Human beings prize novelty, this means they want NEW content on the internet wherever possible. Simply posting the same link again and again, with similar or even identical messages is simply not going to cut it … It becomes “noise” and people will skim over your post. Fact.
You need to present yourself in such a way that the more YOU give, the more likely it is someone will “like” you enough to click on your link. Simply asking people to “like” you or your page will not work … Why? Well, remember those kids at school who BEGGED you to be their friend? That. But how do we stop being the needy clingy kid and be the one EVERYONE wants? Well …
4 Realise it’s about TIME
Every day, like most people, I get a slew of PMs, DMs, emails, LinkedIn mail and tweets asking me to check out a project currently crowd funding. Generally, do I check them out? No I do not not. Why?
I simply do not have time to work out which the “good” projects are – because of all the “noise” mentioned in point 5.
If you want my attention, you have to make it worth my TIME. Engage with me. More on this, next.
3 Get yourself an “online champion
The clever filmmakers know there are so many filmmakers crowdfunding, they have to find ways of engaging with everyone, but especially those with large online platforms/follower and friend counts.
But again, it doesn’t cut it if you simply go up to these people with large online platforms and ask them (unless you’re friends already). You need to find who these potential online champions are and figure out what you can offer THEM.
A great example that springs immediately to mind is @threedaysfilm. They engaged with me last year, months before their crowdfunding campaign. They knew – in advance – I was interested in films with female protagonists, plus films about relationships that portray women as having their own agency. Here’s what they first tweeted me that got my attention:
Notice they REPLIED to me? Now, they may have tweeted me before this; I can’t remember. What I DO remember is this was the FIRST tweet that got my attention. From there, I had a short conversation with them. And from there, @threedaysfilm was there in my TL, retweeting various things I’d written … And guess what: I retweeted them and was glad to help promote awareness for their crowdfunding campaign when it rolled around. Boom!
2 Give your posts “value added”
If you don’t know who your potential audience IS, you will fail. Remember, sending the same link again and again simply doesn’t work. So what does?
Again, it’s about GIVING something (I’m not even talking about perks either). If you can package your link up in some way that APPEALS to your potential audience, the people in that audience are far more likely to click on that link. So, think very carefully about what value you can add to your links.
- Maybe you’re very humorous? In which case, why not offer jokes and puns – people love those.
- Or offer interviews with your cast members.
- Or screenwriting or filmmaking advice.
- Or partner with other organisations to give advice on issues – or something else connected with your film.
- Or offer intriguing script snippets from your film.
- Or wry and witty observations about the industry, the genre you’re making, or something else.
In short … do whatever you like. But do SOMETHING. Catch people’s eye; draw them in; give them a reason to click.
1 Find allies, not donations
Never forget this is YOUR dream, not your audience’s. Sending messages like, “Please help us fund this movie, it means the world to me” are simply not good enough. It means the world to ALL funding filmmakers to get their projects funded – why else would they bother?
Every £ raised for a crowdfunding campaign is a miracle in this age of austerity. People WILL get behind projects they can BELIEVE in … so make them believe in YOU. It’s no accident that prominent bloggers find it easier to raise crowdfunding, for example. People figure: “Well I “feel” like I know this person, I think they can do this story justice.”
But we can’t all be prominent bloggers with large platforms. And yes, sometimes crowdfunding campaigns or even whole projects will fail to get out the can. This happens. However, if you find allies, they will sympathise with you, rather than point fingers.
So go out there and engage with people … offer them something in return for their time/money and you will find allies. Good luck!
Onwards and upwards!