For many, crowdfunding is an excellent way to fundraise for a short film or web series. For those who are trying it out for the first time, here are just a few tips to make your experience more enjoyable and successful.
1. Determine what site you want to fundraise on. I recommend Indiegogo, but there are other options such as Seed&Spark or Kickstarter. In general, I don’t recommend using Kickstarter because if you don’t reach your goal, you don’t get funded.
2. Have a realistic budget in mind. If you’re asking for too much you may scare away potential donors or not reach your goal. Ask for too little, and extra expenses will be coming out of your pocket instead.
3. Develop a detailed outline of your expenses and share it with your campaign.
4. Determine how long you want your campaign to last. At the very least, make sure you have a month to fund raise. If you are asking for a significant amount of money ($10,000+) add more time to your campaign. No matter what the goal is, I believe 15 weeks should be the maximum amount of time to have a crowdfunding campaign.
5. Be sure to communicate very clearly what your goal is and how you are going to achieve it. Is your project a short film, feature film, documentary, or music video? What’s your timeline? What’s your budget? What resources do you have? Who are the members of your creative team? Be direct and transparent.
6. Know your audience. This campaign is not only for friends and family to see, but also potential colleagues and supporters. When you are developing your campaign, be sure to determine a way to access all of these groups.
7. Film a teaser for your campaign site. In order to stand out it has to be exciting, creative, interesting, and to the point. The shorter, the better. Share your idea without giving away too much.
8. Only make a video for your campaign if you have the time and resources to make something with high production value. You want your intro video to reflect the quality of work you will produce when your campaign is complete. If you don’t have the resources at this point in time, don’t make one.
9. If you aren’t able to make a teaser, upload your concept art, story boards, and a title design. People respond to visuals. Your campaign is basically an ad – you have to sell your product.
10. Be tactful. Don’t ask people to donate because you’re great and the world needs your work – ask them to donate because you genuinely want to create something out of love of the craft. Do not humblebrag.
11. Offer inventive and appealing rewards for those who donate.
12. Develop an extensive marketing plan prior to launching your campaign. Reach out to your closest family and friends and ask them to share your campaign with their social networks. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and any other social platforms you can get your hands on!
13. Build interest in your project before you launch your fundraiser. Get the buzz building early on.
14. There are lots of Twitter profiles dedicated to sharing indie film/crowdfunding announcements. Reach out to them! (hint hint: I sometimes share them on my Twitter, or this blog!).
15. As your campaign trudges along, continue to engage potential donors, but try your best not to over do it.
For more pointers check out 15 Tips On Marketing Your Short Film Or Web Series.