Film CrowdfundingThe 7 Things We Look for When We Review Crowdfunding Projects
July 27, 2016
You probably already know that we're a crowdfunding platform for storytellers, but now it's time to pull the curtain back on what happens when you hit 'submit.'
Our Crowdfunding Experts review every project submitted and make suggestions for improvement based on our years of experience. It’s because of our thorough review and feedback process that we have the highest success rate for films in the biz: 80%!
There are 7 areas our Crowdfunding Experts have identified that are instrumental to the viability of your campaign; these are the 7 areas we give you feedback on.
1. Amount You’re Raising vs. Size of Your Network
There’s a misperception that crowdfunding is an “if you build it, they will come” endeavor. Targeting and developing a relationship with your audience before you launch is essential to crowdfunding success, and e-mail is still the most effective way in getting people to support your project. Social media posts convert 1-2% of people who see them into pledges, but direct email outreach converts 20-30%!
To help determine whether you have the network to support what you’re asking for, we’ll be looking at:
- The number of e-mails you and your team have already collected
- The size of your social media accounts
Oh hey, look! We have a free video about setting crowdfunding goals on our site, just for you.
Curious how to build an audience to add to that email list we're asking about? Look no further! (Bonus: how to write great emails once you have a list to send them to)
2. The Pitch Video
Your pitch video is the primary way people will learn about your project, and there’s extra pressure on filmmakers to really pack a punch in that 90 - 120 seconds. We prefer that you submit a ROUGH CUT of your pitch video (or a script!) and are prepared to receive and incorporate feedback. When we review your pitch video, we’ll check to see if it accomplishes the following things:
- Gets us excited about your skills as a filmmaker.
- Exists as more than just a trailer AND more than just talking heads.
- Accurately reflects and tone and quality of your intended finished film product.
- Covers the WHO, the WHAT, and the WHY WHY WHY WHY:
- WHO you and the team are
- WHAT the project is
- WHY you're making it, WHY we should care, WHY you need the money, and WHY right now.
- Shares all of the important information skillfully in 2 minutes or less. (Fact: Most people only watch online videos for for 90 seconds or less!)
Remember: you'll have time to expand on all of the above in your Story section. Your pitch video is just a visual introduction.
Watch a free video on how to avoid common pitch video pitfalls, and read this blog for a step by step guide to designing your own.
3. The Incentives
Your supporters earn incentives when they contribute to your campaign, so it’s essential that what you’re offering are items that you know they want, and that will encourage them to excitedly spread the word. When we review the incentives you’ve selected, we want to see that:
- Your incentives are unique to your project and designed specifically for your intended audience. Check out some tips and tricks for doing that better.
- Your incentives are visual and easy to share quickly.
- You are taking into account the cost and shipping of manufactured items. Learn more about why we usually recommend staying away from them altogether.
- You have a range of incentives at different price points to accommodate backers at all levels.
- You've made a visual impression by adding images to each tier.
Watch a video on how to create incentives that honor and excite your intended audience here.
4. The Wish List
Your crowdfunding Wish List shows what you and your team anticipate needing in order to make the best possible film, and is how the overall financial goal of your campaign is calculated. This is a very valuable opportunity to communicate to the audience visually how thoughtful and prepared you are. When reviewing your project, we’ll assess:
- Does the Wish List break down the needs of your project in a visual and understandable way?
- Do your Wish List items have images that correspond to the world/style of your project?
- Does the sum of your Wish List items equal your total proposed campaign goal?
Read this short post for how to maximize your wish list and utilize loans to empower your community to get involved in more than one way!
5. Social Media
Social media is a wonderful and effective tool for communicating to, engaging with, and learning from your audience. When we review your social media, we’ll take a look at a few things:
- When did you start your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram?
- Are you consistently engaging your followers?
- Have you been preparing your followers for the campaign?
6. Collaboration / Feedback
Your campaign receives personalized feedback from our crowdfunding specialists, and it can be a very personal and intense experience requiring an open mind and complete honesty. Because of this, we need to know something in advance:
- Are you open to accepting feedback? (For real...how do you handle constructive notes? We're not all as good at it as we think.)
- Have you done your research and watched our Crowdfunding to Build Independence Class? This will make the feedback process faster and exponentially more effective. Filmmakers who have taken the class have a 100% success. How do you like them odds?
Please keep in mind that all of our feedback comes from wanting you to succeed in your crowdfunding efforts, and our feedback is based on years of studying what works (and what doesn’t.) It’s the reason we have the highest success rate in the biz!
7. Crowdfunding Experience
It’s helpful for us to know your past experience with crowdfunding in order to give you the best advice, so we’d like to know the following things:
- Have you crowdfunded before?
- Were you successful?
- What did you learn?
- What would you like to do differently?
Ready to learn more about what it takes to run a successful campaign?
Our Crowdfunding to Build Independence Class is a terrific (and free) online resource
that answers a lot of the questions you may have.
And if you think you're ready to take the plunge, start your project today!