Confession: I am a wee bit of a mother hen when it comes to people. Even here at Film Sprites PR I make sure our team members are doing well, feeling their best and taking care of themselves.
The same is true for the filmmakers we work with, especially during a crowdfunding campaign. In addition to assisting them with publicity and digital marketing of their campaign, I have a tendency to also dispense advice about self-care when it comes to the crowdfunding campaign period.
A crowdfunding campaign is very much like having an additional full-time job. It can be tremendously exciting, and when that percentage marker is inching up towards the 100% mark it can be very tempting to work every hour of the day helping to get even closer. I know- I’ve been there! But making sure that you and your team look after yourselves during the campaign period is vital- you need to avoid burn-out.
With that in mind, I’m giving you the advice I have given filmmakers over the past two years when it comes to self-care during a crowdfunding campaign.
Think of a campaign as a marathon, not a sprint: the clock starts on the campaign, and you’re refreshing your browser every chance you get. The contributions start coming in, but perhaps they’re more a trickle than a flood. You start to panic. Is this supposed to happen?
Firstly- breathe. If you have a slow start to contributions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s going to set the trend for the entire campaign. I’ve seen examples where contributions have come in steadily and then all of a sudden there’s a spike in contributions or someone has very generously donated a sizeable amount. Suspend your expectations and focus on each moment at a time, each task at a time. It’s not over until the clock hits 00:00 minutes remaining!
Have a solid team behind you: it’s tempting to take everything on yourself. As an indie filmmaker you’ve most probably worn quite a few different hats in your time when making a film, but no person is an island when it comes to crowdfunding.
Prior to your campaign period, assemble a reliable team that can be allocated various tasks. If you’re not working with a PR consultancy (like us!) to secure media placements, you may wish to have someone allocated to reach out to the media. You’re going to want to have more than one hand on deck to assist with campaign work via social media, etc. This means you have consistent campaign coverage, without burning the candle at both ends.
Screen-free meals: I’m serious about this one! It’s vital that during campaign time you have time away from your tech. Technology is so ubiquitous nowadays that we sit fiddling with our phones or scrolling on our tablets far more than is good for us. Put away the tech and have a sit-down meal.
I’m guilty of it, too, especially juggling the various international time zones we work with here at HQ, but it’s something I’ve had to be strict about- nourishing meals, 3 times a day and with no screen time for the duration of the meal. It also means your body is getting consistent energy so you’ll be able to put more into the campaign work between meals. Trust me on this one, it’s vital. There’s nothing worse than working on a crowdfunding campaign with your hand in a bag of chips and chugging back a huge can of energy drink.
Yes, you need sleep: it can be tempting to skimp on sleep, but not being rested can affect your ability to function in any setting and not just while working on your campaign. You wouldn’t expect your team members, cast and crew to go without sleep (night shoots notwithstanding), so please don’t deprive yourself of sleep.
Remember- you’ve got this! No, I’m not expecting you to stand in front of the mirror and do affirmations. I may be a chakra-cleansing, mantra-chanting gal myself but you don’t need to go down that road. Crowdfunding campaigns can be such a rollercoaster of emotions at times. Sometimes it’s exhilarating, sometimes it can be anxiety-inducing. No matter what, you’re doing something amazing: you’re taking charge by crowdfunding your film. You didn’t wait to be chosen-you have put blood, sweat and tears into your work. That’s something to be celebrated.
If you’re crowdfunding right now or gearing up for a campaign, the Film Sprites PR team is wishing you all the best!
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