Attention, filmmakers looking for advice on how to crowdfund their next project: Look no further. Indiegogo has just updated its a free online handbook for filmmakers that provides tips and helpful guidance for how to crowdfund. You can download a free copy here and read an exclusive excerpt below:
1. You shall engage an audience before you launch a campaign.
It’s not enough to build an audience anymore. You must engage and interact with one, and before your campaign even starts. Social media should be treated like a dialogue between friends—a two-way street rather than a one-way road with no turns.
2. You shall give value with every update.
In crowdfunding, it’s not in a filmmaker’s best interest to talk all or mostly about her or his projects. You’ll want to show your followers that you’re worth the follow. That’s how you build yourself into the online film community.
3. You shall be active on no more than five social media sites.
Leslie Poston, co-author of Twitter for Dummies, says that you should be on no more than five social media sites at a time. Any more and your own level of engagement is bound to wane, and thus you won’t be able to interact with as many fans and fellow filmmakers.
4. You shall always include your campaign link.
When tweeting about your campaign, always include a link to its Indiegogo campaign page, so the first thing a potential contributor sees after they click the link is your campaign video.
5. You shall always use relevant #hashtags.
On Twitter, and even on Facebook, too, be sure to hashtag words and phrases relevant to your film campaign. It makes it easier for random people to find your project. Unsure which hashtags would be best? Check them out at hashtagify.me.
6. On Twitter, you shall not use all 140 characters.
People need their space, and some prefer to append their own messages instead of quickly clicking the retweet button. Once your message is written, hashtags appended, and link included, you want to have around 15 characters remaining.
7. You shall use images because they speak louder than words.
Statistically, there is a greater click-through rate on Tweets, Facebook and Google Plus posts when an image or video is included. Include an image –– the thumbnail of your campaign or specially designed social media promotional materials –– or a video like your campaign video, to give people more of a reason to check out your campaign and possibly contribute.
8. You shall schedule your outreach in advance.
It’s okay to use a service like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule Tweets and other updates ahead of time. Since crowdfunding is a full-time job, you want to make it as seamless as possible. The one thing you can’t really schedule are your replies, comments, and retweets, and those are just as important as promoting your campaign.
9. You shall not spam.
While crowdfunding is a full-time job and you should maintain a steady presence on your social media sites while in “campaign mode,” you should still be interacting with your followers in ways unrelated to your Indiegogo campaign.
10. You shall keep up your activity even after the campaign ends.
Even while filming your movie, and while you’re locked away in the editing room, keep the interaction with your audience going strong. The minute you drop off, they drop off.
A behind-the-scenes consulting machine, John T. Trigonis has mentored hundreds of filmmakers worldwide to create compelling crowdfunding experiences that not only reach, but also exceed their goals. An indie filmmaker and successful crowdfunder himself, Trigonis has literally written the book on Crowdfunding for Filmmakers, and after spending a few years as a private consultant, he now puts his prowess to its ultimate use as Film Campaign Strategist at Indiegogo. You can download a free copy of the 2015 Indiegogo Film Handbook here.
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