There are currently scores of filmmakers on crowdfunding platforms looking to make their mark and raise money for their film. In order to stand out, you’ll have to compete with them as well as notable celebrities like Zach Braff and Spike Lee. But don’t fret, with these five tips, we’ll get your campaign up and running and closer to funding your film than ever before.
1. Choose the Right Platform
Depending on the type of content you are looking to produce will set the stage for what type of platform you should use. You might be thinking, what is the difference between the platforms in the first place? Well, let’s just break down the top three for content creators:
With close to 150,000 projects funded at nearly $4 billion, Kickstarter is by far the most successful crowdfunding platform out there. You can only fund on Kickstarter if you are developing projects like films, music, games and other creative content.
There are pluses and minuses to this concept, however. Your film or project is likely to get some attention because of the sheer size of the platform, but being successful on it will be much tougher because you will need to stand out of the large volume of projects.
Unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo funds many other types of projects including fundraisers for charity and small businesses in addition to other creative projects.
While only filmmakers from the US, UK, or Canada can film on Kickstarter, Indiegogo bills itself as an international platform, allowing anyone with a bank account to start an account on the platform.
Indiegogo is another viable option for filmmakers, however, while it may be smaller than Kickstarter, it still has a high volume of projects looking for funding. A strong choice for this would be a film with a social cause as that might compete better on the platform.
Patreon is a great choice for aspiring content creators that want to make a living based on their work. Some interesting projects include science animation channels and the infamous “Wait but Why” blog.
If you are reading this as a web series creator, the first thing that comes to mind is likely Issa Rae’s “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”. While she initially got her break through the service and attracted a huge following, the creator has followed up on the success by contributing more content to the platform in the form of celebrity interviews and exclusive “patron-only” content.
2. Use the Video Function
Crowdfunding websites give you some fantastic real estate in which you can advertise your final product to prospective investors.
Even if you don’t have a trailer set up and ready, you can still make use of the video feature by having cast interviews, introducing yourself to the audience, or showing some behind the scenes footage.
The more videos the better as they will give your audience a sense of your production process.
3. Leverage Your Social Network
Like any other digital marketing strategy, you’ll want to tie in your crowdfunding campaign with a little social media magic.
In one study, users with stronger “brand presences” on social media reached their crowdfunding goals with greater success than those without social media networks to rely on.
However, you should look at your social media presence as just part of the overall crowdfunding pie. The most likely predictor of success still goes back down to how strong your film or final product is and how well you have targeted your potential buyers.
4. Plan ahead
You might be itching to hop onto the crowdfunding bandwagon but before you can really dive in 100%, there are a few things you should plan beforehand.
Use your “film as product” planning strategy to target exactly who you are trying to reach with your film or web series.
Once you’ve been able to do this, you should give yourself roughly four months to build an email list that gets your target prospects to your landing page.
Obviously, you will need to offer something in order to get those valuable emails but once you get them, they become your core quality leads that might be the ones heavily responsible for bringing your project to life.
5. Network with Influencers
One of the most efficient ways to stand out from the crowd is to get people related to the subject matter of your film on board. This might sound like a tall task but it may not be as hard as you would imagine.
Reaching out via Twitter or Instagram are obvious options but feel free to think a little bigger. Tim Ferris shares some interesting insights on reaching out to influencers via email. Approaching these people at conferences is yet another way to generate key support for your campaign.
Use these five steps as a guideline for your crowdfunding strategy and watch the ticker bar on your funding goals slowly go up. Similar to other digital marketing campaigns, crowdfunding requires a mixture of patience and creative inspiration so make sure to have both on hand when you begin strategizing your next move.