September 1, 2015 by Seb Harding
It’s been just over a month since we made our crowdfunding target for the 2015 tour of Black Tonic and since then we’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the successes of the campaign and consider what we’d change if we could do it all again. Overall the process has been complex, but ultimately, very rewarding.
We thought we’d share our experience by creating a quick four step run down of the factors we found most important in creating our campaign.
Doing the Groundwork
Many of the companies and individuals we spoke to whilst researching the campaign warned of the perils of beginning a hastily planned fundraiser.
We began seriously planning our campaign in November therefore giving ourselves around four months in which to develop a series of rewards, create a quirky campaign video, plan a marketing campaign (with video and written content) and organise a low key launch event.
Regardless to say we were of course working on all of this right up until we launched the campaign. It’s definitely possible to produce a campaign in a much shorter amount of time, and our obsessive attention to detail probably doesn’t help, but we can’t stress enough how many hours go into creating a slick successful fundraiser.
Make sure you have budgeted for everything!
We’re pretty sure someone is reading this and thinking “Surely a Crowdfunder is about raising money, not losing it” but the reality can be quite a very different picture.
To begin with, lets consider the rewards. Admittedly you won’t have to physically create anything before you make your target but once you do you’re effectively tied down to deliver all you’ve promised. The reality of how much you may have to spend (don’t forget person hours) could take a large chunk from the amount you raise if you have failed to factor in all the costs.
As our production of Black Tonic has relatively small numbers of audience members we couldn’t just give tickets away in the lowest, and most popular, tiers. This meant we had to devise attractive rewards that linked to the show but could also stand alone as attractive offers to any indecisive backers.
If, on the other hand, most of your rewards are a direct result of the project you’re fundraising then you may think it’s a relatively simple affair. Though don’t forget if, for instance, you give away 50% of tickets to your show but are also relying on high ticket revenue you could end up losing money overall.
Don’t underestimate how much content you will create for Social Media
Before you begin any plans for marketing your campaign it’s worth bearing in mind that your audience will possibly have to come into contact with your project at least three times before they actually part with their money. The sheer amount of Social Media content that successful campaigns have to create is pretty much uncontested but the route you take to present your message can be incredibly inventive. For our campaign we created content such as Video endorsements, behind the scenes videos plus an in depth blog on the research process behind the production we were trying to fund.
See it as a project in itself and enjoy it!
The process of creating a crowdfunding campaign is very similar to that of creating any small public facing project. Therefore it is important to see the campaign as an extension of your creative output and not separate to it. If you can think creatively about the project video, campaign visuals and backer rewards your audiences are far more likely to get on board. Try to invest as much personal interest in the campaign and the whole process will hopefully become both more attainable and enjoyable.
There’s so much we could write about concerning our crowdfunding experience but we’ll stop before we bore you! Hopefully these tips might come in use if you’re thinking about creating your own fundraiser, and if so, we’d love to hear from you.
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