Is Crowdsourcing Truly Investing

Social Lending

One thing that we often get asked when it comes to social lending is how to define it. For example, is crowdsourcing truly investing, or does it fall under another term? One thing that you need to realize is that crowdsourcing isn’t true investing, in the sense that the funders are getting a return. They are doing it because they believe in a project. It can be compared to donations in a way, because the person isn’t expecting to get a monetary return. It is however a great way to go if you have a business idea that really does need to see the light of day.

Let’s face it — if you have a big dream, chances are good that the banks aren’t going to let you finance it. They’re going to get in your way at every single turn. They’re going to make your life hard. They’re going to keep you freeing like you can’t do it. They’re going to make you feel like it’s the end of the world merely because you have a dream in your head that needs to come out. They’ll tell you that you’re way too risky — unless you happen to have stellar credit of course. But in this economy, there are really very few people that have perfect, blemish-less credit. Life happens and it moves in mysterious ways. There’s no need to feel like you have to go with what everyone else is doing, merely because they’re doing it. It’s all about taking care of you and your needs, rather than just sitting around like nothing has happened. You get to have the joy and freedom of really getting things done in a major way. There’s no need or reason to feel pressured to make big, sweeping changes if you don’t really want to do them. There’s no need to feel pressured like you can’t move forward. Take a deep breath, and follow these tips.

CrowdsourcingFirst and foremost, if you’re going to get into crowdfunding, it’s a separate cousin of social lending. You’re not being given a loan. Instead, you’re having to sell people on the concept of giving you their money for your dream without getting any monetary “gift” in return. There’s no way for them to recoup their investment, so in the bluntest sense, it’s really money down the drain. Not that we’re trying to tell you that your dreams aren’t worth it. But you have to look at all of this with a critical eye and know what’s absolutely important.

So crafting your proposal to the public is going to be incredibly important. It’s not just about words anymore. If you look at something like Kickstarter, you’ll find that the ones that get the most funding are the ones that get into great detail about the project. They want to sell you on the big dream and get you hooked. They want you to know that everything is going to be just fine and the project will continue as scheduled. They include video that gets you pumped and sold on what they have to offer. It’s all about selling you on potential. Don’t laugh, because you’re going to have to do it too if you really want to get those high numbers that everyone is talking about. You also have to remember that whatever crowdfunding site you choose will have a percentage based fee if you get your money. It’s something to keep in mind, but the fees really aren’t as high as people think.

So, is crowdsourcing truly investing? In a sense, but not technically. Is it still worth it for you to check it out? Absolutely! Don’t give up on those dreams!

Avoiding Fraud with Social Lending

Social Lending

In a perfect world, no one would be out to defraud anyone. We would all play along — not because the laws say so, but because we’re cool human beings that don’t believe in doing that to each other. The social lending platforms are militant about fraud, but they can’t catch everything. As someone interested in social lending, you need to make sure that you don’t fall victim to fraud, and that you don’t inadvertently get yourself caught up in a fraud scheme either.

You need to realize something: social lending is about people. So if people are a little standoffish when you first get into the SL space, it’s not because you’re not likable. It’s not because you don’t deserve to have your proposal funded. It’s simply because they don’t know you and they don’t want to end up losing all of their money to you. That would be a really sad state of affairs, wouldn’t it? You don’t want to find that something you’ve worked so hard on can be taken away from you in an instant. That’s something that would be downright terrible. It’s better to make sure that you can figure out just about everything and anything that has an effect on your social lending life.

Social Lending FraudFrom here, the world is open. You need to make friends on social lending if you want to really have any chance of getting things funded. However, you don’t want to just make any type of friends. You want to try to focus on people that have relatively the same interests as you. This means that they are much more likely to endorse you. People endorse other people that they know, like, and trust. If you can’t prove that you’re a likable person, there’s really no way that you’re going to be moving in the right direction. Your proposal will simply sit idle because you don’t have any way of drawing attention to yourself. Now, contrast that with someone that has a wide variety of friends on social lending. They will endorse them and speak up for them and gather more eyes to your proposals. If you have a passion for something, say it! Don’t just cut to the chase.

