If you’re looking for a checklist for equity crowdfunding, you’re in luck! There are quite a few things that you need to take into account to execute a successful equity crowdfunding campaign. And I have captured all of them in this nifty list! In this first instalment, we’ll look at the pre-campaign. I will be publishing soon the checklists for the campaign and post-campaign soon. I hope you find it useful!
The basics of the pre-campaign
- Create a user in the main platforms, browse pitches, request restricted documents, invest (small amounts, from £10) in other companies. It’s the best way to learn about equity crowdfunding!
- Produce a detailed timeline, including all of the tasks in this list – to get you going, please check my article A typical timeline for an equity crowdfunding campaign.
- Decide your campaign objective, considering the money you’ll need. Set an external target as low as possible and a more ambitious internal one.
- Set your company valuation, using more than one method.
- Apply for SEIS/EIS (link to Seedrs article), if relevant.
- Produce your investment summary – one page for distribution to potential investors.
- Produce a full pitch deck – translation to other languages if needed – allowing time for a professional layout by a designer.
- Create a database of investors completed – sequence investors from bigger to smaller. Reach at least 20% of your target (ideally 40%+).
- Submit the pitch and get accepted by your chosen crowdfunding platforms.
- Plan, film and edit your video – some pointers in my article Video for equity crowdfunding: 11 tips.
- Plan. shoot and edit professional photography of your product, locations and team.
- Complete your pitch in the platform – copy, images, etc.
- Decide investor perks.
- Create and rehearse an elevator pitch for investment – 60 to 90 seconds, memorised.
- Create and rehearse a full presentation for events – consider different lengths to adapt to the host’s requirements.
- Set pre-launch KPIs – you shouldn’t be launching until you meet them.
UK based equity crowdfunding platforms like Seedrs or Crowdcube are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). An equity crowdfunding campaign is a financial promotion and the platforms are required to ensure the pitch it is fair, clear and not misleading. This will add a few points to our checklist for equity crowdfunding campaigns. It’s crucial to have this in mind on the pre-campaign so the publication of your pitch is not delayed.
Similarly, in other countries, the local equivalent of the FCA will require similar things from the platforms based in that country. For example, in Spain, the CNMV regulates this space. Therefore, here are some things you will need to ensure:
- Any claims on your pitch need to be backed with independent data.
- Submit an early version of your video to the team and have the video editing team at the ready to produce a new version if changes are required.
- The credentials of your team: a CV or LinkedIn is not enough. You’ll need to source certificates from university, previous employers, etc.
- If you’re bringing ‘off-line’ investment to your progress indicator, proof of payment and/or data from your investors.
- Prepare a full disclosure of bank loans, founders loans, pre-existing investments agreed…
A bit of marketing
- Design and execute an investors outreach plan (including potential foreign investors).
- Create and execute a campaign events calendar.
- Have a PR support company/freelancer in place. Work on a PR strategy.
- Content calendar & social media calendar.
- Influencers outreach plan.
- Plan appearances on podcasts (dates for recording and release).
- Consider a paid social plan.
- Updates on founders and team members profile on LinkedIn.
- Updates on own website (email capture, banners/communications for your homepage…).
- Have your platform updates pre-written (at least 6 or 7).
- Google Analytics set up. Ensure you’re UTM tagging all your links in your communications.
- Offline marketing tools (postcards, leaflets, posters).
- Check compliance FCA rules of your communications (‘Capital at risk’ short and long versions).
Getting ahead for the campaign and post-campaign
- Pre-write your campaign press releases and consider translations.
- Pre-write follow up emails for platform members:
- After requesting to download the restricted documents.
- Reminder for people that have requested documents but not downloaded them.
- Chasing people that have downloaded documents but not invested.
- Thank you for investors – CTA help spreading the word.
- Answer the FAQs for the forum – write them down, ready to just copy and paste during the campaign.
- New articles of association, shareholders agreements, investor certificates (inc. tax relief) etc. Have them ready so you can speed up the post-campaign and the money reaches the bank ASAP!
Wrapping it up
There’s quite a lot to do during the pre-campaign! The checklist for equity crowdfunding might look a bit overwhelming. But with good planning and making sure you’re dedicating the right resources to the project this is perfectly doable. Do let me know if you need any support by contacting me.
By popular request, I will also be creating articles for each one of the points. Watch this space.