Crowdfunding your film or entrepreneurial project is tricky business in a world with information overload. With over half of crowdfunding projects ending up unsuccessful, how do you position your project to succeed in a soon to be oversaturated market?
From many successful crowdfunding campaigns, we have been able to develop a clearer idea of what works and why.
Simply enter a #kickstarteradvice search on Twitter.
Sure, there’s no shortage of advice on how to develop a successful fundraising campaign.
But what does all this quick information have in common?
Any advice that is readily available is elementary at best. You’ll probably read the same obvious suggestions again and again across the web:
- Tell your story (from the heart)
- Decide on a number
- Shoot a stunning video
- Construct a reward structure
We have technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.Founder, eBay
The web attacks traditional ways of doing things and elites, and this is very uncomfortable for traditional businesses to deal with.CEO, WPP Group
The Internet has been the most fundamental change during my lifetime and for hundreds of years.Media Mogul
Yes, it's unfortunate that many high quality projects end up unsuccessful. But they are unsuccessful, not because of the quality or message behind the project, but because of their inability to mobilize a successful campaign to advocates who care.
Filmmakers, creatives and entrepreneurs are not to blame for unsuccessful campaigns. Rather, the structure of the funding concept poses a great obstacle for crowdfunding success.
Filmmakers have enough to worry about: from the pre-production creative process, to organizing a camera crew and actors, to script writing, to overall creative concept. On top of all that, how are they supposed to develop, implement and manage a marketing and fundraising campaign (which they know little about) that is the very viability of the overall project? This is a large task on top of the creative workload.
That's where Agency | 2.0 steps in to help with some overall strategy advice and much, much more…
Below is an overview which will help you and your team get a clearer understanding of how to implement an advocacy campaign via strangers who are passionate about your subject.
The single most important element of all great fundraising ideas is identifying your crowds.
Who are they?
Your target audience is comprised of the individuals, groups, communities and bodies of decision makers who influence your target. Your target is the individual or individuals who have direct decision-making power over the issue your organization is working to address.
In simple terms, who are the people that care?
Why do they care?
How do we encourage them to care and then advocate to others that they should care as well?
Individuals, support groups, organizations raising awareness and many, many more…
While most of us spend our online time in mainstream spaces, reading mainstream news and re-tweeting mainstream articles, an entire universe exists in the nooks and crannies of the web.
These nooks and crannies are where the passion of the web resides. It’s where crowds of people convene to talk about issues, ideas and causes that the mainstream web leaves out.
These are the highly niche groups of individuals, communities, and decision makers who can influence your targets. These are those people that care about your issues, your causes and hopefully your project.
Where are yours?
Blogs | forums | websites | social media | newsletters | podcast | groups | hashtags
Once you have a better understanding of who your audience is and where they are, now what? Start today. The thought of putting together a campaign is very daunting. It takes months of preparation to develop, organize and implement great fundraising ideas for your organization. With any crowdfunding campaign, time is of the essence and every single day matters.
Think about your goal. Are you dealing with large organizations with large barriers to entry and vast reach or are you dealing with a small organization with little barriers of entry and limited reach? Either way, the goal is simple.
Develop a compelling message about your project that is complementary to your mission/vision and develop a long term mutually beneficial relationship of to like-minded individuals, groups, communities and bodies of decision makers.
When you think about media, you probably think about:
and the likes… Sure, they definitely count, but they offer far too much information, to too many people, with too vast a range of interests, tastes, causes, etc. Instead, let’s focus on the long tails.
The long tails carry an equal amount of the population, yet there are many, many, more sources providing an outlet to the same amount of people. These are the niches. These are the nooks and crannies you want to win over. They are highly specific and very influential within their niche groups. Who are these long tails? It all depends on your project but one thing is certain, they are out there.
The concept of crowdfunding (crowdsourcing) has been around forever, but with the explosion of the internet over the past decade, your dreams are at the tips of your fingers (literally) like never before.
Crowdfunding is the term du jour when it comes to great fundraising ideas. However, more than 2/3 of all crowdfunding campaigns fail, which can be a blessing and a disappointment at the same time.
Just think, when was the last time Hollywood called and asked you what movie you wanted to watch or see at the cinema? A quick Google search could come up with more than a handful that some of the studios wished they would have asked your opinion on in advance of production.
These are the end questions that play a small part in the overall strategy of your campaign. Rather than elaborate on the specifics of great fundraising ideas, let your crowd tell you what makes a good trailer, pitch, or reward structure. You will get a better idea of the message you want to portray through the development of your crowd.
Let the crowd you amassed tell you what to do. After all, they are the end consumer and the people that will make your project a success. Give them a listen
and the rest is history.