Including photos of what you’re trying to achieve is a good thing. If you’re trying to do home repairs, having a picture of your home wouldn’t be a bad idea. There’s ways to block out identifying information if that’s important to you. The truth is that lenders want to know that you’re going to be using the money for exactly what you’re asking to use it for. Trying to treat yourself to a shopping spree on other people’s money is silly. If you’re going to just blow money, you might as well ignore the social lending space. It’s not to say that you can’t technically get funding for it, but most people don’t want to give up their hard earned money just for you to have a few new outfits. Now if you can demonstrate that you’re trying to fix up your home or pay off credit cards then you’re much more likely to get people. Keep in mind that some people have had their dream vacations funded. They were honest and upfront about what they were trying to do though.

As long as you approach the subject with integrity, there’s no reason for you not to move in the direction that you ultimately want to go.

Some Folks Have Quit Social Lending – How To Capitalize on Their Loss

Social Lending

Social lending is what you make of it, but others are making the choice to leave social lending behind. They want to go back to traditional financing. That’s perfectly okay, but we have to admit that it definitely makes us step back and take stock of the social lending world. Have things changed? Has social lending become something that’s best avoided? We definitely don’t think so. Some folks might have decided to quit social lending, but you don’t have to follow along in their shoes. You can capitalize on their loss in a few quick steps. You need to make sure that you’re thinking about going with whatever’s going to help you meet your goals. Some people might find that traditional banking really does help them reach their goals better. Going for a big house? Traditional financing can handle that with no problem. On the other hand, if you have been pushed out by the banks, you might still be able to find people that can help you get alternative mortgage financing. It just depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

What about making the most out of social lending as it stands? This means that you need to think about the type of proposals that you’re writing. Far too often people blame social lending for the fact that they can’t get anything funded. However, have you really put everything you could into writing the best proposal possible? This means that you’re going to have to think of more than just the numbers. You’re going to have to tell your side of the story.

social lending worldA lot of people think that they can just be vague and get money. That’s not the case at all. You’re going to need to think more about what you’re trying to accomplish and frame everything properly. Other people who don’t know who you are will be reading your social lending proposal. This means that you don’t want to beat around the bush at all. You want to be as honest and thorough as possible. When you can’t be honest like that, bad things start to happen. Bad things start to pop up. You have to make sure that you really do know what you’re doing. Otherwise you’ll just end up getting further and further behind. That’s really the only thing that you can do when it really comes down to it.

You need to always make sure that you are going to be looking at the type of life that you really want to have. Sure, it might be tempting to go back to traditional financing, but if they’ve already rejected you … it can really feel like your dreams are dying on the vine. Break out of that thinking by giving social lending a chance.

Remember the social part — you’re not alone at any point in the process. There are always people waiting around to help you with your first proposal. They will look it over and see if you really are moving in the right direction, or if you need to revise something. Take this criticism constructively — use it to do even better. Nobody is attacking you. If a seasoned social lender is trying to teach you something valuable, it’s definitely time to listen to what they have to say. Why would you want to do anything else than that?

Good luck!

SO You Got Fully Funded on Kickstarter – Now What

Social Lending

Kickstarter is a social lending platform that practices quality crowdsourcing. It’s not about getting personal loans funded for paying off bills — it’s actually what people use to see their entrepreneurial and social change projects come to life. People have funded the launch of magazines, comic books / graphic novels, and even gotten their music careers done in an independent way. Raising money for the causes that you believe in makes sense. If you’re thinking about starting a Kickstarter project, you would definitely be in good company.

But this isn’t for the people who haven’t stuck a toe in the KS waters. If you’ve already gotten a project fully funded on Kickstarter, you might be shocked. It’s your first project, and people believe in it? Groovy. You might not be sure what to actually do when everyone seems to be looking at you to get your project up and running. People are giving you money because they know that you’re taking action with it. Why not make sure that they understand this thoroughly?

One of the top things that you will need to do is thank everyone. Showing gratitude definitely matters. If you show enough gratitude, people realize that you really do mean well. This sets you up for future projects. You want to show them that you appreciate everything that they’ve done. A lot of people share the things that matter to them. You can see your backers as people that have done their part to actually bring your project to life. Now you have to go through and actually do what you said you would do.

Make sure that you set solid expectations on what everyone can expect. Filming a documentary? Give your backers a behind the scenes view of your project. It’s something that shows them that you really are trying to get things off the ground properly. The last thing that you want to do is be silent during this process.

Kickstarter lets you entice people to donate money you in exchange for getting a reward. If your crowd has rewards coming to them, you want to deliver these quickly. That’s going to encourage people to follow you and get interested about other things that you do.

