So you’ve created a Crowdfunding campaign. Maybe you’ve just begun, maybe you’re working on it right now, or maybe you’ve created one in the past.
Either way, I think we can all agree on one thing. Crowdfunding is hard! Hell, is harder than hard; it’s a metre thick stone wall that you have to tare down using only a baby chisel and your finger nails.
How do we know this? Well we’ve been there. We’re not ashamed to admit that we’ve had many unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns. In some cases, we weren’t even able to reach 10% of our goals. Talk about really fudging up!
However, despite of our past failures in this field, we still love Crowdfunding.
Here at The Dirty Filmmaker, we are constantly scouring these platforms to find new and emerging talent. We’re interested in what others are making and so are always willing to donate a little $$$ if it’s something we believe in (and if we’ve been able to pay our gas bills that month. We joke….kind of).
After scouring countless campaigns, and researching the failures of our own, we began to notice common mistakes that filmmakers were making again and again; and if we’re honest, these campaigns tended to be the ones that never met their goals.
But do not fret eager and dedicated filmmaker, because we have you covered. These are just a few of the mistakes we’ve seen, and made, far too often on crowdfunding campaigns.
(1) When You Self-Indulge
So many times we see filmmakers make a video or write a proposal and all they talk about is themselves. We beg of you, don’t do this! It’s boring, it’s self-indulgent and it’s going to send off the wrong message.
Yes, you are selling an idea you’ve created, but what you really want to do, is find a way to make it about the consumer!
- Why should they want to watch this?
- What are they going to get from it?
- How do they relate to you and this production?
If your campaign can answer these questions, and these people feel like they’re getting something (even subconsciously) from your production, then you’re so much more likely to see a new donation made. And you never know, they could become your first fan!
(2) When You Don’t Donate To Others!
Yup, we said it. You might be raising money, but so are a thousand and one other people. And guess what? They know a bunch of people you don’t!
Get word of your campaign out there by donating money to other filmmakers trying to do the exact same thing as you. Aside the fact that you’re supporting someone else (Karma people!), others will be more likely to want to support you too. So instead of getting that Coffee Bean latte with extra caramel drizzle (YUM!), donate $5 to your fellow filmmakers.
If you really can’t swing that, then donate your time on your social media platforms. Get in touch and see if you can cross-promote. You could see your potential investor list double and you’re more likely to find donations from people you don’t know.
Aside that, on platforms like Indiegogo, people can see if you’ve donated to other campaigns. Don’t lessen your chances by ignoring this point. It may make the difference between a $1 donation, and a $100 donation.
(3) When You Ignore the Updates
You know those updates, the ones that tell potential investors all about what’s going on with your campaign, how pre-production is working out and you know, actually let’s them know that you’re serious about this project. Well, who needs it?
Putting the sarcasm aside, you get our point. This is one that is often missed, or barely touched, and yet can be such a powerful tool if used correctly. So we beg of you, update your campaign page with the latest news and information surrounding your project. And update it often!
- Managed to cast the lead? Share it!
- Managed to hit 50% or your goal? Share it!
- Manage to give yourself a paper cut while proof-reading the script? Okay, maybe you don’t have to share that one.
Basically, just let people know that you care, that their donations are going to good use, and that you’re working your #DirtyBadass off.
(4) When Social Media Isn’t Used (or barely used)
If you haven’t done this already, get this going NOW! Like stop reading this post and set up your accounts this second. It is that important!
Social Media is an incredible tool to show potential investors, in greater depth, what you and your production is about.
- Throw up candid shots of your production meetings.
- Link to friends work who are doing similar things.
- Post inspirational tweets relating to the themes within your production.
Its ridiculously important because aside allowing potential investors to see in greater detail what you’re doing on a daily basis, it’s also another avenue to blast information about your campaign and attract a new audience.
Social media is great for getting complete strangers to see your stuff. In fact, we here at The Dirty Filmmaker have found ourselves donating to a couple of campaigns from productions we found on social media.
Big Shout out to the incredible ladies of “Or Die Trying”!
If done right, social media can mean the difference between a failed or successful campaign. Just make sure to update your social media (Preferably daily, if not more) and remember to choose good quality images/quotes/messages, instead of just throwing something up “because”. The idea is to hook people and excite them, not bore them.
(5) When you don’t Promote!
This is where social media can come in, but it’s not the only avenue you should be exploring to get your message out there.
Write up a Press Release and distribute it on platforms like “PRWeb” (prices starting at $99). Don’t know how to write your own press release? No problem. Hire someone to do it for you, and with apps like “Fiverr”, you can get this done for just $5.
(Yes! $5 – Although it must be said we haven’t used this platform yet so if you do choose this avenue, do a little investigating first. We don’t want you paying for nothing).
Or, if you can afford it, take some pressure off and hire platforms like “Krowdster” who specialise in crowdfunding content marketing, and work with them to design a PR campaign that works for you. Remember, all of these costs you can budget into your crowdfunding campaign, and so if successful, in the end you won’t have to pay a penny.
Or, if you really don’t want to take that risk (we totally get that), then find other avenues. Indiewire hold a great ongoing competition called “Project Of The Day“. Look into it and why not submit your production (you never know, you could end up winning project of the year!!).
Other than that, find online resources, platforms and blogs that are constantly interviewing Filmmakers (Umm, we hear The Dirty Filmmaker does this!).
There are so many promotional avenues, so please don’t think that by just throwing up a campaign, people are going to magically flock to it. They wont! Don’t leave the fate of your campaign up to luck; take control of your production and make people discover it.
So there you have it, a few common mistake we see filmmakers making when crowdfunding. At the end of the day, just remember, be yourself, be authentic and dedicate some good quality time to your campaign. People aren’t just going to open their wallets for anything; so make sure to give them a fantastic reason to!
Are you currently crowdfunding? Or have you previously crowdfunded for a project? If so, let us know how it went! Any tips or advice you want to share with your fellow filmmakers?