I seem to be on a crowdfunding mission recently based on my last few blog posts. There’ll be more variety I promise, but I’ve been hit with a lot of requests recently to contribute to crowdfunding campaigns for films. I love the crowdfunding concept, and I want to help as many filmmakers & producers out there run campaigns that really connect and resonate with people, and there so many simple opportunities to connect that I think are just being missed.
Updates On Your Projects
Where are they?! I think I can assume that you know that once you’ve completed your crowdfunding campaign (successful or not), you keep those contributors or those who have shown an interest in your project by giving them updates on the production and how things are coming along (I can assume that can’t I?). But what about during your campaign?! Are you missing an key opportunity to solidify the commitment from your audience?
I’m seeing a lot of projects that have launched with say a website or Facebook page, built up a great amount of content, posts, pictures, videos, likes, and then posting their crowdfunding link for people to go and have a look. What happens when people view your crowdfunding page? Well in most cases, here’s the first thing they’ll see:
No matter how good your pitch video is, no matter how much info you put into your project info and perks, what are you putting into your audience’s mind if the first thing they see is Updates – ZERO?
If you don’t think this matters too much, here are a few more:
Out of these projects, how many do you think have met or even come close to their target? Unfortunately, it’s the same as their number of updates. Most have reached less than 10% of their goal.
This is kind of like owning the best looking bar from the outside. Crazy cool lighting, decor, busy & bustling, but when you get inside, it turns out to be a mirage, you’re in a big empty warehouse with someone named Gus serving you a shady looking cocktail mixed in a bucket. Not a great experience.
So make the inside of your campaign look as nice as the outside, and that starts with updates on your project via the crowdfunding platform. Have a look at some of the more successful campaigns:
These projects have all achieved 80% or higher on their crowdfunding goals, ranging from $5,000, to $35,000.
Am I suggesting that updates on your project are going to guarantee success? Of course not, but it is all a part of your bigger strategy to resonate with your audience and re-assure them that you are really sincere and thankful about the money that they put up for you. It is after all, not a donation, but an investment.
On top of the perks you offer your backers, show them that their investment is worth it with constant communication and feedback.
So if you’re fretting over what you should be updating on your crowdfunding campaign, here are five quick ideas to get you started:
1. Thanking Your Contributors
You might do this on your other social media platforms, but why not do it on the platform where they have actually pledged their money? Shows new browsers how you interact with your supporters.
2. Updates On The Campaign
Whilst you should be spending as much time running and participating in your campaign as you can, you also need to get on with the business of development, pre-production or maybe post-production (depending on what you are funding for). Why not use this as an opportunity to provide more insight into say, an editing facility you are wishing to hire. A simple few minute video about a location, or maybe a new cast member interview, will provide more context into what you are seeking money for, and also act as its own promotional material to share on other social media platforms.
3. New Perks
What better way to get people back to your crowdfunding page than by introducing new perks or stretch goals throughout the campaign? It may be a great way to pull people over the line in contributing to your campaign if say they thought your first pledge amount was too costly for them, or didn’t provide enough value.
4. Unique Content
Most ‘updates’ on crowdfunding platforms cant be easily shared from the page itself, but why not flip it around and create content, photos or other media that people can only find on your crowdfunding page. By posting this to your other social platforms or website, you are giving your audience more calls-to-action to find out more, and more page visits can mean more pledges.
If you have nothing else to share, a simple “10 days to go, 50% there!” can be an easy way to show how regularly you are keeping an eye on your campaign, and therefore how serious you are about the project.
To truly understand the power of project updates, I really encourage you to take a wander over to IndieGoGo, Kickstarter or Pozible. Have a look at the projects that are doing well, and look over the kind of content that they are posting (or not!). It’s no coincidence that the most active campaigns are often the ones shared, featured or promoted by the crowdfunding sites themselves. – Nick