Most of my work these days is as a consultant, distribution representative, and marketer for a great little tech company. However, there was a time when I was a filmmaker, and a regular (as opposed to executive) producer. In that time, I raised a total of 33,000 on kickstarter of two projects. This blog gives you some of what I learned on those two campaigns.
While those two projects never went as far as they could have due to a parting of ways between myself and my former business partner, there’s still a lot of information I learned in running these campaigns in the early days of kickstarter. Here are 5 of them.
You CANNOT be successful in crowdfunding without preparation, and that preparation starts early. Generally, your soft preparation for a crowdfunding campaign will start at least 6 months before you launch your campaign. This soft preparation will consist more of being an active member of your community. About 3 months out you’ll need to get ready to shoot your video, and about 2 months later you’ll need to get ready for pre-launch.
I’ll be releasing a preparation timeline in a few weeks, so check back soon!
#2. Grow Your Network
#3. It’s a Full Time Job, Plan Accordingly
No matter how much preparation you do, when the campaign starts it will be at least one person’s full time job. You’ll need to personally thank everyone who donates, and you’ll need to spend a lot of time emailing basically everyone you know individually. If you’re smart, you’ll do it twice. Bulk emails aren’t going to do you anywhere near as much good as individual emails, and individual emails take a lot of time.
#4. Try to Get as Much Press as Possible
The best way to add legitimacy to your campaign is to get press. In order to get that press you’ll need to reach out any editors and reporters you can that might cover you. Note that I say editors and reporters THAT MIGHT COVER YOU. If you know a reporter at Variety, you probably don’t want to email them about your campaign since they’re not going to cover it. If you grew up in a small town with a local paper, you definitely do. You’d be surprised what they’ll cover.
This is something you can work with your prospective crew about as well. Maybe you’re not from a small town, but your DP or production designer might be. This can be a very mutually beneficial arrangement, it puts your crew in the spotlight, and raises the profile of the film.
It would be wise to send out a press release via one of the many press release sites. This will help you generate at least a few articles on affiliates for NBC, FOX and others thet you can use to grow the profile and perceived legitimacy of your campaign. It also has some SEO benefits, but I’m not sure that would help too much on crowdfunding.
#5. DON’T SPAM
Don’t post your campaign incessantly on all of your social media, Make sure you continue to provide value outside of asking for money while you’re in your campaign.
If you use messenger to send your campaign to someone, open up a conversation first. Don’t just copy paste a form email with no conversation back from them.
Say hello to someone first. Ask how they’re doing. Then send them info about your campaign when they ask what you’re up to. Taking the time to show you care about what’s going on in their life will greatly increase both your conversion rate and the amount each member of your network contributes.
Thanks for reading! Since this article is about crowdfunding, I’d like to remind you that I have a Patreon where you can donate to help me continue producing content just like this. There are great perks including monthly livestreams, topic an ad-free version of my blog, and even the ability to get your name and company listed in ALL of my blogs.
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My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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