Dr. Sandra K. Johnson - An engineer and entrepreneur who is crowdfunding on iFundWomen for the resources to build geeRemit, her blockchain app for reduced-cost global money transfers.  Dr. JOHNSON is an actual Hidden Figure, one of the first African-American women to receive her Ph.D. in electrical engineering, and the first African-American woman to reach a technical leadership position at IBM. We are so inspired by her journey and the opportunity to be a part of it. 

I waited with great anticipation to see the movie, Hidden Figures. I was so inspired when I saw it. I learned that many of my experiences were also those of these three fabulous women. The way young Katherine Johnson explained the mathematical equations in one of the opening scenes felt right at home. FORTRAN was the first programming language I learned, and I ran them on a massive IBM computer. I left the movie excited, inspired, and also knowing that their story is my story.
 
However, I did not expect the sense of connection and history I experienced when I read the book. That’s when I learned the story of Dr. Christine Darden, the fourth woman profiled in the book. She worked as a supersonic aircraft designer at NASA. It turns out that I used some of her groundbreaking work in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in my Ph.D. thesis research. It was then that I knew I stood on her shoulders and we have a historical connection. I immediately felt as though I had to meet her and began to look for ways to make this happen.
 
Several weeks later I learned that Dr. Darden was coming to the area for “STEM Resilience: Dinner and Conversation with Dr. Christine Darden”, an event at a local restaurant. I was so excited and immediately purchased a ticket. I reached out to the host, asking her to allow me to spend just a few minutes with Dr. Darden one-on-one. Well, she actually had me sit next to her for the evening. We spent 90 minutes together, getting to know each other, sharing our experiences, and conversing and sharing words of wisdom with three young ladies at the table with us.

Dr. Sandra K. Johnson with Dr. Christine Darden, and host of the evening Dr. Christine Grant

Dr. Sandra K. Johnson with Dr. Christine Darden, and host of the evening Dr. Christine Grant

Dr. Darden is a very warm, soft-spoken and affable individual. She is also wise as a serpent, but soft as a dove. We talked about her professional experiences as well as her beloved family. (She knew quite a bit about my background, as someone had shared my vita with her before she arrived). I was very interested in her NASA career, including how she navigated and overcame her challenging environment to make her impact. She was very competent in her work and asked the right questions at the right time. For example, when she noticed that her male colleagues who started at NASA with similar credentials began to advance, she asked her manager about her advancement. When she did not get an acceptable answer, she went straight to the director and asked him. His response was that no one had ever asked him that question. Within a few weeks, she was promoted to engineer, from her position as a human computer. Dr. Darden mentioned to us that she only learned that the women in the NASA diversity office championed her cause by reading the book. She did not know prior to that.
 
I asked her how she developed her work on CFD algorithms.  It turns out her boss more or less left her alone to think and work, and that’s how she was able to do her work. In fact, she was the sole author on a paper describing her groundbreaking work. She spoke very fondly of her boss, and stayed in contact him for many years after he retired.
 
We also compared notes about our time in graduate school. Our experiences were similar. When she walked into a classroom, she was the only woman and her classmates were all Caucasian men. My classes were primarily Caucasian and Asian men and maybe two or three women, including me. The difference was that her classmates were willing to work with her, to be part of working groups. For me, no one but the foreign students would work with me. Of course they turned out to be the smartest students in class so I was always in good groups.
 

Sandra_Johnson_Madlibs.png

I told her about my experiences where students and faculty said unpleasant things to me, such as “I believe you’re in the wrong place” or “I don’t think you’re going to make it here, but we’ll take your fellowship money”. She was appalled at this and asked me how I coped. I told her that I knew the truth, and they would eventually learn the truth. I did belong there and I eventually made believers out of them! She mentioned that for some, that would have been a discouragement. Not so with me.  What is enlightening to me is she did not have such experiences in school.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Dr. Darden, getting to know her, learning about her career and her family. I will always cherish the personal time I had with her!

Dr. Sandra K. Johnson is continuing to make history through her crowdfunding campaign. Support her project on iFundWomen.

