Producers are increasingly turning to crowdfunding as a way to find short film funding. In the LGBT community, there is real appetite for more content showing women loving women on screen. If you can tap into this potential audience it is possible to get them on board for some financial contribution; and it also doubles up as pre-production marketing and is a useful way to start building your audience and potential fan base.

However, crowdfunding is not to be undertaken lightly. It is not just a case of publishing your campaign, sharing once on social media and watching the money come in… this guide will help you to understand how to get the most out of crowdfunding.

There are four main parts to crowdfunding: (1) Pitching (2) Perks (3) Promotion and (4) Personalisation.

Pitching

Your pitch should show your passion in the project, convey what the viewers will expect to see and generate interest that is strong enough that the individual is compelled to support you financially (and/or share it!).

You should 100{c7169d3fc74abcfb7f9e4a0de7d059aeb33b51442cb2f06ba31e13651e66f4af} include a video with you (and any confirmed cast/key crew) talking about the project. Keep it concise, and include your personality! Lesbian and bisexual women connect far better with other LBQ women rather than a company or group that they don’t know.

Tease some details of the film, perhaps film your pitch in a sample location, give some detail about budget and timeline and of coures introduce the perks!

Be creative – after all you are showcasing your filmmaking skills so include some shots to show what kind of filmmaking you are offering.

The final part, is the most important to get right – the call to action. What do you want from the viewer? Yes, a donation is definitely the core aim here, but also ask them to share it – after all the more people you can reach, the more donations you will receive – and word of mouth is an amazing recommendation.

Perks

Perks are a core part of crowdfunding. As a thank you for a donation, you offer something in return.

It is important to ensure that your perk cost to donation ratio is correct. What we mean by that is if you are giving away something that has a physical cost to produce (such as a signed production photo), remember to factor in the costs (photographer, printing, postage). All too often I see perks that barely cover the cost, and so you have to wonder where the benefit is. Make sure your perks are realistic.

Perks that are free to produce, but also that make you job easier, or help you to market the crowdfunder are great. A free thanks for social media for example. Takes seconds, costs nothing – and it markets your crowdfunder further! (For this reason this perk should be executed immediately for maximum impact so make sure you are collecting social handles and engaging immediately).

Promotion

There are some amazing people out there who do look for projects to support. But remember how many projects are on these platforms, and how likely they will choose yours, or that those people are in your targeted audience.

You must put in the leg work to promote your crowdfunding campaign.

Most of your support will come from your community. As much as 40{c7169d3fc74abcfb7f9e4a0de7d059aeb33b51442cb2f06ba31e13651e66f4af} of a campaign’s initial funding most commonly comes from people who know those involved in the crowdfunder. In addition, campaigns that launch and get a good chunk of funding in the first few days often benefits from additional promotion on the crowdfunding site as the algorithms see these as popular projects. Line up a few key people who want to support you ready to donate the moment the campaign goes live.

Engagement is key. Think of your campaign as a bicycle, to keep moving forward you need to keep turning the peddles. The faster your turn, the faster you go. The same applies to your campaign. Don’t overlook emails and organic search campaigns for promoting your campaign. Social media has the lowest rate of return. Email still leads the pack in online promotion. Nothing beats face to face engagement however.

Many hands make light work; and multiple voices give the project more credibility so ensure that the cast and crew are all ready to promote the campaign. If necessary give them all the necessary information ready-written; or offer to take over their social media and do it for them!

Personalisation

We said it earlier in this article, but we can’t say it enough. People give to people far more easily than they give to organisations. That is particularly the case for the lesbian and bisexual community who can be extremely loyal and supportive. Personalising your campaign; humanising it and relating to your community and potential audience is what will bring your project to life.

Good luck, and if you are running a crowdfunding campaign, let us know so we can promote it to our network and list it on our crowdfunding page!