Crowd funding campaigns don’t have many creative limitations. Whether you’re promoting an animated web series, gearing up to tackle your first short film project or you need investors to help you build a business, there is room for everyone.
The problem is everyone is in the room.
Take a cruise through crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Seed&Spark and you’ll see hundreds of fascinating projects all vying for donations. Everyone’s swimming in the same pool, and it’s getting crowded.
So, how can you take an Olympic caliber dive and avoid a disappointing belly-flop? Here are four tips for planning a dynamic video to attract the most support.
Let’s start by picking a big project as a case study. Say you’re almost done building a multi-disciplinary arts center where musicians, actors, dancers and painters can thrive. Then: BAM! A tornado rips off a corner of your building and you need funding for repairs. We’re going to focus on the pitch video for your campaign, but for more tips on your video and other aspects of your campaign, I recommend checking out this article on indiewire.com called “Here’s How to Crowdfund Successfully: With Expert Advice from Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Seed&Spark” for more tips.
Step 1: Grab Their Attention
Crowd funding means crafting an enticing video to capture interest, inform and raise money. But you need to grab people’s attention with something unexpected. Rather than opening your campaign video with, “Hi, I’m Karen and I’m raising money for an arts center,” disrupt the audience’s expectations.
For instance, in the indiewire.com article, the author mentions that in a film campaign for a thriller, the first 15 seconds of the video was shot like a thriller. For our case study project, Karen could open with 10 seconds of news bloopers of bad weather videos, then say, “And now that I have your attention…” Have fun with it, but make sure it relates in some way to your project.
Step 2: Do It Well
The pitch video must be well-produced and well-edited. Even if this seems counter-intuitive because you want to make money (not spend it on your pitch video), you might first need to invest money.
Remember, in many ways the video will make or break your campaign. Go to fiverr.com for video editors or ask trusted friends for referrals. I also have some tips on shooting good quality video in your home here and here.
To really shine, keep your pitch no longer than 2 minutes.
Step 3: Spell It Out
Provide a clear call to action. That seems obvious – because you want donations – but you have to spell it out for people. “If this story compels you, I ask you to donate what you can by clicking the donate button to the left of this video.”
Be that clear.
Step 4: Not Just Another Indie Film
Your story will sell this. It’s not just another film/ multi-media center / dog-walking side business; it’s a life-long dream that inspires everyone who hears about it. What needs to come through is your excitement, the heartfelt meaning behind the project and its impact.
Consider a pre-launch countdown on social media so people know about the campaign before it starts. Watch others’ successful campaigns, notice their perks (and by the way, perks don’t have to cost money but they do have to cost creativity), and model what’s working and iron out your video’s inventive opening.
If you can speak from your heart, that’s what gets people to share.
Have you ever created a compelling crowd funding video? Let me know how it went in the comments below.