I recently received an email from a contact of mine, asking for my support of his film From the Rough, starring Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson. The film is based on the true life story of an African-American woman who created a men’s golf team at Tennessee State University. The movie has already been shot but is now trying to raise funds through Indiegogo to do a theatrical release of the movie in as many cities as possible.
I was excited for him, and I immediately sent a pledge, but then I realized that with a 30 day goal of $250,000, it was going to take more than my donation to make his dream a reality.
So what is it going to take to get that money? First, know that 30% of the initial donations will come from people you know.
Email is King: You must have a strong network before you launch your crowdfunding campaign. Your goal should be to have an email list of at least 2,000 contacts per launch. You also need to line up 5 to 10 people with email lists at least that large, who would be willing to share your campaign with their contacts.
You need a compelling video: From the Rough is fortunate that filming and post production are complete, so they have amazing trailers to show. Here’s one of several I found on YouTube. They already have star power; in addition to Ms. Henson, the film stars the late Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame. Also, don’t be afraid to record a 30-45 second direct appeal that you push out through email as well.
Leverage Social Media: In order to attract people to your campaign, you need to be using social media at least 6 to 12 months before the launch of your campaign. You must be a part of the community, otherwise you could come off as disingenuous. Social media success is all about give to get. Remember that you want to promote your campaign, but you still need to share other relevant content at a 4:1 ratio of your own, particularly on Twitter.
Make your information easy to share. Everyone is busy, so give people the tools to share your campaign. Draft the emails, Facebook messages and tweets in advance for people to share – before your ask for their help. Have a solid press release and video clip ready to go. If you make people work too hard to help you, they will not do it.
Blogger Outreach is Key. Your campaign will not succeed on your network alone. Three months prior to your crowdfunding launch, build a list of the top 15-25 bloggers who are dominant with your target audience. You want to engage them from PR pitches, but don’t rule out offering to sponsor a post on their blogs.
Entice People with Great Rewards. People love to get even a little something for their donation. The From The Rough team is offering website recognition, DVD copies of the film, a movie credit, VIP tickets to the premiere, a personal call from one of the stars from the movie and even a private golf lesson with the legendary coach whose life is featured in the movie. What kind of perks can you offer?
Pay Per Click Ad Social Advertising. The average crowdfunding campaign earns less than $10,000. If you have a significant goal like team From The Rough, you will need to buy pay per click ads. Facebook ads are likely the best option if your campaign is targeting consumers. Here’s a link to a helpful QA on How to Optimize Pay-Per-Click Advertising http://shar.es/AHilU
Money In Mailbox courtesy of ddpavumba / www.freedigitalphotos.net