For the final installment in our series on building a community around your small business, we are going to about a strategy that lets you kill two birds with one stone: Crowdfunding!
We’ve discussed crowdfunding as a financing option before, but today we’re going to focus on its powers of community building. Which means we are going to take a closer look at CROWDFUNDx by the well-known company Crowdfunder.
For the uninitiated, Crowdfunder is an online platform that helps match investors with entrepreneurs. In their words, they want to “democratize access to capital for small business owners who don’t have access to wealthy investors.” Through their ever-expanding network, small businesses and startups are able to get in touch with people who can give their idea a chance to make it in the market.
Where does CROWDFUNDx come in? This platform works within “local entrepreneurial ecosystems” hosting online contests and live pitch events. It’s a kind of social network for your business that gives you a leg up on the other businesses vying for the attention of global investors. Here’s the flowchart from the Crowdfunder website:
Basically you create a profile for your company, get the support of community members, escalate your visibility by joining contests, and get the attention of possible backers. There are dozens of CROWDFUNDx communities in large cities from East Coast to West Coast and even into Mexico. Check out the full list here to see if there’s a community near you.
Not only is this local connection a great way to help you get more visibility — and thus the possibility of more money — on Crowdfunder, it also allows you to access an audience that can rally around your business. In a supportive community of entrepreneurs, people want to help each other succeed and will tell people in their own networks about your business. This is a great word-of-mouth marketing strategy that can harness the power of the internet and local connections at the same time.
Another benefit of joining a CROWDFUNDx community? SEO of course! As you know, the more places on the web that link to your website, the better your SEO ranking will be. When you create a company profile through this community, Google will find it and rank your page in searches for your company or your keywords.
To test the theory, I found a company in our local Washington, DC area CROWDFUNDx community called Lorikeet Learning LLC in the community’s company listings. I did a Google search, and lo and behold, the very first hit is their Crowdfunder profile.
Give Crowdfunder a try and see what kind of community buzz you can generate for your business. Then come back here and tell us how it went!