Maintaining Contributor Connection After Your Crowdfunding Campaign

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The crowdfunding campaign for your film has finished, you’ve secured your funds and you’re ready for the next part of production. Congrats! This is a golden opportunity to continue to build anticipation for your film and keep forging links with your audience.

Sometimes with crowdfunding campaigns, the post-campaign period can be forgotten in the excitement of completing the film. Updates on the crowdfunding campaign page can go silent, and in some cases the campaign is not mentioned again- it’s a case of “so long, and thanks for all the fish” when it comes to contributors. So how do you make the most of the post-campaign period in order to keep momentum building for your film’s release and also increase your film’s visibility?

Don’t forget those crowdfunding page updates: crowdfunding page updates are an excellent way to keep in touch with the people who supported you and contributed to the campaign. Think about having exclusive contributor-only sneak peeks prior to the release of a new trailer, let people know when tangible perks are on their way to contributors, and keep the connection alive and exciting by getting people to share photos of their perks with appropriate hashtags on social media. If there are any issues with distribution of perks (for instance, a shipment is taking longer to get to you than expected so getting the perks to contributors will also take longer), let people know. There’s nothing worse than being a contributor and wondering where a perk is.

You can also get your contributors involved in social media for the film when you’re gearing up for release. Have graphics available in the sizes most appropriate for popular social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) that contributors can download and share (including special Facebook and Instagram profile pics and headers), as well as suggested tweets that contributors can copy and paste. That way if contributors are keen to continue assisting your filmmaking efforts, they can help you by spreading the word.

Make it part of the process: got a scrumptious delivery of those t-shirts that were a crowdfunding perk? Show people on social media! If a poster signed by the cast was a perk, take photos showing the cast members signing the posters. Don’t forget: people love being part of the filmmaking journey, so take them on the journey with you via social media.

Celebrate online: finished the crowdfunding campaign successfully! Time to celebrate! After you’ve taken a break away from the campaign (because, let’s face it, you’ll need downtime), schedule a Facebook Live session on your Facebook page to talk about next steps and answer any questions fans may have. Publicize it via your campaign updates and social media well in advance so that people know when it is coming up and can look forward to catching up with you.

 

How To Harness Twitter For Your Film’s Crowdfunding Campaign

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At Film Sprites PR we have a particular fondness for Twitter. After all, it’s how we got started. We’ve seen how incredibly powerful it can be to convey a message, bring people together and grow a film’s audience.

It can also be a powerhouse when it comes to spreading the word about your film during a crowdfunding campaign. In 140 characters you can spread the word, share your vision and have contributors helping to back your creation. We’ve assisted with many crowdfunding campaigns for films, both in pre-production and post-production, and we’ve seen how well Twitter can work for crowdfunding. Most recently we assisted with the successful Kickstarter for Daphne Fisher’s Enough, helping to not only secure the $6K goal but also helping to raise an additional $945.

So how can you, as a filmmaker, harness the little blue bird to help secure the funds you need for your film? Here’s a few tips to help you make the best of Twitter during your crowdfunding campaign:

Make the most of the 140: 140 characters doesn’t seem like a lot to work with, but it can be done! The link to your crowdfunding campaign generally tends to be quite short, but if you want to Tweet things like trailers, links to interviews etc you can’t go wrong with free link shortening services like Ow.ly. Thankfully images are now no longer included in the character amount, which means you can add images to your Tweet without compromising the amount of characters you have left.

Spam is a meat product, not a crowdfunding tactic: imagine you’re staying in a small motel. It’s 6:00am in the morning and there’s a knock at the door. You open the door and immediately, without greeting, someone says: “help me crowdfund my film!”

You’re annoyed and close the door, hoping to get back to sleep, but because you’re in a small motel with no soundproofing you end up hearing every other room in the hotel being harassed by this random doorknocker, piping up with: “help me crowdfund my film!” every time the door is opened. Wouldn’t that infuriate you?

