If you’re a Shark Tank fan, you’ll know that an investor’s main concern is whether there’s demand for a product. So test the waters with your mobile app idea by holding a crowdfunding campaign. But before you get started, here are some tips to get it right.

My first sales role was in fundraising, working with an upstart nonprofit. In all honesty, I was less than enthused about the idea of fundraising as a profession.

In my mind, it conjured up terrible flashbacks to grade school, when my classmates and I were prompted to fundraise for the class band. I remembered canvassing the neighborhood, selling products like overpriced wrapping paper or frozen cheesecakes.

Looking back now, I realize that it wasn’t necessarily the idea of selling, or even asking people for money, that made me so uncomfortable. Rather, it was the wrong product, the wrong method, and the wrong audience that made the experience such a chore.

Today, I have the pleasure of working with lots of entrepreneurs and young innovators, helping them transform budding ideas into monetized realities. As you might imagine, fundraising is fundamental to this mission.

In many instances, my clients are first-time entrepreneurs or novice mobile app developers with hopes of developing the next Tinder or Snapchat. Naturally, they needed a lot of direction on how to get their app to succeed.

Develop A Winning Product: Vet Your App

Demonstrating the market for your product is crucial. The last thing you want to do when you finally gain some attention is to tell Mark Cuban that you thought his rolodex would generate the demand.

The best way to be prepared is to test your app idea and gauge its popularity first, by launching a crowdfunding campaign. This is also a great way to raise funding for the development, manufacture, and/or marketing of your app.

For those of you unfamiliar with the method, crowdfunding is the practice of financing a project or venture by raising small investments from a large number of individual civilian investors, predominantly via the internet.

And crowdfunding platforms, like Kickstarter and IndieGogo, provide protection for entrepreneurs and investors alike. They allow the project developer to vet their idea with a global community of consumers before opening their checkbooks. Simultaneously, it provides welcome assurances to those backing the company.

The Method: Essentials for a Winning Crowdfunding Campaign

(Graphic by Katherine Lisciani)

Don’t be afraid to put your idea out there. There’s no better resource for product development than raw consumer feedback. What’s more, if the crowd likes your app and you get funded, you’ll already be a step ahead of the rest, since you now have an initial group of users.

This base can prove to be a valuable force when introducing your product to the larger consumer market.

You’ll want to prepare well in advance of launching your campaign. Communication is key, a point I can’t stress enough. The vitality and survival of your campaign rests in your ability to engage an audience of geographically disconnected individuals around a central idea, feeling, cause, or goal. Be consistent, be responsive, and be inclusive.

Managing Expectations: The Tools for Realistic Feedback

At the end of the day, whether crowdfunding an idea or developing an app, you’re about to embark on a hefty DIY project. That means it’s vital to stay realistic in setting your fundraising goal.

Many times, developers will hold new campaigns to fund each advancing stage of their venture building journey. Remember: you understandably need some seed money to get your idea off the ground, but you’re not fundraising for your series A. Instead, look to areas where you might be able to cut costs.

For one, outsourcing development can often be expensive and easily eat away your budget. A great alternative is AppMakr, the DIY mobile app making platform. Millions of developers around the world choose AppMakr for the platform's simple drag-and-drop interface, which lets you build your own mobile app quickly and easily.

Being realistic about your options can save time and money later, and utilizing online tools such as AppMakr can be the most economically efficient way to achieve success in your mobile venture.

Thanks for reading! Would love to hear your feedback. Send me a tweet@millennovator, and let me know what you think!

Don't forget to check out the blog on AppMakr for more info and great resources!