Crowdfunding: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Last month, I had the amazing opportunity to be involved in an exciting crowdfunding project as the producer, videographer and editor for the Kids Photography Academy Kickstarter campaign video.
If you haven’t heard of crowdfunding, or how it can be a catalyst for launching your business to the next level, you can read more about it at MPowered Marketing. I also had some tips to add on my own blog post about crowdfunding.
Now that the campaign is over, I want to share the success story and some other campaigns that didn’t quite make it.
With a little more than a week left, the campaign was around 70% funded. With Kickstarter, the deal is all or nothing. All the money you ask for must be pledged, or you don’t receive a single cent. The KPA team decided to add a sneak peek at a lesson as an update to the campaign. That was November 22 – a Friday. There was some activity on Friday and Saturday, but not enough to get anyone excited about the final outcome. Then, on Sunday night, a peculiar phenomenon occurred: the numbers started climbing. Fast. Maybe people were opening their emails and seeing the sample lesson. Maybe the panic of having to cross items off the Christmas list started to take hold. Maybe the universe shifted because so many people were rooting for Janet and KPA. We will never know the why, but we know the final number.
It can be heartbreaking to not meet your fundraising goal. The whole process is like rising an emotional pendulum, swinging from being excited to nervous, from hopeful to frustrated, and from exhilarated to hurt. You know you had a great idea, and you have more than 1000 fans/friends on Facebook, so how did you not meet your goal?
The answer may lie in the bones of your campaign. A successful campaign isn’t just reliant on a great idea, or a flashy video, or gorgeous pictures, or comprehensive text. All those elements need to work together seamlessly in order to capture the attention of different personality types. Some people can be persuaded to pledge through video; others may need to read about what you are offering. A great idea is not enough to inspire people to pledge – this Kickstarter campaign failed for two main reasons: poorly shot video and pledge rewards that seem less than stellar or simply over-valued.
When you are asking people for money, be sure that your message is clear and that you deliver that message in a professional fashion. The effort you put into your campaign should be proportionate to your financial goal. Asking for $30,000 and shooting your video with an iPhone is not proportionate. Using poor humor and risky innuendoes is not appropriate when asking for funding to develop a child-safe, non-toxic sunscreen. If you are serious about your campaign, you will attract the right investors.
Crowdfunding, when approached properly, is a great tool for raising capital to get your business off the ground, or to move it to the next level. Consulting the right marketing, video and copy people can make the difference between fully-funded or full-on-flop.