5 Healthy Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Cultivate

healthy habits.jpg

While there are countless ways to better yourself, developing good habits is often relegated to quickly cast-off New Year’s resolutions. Enter, Self-Improvement Month, also known as: September.

The iFundWomen Coaching Staff hear all manner of healthy habits that the amazing women in our network have mastered - or are working on themselves. Growing a business can be all-consuming. In the midst your business-building brilliance, we also recognize it’s critically important to take time out for yourself and the things you care about.

So, in honor of Self Improvement Month, we humbly present to you, 5 Healthy Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Cultivate:

1 .  Ask for Help

Running your own business is hard work. The most successful entrepreneurs know what to tackle themselves and when we to ask for help.  What matters is that things get done - not that you did it all yourself. You don’t have to be the expert in everything, but it can be uncomfortable to put yourself out there and admit you don’t know it all. Or to make the decision to invest in yourself and your development financially.  Whether it’s hiring a coach to help with your crowdfunding and business strategy, asking your network to invest in your campaign, or outsourcing your social media strategy to an expert, asking for help is the surest sign of strength.

What matters is that things get done - not that you did them yourself.

2.  Build Community & Seek Out Mentors

If we could offer one piece of advice to every person out there, it would be this: Build Community and Cultivate Mentors. Yes, you’re extremely busy. Yes, there are a million more urgent things in front of you. But building community and seeking out mentors are two of the best things you can do for yourself and your business. Whether it’s broadening your network in real life through organizations like the Six Degrees Society or GirlSpace Co-Working & Day Care  or connecting with like-minded women online at Covey Club, forming new and different relationships exposes you to different perspectives and approaches to solving problems. And if you’re looking for role models to aspire to become, SWAAY Media is a great place to follow and be inspired by groundbreaking women.

3.  Avoid Context Switching

For some people, this is the hardest habit to commit to. Whether it’s endless notifications on your phone, incessant email checking, or a co-worker popping by in-person (or on your screen) to ask about an urgent issue, staying focused on just one task seems almost impossible these days. But every day we hear more about the downside to all our multitasking - it turns out that 98% of us are in fact terrible at it.  For all we’re doing, we’re accomplishing far less: studies say multitasking cuts our productivity as much as 40%.  So how do we get back to single-tasking? Some of our favorite personal productivity techniques include batching similar tasks together and setting limits, which all starts with organizing and scheduling your time. Tools like the Pie Life Planner can transform how you manage your time. Instead of checking email all day long, pick 2 or 3 times to power through messages - and then close your browser or better yet, sign out of your account. Turning off all non-urgent desktop and phone notifications can be life-changing in terms of keeping you focused on the task at hand. And using apps like Tide can help you block off dedicated periods of time to focus your energies on that truly mission critical task.

4.  Exercise your Mind and Body

Still with us? Fantastic! Now let’s get honest about some serious self-care. As an entrepreneur, it can feel like the world will crumble if you take even a second for yourself. But we all know the opposite is true. Healthy living is all about making time to nourish your mind and body so that you can come back refreshed and ready to conquer the world. And the entrepreneurs on iFundWomen make it easy to take care of yourself from head to toe.

Thanks to Francine Steadman Krulak and some incredible rewards from Buddha Booth, you don’t have to look far to find a quiet space in the midst of all of life’s noisy places. Maybe you prefer to burn off all that stress with a killer run. The Brass Betty team has you covered with some amazingly stylish (and functional) sports bras.

And if you’re like some of iFundWomen team, you just want to treat yourself to some mood boosting scents from Adoratherapy or an at-home spa experience with luxury skincare products from Gilly’s Organics.

