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Is Crowdfunding Too Saturated?

Jun 20 2012

Donations

Donations (Photo credit: Matthew Burpee)

While some people are just catching on to crowdfunding, others have been savvy to it for years.  The idea behind crowd funding is quite brilliant: raise small donations from a high number of people to fund your project.  Most people don’t mind throwing in $5 to a project they find intriguing. Or at least if it’s someone they care about.  Thousands of films, documentaries, books, games etc. have successfully been funded. Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are raking in the money by being the platform for these artists to fundraise.  Kickstarter has hit over a million dollars for a single project more than once.  So why isn’t everyone using crowd funding for projects? Well, it’s starting to look like small business and inventors are.

If you’re on Facebook, no doubt you’ve seen someone’s campaign making the rounds.  And if you’re like me- you’ve seen dozens of campaigns.  Shoot I’ve donated to at least 20 projects.  Not a ton of money but something.  Because they all advertise that every little bit helps.  But now- there seems to be so many people wanting my money and my advertising for their project.  I’m even getting messages from people I don’t know to check out their site.  While I appreciate branching out- if I don’t know you and you’re project doesn’t look magnificent, it’s likely I won’t be donating. 

So how do aspiring filmmakers, writers, painters and photographers navigate these saturated waters? Below are some tips I found useful when running my own campaign.

*Make sure your introduction video is good.  If you can include a trailer or some test footage, the actors talking (if it’s a film), anything interesting to show the potential you have to make a killer project.

*Don’t hassle people.  Nothing puts somebody off like constant heckling.  If they’re on FB, odds are they’ve seen your project and if they want to donate they will. Sending 5 private messages is just plain rude.

*Have great unique rewards.  I mean unique, thoughtful, and well worth it rewards.  And discuss them with other business owners! Think of things you can give your donors that no one else can.  Whether it’s a walk on role for your film, a private portrait session, a character named after them, whatever.  Make it good so it’s a true reward.

*Use other places besides Facebook to advertise.  Use Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin.  Don’t have an account on these social networks yet? Open one up.  And go to businesses that would take an interest in your project and pitch them.  Offer to feature in your pilot or write into your book. Facebook hounding gets old really quick. 

*Finally, set a reasonable goal for the funding.  Don’t try to get $100k if you don’t think you can.  You’ll waste a lot of time, yours and others. Pick what you absolutely need and if you exceed it, great!

Lisa Coronado is a content writer for CoolBlueWeb.

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