By Elizabeth England
Did you know that 89% of IndieGoGo campaigns that reach their goal will overfund by 30% or more?
Or that 1/3 of IndieGoGo’s donors are international contributors from 70 countries?
These are just a few of the juicy tidbits I picked up listening to Carole Dean’s interview of IndieGoGo’s Marc Hoffstatter, Head of Film (@theoriginalhoff) on The Art of Film Funding on Blogtalkradio.
Partnered with Indiegogo, From The Heart Productions has helped independent filmmakers raise over $1 million for their films
From the Heart has a unique partnership with IndieGoGo. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, From The Heart provides filmmakers with fiscal sponsorship which allows donors to get tax deductions. Filmmakers also get flexible funding. That means they get paid even if they don’t reach their goal. As an Indiegogo partner, From The Heart has helped filmmakers raise over $1 million to date.
I was delighted to pick up these expert insights and master tips, and give you an overview of the road map they shared.
Build Your Film Contact Database: 90% of your crowd funding comes from your list and their friends. During pre-launch, leverage your database to create excitement and get commitments for 20% of your campaign goal from funders. Then have a plan to get your committed funders to donate in the first two days of your campaign. Reaching 20% of your goal in the first 72 hours will get you noticed beyond your list by IndieGoGo fans and create momentum to fund to 100% of your goal ahead of schedule.
Aim Low – Fund High: Marc and Carole recommend being conservative in selecting your
Marc Hofstatter – Head of Film at Indiegogo
goal to fund faster and stronger. Hitting that 20% in the first few days is crucial. It shows you’ve got support and creates momentum which attracts more donors. So, even if you want to fund your entire feature at once, it’s best to start by funding just part of it. Besides, 89% of the campaigns that hit their goal overfund by 30%.
Plan to Go Beyond Your Goal. Carole pointed out that many filmmakers reach their goal early and are at a loss as to what to do for the rest of the campaign. Marc suggested creating pre-planning stretch goals to keep the momentum going. For example, imagine telling your fans how stoked you are that you’ve reached 100% of your goal early and now you can do what you had only dreamed of…shoot that scene in 3D with another $2,000 (or whatever your first stretch goal is.) That early success is the juice keeping your fans engaged and your campaign exciting.
Don’t Forget The Pictures: Marc recommends that you make your Indiegogo campaign page a strong visual representation of who you are, what you are doing and your unique style and talent. It should not be a page filled with words. Potential donors must be visually drawn in by your campaign page. They want to see your style and get a taste of what your filmmaking will achieve with their help!
No Time for Trailers. Carole and Marc agree that at the start of a campaign a Pitch Video is more important than a trailer. You need to show donors why you are making the project and why it needs to get made. Don’t forget to have an “ask” and a call to action to ask them to donate. But even your pitch video MUST represent your filmmaking vision and style AND give them a reason to click ‘Donate NOW.’ Chances are, they aren’t coming back, so close them NOW.
My own two cents? Consider this – Make a pitch video with two endings: One for pre-launch promotion and the second for the campaign ask and close. Another key element on your campaign page is your team: who is on board with you and what are their roles? Your team inspires confidence in your ability to get the job done with their money, so let your funders know you have quality business and creative talent on board to finish the project.
Pre-planning is Critical: Marc suggests to plan what you are going to do to maintain momentum and excitement at 5, 10, 17, even 22 days into your campaign. Work out predefined benchmarks for stretch goals, pre-written social media content for both during and beyond your campaign, and new and exciting perks that stimulate new funders.
Out With the Old Perks. Plan to introduce exciting new perks during your campaign that stimulate funding. Some funders may prefer a credit over a premiere ticket so changing up the perks will attract new funders. Choosing smart perks like digital downloads and experiences are easier to fulfill and have less impact on your budget than a perk you have to pay for and ship.
Your Crew is Your Team. Mark recommends having a team on your campaign of at least four. 1- outreach to those organizations and individuals aligned with your project to get their support; 2- provide regular updates, responses and new perks on your campaign page; 3- email campaign management and response; and 4- social media content and interaction. Carole and Mark emphasize that you are marketing your film already at this early stage–building a fan base, and hopefully attracting the attention of sales agents, distributors and advocates so treat it that way.
Other key points covered:
- Campaign sophistication will jump in the near future with the entry of major players into the crowdfunding arena as seen in the recent campaigns for Sharknado and Rooster Teeth—this is great for getting your project noticed now by serious film fans and funders.
- Crowdfunding blogs and thought leaders are interested in your campaign and your project—so add PR outreach to your planning.
- Your success at funding your campaign is directly proportionate to retaining creative control of your project. Crowdfunding averages 10% to 35% of a film’s total budget funding, with the balance from grants, equity financing, foreign sales agreements.
- Crowdfunding is still relatively unknown and is poised for tremendous growth as market awareness explodes and the impact of recent Title II and Title III rulings make room for crowdfunding equity financing with both accredited and unaccredited investors.
The bottom line is that crowdfunding is far from maturity and is the best tool available for filmmakers to simultaneously get exposure for their talents while marketing and funding their projects.
From the Heart’s unique partnership with IndieGoGo gives you a powerful advantage: a flexible and continuous funding platform combined with decades of experience mentoring filmmakers. Take advantage of this priceless access to this winning combination now.
Here are some cool links I found researching this article that I’d like to share with you:
June 24th Google Hangout with Marc Hofstatter: http://www.indiewire.com/article/attention-filmmakers-learn-how-to-crowdfund-successfully-in-upcoming-google-hangout-with-indiegogo-kickstarter-and-seed-spark-20140619#.U6SBOREN9Ec.twitter
IndieGoGo’s Essential Tips: http://go.indiegogo.com/blog/2014/06/essential-tips-for-running-an-indiegogo-campaign-part-ii.html
Title II and IndieGoGo: https://go.indiegogo.com/blog/2013/09/update-on-the-jobs-act-title-ii-and-crowdfunding.html
Don’t get lost in the crowd
Stand out and get funded with From The Heart and Indiegogo.
No penalty if you don’t reach goal, tax deductions for donors, personal mentoring and support.
Just apply at the From The Heart Indiegogo Partner Page