Been There, Done That & Got My Project Funded
This is the last in the series of these ‘been there, done that’ blogs, where so far we’ve heard from successful project owners about their take on pledge rewards, video pitches, and how best to promote a crowdfunding project.
Their final insights explore the notion of hindsight: We asked them whether there’s anything they would have done differently, and what reflections they had on their campaign.
'Shoulda Woulda Coulda'.
So what is it that some of our successes would have differently?
Spend a little more time editing the video more professionally - even paying some money to have it done properly would be a worthwhile investment. I would also contact some popular bloggers in the niche area and find a way to get them on board with the idea. A single tweet from someone with 1000+ followers can make all the difference if you don't have existing networks outside of friends and family. Alakazam
We should have tried to do more with the local press. Ours is a local project, and so its potential reach is limited, regardless of the affect our festival has on Leeds, Leeds' people, or the comedy community. The ideal way to have reached our target would have been to have 3500 people donating £1. This obviously didn't happen. So, perhaps pushing for an editorial in the Yorkshire Evening Post would have been a good idea - anything to get more people in Leeds (who we don't know) interested in the project. Laughter Lines Leeds Comedy Festival 2012
I think I would have been more organised. I also would have red the terms and conditions properly, and made my total slightly more than I needed to accommodate for this, although I knew PFU would take a percentage, I hadn't found out how much. I was too panicked to do things properly, and so didn't give my self enough time to prepare my project page properly. Being a Londoner
We'd probably do a few more video updates. We had a big campaign planned for weekly updates with sketches that didn't really end up happening- it'd be a great way of prompting your pledges and we sort of missed a trick there. Blue Origin
A launch event (a ‘big bash’ to get things going), much more press involvement you should get the general public on it in every possible way.
More use of twitter – this is a major resource. And don’t just use it to ask for money. Post interesting links on their to other stuff you’re into etc – just keep your presence maintained. And then also ask for money!
Take your time over pledge prizes – ensure you know what the costs will be. It worked out okay for us but I could see that getting out of hand for small projects. The Arts Barge Project
"Any Words of Wisdom?"
Work out your potential costs in terms of what pledges you’ve offered – make sure you’re not going to end up paying out too much at the end on postage and other costs etc. This is important if you end up with 170+ donors as we did. The Arts Barge Project
A low point for us was about three quarters of the way through the campaign when facebook and twitter just didn't really generate anything anymore. Before that, if we posted on both platforms hard we'd often get a couple of small donations. But by then it seemed like it had all dried up. At that point we didn't know the extent to which an urgent deadline can reignite people's interest in a project. Laughter Lines Leeds Comedy Festival 2012
It takes hard work to get it moving and keep it moving. You can't just sit back and hope the money is going to roll in. If I were to do something different I'd plead with my friends not to try and be the person who tips the pledge over the total. It was like a game of chicken - who had the balls to be the last one to pledge? When you're so close to your total it's totally nail biting, and you're terrified you're going to miss it by a couple of quid.
Also I think keeping the length of the campaign pretty short, I think mine lasted just over a month, and being realistic about the goal, are important. Create Your Own Food Adventure
Remember that these are not our words, they're the words of project owners who have been there, done that & got their projects funded! And I'd like to thank every one of them who took the time to give such insightful answers.
As I said from the start of these series of blogs, it's time you heard some hints and tips from the people who have had first hand experiece of running a successful crowdfunding campaign, and now that you have, I hope you've learnt a trick or two!
So what are you waiting for, start creating your project and let's make that creative idea of yours a reality!
About the author:
Ben Hamilton is a Community Manager for PleaseFund.Us. If you need any help or advice about crowdfunding (or perhaps you'd just like a chat), drop him a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Ben_Hamilton_