Crowdfunding can take a lot of time and energy; but if implemented correctly can reach your funding target.

We’ve listed 5 key pitfalls to avoid to help you create a successful campaign for your lesbian or bisexual production.

1. Preparation

Poor preparation leads to poor performance.

Many crowdfunding platforms give extra boosts and publicity to campaigns that hit the ground running and get 20{c7169d3fc74abcfb7f9e4a0de7d059aeb33b51442cb2f06ba31e13651e66f4af} of their donations in the first week or so. Many people just publish their campaign and then look for supporters. This costs vital free exposure.

Don’t just go with a platform because someone else did, or because you think it is the most well-known. The different crowdfunding platforms have different features. Depending in whether you want to get any money, or just get the money if you reach your target will determine which platform you use.

2. Perks

Perks are not to be underestimated or undervalued.

I’ve viewed countless campaigns where the perk prices have been set low, and I struggle to see how the production would receive any funds to support the actual work after the cost of delivering the perk. Additionally I often see high quality perks under-valued. Don’t sell an advance screening or exclusive content too cheap. Anything exclusive, early or special is valuable so price it that way!

£25 is a popular donation amount. Make sure that you have something fairly popular in this area, but that should be easy to multiply for maximum availability. Perhaps a signed cast photo. £100 perks make up the majority of major donations and can raise around 30{c7169d3fc74abcfb7f9e4a0de7d059aeb33b51442cb2f06ba31e13651e66f4af} of your total. 

A first level perk should always be a social media shout out. This should be activated within 12 hours of receipt – because it is free marketing! Tagging the person makes them feel special, will likely lead to a share and so will reach their friends and family, who are also potential donors. Don’t wait until the campaign is over to send these vital messages out.

3. Timing

If you are offering the opportunity to visit the set, be an extra, have product placement then check your timings!

I’ve seen countless campaigns where shooting has taken place either during the crowdfunding campaign, or straight after. If someone is paying to attend or feature, you need to be able to coordinate their attendance so a good lead time is needed.

It is also important to have a planned schedule of updates for the campaign. Plan these in advance and publish them regularly. It isn’t good enough to publish one update at the beginning and another at the end. A small donor might decide to make a larger second donation if they can see momentum is growing.

4. Momentum

Don’t think that once your campaign is live that it will run itself. Make sure you have time to commit to managing it daily. All members of cast and crew should be on board to promote and support the campaign. Social media thanks need to go out quickly and the more you use social media the more people are likely to find out about your campaign. Don’t be afraid to tweet about every backer as brand recognition is the most popular marketing tool Your production should have a clear brand and the more people see it, the more they will think it is worthwhile to back it.

Campaigns that use social media daily to update their campaign progress raise 100{c7169d3fc74abcfb7f9e4a0de7d059aeb33b51442cb2f06ba31e13651e66f4af} more money than those that don’t!

5. The personal touch

Make sure that your campaign is personal, engaging and clear. I’ve seen campaigns where the information is just in text format, is all business or where it really isn’t clear what the money is being used for.  The more detail you can give, the better for helping to get donors.

Share a bit about your passion for the project and why you’re doing it. This humanises the project and allows readers or watchers to find something in common and gain a connection which will increase the liklihood of donation.

Clearly detail where the money is going, and how you will make every penny count. Explain what your bare minimum is, and what you can do if you exceed your target. Be positive and talk about it as if it will definitely happen!

Good luck!