5.  Unplug: Shut it Down

Whether it’s an hour, a day, or a week - disconnecting is an absolute must. While we sense there are negative consequences to being ‘always on’, few of us take steps to truly disconnect. But when we take the time to step back, research and experience show us incredible things happen - our stress levels go down and our brain gets a much-needed respite from all that hard work.  Recognizing those opportunities for cerebral siestas allows you to access different parts of your brain and that will benefit you greatly when waking up on the refreshed side of the bed - you’ll be more likely to turn problems into challenges and make better decisions throughout your day.  The point is - whether it’s a trip to an off-the-grid bar like Drunken Money in Bocas del Toro, Panama, finally sitting down to get through a few pages in a great book, or enjoying the great outdoors with your four-legged friend, courtesy of Waggin’ Trails Dog Park - taking time offline to reconnect with family, friends, and yourself is the healthiest habit of all.

As entrepreneurs, our personal mind & body health tends to take a backseat to more pressing matters, like keeping our businesses alive.  The truth is that nothing should get in the way of carving out relatively small amounts of time to unplug, relieve stress and step outside of the hustle bubble in order to reset and refresh.  

How To Create a Marketing Strategy with Little-to-No Budget

muses.png

At iFundWomen, we know that many female entrepreneurs are working with very small amounts of capital while at the same time working tirelessly to grow their businesses, so this week's guest post is brought to you by our friends at Muses - an influencer black book in your back pocket, helping you get direct access to thousands of relevant influencers excited to promote your brand. Through their app, you can filter and search by location and following to find the best influencers for you.

As entrepreneurs, we’ve all been there: tied to a shoestring budget.

If you’re operating with little-to-no marketing budget, you’re likely in the early stages of pinning down your audience demographics and behaviors, optimal methodology, and messaging. You’ve got a lot going on.

So, let’s start with the marketing channels that you own and the audience that you do have — before upping your spend to initiate paid campaigns that reach new folks.

First, there are your social channels:

Facebook, LinkedIn (assuming you don’t use Premium), Twitter, and Instagram. Note that it is not imperative for your business or brand to have a presence on each of these channels. You’ll only want to focus on the platforms where your audience lives. That’s important. We’re focusing our energies on the assets we already own.

There’s your website.  Let’s assume that the upfront costs have been accounted for and that it’s up to you to create content — i.e. blog posts. Lastly, there’s earned content — or any press and online mentions which you’ve acquired for free.

So, once again, here we have your “free media”: social channels, website, and social mentions or free publicity.  How do you make the most of those channels?

SHARE YOU KNOWLEDGE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY

Join a Facebook group or an interest group within Muses and start answering questions! Search for topics you know the answer to within Quora.

There’s a catch, though. You’re not allowed to plug your business. There are communities and groups (read: engagement groups) where it’s not only appropriate to shamelessly share a post of your own that deserves some lovin’ — but where that’s the purpose.

In this scenario, be helpful and your community will look into you. “Oh! They had really great advice. Let me check out their Facebook page or Instagram to see what else I can learn.”

You’ve just generated interest in your own work by freely offering up your expertise. That in itself is a form of free marketing.

AGAIN, SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY

This time however, I’m referring to inbound marketing. Use your website as a resource or community story hub. That is your blog. Write what you know.

Naturally, you’ll use your social channels to cross-promote the content you’ve self-published. Here’s what to do there.

Cite your favorite experts within your articles and give them a shout-out on social. Best case scenario, they appreciate the compliment, enjoy your work, and share your article to their audience.

DON’T HOST A PUBLIC GIVEAWAY. GIVEAWAY FREEBIES TO INFLUENCERS.

Here’s the deal. Giveaway contests are great. They are wonderful for helping you to generate impressions at scale as long as you invest in a big enough prize. The rules of the giveaway game usually dictate that the bigger or more expensive your prize, the broader your reach. You can think about it this way: the more expensive, the more newsworthy, the more shareable it becomes. So. If you want your giveaway to be successful, you’ll have to fork up.

Here’s an alternative plan. You can give out free products or services or coupon codes to select influencers to share to their audiences of thousands. Let’s say you tap 10 influencers to create and share posts about 10 brand new convertible tote bags you’ve just gifted them. If each of those influencers inspire two purchases, you’ve essentially cancelled out your marketing spend and made ten sales on an empty budget.

WinQ group (1).png

Here’s another point. Influencers are likely to also become customers. If you gift them a bag it may be that they decide to purchase a complimentary wallet. Why not make a purchase? They just received a free bag, didn’t they?

