Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the biggest names in crowdsourcing and YouTubers and other creators are turning to them to raise funds for projects that are beyond their funding expectations like documentaries or feature-length films. Web series like “Dick Figures” and YouTube personalities like Smosh and Hannah Hart have managed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars towards their respective projects by enlisting their large social media followings to pitch in and help. Although Kickstarter is the more prominent of the two major crowdsourcing sites, Indiegogo has been a favorite for YouTubers because they get to keep the money they raised instead of an all-for-nothing plan that Kickstarter institutes.
Planning ahead before setting up an account with Kickstarter and Indiegogo is important for creators if they want to successfully reach their goals in raising money through their fans. Here are five tips YouTube creators should follow when starting their crowdfunding project.
1. Enlist your built-in social media following first
Before embarking on a crowdfunding campaign, creators should leverage their current social media following to their advantage. Having a large social media following makes it more likely for the project to get the funding it needs. Creators should tease their fans about the crowdfunding project before it goes live to ensure that they will be the first to support it.
2. Be reasonable with your budget expectations
Your budget expectations should be closely linked to your social media following. It’s fine for creators to be ambitious, but they must have reasonable expectations that their following will pull through for them. If a creator has only 2,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, the chances that a $4 million Kickstarter campaign for a feature-length film will succeed is very slim – unless a few of their fans pitch in $500,000 each.
3. Always be transparent
Kickstarter and Indiegogo encourage creators to update their donors about the status of their fundraiser through blogging. That tool is essential to ensure that donors’ money is being used properly and will add more trust between the creator and the donor for future crowdsourcing projects.
4. Compel the audience with a trailer
The two-page long project description may get people’s attention, but what really gets people interested in a crowdsourcing project is your trailer. YouTube trailers should be catchy and must give a reason for people to support your project. The trailer should also tell your audience why you need the funding and what you can do for them in terms of recognition and rewards.
5. Entice them with rewards and acknowledgement
No matter how much they’ve donated, it’s important to acknowledge donors’ small or huge contribution through interesting rewards. At the bare minimum, creators should recognize all their contributors in the credits of their finished product, but other ideas for more generous creators include free tickets to a movie premiere, meet-and-greet with the creators and a signed copy of the project.
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