The Class

The Crowdfunding to Build Independence course teaches you the essentials for engaging your audience at every stage of your project, and how to leverage that for distribution and your next project. We’ve taught this class at hundreds of film festivals, organizations and schools for a reason: class attendees have a 90% success rate funding on Seed&Spark.
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12 Videos

Total time: 1 hr 21 min


Crowdfunding to Build Independence: Introduction



Who is Your Audience?



Talking to Your Audience



Landing Partnerships



Social Media for Your Campaign and Career



Setting Your Campaign Goal



Creating Incentives for Your Audience



Don’t Make Another Boring Pitch Video.



Organizing Your Campaign



Schedule Your Campaign Like a Boss!



5 Steps to Revive Your Campaign in 5 Days



Grow Your Audience. Grow Your Career.



This introductory video will lay the foundation to engage your audience at every stage of each project, leverage that audience for distribution, and carry them over to the next project.

What you’ll learn:
• A new way of coming to work
• Why a direct connection to your audience matters
• This is not about one film, but your whole career!

It seems obvious, but this is THE question you must ask yourself before your campaign starts. The more specific you get pre-launch, the better your campaign and audience growth will be. We’re going to give you actionable steps to starting learning who your audience is, where to find them, and how best to reach them.

What you’ll learn:
• How to uncover who is your audience/how to reach them
• Why just being good at social media doesn’t mean success
• How to create metrics of success that matter to your bottom line

“Your audience” will be made up of a big group of people who are excited about what you’re making who you have reached one at a time. That means you’ll have to learn how to reach lots of different people and attracting them to the same project using different tactics. How? Watch the video and find out!

What you’ll learn:
• How to interview your audience
• How to CROWDfund instead of FRIENDfund
• How your audience can educate you and expand your capacity to tell your story

Partners often take a loooooooong time to come aboard. Be patient, and also be prepared to be persistent. You will need to do some research and put together materials to make a thoughtful approach to an influencer, brand, or organization. In this video are tried and true tactics to help you bring partners aboard.

What you’ll learn:
• How to figure out if an organization is a fit
• How to learn what to offer them
• How to create materials to pitch an organization

Social media can be incredibly time consuming. If you’re not prepared to make it as effective as possible, it can actually waste precious creative energy. Before you start blabbering all over social media, it helps to spend time learning what kinds of messaging will be most effective on what platforms. In this video we will cover all the Pro Tips and walk you through a couple examples of Seed&Spark filmmakers’ brilliant use of social media and messaging!

What you’ll learn:
• Using social media as a business tool
• Using social media to hone your storytelling tone
• How to stay true to yourself on social media (seriously!)

The million dollar question: How much do I ask for?
Answer: Enough to deliver on the promises in your pitch.
In this video, you will learn about all the considerations that should go into picking a sane and honest crowdfunding campaign goal, as well as how and why momentum are crucial to hitting that goal.

What you’ll learn:
• How to choose the right crowdfunding goal for you
• Getting to 30% in the first few days
• How to utilize staged financing

Since you’ve spent all this time figuring out who your audience is and what they like, you’ve probably learned something about what will motivate them to get involved in your crowdfunding campaign. In this video, you’ll learn the pro-tips for great crowdfunding rewards that deepen your supporters’ engagement in your film.

What you’ll learn:
• Creating rewards that are personal, visual and sharable
• Making events/rewards of what you’re already doing
• Delivering rewards responsibly (and cost-effectively!)

Your pitch video has to be good, even if it’s very simple. A great pitch cuts through all the competing noise and convinces people to care enough about your film to join your journey. This video will help you think creatively about how to convey WHO you are, WHAT the project is, and WHY it needs to be 90 seconds. (Your pitch video will be 90 seconds, not this video.)

What you’ll learn:
• An exciting opening
• Treating your pitch video like a short film
• The personal appeal
• What NOT to do

Organization is crucial to a big launch and to maintaining momentum. This is your time to geek out with spreadsheets and calendars. In this video you will learn the various elements you’ll need to organize well in advance of launching your campaign.

What you’ll learn:
• How to organize direct outreach and pre-planning updates
• How to keep social media fresh
• The FUN stuff: events, contests, and more

A schedule for your crowdfunding campaign is just as important as the schedule you put together for your film or series. In this video you’ll learn how to use your schedule to ensure you can maintain momentum, avoid a failing plan, and communicate clearly with your whole crowdfunding team.

What you’ll learn:
• Elements to schedule
• When to test your messaging
• Why you need your team

Every campaign is at risk of stagnation: usually during the middle weeks of the campaign where pledges and engagement fall off. This is normal AND this is still a crucial time to drive momentum. This video will help you breathe life back into any campaign!

Congrats! You’ve successfully completed your campaign. Now is when the real audience-building work begins. In this video we’ll cover what you’ll need to continue to grow and leverage that direct connection to your audience you’ve started to build. Don’t let the momentum stop now!

What you’ll learn:
• What to collect after the campaign is over
• How to keep your audience interested
• The importance of festivals (especially the regional and local ones)

“Seed&Spark’s Crowdfunding Class saved me a lot of heartache, and I recommend it to people all the time.”

Cameo Wood
Cameo Wood, creator of The Atavist and Real Artists

“It laid out all the steps for a successful campaign and the reasoning behind them. It's such a Wild West time in content creation that having this kind of community support is just tremendous."

Sheryl Glubok
Sheryl Glubok, creator of Lily ‘N Rose

"Seed&Spark didn't seem like just a platform but an ally to my campaign's success that helped not only during the campaign but also before."

Rebekah Fieschi
Rebekah Fieschi, creator of Sylphvania Grove

"The class on their site is a must and extremely helpful for newbies, like me!"

Shannon Phipps
Shannon Phipps, creator of Corporately Challenged

About the class

The only proven path to independence as a creator is a direct connection to your audience. Crowdfunding has become a fundamental piece of most financing plans for independent film. But most filmmakers miss the opportunity to leverage the power of crowdfunding for one film into an audience-building opportunity that can last an entire career – and provide the groundwork for effective distribution.

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