If you have more money than what you needed, you will want to tell your audience exactly what you plan to do with the money. That’s the important part here. You need to make sure that you’re thinking about anything and everything that goes along with pleasing your crowd. That’s the other side of crowdsourcing that doesn’t get discussed as much. You have to answer to other people now. If you don’t do anything with the money, you could be banned from crowdfunding, have your reputation tarnished, and have to give your backers refunds. This is not the road that you want to walk down. You are legally obligated to fulfill the terms of your project to the best of your ability. If things do come up, you can let your backers know. If things are just taking longer than what you wanted, chances are good that they’re going to be understanding.

Good luck with your project!

Can Young People Really Embrace Social Lending?

Social Lending

When it comes to young people and social lending, everyone seems to be unsure of how to really welcome them in. This is silly, when you really think about it. After all, social lending is something that’s for everyone. As long as you are 18 and older, you can engage in social lending.

In fact, social lending is great for young people before they get into a lot of debt. They can finance a small project through crowdsourcing and social lending, which means that they really don’t have anything else to worry about. They can just coast and be happy, never truly getting worked up about anything coming their way.

Is this a good thing? We think it is. It’s better to really make sure that you aren’t stressing yourself over the little things if you’re going to get started with social lending. For example, you might feel that the world of social lending is so deep that you just can’t learn it all in one single sitting. That may be the case, but did you know that it doesn’t matter? Did you know that there’s a wide community that’s willing to trust and accept you over time? Getting into groups where people learn more about you is a good thing.

Embrace Social LendingYou might feel that your age keeps people from taking you seriously, but that’s an old and outdated ideal. The reality here is that there’s never been a better time to really think about going with social lending when you’re young. Basically, what you want to do is build a foundation for the future. You want people to learn what your hopes and dreams are. There are some pretty big players in the world of social lending, believe it or not. They know how hard it is to struggle for your dreams, so they decided to give back in a major way. Sure, it’s profitable in a sense but profit isn’t the main driver — there are better investments than social lending.

What you need to think about is how to integrate. Take some time and see what the top people on the site actually do. That will actually give you plenty of perspective when it’s time to really figure out what you’re trying to do and how you’re trying to do it. It’s going to allow you the flexibility to figure out what dream you want to pursue first.

If you’re going to make an impact on the site, you want to start small. Work on getting your first proposal done and then go from there. Don’t feel like it’s impossible to get anything done just because you’re swamped with other tasks. You can start on your goals slowly rather than feeling like it’s got to be something that you do in a big rush and hurry.

The time is just right for young people to slide into social lending — check it out today for yourself!

Social Lending is Going to be Huge in 2013 – Catch The Wave

Social Lending

Social lending is powerful — on many levels. It’s a way of saying goodbye to the presence of big banks — you know, the same ones that got their bail out and continued to be restrictive to regular people. How awful is that? After all, they’re supposed to be the ones that you can trust with your money. They’re supposed to be the ones we turn to when it’s time to do something with our money — like getting a loan for our first home. However, there are a more than a few people who now believe it’s better to really get the money from other sources. They’ve formed a revolution to help people actually take back control of their lives. This revolution is social lending. There’s no need to believe that you can’t get things done without going to a bank. The banks no longer concern themselves with your problems, so why should you patronize their establishment anyway?

We’re not trying to say that banks are useless, but we are saying that if you’ve gotten the run around by banks, it’s time to look into alternate ways of seeing your dreams come true. You need to make sure that you’re going with the right social lending proposal if you’re going to take advantage of it.

Social LendingYou want to make sure that you truly take time to figure out what you’re trying to ask for. Just saying that you need money isn’t going to give you any leeway with anyone. Everyone needs money. The more important question is — what are you going to use the money for if we approve your proposal? How are you going to pay the money back? These are the same questions that lenders ask, so it’s all fair and balanced. You have to realize that regular people are going to be giving you part of their money. That’s nothing to sneeze at, and it means that you really do need to ensure that you’re staying focused on the right steps to take. You don’t want to just turn in a short proposal. You’ll have plenty of questions that have to be answered, and that’s something that can be difficult to handle at first. You might feel weird about opening up about your own personal finances with strangers. You have to be transparent in order to get the type of funding that you’re looking for.

