How to do Crowdfunding successfully

Today’s Vivid Ideas event, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) was about crowdfunding –How We’re funding Creative Work Now.

Sponsored by The Walkleys and Actors Equity / M.E.A.A.

vivid outside

This was a great session for anyone trying to successfully build a crowdfunding campaign. There were four fantastic speakers who’ve built successful campaigns.

vivid men

DAN ILLIC (A RATIONAL FEAR) Dan spoke of the importance of having a successful pitch to start off with. His goal was to make satirical comedy online and he needed 50k to do this. Dan firstly made a pitch video which he stresses has to be of decent quality. As your pitch video reflects the quality of your campaign and your end product. Dan also had unusual, eye-catching rewards : $200+   ( You’ll be a V.I.P. and gain access to every live show) $500+  (You’ll be a V.V.I.P. and have access to every show and a drink with a      member of his team) $1000+ (You’ll receive a t-shirt with the words “I paid $1000 for this” printed on it) $2000+ (We’ll do a show just for you!) $5000+ (You’ll get to have coffee with him on his dinghy boat) Getting key, influential people on board helped Dan’s campaign as he got Ed Coper (from GetUp) who helped him spread the word and he instantly got 12K overnight thanks to Ed. TOM DAWKINS (StartSomeGood) Tom’s StartSomeGood takes on any project that likes to make some good for the world. He said that crowdfunding isn’t new, in fact, crowdfunding helped build the Statue of Liberty in New York. Even though crowdfunding is easy money, you have to plan your campaign and most successful campaigns take approximately 90 days. (30 days in planning – leading up to your campaign, 30 days for campaigning and 30 days fulfilment followup). He stresses that your crowdfunding starts with your immediate community – friends, family, relatives, peers, (i.e. the yellow part of the circle) and it builds outwards, tribes – associates, work colleagues (i.e. the red part of the circle) then to crowds – social media connections, crowds etc (i.e. blue part of the circle).

vivid model final

An important part of your campaign is your story. Ask yourself, who are you selling your story to? Know your audience. He gave us some interesting facts. SUCCESS RATES OF OTHER CROWDFUNDING PLATFORMS Kickstarter has approximately 44% success rate Pozible has approximately 50% success rate IndieGoGo has approximately 9% success rate He stresses that crowdfunding isn’t about “crowds” and when you list your campaign on one of these crowdfunding platforms, you can’t expect them to be like the whitepages where you list your event and expect the site to do the work for you and your audience will magically appear. No, you must use it only as a tool. Use your event as a reward for reaching your goal. You will fail if you don’t have a good pitch or you don’t have a community to pitch to or you don’t have any great offers. You will know if you have a good campaign if people share it with others. For example they will share it on social media – like Facebook or Twitter etc. If people don’t share your campaign, then this is a good indication that your campaign or pitch is of poor quality because people aren’t spreading the word. Motivations why we part with money: * to get more money * purchasing / shopping for an item * positive social outcome * express relationship – we want to support a friend / community. Your campaign must successfully connect with people.

vivid

NATHAN EARL (PLONK) Nathan successfully aligns crowdfunding with brands. He successfully teamed up his web series The Plonk with Tourism (e.g. Tourism N.S.W.)  He made 22 episodes in 28 days. Each episode is 3-7 minutes. He spent 9-10 months speaking with marketing teams and companies. He was the one in power, making sure corporate companies were of a good fit to his show. He didn’t give out the desperate vibe of “please back my show.” Nathan was in control and he stressed the importance of brand integration and distribution of his web series. Once distribution is in place the first time, it will then be easier to make a second series. DINO DIMITRIADIS (APOCALYPSE THEATRE COMPANY) What is important for Dino is to build an arts community around theatre and to make sure artists (actors) are paid. His story pitch is – Artists need to be paid, artists should not work for free. Dino said the conversation needs to be bigger than the pitch. (I totally agree with Dino and his pitch for this was powerful, ETHICAL and convincing, as I always like to pay / reward / feed my actors). He says so often actors end up doing Co-op / profit-share which often works out to be nothing, some artists are lucky that their transport costs are covered. Artists need to be paid. Dino’s first campaign was 5K for 15 days. He exceeded his target because his conversation was about paying ethically. He blogged about this regularly to his audience and shared his story on Facebook. He said once his vision was endorsed by key people at M.E.A.A. (The Media, Entertainment, Arts, Alliance) the message then spread like wildfire. He made sure his story was also featured in magazines, pin up boards, posters etc. This session was highly informative and useful. Like always I like sharing things I’ve learned. I hope you’ll find the above information useful to build your next crowdfunding campaign. Spread the joy!

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