Time and again we’ve seen people who use this tactic for crowdfunding: they Tweet at every one of their followers (and often people who aren’t followers at all) one by one with the exact same message. There are problems with this tactic: 1) it takes the ‘social’ out of ‘social media’ and 2)if people are following you, they’re seeing the same Tweet over and over again, sent to various people. At best, people might mute you on their Twitter feed. At worst, they’ll block you.

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Storyteller, tell your story: you are, by nature, a storyteller. You know your film has an important story to tell. Here’s where you can use Twitter to your advantage to make your followers take notice, contribute to your campaign and spread the word themselves.

Let people know your “why”: hopefully this will come through in your pitch video, so don’t be afraid to share the pitch vid via Twitter.

Behind the scenes footage and photos are particularly effective as well- you would be amazed at how many people genuinely appreciate being shown the inner workings of a film.

People feel included if they get a glimpse into your world. Tweets with images tend to get a better response with followers, so share a range of images: concept art, a peek at the script, images of the (undoubtedly) fantastic perks available at your campaign, poster art…there are endless possibilities.

As well as sharing your own story and filmmaking journey, make sure you share the story of the film itself. Teaser trailers, storyboards, stills from your film….they all serve to tantalize your audience and bring them to your campaign to help make it a success.

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Manners are the New Black: it may be a social media platform, but don’t forget to thank your backers, re-tweeters and fans! An attitude of gratitude goes a long way with your followers. Think about really creative ways of thanking them; perhaps a quick update video on your campaign page thanking each of your contributors…get creative with your gratitude and you will see results.

Where’s the beef? Not on your timeline: a short word on Twitter trolls, but you know this already: don’t engage. Just block them and move along.

Most importantly- have fun. The crowdfunding process can be stressful at times, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and fun, especially when you’re using Twitter to assist with your campaign efforts. Using Twitter in creative ways for your campaign can help you to push that little progress bar right past the 100% mark. Happy crowdfunding!

Want sparkling publicity and digital marketing for your film? Check out what we offer HERE, or download our services pamphlet HERE.

It’s A Marathon, Not a Sprint: Looking After Yourself During a Crowdfunding Campaign

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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!

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Photo credit: Davide Ragusa

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.

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Photo Credit: Nomao Saeki

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!

Want to know more about our PR and social media marketing services for film? Download our information pamphlet HERE

THE LAST: The Barber Brothers’ Campaign is On Point With Social Media

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Now, Film Sprites PR is not handling publicity or digital marketing for the Barber Brothers’ crowdfunding campaign for their film The Last, but it’s been a pleasure seeing their Tweets pop up in my feed because they are so on point with social media for their campaign. When I see filmmakers that truly understand how to harness social media for their films, you bet I’m going to shout it from the rooftops. What makes me so gleeful about the campaign’s social media and crowdfunding page? I’m going to break it down for you:

1. They bring value: when you contribute to any campaign there’s always perks involved, from the tangible (like t-shirts, scripts, etc) through to the experiential (a day on set, a Skype call with the director etc). But the campaign for The Last doubles the value with a free autographed poster for every 20th supporter. Talk about doubling the good karma!

2. They don’t have to ‘beg’ for contributions or sharing of the campaign: a while back I wrote a post that talked about the fact that Spam is a meat product, not a social media tactic for your crowdfunding campaign. The Barber Brothers know their worth. They know that the film they are creating will resonate with the right people. They don’t have to ‘beg’ for contributions or for people to share the campaign. There are far too many people out there who will spam every single follower on their feed with the same link, desperately hoping for a retweet and/or contribution. Instead, the Barber Brothers entice you to the campaign with engaging, exciting content: professional graphics showcasing the perks, punchy tweets and film teasers.

3. Their passion for their work shows through: authenticity is key when it comes to any endeavour, and the GoFundMe page for The Last is crackling with the passion the Barber Brothers have for filmmaking. From the clever and energetic copy written for each reward level, through to information about themselves as filmmakers, it’s genuinely dynamic.

Enough of my chatter though- you can support the campaign HERE