Let’s be honest. Crowdfunding can be a lot of work, but more importantly it has the power to make a creative idea into a reality, give life to new businesses and ultimately change lives.
As FundRazr Success Advisor, I am constantly coaching people on the best practices of crowdfunding. But sometimes tips and tricks are best heard from someone who has successfully made it through a crowdfunding campaign and reached their goal.
I met with producer and crowdfunding success Lisa Mazzotta, of feature documentary RiverBlue, to spill secrets on her experience in using FundRazr to fund the completion of the film. Lisa and her team managed to surpass their goal of $45k, and went beyond receiving contributions from people they know personally to reach a much broader audience.
So, how did they do it? Below are 10 valuable tips that helped RiverBlue build a global online community and raise the money needed to complete their project.
1. Plan ahead
“Start building a relationship sooner with various organizations that would be interested in your cause or project. Because you can’t stop talking to people. As soon as you stop talking to people, and stop reaching out, then you’ll find the crowdfunding stops too. You have to have continuous communication with the people that you’re asking for donations from.”
2. Build a team
“Doing a crowdfunding campaign is a big project, it’s not something that you just put up and it generates some money on its own, you really need a team of people to make it successful. You really have to get community engagement and interest from people, and that’s going to take work. Having a supportive team is essential.”
3. Treat your campaign like a campaign
“It’s a full time job when you’re doing a crowdfunding campaign. It is not something you can leave and expect to generate any sort of success with just putting your campaign up there. Great, you have made a video, great you have filled out the synopsis of what you’re doing but unless you then work on it every day, you won’t see any traction with it. So it is really important to keep in mind when you are doing a crowdfunding campaign because you will need to work on it all the time.”
4. Know your target audience
“I would also recommend connecting with as many like minded individuals and organizations that you can, because that will be your support team. You definitely want a team of dedicated people on your campaign, because the more energy and work you put into it the more successful the campaign will be.”
5. Leverage your networks
“We reached out to all of our own contacts with the campaign and those were just individual relationships we had with people. So when you have a crowdfunding campaign you have to contact all the people that you know to be able to make the project successful. It’s really from your individual community that the initial dialogue starts.
The initial funding will come from all the people that you know, and then you have to look at it in phases. So this is what we get from all the people that we know and then how do we surpass that and outreach to an even larger community. You really have to find the people that would be interested in that topic and have an existing passion or care for it.”
6. Keep people engaged
“We really tried to keep people engaged for the duration of the campaign and gave them video updates on some of the things we were working on and some of the people that we interviewed in the film. We wanted to give people as much of an idea of what they were supporting as we could. Facebook, Twitter, reaching out to different media organizations, blogging is something that we did and continue to do to reach out to different groups.”
7. Be specific
“What we found successful was when we asked for a specific amount, saying “We need 2000 people donating $20, and that will help us reach the rest of our goal.” We had a huge response to that! When you give someone the numbers in that way of what is needed to reach a goal, they feel like it’s feasible.”
8. Find your identity
“Branding is important, even in a crowdfunding campaign. A graphic designer, is something that you will be surprised how much you actually need in that capacity. You will need to create materials to send out to audiences. Whether they are photos, videos or little letters.”
9. Create compelling media
“Have materials that you could share with your audience, have people readily available to talk if they want to talk about what you are doing, and have different media pieces to share with people. In our case we had videos and photos that people could share. If you have a photo that is pretty striking you they will want to share that, then that generates some discussion too.”
10. Crowdfund everywhere
“One of the great aspects about FundRazr is that you can embed the campaign on your own website. So that’s really beneficial, if you would like an audience to see your website in addition to your crowdfunding campaign because you are then raising awareness about your whole project. Having this crowdfunding platform was really the door opener to be able to contact different organizations to let them know what we were doing and to see if they would like to be involved. We used the crowdfunding campaign as a way to initiate conversation.”
[Watch our video interview with Lisa below]
Click here for more on RiverBlue The Movie.
Do you have any crowdfunding secrets that I missed? We would love to hear them! Comment below.