If you’re considering filming a crowdfunding video, you may only have one chance to get it right. Jo Breeze, our team’s expert crowdfunding consultant has been working with creators since 2014 to get their campaigns funded, and in that time she has seen what gets people’s attention – and what doesn’t.
We asked Jo for her top 5 tips when it comes to setting up a successful crowdfunding campaign and, sure enough, her top advice is to include a video! Read on for Jo’s tips.
A crowdfunding video will help your campaign get funded at far higher rates than those without – some analysis suggests a project could be 85% more likely to succeed with a video rather than without. But there are a few common features to the most effective crowdfunding pitch videos – here are my top five crowdfunding video tips:
1. Make the first 30 seconds count
We’ve all got short attention spans these days. Once your crowdfunding campaign is live, you may have access to video stats which show you just how fast viewers drop away. If someone clicks away after the first thirty seconds of your crowdfunding video, make sure they already know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Use the remaining few minutes – and it’s still only a few, remember to keep your pitch comfortably under three minutes – to go into more detail, to build their excitement, to make them feel part of the team.
2. Solve their problem
Your backers won’t support you because your project is personally fulfilling for you (even if it is). They won’t back it because it looks beautiful or clever or exciting (even if it does). They’ll back it because it solves a problem they already have – even if they haven’t recognised it yet. You just need to figure out what that problem is.
If you’re selling a product, it might be easy, but for something more intangible, like a theatre performance or a community venue, it might be harder to define. It might reassure backers about a social concern (where do at-risk queer teenagers go to socialise? We’re building an LGBT community centre!) or a personal concern (do you wonder if your kids eat healthily enough? We’re creating child-friendly cookbooks to give to schools!), or it might be a cultural project that inspires them. Use this idea to tell a story with your video; present the problem and then show your solution.
3. Subtitles and captions
This isn’t only valuable for accessibility reasons. Any of your prospective backers might hit the link to your campaign when they’re not able to listen to sound – on public transport, on their phone at work, settling kids to sleep… if they can still watch the video and read the subtitles, you will still have their attention. Some platforms let you add subtitles yourself, but if you’re able to do it as part of the film-making process it’ll mean you can integrate them more effectively into your video – and make sure they’re perfectly positioned without interfering with the action.
4. Project AND people
Show yourself – and your project! Make sure you get your face on the screen; this is your opportunity to make a personal connection with your backers, much more than words on a page. Let them see how passionate you are about this, let them want to hear more from you. If it helps you feel comfortable in front of the camera, you can try pre-scripting what you want to say, or you could ask a friend to interview you so you can talk more naturally – don’t worry if you talk far longer than your video will be, it’s better to edit it down than to realise you don’t have the footage you need.
But don’t forget to include the project too – if you have footage of a product in action, a band performing, a festival or community event in full swing, include it. If you don’t have a video of it yet, try using high-quality photos to give your potential backers a clearer sense of what they’ll be supporting, and give it a voiceover to talk about how the project will develop. An experienced videographer can help you work out what would look good as part of a video.
5. Be honest
Your backers want to be part of your story. They want to invest – not just financially, but emotionally. Show your passion, show your excitement, but also don’t be afraid to share your vulnerability in your crowdfunding video. Explain why you’ve tried to get this funded through other routes but had no luck; explain what it will mean to the communities you work with to get this off the ground, and why it’s so important it succeeds. A crowdfunding video doesn’t need to be a big-budget epic to get your point across, and with good light and good sound you can get a long way – if you’re not a major multinational corporation, you don’t have to pretend to be.
Making a crowdfunding video doesn’t need to be intimidating – it’s a chance for you to make a real connection with your potential backers, and show off what you’re doing in its best light. With a bit of planning and some careful thought, you can make a compelling and powerful video to support your campaign.
Would you like to chat about your crowdfunding video?
We hope you’re now closer to nailing that crowdfunding video script. Do get in touch if you have any questions or wish to request a quote. We’re always happy to help with any queries.