A crowdfunding campaign is a great way to test the market and launch a product on a small budget without risking your financial stability.

In 2016 I launched my first crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and raised around £170,000 for the H1 dive watch without spending a penny on advertising. Ignoring product prototyping costs (which are completely dependant on your product), the only costs I encountered were for professional services such as photography and videography, and my time.

The world before crowdfunding

Only 5 years earlier, I couldn’t have started that business in the UK. Kickstarter is the only real recognised name in crowdfunding and they only arrived here in 2012. So how would I have launched that business 5 years ago? I’d either have had to borrow a huge amount of money using a personal loan with no guarantee the product had a chance of working, found an investor willing to gamble on me or, more likely, have got nowhere.

Kickstarter and other platforms have presented normal people like me with the opportunity to compete against established brands in established markets. It’s an amazing opportunity and you should be taking advantage of it!

You should be running a Kickstarter campaign!

You must have an idea, everyone does! Pick something you care about, something you’re passionate about, and work out how to make it.

If it’s a physical product, check out alibaba.com for access to thousands of cheap suppliers and manufacturers. There will be someone out there doing what you need. Want to make a watch? No problem! Always fancied yourself designing sunglasses? Easy! Whatever you’re interested in, someone will make you prototypes for far less than you’re expecting.

That’s the easy bit. The hard bit is finding an audience and selling to it. But don’t worry, I’m here to help with that! Here are a few resources to push you in the right direction, but jump on to my mailing list and you’ll get free membership to The Crowdfunding Guide and my step-by-step instructions for launching a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign without an advertising budget.

Make sure you start by building an email list

You can quickly grow your email list using landing pages

How to know when to launch a Kickstarter campaign

Remember, your launch is the end of your marketing, not the start!