Engineer, writer, developer Have helped raise more than $1.4m for entrepreneurs, creatives, athletes in 2014 on Kickstarter, Indiegogo and many other crowdfunding platforms Cinematographer
Pros: you will be able to get a proof of concept and a final version of the site quickly, compared to other frameworks. It will be possible to get it developed by a good freelance developer instead of a whole development team. Also a site to rate local schools has fairly standard components, so it would be easy to take existing code from other projects and get it started quickly.
I estimate for example that a proof of concept can be developed in about 3 weeks and a final site launched in 2 months
Cons: Rails developers are more rare than php programmers. Also a Rails application is an elaborate system. It's not as easy as a Wordpress site where you just grab and drop files. You will definitively need someone who has experience delivering elaborate sites like the one mentioned.
If you want more advice, we can discuss.
You should always have access to close early adopters. I define them as people you are always in contact with : phone, facebook messenger, social media and even better, regular physical meetups. They can provide you with valuable feedback about quality and tell you if it's too early to launch your product, based on the samples you send them.
Kickstarter has indeed a stronger brand and the quality of its projects is generally higher. It seems Indiegogo is always the fallback plan.
However, Indiegogo has a few strong points:
* It is very strong in internationalization. It supports many more currencies, languages and countries than Kickstarter. Kickstarter seems happy to be present mostly in Anglo-saxon countries
* Indiegogo is very strong in community (non-profit causes) and also in film projects. Additionally it has many health tech projects and finance projects that Kickstarter has not. When was last time that you saw an innovative finance project on Kickstarter?
* Indiegogo is growing faster than Kickstarter. Lately, Kickstarter has announced they will switch to a non-profit status and it's been a while they haven't announced new expansion while Indiegogo has fresh investment $$ and has announced new products
* Indiegogo has a staff that can help entrepreneurs and creatives. They will give you support before you launch and can give you advice to raise more. Kickstarter has very little support - apart from its shiny interface and automated interface.
At the end of the day, what matters is selecting the best platform that is best for your project. Conduct due diligence and see where the best performing projects are in your industry.
I can recommend the following :
- if you go to conferences, publish blog posts or keynotes, or comment online, make sure to add your twitter handle
- add your twitter handle in your email signature and business cards
- make sure your description is good. You can say : "I answer topics about management, journalism, and public relations in... every friday 2 to 4pm"
- i also find that my followers number (> 4000 currently) increases dramatically when I go to events or conferences. So make sure you advertise your twitter there. Use hashtags, live tweet the content of the event, comment on those who tweet as well.
Happy tweeting !
I would do market research on how you would position the blog. There are thousands of education blogs and making sure your voice stands out and matches the market is essential.
After positioning, you need to make a list of all the content you can produce: original blog posts, infographics, videos, pictures, lists, news commentary etc. It's essential to begin with your best piece and make sure you keep the rhytm.
Packaging (i.e. layout, headlines, design) is as important as the layout. Visitors need to know they're on a unique blog
Finally marketing. I recommend checking out the upworthy strategy, with a strong foundation on social media marketing (twitter/facebook), and as an aside, also build a good mailing-list for followers.
Let me know if this helps, would be happy to detail.
Find technical events on meetup.com and see who is good.
Startup Digest also has listings for every city. Subscribe and go the edgy stuff.
One of the best ways is also join programmers in hackathons or startup weekend. You should enquire for the list of attendees before the event and message, and see if there's any fit. A weekend working on an app is like doing a mini startup.
Of course, you should have a solid web page somewhere showing what you want to build -- otherwise it's a hard sell for programmers
I would check first if you are delivering a tangible product. Software-only or service companies have a hard time crowdfunding, as it's hard to find interesting rewards for non-tangible products.
I would then focus on creating a strong community behind the project. This is where investing resources on Facebook makes sense.
If you have more than 600 Facebook fans, I would then try to find an angle where you can tell a good story with emotion about what you are doing. Is there an overarching cause? Who are the people behind the project? What's the impact. Those would be good points to tell in the video.
Since you are in beta, I would present it as such : "We've already done so much, built a prototype, but we are a startup with limited resources, and need your contribution to get us to first version." Offering early access, user privileges, access to the developer edition are all good ideas for rewards. You can also have a "Credits" section on your product, everyone appreciate having their name on a public website.
There is indiegogo, which has good traffic, as well as Gambitious, which will veto applications, and also lab.gamesplanet.com
I recommend taking a close look at Kickstarter though. It's the best for indie game developers, even if you hve to go through a US payement agent if you are not in the US