Got a project you want to crowdfund? Here are our top tips on how to run a successful campaign – have a look at them before you take the plunge.
Who are your potential backers? What do they want? Is there an audience or market for what you are creating? As the name clearly hints, crowdfunding is about the crowd and you have to find out if one is there. You need to identify and understand your audience as your project is targeted at them. Most importantly, think about how to get them hooked before your project is released. Your campaign will let you know if there is an audience or market for your project. In effect you are seeing what will and what won’t work early on - it's good to get this information as soon as you can.
Now you know your audience, take your time to make them aware of your campaign as communication is key, along with clarity and transparency! Keep them informed and updated throughout your campaign. Moreover, take time to educate yourself on the given market of your campaign and plan the strategies you’ll need. Make sure your goal is realistic –what is the minimum you need? Could you run one campaign now for less and another later, so as to have two successful campaigns rather than one? The key words here are planning and strategy and they will ensure a successful campaign. It is also important to lower costs and make sure you receive enough money from your supporters.
Spend time speaking with your friends, family, biggest fans, known investors, and have them aware from day one; establish PR opportunities and build relationships with potential ambassadors. Have 30% of your target guaranteed before your launch, with the PR ready to write the story about your early success to amplify it to everyone else. Networking is a very significant aspect in crowdfunding as it enables you to get your product out there and for other people to see what you are offering. This can be done by ensuring that you have an online presence for your film and by selecting the social networks that would be most effective for your campaign. Reaching out to local media may also be a great idea, as they could cover your campaign in local magazines or newspapers.
Don’t just use the tools the sites offer. Spend time making an attractive page. Design is crucial, as people will not buy into something they don't find attractive. Also, make your video short but sweet. It should be captivating and tell a story. As well as including your video on your crowdfunding platform ensure it is uploaded onto YouTube too, as this will generate more views which could potentially equal more money. Figure out what would wow your audience, but at the same time attract someone new. Make people want to be a part of this and show the quality of the item, through the quality of your work. Here, it would be a good idea to look at past crowdfunded projects – observe successful and unsuccessful past movie projects and learn from their failures and try to implement their achievements into your vision.
After your launch don’t just sit back and wait – keep working! Answer any and all messages as soon as possible. Search for who may be talking about your campaign and get in the conversation, or find those who are talking about relevant things and get in that conversation. Introduce new perks, reshape your campaign, update it twice a week with interesting content, find new PR opportunities, and introduce stretch goals. Continue to keep yourself occupied and work towards building a successful campaign and film.
Always remember to fulfil! Many creators run more than one campaign, with each making more than the last due to the increasing audience size they can market directly to. Keep these people happy, and they’ll come back for more!