Over the years I have been asked many variants of this question, and the answer is almost always “yes, you can”, so what we prefer to dig in on is the “why should you”.
There tend to be three scenarios where people ask this question:
1. A prior campaign failed and the founders want to try again.
2. A prior campaign succeeded and the founders want to repeat it.
3. The founders want to launch on more than one platform at the same time in an attempt to gain more exposure.
In the case of a failed attempt - there is nothing wrong with making a second attempt, as long as you’ve pinpointed where things went wrong the first time and are prepared to overcome those hurdles. The most common reasons for failure are:
-Not building an audience prior to launch
-Not marketing the raise sufficiently
-Product / Market Fit is off
Assuming you are ready to address the shortfalls in your first attempt there is no reason that you shouldn’t make another attempt.
If you’ve run a campaign successfully, there are a number of reasons you may want to roll the dice again, including:
-We didn’t make enough money to create operational cash for our business.
-We made money on it, and we want to make more.
-We saw additional demand for the product after the campaign ended.
If you were successful, but the money you raised was just enough to cover making and shipping all the product you sold, then you may be tempted to do it again. If that’s the case, ensure that you’ve achieved a better manufacturing cost, raised prices, or done something to increase the margins on the second attempt or you’ll find yourself in the same position.
If you did well, and simply want to repeat the process, consider using e-commerce rather than crowdfunding and start building your own store, instead of building on rented land (ie someone else’s platform). In this was all your marketing is pointed to your own site, giving you more control and the ability to add products over time, change pricing, etc.
The same would apply if you saw a great deal of demand after the campaign ended. Quickly move to capture those potential buyers emails and find a solution for transacting.
More than one platform
I’m often asked if it is “okay” to launch on more than one crowdfunding platform at a time, with the hopes of getting more exposure. The answer is yes, it’s okay, but you aren’t likely to get the exposure you are looking for, and in fact will be more likely to fail on both platforms.
This comes down to a simple principle of division of attention, and understanding how crowdfunding platforms provide exposure.
If you are forced to divide your marketing efforts across two platforms, you exponentially increase the difficulty of driving enough traffic to hit your goals and have a successful raise.
Counting on the platform for exposure is also a major mistake people make. While it is true that the platforms will surface and promote a handful of the hundreds, or thousands of projects on their platform, they tend to focus on those that are already showing traction and success. Said differently, if you plan was to launch on a platform (or two) and have all the exposure come from their efforts, you don’t actually have a plan.
Yes, you can run a project twice, sequentially or in parallel - but you should strongly consider the why, and whether or not a second raise will help you achieve the outcomes you are really after.