What about that proposal? You want to make sure that seasoned veterans of social lending look over your proposal. In 2013, these sites are going to grow even larger. A lot of people are fed up with the global financial crisis. The economy isn’t improving as fast as we would like, and that means that you have to start looking at how you’re going to take care of your best interests. You could have a mortgage funded by asocial lending — either a first mortgage, or a refinance opportunity. It’s going to be up to you to figure out what to ask first. The key thing to remember is to be as honest and transparent as possible. This is not where you want to pretend like you make more than you do, or that your credit score is better than what it really is. Everyone has some bumps in the road. If you’ve managed to turn things around since you got the credit dings, you want to mention that.

Having a solid plan of using the money is another key thing to remember. If you’re vague, then you could scare away potential lenders that would have otherwise given you exactly what you were looking for. Is that what you really want to face? Probably not.

Keep all of these things in mind. And don’t forget the social aspect – these are regular people. Hang out on the site for a while before you build your first proposal. It’ll help you really bond with people and make it a lot easier to ask them for money later down the road. Good luck!

Adding to Your Social Lending Successes

Social Lending

If you’re interested in the world of social lending…great! There are so many reasons to love social lending. Indeed, you are basically getting money from people that are building a trust with you. That’s better than some faceless, nameless bank that doesn’t really care if you are a borrower or not. People are going to be investing in your dream, and that’s a pretty big deal. You want to always think about how you can add to your social lending successes.

Does that necessarily mean doing more listings? Not at all. You might want to build up your influence on the site so that when the time comes for more financing, you will truly be completely ready for anything and everything. That’s the best way to go, in our humble opinion. If you are going to think about going into social lending, there are a few things that you want to do.

Social Lending

First and foremost, fill out your profile! When we say “fill out your profile”, we don’t mean one liners. Think of it as the one place where you really do get to talk about yourself. What does your life really say about you? What do your dreams really say about you? If you aren’t used to being honest and open with the things that you want, don’t worry. A lot of people are pretty shy. This isn’t the anonymous web. It’s the social web. It’s the personal web. People are going to be taking their hard earned money and putting it towards something that you really believe in. They’re going to be trying to take good care of you — shouldn’t you let them see what their investment is really going to do?

It’s not just about your first listing — it’s about presenting yourself as a person. Let them get to know you. There are plenty of social lending sites out there. Remember that you want to pick a consistent handle so that when people Google it (and they will), you show up as one person. This also helps you stay focused on what really matters. Your proposal is something that you’re passionate about. It represents the start of a new life for you. It represents the things that matter to you. It’s important and essential. Why not make sure that you can focus on something more than what exists right now?

Being a good social lending community member means reaching out to other people. Even if you don’t have any money to spare, it never costs anything to spread good cheer. There’s a lot of people that are really going through some rough times. Earn good karma by looking over their listings, connecting them to people in your circle, and otherwise just being there for them. You might not get immediate attention for these things but trust us — it definitely shows over time who is committed to the true meaning of social lending and who isn’t.

You might be surprised at what happens when you become a lender yourself. There might be people that promote and trust you because you’ve been so helpful in the past. So when you see those highly ranked and trusted and recommended members in the list…this is what they’ve done to get there.

Social Lending Blunders During the Holidays – And How to Fix Them Fast

Social Lending

The holiday season is upon us, and there are a lot of different social lending projects that have been fighting for attention. This is a season where everyone is assuming that just about anyone and everyone wants to hear from them. Unfortunately, this is a mistake that can really cheat you out of getting the type of results that you would normally expect. You can’t assume that people are in a contributing mood just because of the holidays. These days, with a cooling economy around us, people are thinking more and more about where their money goes. They might shop a little, but everyone is working on a different budget.

This is a good reason why you have to look through your social lending proposals carefully. You don’t want to find yourself being unable to get things done just because you’re not quite sure how to connect everything together. If necessary, get a veteran of the social lending platform to look over your proposal. You want to ensure that everyone is clear on what you’re looking for in terms of project goals, and what you intend to do with the money. If you have a plan to pay off debt, you want to be completely detailed on how you’re going to get there.

Social Lending BlundersIf you’re on a platform that’s all about business, then it comes as no surprise that you’re going to have to battle harder. There are a lot of people that ultimately dream of starting a new business after the holidays are over, which means that they have a lot of things on their to-do list. If you’re reviewing getting funding yourself, looking at successful listings is the best way to go.

Again, don’t get discouraged just because your first project didn’t get funded. Take all feedback seriously and build a new proposal. You can usually upload as many attempts as you need to before your project gets done.

