I think crowd funding is actually one of the better ways to raise money these days. The Internet has allowed us to connect like never before making it easy to finance your business with like minded individuals.
Here are some tips:
Know your audience
Choose the right site
Have a clear plan for spending other people's money
On the advice of a mentor I've started a crowdfunding page at Indiegogo. Have any of you tried crowdfunding? Did it work for you?
Check out my page here: http://www.indiegogo.com/sindyblu?a=847089&i=emal
There are a few ways to look at crowdfunding, and if you're looking at it, I'm guessing that you're looking to sell a product of some kind.
A few tips:
* Include a video that talks about your product and your team; why both are awesome
* Consider using kickstarter.com instead of indiegogo, just because it has a larger user base, which means more potential funders
* Do some social network promotions, find a group online that would like your product and try to market to them
---How much would liability insurance cost for your startup or small business?
It does work and I would suggest it, especially if you have a product you are trying to get to market. It doesn't work for everyone though and I've seen some very good products fail to get the funding they needed.
I personally haven't used kickstarter or indiegogo-like services but I have used Prosper, similar to those services but considered Peer to Peer lending, much easier to get than a bank loan and comparable rates.
It has worked for us! We are an architecture firm out of San Francisco called MWLRO. Our work comprises of interior remodels, furniture design and we have just come out with our first product called Bushakan - a line of eyeware stants. We have used a Kickstarter campaign as a platform for crowd funding and we have had amazing support and feedback! We are currently 150% funded from our original goal! We wish you luck! Check out our kickstarter page.