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Be Inspired Films: Creating a Successful Crowdfunding Video

Lara Barbier is a writer/producer for Be Inspired Films, an award winning video production company aiming to bring great ideas to life and tell stories that matter through the creation of broadcast quality video and animation.

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So, you’ve got that kick-ass idea, and you’re ready to harness the power of crowd funding! That’s great. Crowdfunding is potentially a really powerful way for the average person or small organization to launch their music, game, film or product without the traditional finance and commercial backing that multi-nationals and corporations have. It can also be a great way to get people to support a cause.

However launching a successful campaign isn’t always straightforward, in fact, according to Crowdfunding Academy , around 60% of projects fail.  A successful campaign requires lots of planning, a well thought through timeline, some very important social media sharing triggers, a little bit of luck and – a killer video!

As Kickstarter succinctly puts, projects with a video are 50% more likely to succeed than those without, while John Vaskis an Indiegogo ‘Games Guru’ says that campaigns with videos raise, on average, 114 per cent more than those without.

VideoKnowHow_Logo 300dpiThe video is the elevator pitch – it’s going to tell your story and should entertain, but also make people care and want to be involved in the process – preferably by a pledge and/or by sharing your project with their friends.

It doesn’t matter if you’re recording on an iPhone or on a top-range DSLR – take time to plan your video before going anywhere near that shiny recording device.  Watch lots of other crowd funding videos, both successful and not, and think about why they did or did not work.

Once you’ve done your research you’ll want to write out a script and shot list, and practice what you’re going to say, so it sounds engaging and sincere. Reel SEO offers these five points as the backbone for the structure of your crowd-funding video:

  • About You
  • Your Project’s Story
  • Rewards
  • Possible Scenarios
  • Final Call-To-Action

We would probably add a couple of things to that. It can also be very powerful to clearly define the problem you are seeking to solve through what you are doing and then offer your solution, this can get people on board if they can identify with the problem. While it’s great to include possible rewards – don’t list them all! Pick your top two to three.

This leads to the next point – keep your video short and sweet.  You need to be respectful of your viewer’s time – and grab their imagination up front. As Entrepreneur.com points out, you have the rest of the project page to expand on the details, don’t try and cram it all into the video!

You don’t have to be the next Michael Bay to make a great video. According to Kickstarter, it doesn’t have to perfect, it just has to be you. That said, you do need your videos to be of a good enough quality to capture and keep the attention of your audience. Poor sound and lighting can be a big turn off, just as much as an unplanned, monotone speech.

But don’t be afraid to try out bold ideas or mix it up. The best place to try out innovative ideas is usually at the start of your video says Crowdsourcing.org, and cites The Bridge as a good example launching straight into the action, before going to the who, how, when, why of the film project. Be creative – but also test it out on people who will tell you straight up if it works for them (your mum does not count)!

Finally, have some fun – and let your enthusiasm and passion shine through – this project means a lot to you and perhaps exists because of the way you or your friends and family live life. A great example of this is Gotham Bicycle Defense, who created a theft resistant bike light after a friend was hit by car after having his light stolen one night.  Or “Boombot REX Ultraportable Speaker” campaign on Kickstarter , which, as Crowdsourcing.org point out, sells an out-doors lifestyle just as much as the product.

So, with all this in mind, grab that note pad get planning and from Be Inspired Films and VideoKnowHow – best of luck with your crowd-funding video!

Click here to watch the great video that Be Inspired Films created for the Student Hubs’ Emerge conference held at the Skoll Centre.

Connect on social media – @beinspiredfilms and @videoknowhow