Don’t just hope and pray that someone finds your proposal via the search engine on the site. You want to actually make sure that you’re looking carefully at spreading the word through other means. You can use other people’s mailing lists, get on internet radio shows, or otherwise reach out to anyone and everyone that is passionate about the same thing that you’re passionate about.

Sometimes including video helps, because everyone can get a visual feel of what matters to you. Far too often people decide to withhold the passion side of things, and that holds them back.

You have to think about how you’re perceived while still being positive about your results. There’s never any guarantee in the world of social lending, but as long as you really put some thought into your listing there’s no reason why you can’t get more than a small handful of people checking out what you want funding for. Good luck!

Making the Most out of Kickstartr

Social Lending

Kickstarter is a site that has really attracted a lot of attention. If you’re feeling stuck on the whole social lending thing and you really want to get noticed — come to this site. It’s gaining enough attention to the point where if you honestly need to get seen, you have to come here with your project. Yet not all projects are created equal. Indeed, if you really haven’t gotten your product specific enough, then you’re not going to be able to get the funding that you need.

Kickstarter is all about having things specific. It’s about funding projects that actually do something for the world. So this means that if you’re just trying to get your debts paid in terms of a debt consolidation loan, this isn’t the site for you. However, if you’re raising money to build a local magazine for your town, then you can bring your project to Kickstarter. So let’s use that example for this guide, shall we?

If you’re going to sell this project to people, you need to get super social about it. You need to ideally also have your own Facebook page so you can connect with people there as well. Answer any and all questions about the project itself.

The trouble with Kickstarter is that there’s no way to really verify which projects are legit and which projects aren’t. Some lenders have caught onto that, and that means that they will be looking at your project in a very different way — will they really be funding something worthwhile? That’s why you want to pile on the credibility factors.

Video is a great way to do that. You will be able to connect with your audience and really convince them that you are a real project. Having a solid website filled with tons of information is the best way to go. You don’t want to just try to slide on doing the minimum amount of work. That will not get your proposal funded.

As a side note, you will not get your project funded unless you get the entire proposal filled. That’s one of the downsides to Kickstarter — there’s no way to get a partial loan. It’s really an all or nothing thing. The good news is that once you do get your proposal funded, you don’t have anyone standing over you telling you exactly where to spend the money. As long as you update your crowd on what’s being done, they’re going to be pretty satisfied.

This site is a bit different from social lending sites because it’s really more about donating to a cause you believe in (a project) rather than getting a loan from someone else. Either way, it does match the merits of social lending enough that we felt it best to include it here.

If you really want to make the most of this site, you would also do well to add some bonuses and incentives. If people donate a certain level of money, you will do something cool for them. That’s pretty cool, right?

As far as the “extras” designed to raise views of your project, that’s really hit or miss. You might want to Google other people’s experiences on Kickstarter and work in their tips — after all, they’ve already been where you want to be, so why wouldn’t you? Good luck!

Kickstarter Woes in a New Social Lending World

Social Lending

Are you looking at social lending as it relates to the real world? Then you definitely need to look at Kickstarter in a whole new way. The reality here is that we can’t just each and every social lending site as a group. Sometimes we have to look at them individually.

Unfortunately, you get a big idea of what’s going on with social lending when it comes to sites like Kickstarter. This site hasn’t been around as long as other sites, so the credibility issue is already a factor. There’s a lot of projects there, but does the cream rise to the top?

Absolutely! You will find a lot of projects on Kickstarter that will catch your attention. If you’re thinking about investing in worthy projects, Kickstarter rocks for this. However, if you’re not thinking about getting into the lending side, the projects may not catch your attention.

There are some strong lessons to be learned from looking at this site. Some people feel that there are too many rules with Kickstarter, while others feel that it helps keep the quality of the site up.

There’s always going to be a bit of debate about this, but in our opinion there’s no reason to skip over a site just because it has some growing pains. You would do well to have your profile on multiple social lending sites anyway. People want to get to know you, and they will check to see what other sites that you’re on. If you’re only on one site and you’re not well known, then there are going to be problems.

What needs to be done from here is to return to your original purpose. Thinking about your project in relation to Kickstarter projects might be a good thing, but you do need to be aware of what’s really going on. Don’t give up on your goals just because you see a lot of other proposals out there.

Your proposal has to be unique and important — and besides, you’re still going to need to use advertising techniques to promote your proposal.

Hang in there — our next article will be all about getting your proposal seen by as many people as possible!