In Crowdfunding, Making Waves Isn’t All About the Money, lots of indie filmmakers looking to crowdfund their films place far too much emphasis on the amount raised instead of rack focusing on other key aspects that make for a successful campaign.
Sure, numbers like $150,000 and $3M are impressive, but success shouldn’t solely be measured by the amount of funds raised in a crowdfunding campaign, and especially not by whether or not that campaign hits its goal.
Why, you ask? Well, the key thing to keep in mind is that many campaigns don’t hit their targets simply because they set them way too high. (If you read my first post from last month, you’ll never set too high a goal again.) That said, your campaign could still make some major waves in the indie film and crowdfunding industries because successful crowdfunding is about so much more than just the money we raise.
Here’s a quick trio of other benefits of running a campaign on Indiegogo:
Proof of concept. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, chances are you have three to five projects that you could work on, but you’re not sure which to focus your time on first. Crowdfund it on Indiegogo; then, after setting up your campaign and running it like a rock star, if the film hits its goal, then you know the audience wants to see you make this film. If for some reason it doesn’t hit its goal, you can then scratch that project off your list (or push it to the back) and try crowdfunding another. One of your projects should resonate with the crowd, and when it does, that’s the one you should focus your full attention on.
Industry validation. Let’s say you run an Indiegogo campaign and secure $20,000 out of your $50,000 goal. You all of a sudden have some additional clout to work with –– a bunch of folks who believe in you and the film and who went one step further than a Facebook “Like” for it. Armed with this newfound value, plus a sensible business plan and a well-balanced breakfast, you can approach traditional investors with confidence and pitch them on the film and the fact that it already has an audience of x number of contributors who voted with their dollars.
Engagement with your audience. I saved the most important one for last because at the end of the day crowdfunding must put the crowd first, funding second. Engage your crowd, and the funding you want will surely come. And this engagement starts long before your campaign starts and doesn’t end when you get your full or partial funding. Engagement means creating and sustaining a dialog with your fan base, and a crowdfunding campaign only seeks to strengthen that bond.
Here’s the low down: There’s no such thing as an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign unless we fail to take any new knowledge away from the experience and apply it to our subsequent ones to make those campaigns stronger. If we make a splash with the crowd, then the waves they help us produce will carry our film projects to even greater distances than money alone.
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