I was attached to a script over a year ago that I was very excited to be a part of and for many reasons I won’t bore you with now, the project was put on hold until further notice. Just recently, the script gained some serious investor/producer interest, and things were kicked into high gear; we were given a deadline and it was finally movie making time. The creative team was solidified, the goal was set, and the Indiegogo campaign was launched.
Recently, our project was chosen to be a part of a Crowdfunding event hosted by FilmBreak and Idea To Screen, in which they featured four crowdfunding projects, either about to launch or already live. The panelists had many great insights, and we were able to get some extremely helpful feedback. I walked away wishing we had been privy to the counsel before launching our campaign, but left feeling pretty crowdfunding savvy.
In no particular order, here are 6 tips to apply to your next crowdfunding venture, thus becoming the “Queen of Crowdfunding”:
- Do your homework and be ready for the long haul. Research projects similar to yours and see where they went right, or even where they went wrong. Better yet, seek advice from those around you whose projects found success. Crowdfunding is an opportunity to actualize your dreams but it is also a business; it’s an intense process, a full time job, and it must be your top priority. In order to achieve success, there needs to be a steady level of engagement with your audience/potential backers, and you need to be ready to HUSTLE.
- Set a “smart funding goal”, and set the bar low. You want to set your goal at a realistic number that’s attainable, especially being that some Crowdfunding platforms are all or nothing. Keeping that in mind however, you don’t want to sell yourself short, and you SHOULD include all miscellaneous expenses, i.e.: fees and % cuts attached to said Crowdfunding platform, as well as the cost for all giveaways/rewards connected to your campaign.
- Make an effective pitch. Draw people into your vision using every tactic and talent possible; make sure your site is active and engaged (update it daily), make sure it’s clean and to the point (not too long and hard to follow), make sure all videos associated with the site set the tone of the project, and above all make sure your site INSPIRES people to want to back your project and give you their hard-earned cash.
- No one wants a f**king MUG. Well, maybe your grandma. Seriously, don’t offer lame swag to the people funding your project, or offer T-shirts and then have an “Oh F**K” moment when you realize you have to print and ship them. OFFER CREATIVE AND VIABLE GIVEAWAYS/REWARDS. Maybe have the contributors plan your screening or give them access to dailies–what ever it is, make it worthwhile and thoughtful. Also, make sure you budget for these amazing perks and make sure you can deliver.
- Start campaigning before the campaign. Across the board, the panelists said to start working on your campaign 6 months before you launch; that means emailing, tweeting, re-tweeting, and hustling well before you start asking for dough. Create the buzz and build your fan-base via social media to get people interested and excited for your project.
- Put your money where your mouth is. Crowdfunding is inherently selfish: “give me your money so I can…”, but what if every person who asked for money, gave money? If everyone campaigned for each other think of how much more traction each project would gain? I know most of us turn to Crowdfunding because we are lacking the monetary means to fund our own projects, but at the risk of sounding sassy, the minimum “donation” on most Crowdfunding sites is $1…how was your $4 latte this morning? I think we would ALL benefit if we scratched each others’ backs and helped promote the projects of the very people you’re asking for help from, capiche?