Today, a lot of filmmakers use film crowdfunding campaigns to either partly or fully fund their projects. A lot of the times, the filmmakers have good intentions when they launch their campaigns. Where they usually fail is when they don’t completely understand what they are doing and offering?
If you’re planning one or are midway through a crowdfunding campaign, check whether you’re making any of these common mistakes.
1. Not sufficient social proof: For credibility, always have your LinkedIn and your personal and film’s social media pages highlighted on your campaign. Also make sure these pages are the best they can be. Potential contributors will view them to get a better idea of what you and your project is all about.
2. Proof of concept tool: Most filmmakers use crowdfunding for funding their films or as a ‘last resort’ lender. Instead run the campaign as a marketing tool well before you launch the film- to test the proof of concept. In other words, use the crowdfunding responses as a barometer of interest in your film. If you’ve an overwhelming response to your campaign, you can also show this to film investors and backers to get more quality funding.
3. Pick the right platform: Every crowdfunding platform is different. So research which film crowdfunding platform works best for you and your film’s goals. The popular ones filmmakers to use are kickstarter.com and indiegogo.com.
4. Write impactful copy: Never be boring in your crowdfunding campaign copy. Don’t just fill the space or talk about yourself a lot. Think what the reader/contributor wants to hear from you. Write as if you were writing to your ideal film fan. If this is beyond you, get assistance writing good copy.
5. Talk benefits: When writing the copy, highlight the benefits to the reader and prospective contributor. What will they get if your film is made? Tell them why they should want to see your film made and how they are going to enjoy it. Talk about yourself, your hopes and dreams at the end. Filmmakers don’t talk benefits often enough!
6. Showcase the best scene: While good film trailers work, what will work even better is filming just the best scene from your film and posting it on your campaign page. Wow the reader. Give them a visual taster of what they will get with your finished film.
Note: It has got to be your film’s best scene and it must look good.
7. Have a campaign manager: Before and while the campaign is running, the campaign manager will be in charge of monitoring and responding to contributor queries and staying in touch with them once the campaign ends. Don’t just take the money and disappear. If you’re too busy to do it yourself, hire someone.
8. Behave professionally: Treat every would-be contributor with respect and go the extra mile especially if it is your very first few campaigns.
Most film crowdfunding campaigns don’t hit their campaign targets. The successful ones avoid the common mistakes and even learn from their first experience so they do it right/better the second time. Never ever assume anything!
Get it right no matter how many ‘takes’ you need!