Are you starting to the see the common denominator, here?

Marketing is all about community and relationship-building. The secret to getting the most bang out of your marketing buck so to speak is to not be “salesy.” Be yourself. Focus on building a brand around engaging stories and useful resources you know your community will take an interest in. Position yourself as a leader, an expert, a resource, a go-to and the rest will naturally follow.

7 Secrets for Crafting Your Campaign Rewards

Kate Anderson, Director of Operations, iFundWomen

Kate Anderson, Director of Operations, iFundWomen

When it comes to launching a rewards-based campaign, there are many different ways to go about it. From marketing swag to extend your brand to pre-selling product to exclusive themed bundles, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck without breaking the bank. We asked Kate Anderson, iFundWomen's Director of Operations, to provide her top seven tips for crafting campaign rewards.

1) PROVIDE A HANDFUL OF REWARDS AT DIFFERENT PRICE POINTS

The ideal range is 5 to 8 rewards at varying price points.  Start low and go high.  You want to have an accessible entry level reward, around $10. Popular crowdfunding contribution amounts are $25 and $100. Offering 5 to 8 rewards allows you to provide diverse price points that will suit the comfort level of all of your backers.

2) KEEP YOUR REWARDS PERSONALIZED & ON BRAND

If you're crowdfunding for a product-based business, your rewards should include that product. However, if your company doesn't produce a physical product, get ready to get creative! There are endless reward ideas for service-based businesses, such as a day-in-the life shadowing opportunity, a specialized masterclass or webinar, a personalized phone call with you, and of course you can even offer your services at a discounted rate.  Your rewards should resonate with your brand identity, so for example, if you have a technology company, offer tech-themed rewards like cell phone accessories or other universally used tech gear. Lastly, it's always smart to do your research and check out the rewards being offered on other campaigns for businesses in your industry.

3) THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

Unique and exclusive rewards get people excited to be a part of your brand’s growth.  If you have a food-based company, consider inviting people to a special meal at your restaurant or name a speciality food item after them.  Are you crowdfunding for a film? Consider allowing people to be extras in the film, offer a producer role or to be listed in the credits. The ideas are limitless!

4) USE REWARDS TO HELP WITH CUSTOMER DISCOVERY

Your business may be targeted to one customer segment, but say you want to expand into new ones. Crafting rewards that resonate with different customer bases can be a great way to test future expansion opportunities or marketing strategies. For example, say you make fitness clothes for women, but you're thinking of launching a children's line or menswear line. Creating simple branded merchandise for those customer segments can get you in front of your prospects gathering feedback ahead of any future investments. 

5) ALWAYS ORDER A SAMPLE

You want to ensure the quality of your rewards before you ship them out to your backers, so be sure to order a sample from your swag supplier, and make sure you like the swag before ordering a large quantity to fulfill your rewards.

6) SHOW YOUR BACKERS THAT YOU CARE

Consider rewards that show your appreciation, such as a personalized postcard, handwritten thank you note, a recorded video message, or even a social media shoutout.  These are easy ways to personally let people know how much you appreciate their contribution. 

7) DON'T FORGET THE COGS (COST OF GOODS SOLD)

Be strategic about each reward you're offering and make sure that the cost of producing and delivering your rewards doesn't infringe on the amount of funding you need to grow your business. Check our Campaign Guide for iFundWomen's Coaches Playbook which can help you factor in the costs of purchasing and shipping rewards into your bottom line.  Keep in mind that, If you choose Flexible Funding, you'll need to fulfill your rewards whether or not you reach your goal and don't spend money on your rewards until your campaign is complete. 

Rewards are a powerful vehicle for extending your brand, engaging your community, and spreading your story.  Don't be afraid to get creative and test different price points and product offerings with your rewards and, ahead of your campaign launch, ask trusted people in your network for feedback on what they would be interested in receiving in return for supporting your campaign.  

At iFundWomen, our coaches are always at the ready to help with planning and execution. Now get out there, and win!