My top ten lessons in crowdfunding (so far)
Research, research, research. I love having time to research.
It has been one week since I set myself the challenge of creating a kickass crowdfunding campaign for a project that is very close to my heart.
If you haven’t seen the blog that I am referring to, you may want to check it out here before reading on.
So, this week my research has been based on one question… what the heck do I have to do to put the ‘kickass’ into this campaign? Well, turns out there’s at least ten things I can do, and I am breaking them down for you now...
1. Trailer - no brainer (2-3 mins)
One great thing about Kickstarter and Indiegogo is that you can see so many examples of successful and not so successful campaigns. So although I knew I wanted to make a trailer, I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of trailer I would make.
What I have found in my research, time and time again, is that people invest in things they connect to over anything else.
So for me, it has become imperative that I share my story in this and the connection I have with Alfie - to make a film that inspires people in similar situations.
I will be outlining my intentions with the trailer in a separate blog to come, but know that it will feature myself and Alfie and his maternal health check visit. Jess will be introduced towards the end of the trailer, to get people excited about her story and what’s to come.
2. The people deserve rewards!
Ok, so this one I had not considered. And when I did, it made me a little uncomfortable.
How the heck do I say thank you enough to people who want to be a part of this? And if I give away what I feel like I should - won’t that up the overall budget and take away from the film?
I spent a good couple of hours going through the rewards on successful campaign pages and feel LOTS better. I also thought about what I would expect/love if I was backing a campaign. For me, it's about being acknowledged for the contribution being made.
I've put together an initial rewards list, which will be refined some more in the coming weeks. If you have any suggestions as you are reading this PLEASE let me know in the comments below. I would love to know what rewards people are interested in.
$1 is a thanks on social media
$15 is a postcard and sticker
$50 is a digital download of the film and postcard and sticker
$100 is a framed print (relevant to the film)
$500 is a canvas print (relevant to the film) and a thank you on the film credits
$2000 associate producer credit and a canvas print (relevant to the quote)
$5000 major sponsor pack and major credit on film (executive producer or company credit)
What do you think? Missing anything?
3. Get real with the budget
A successful campaign at a lower budget is better than a campaign that makes it 95% of the total with a higher budget.
If I don’t make at least 100%, this won’t go ahead.
With that in mind I need to be extremely thorough with my estimated budget and target for the campaign. So this means being very modest with costs that can be cut down at all. I have made the decision to take no pay personally for this particular project - it is something that means a hell of a lot to me and I would rather do it for free than not at all.
4. Stretch it out
Keeping in mind my previous point, I will look at having a secondary campaign goal, should we make it past the first target.
This would allow the crew to follow Jess when she travels on one of her races/events that will strengthen the ending in a big way.
I would of course have a solid backup plan that is local, but the hope would be that it surpasses the 100% point and give some more flexibility to the shooting schedule. This would also allow me to put a bit of money in marketing and distribution which would be awesome!
5. Get it on a website
Ummm.. so I keep reading that I should start campaigning at least six months before the campaign is due to launch. Ooops... I am hoping to launch next month.
Better late than never, I say, and my research tells me it is worth popping a landing page on my website for people to sign up prior to the campaign going live.
Kind people reading at home.. If you would like to join my pre-campaign - campaign, please click on the link above and pop your email in. I would love to let you know when it's set to launch.
6. Social media strategy
Kind of obvious but one that should be noted.
Apparently I should be sending out 10-15 posts on social media.. EVERY DAY.
Does that sound crazy to anyone else?
I will come up with a social media strategy, mainly to ensure I have relevant information to share in the posts and that it doesn’t get repetitive and annoying.
Watch this space on this point… I want to do some further research on what people want to see/hear before I decide what I will be sharing.
7. Prep my community - soft launch
Did you know that on average you will reach 30% of your campaign total within 48 hours from the time your project goes live.
One thing that is worth considering is going out to my closest community at the beginning, hoping it makes a good dent in the total, and then it can go out to the extended communities.
My current plan at the moment is to reach out to my mailing list, my family and friends and my immediate contacts on social media. Beyond that there are a number of different groups and organisations I can reach out to further, so I will consider if it's best to split this up into a soft launch and the actual launch.
8. Keep it personal
I mentioned this in the trailer point but it goes beyond including my personal story in the film.
Contributors want to know how the campaign is tracking, they will want to hear from me and they will want to feel part of the project. They should feel a part of the project.
I already feel incredibly grateful for anyone that supports the campaign and will have a plan for different check in times to keep everyone in the loop.
9. Press the press
Alfie’s story and the story of what I am going to do with Jess is a good one. And I do believe that this is a story that media may be interested in. For that reason I am going to reach out to local and larger media outlets as the campaign approaches to ask for their support.
There is a great article on Indiegogo with tips on how to get the press to cover your campaign. It is well worth a look if you are interested in launching your own project.
10. Make it count
There’s something to be said for backing up the campaign. By that I mean, finishing as strong as it starts.
I believe this is all in the preparation, so of course it will be covered in the social media strategy and with the press but I also plan on doing a final film to finish with.
I have shied away from getting in front of a camera to talk directly to my communities up to this point. Usually I would write a blog post or take a photo and avoid being on camera myself like the plague. But, this project is a challenge and therefore I am totally going to embrace video messages throughout the campaign and to end on so people feel as connected as they can.
BOOM. I am feeling good. There is a lot more I can learn and brains I can pick, but I feel a hell of a lot better after this initial research done.
As I mentioned earlier, I am already 5 months late in doing my pre-campaign - campaigning, so I have included a link below to the signup page if you would like to be kept on the loop.
Thank you as always, amazing people.