You see it every week, another friend has a kickstarter campaign. Of course you’ll donate because you want to support your friend and it’s good internet karma. That or you’ll tell yourself you’ll donate and then you forget about it, but hey, it’s the thought that counts right? Honestly out of all the crowdfund campaigns that you see and consider donating to or voting for, the average tells us that you’ll only actually follow through with about 20% of them, and that’s for campaigns by your friends and sometimes even family. Well, you can expect about the same turn around when you start your own crowdfunding for a project. You can have a great campaign for something really worth donating to, but it’s just a fact that most people will not follow through with donating. So how can you insure that you’ll reach your crowdfunding goal? Expand your reach and connect with your audience.
My husband and I are in the works to shoot our next feature film later this year currently titled Oktoberfest Movie, and we will be doing a crowdfunding campaign to help raise funds, but we have a lot of work to do before that happens. A mistake that we made with our first film and one that I see many other crowdfunders make is starting a campaign too soon. We look at the number of friends and followers that we have on social media and think, if every one of my 5,000 friends donates just $5 to my campaign than I’ll reach my goal. But per paragraph one of this article we know that that is not likely. So what we’re doing now and what I encourage you to do is to give yourself a couple months to engage your audience, start a dialogue about your project, and gain more followers.
So how do you engage your audience early on? There are many ways, but here’s what we’re doing: We soft launched our movie in May, just announcing that it will be made. We launched our social media sites on facebook, twitter, and instagram. Now we’re simply in the process of building likes and followers and daily and sometimes multi daily posting things about the project and sharing funny things that we like. It’s important to know the line between engaging and over sharing. Facebook is the place where you can overshare very easily and people will unfollow or unlike your page. I try to keep those posts down to about 2-3 daily and always with at least 2 hours between posts. On Instagram and Twitter you can post as much as once every hour, but posting is not enough. It’s important to scan through, look for things that are in line with your messaging, and like and comment on other people’s posts. I use hootsuite.com to schedule twitter posts throughout the day and tweepi.com to follow and unfollow people on Twitter. (I only unfollow people who don’t #followback). This is a huge load to take on yourself, so I suggest you form a team. Each member of our team manages a social platform that he or she is strongest in. We even have someone coming on board to get people on Reddit talking about our project. That’s a platform I have zero experience in. I’m mostly working on Twitter and overseeing all of our sites by keeping a dropbox folder with content like photos, videos, and links that anyone can pull from for posts and shares.
We are approaching our project marketing first. This is different from the way a lot of movies do it because most raise funds, shoot the film, edit, then start marketing once they’re headed to film festivals and trying to sell their film. By beginning with marketing, however, you can easily gage the success of your finished film because you’ll already know how large your audience is and be in touch with them from the beginning. As artists we like to think that simply because our film is good, the audience will find it. Sadly, that is not the case. So put your artist hat aside and put on your business one because we have to make money at what we love so we can keep doing it. Now get out there, it’s never too early to engage your audience. Oh yeah, and follow and like us across all platforms at ofestmovie.com!