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November 12, 2013

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The Royal Road production still. The Royal Road production still.

After my very successful crowd-funding campaign this summer I’ve been asked repeatedly for tips and advice by numerous other filmmakers. In the spirit of helpful guidance (and to make it easier to deal with as people keep asking me to share this info) here are my tips and guidelines. I did my campaign on Kickstarter but these guidelines are equally applicable on Indiegogo and other platforms.

1) Make sure your description is compelling, as concise as possible and conveys urgency. Click the link to see mine — you can decide whether you think it’s compelling, but in any case it was effective. Before posting I ran mine past a couple of folks for feedback and got really good input. Definitely take the time to do this and make your description the best it can be.

2) Highlight what’s important. It is fine to have lots of text that scrolls down the page, but put the important stuff up top. You should also remind people to look in the right column to pick a reward level (believe it or not there are many people who have never given to a crowdfunding campaign before).

3) Make a compelling, good-looking video that demonstrates that you know what you’re doing. A trailer featuring actual footage from your project is ideal since it gives the viewer an impression of what the film will really look like. If you can make a well-produced and creative pitch with you describing the project and explaining why you need the money that’s great too.

4) Include a sample pre-written text that people can share to Twitter and FB to help spread the word. Always make it as easy as possible for people to help you. And remember that this templated text should be succinct but have all the relevant info — see my example on my Kickstarter page and don’t forget to include the donation deadline.

5) Prep before you launch. You can write bits of promo text ahead of time for some of the landmark steps along the way — look in my “Updates” and copy/modify my text if you like. Examples of text you’ll need includes: Launch blurb (“Yee-ha! My brand new campaign, please help, etc.”), 24-hour announcement to maintain momentum (“In just 24 hours we’ve raised $X, help us keep it up!”), 48-hour ditto, text for nearing and hitting landmarks like $5K, $10K, etc. (“We’re approaching $3K, who will put us over the top?” OR “We just hit $5K, Only XK more to go!”); we did it/stretch goal (“We hit our goal, thanks! Now we’re going to reach for XK more”), thank-you blurbs (spend time composing heartfelt thank you text that is really meaningful and sincere), some sponsor plugs (“X person/business was really helpful and we want to acknowledge them”), etc. Some of this text you will use for posting as updates to your Kickstarter page, some for your personal Facebook and Twitter, some for emails, etc.

6) Plan your outreach.… please click here for the rest of A Crowdfunding Crash Course: 14 Tips

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