Wednesday 24th April 2024

Top tips for successful crowdfunding


When it comes to starting an exciting new creative project, funding isn’t always the easiest thing to come by. You could go down the government grant route but, unless you’re lucky, this often involves multiple micro-grants which might not always give you enough money to fulfil your goals. You could also take out loans, but this leaves you with the extra stress of paying them all back. Alternatively, you could look for funding from different members of the public – crowdfunding gives you this option.

Crowdfunding is a way to ask for small donations from interested parties – whether you’re creating a short film on a topic that you care about; making a comic for your fans; a new game; or even an invention that you want to get on the market. With crowdfunding, you are not beholden to share holders – only people who are genuinely interested in your project. However, crowdfunding is not easy.

Have a decent social media following

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To be successful at crowdfunding, not only do you have to have a project that enough people care about, but they also have to hear about it, too. Having a large social media following allows you to get your message out there to enough people in a cost effective way. If you have their engagement then they are more likely to donate to your cause.

Create a video

According to Kickstarter, projects that simply have a video get funded 54% of the time, compared with those without who have a success rate of just 39%. A good video will personalise the project, and show that its creators truly care about what they’re doing, thus inspiring confidence in their work.

Create rewards for different levels of funding

Creating rewards can inspire backers to go the extra mile, to give you £10 instead of £5. They give backers the feeling that they’re getting something physical back from supporting your project. Rewards can vary from a simple bi-product of your project, like a DVD of your film, or something more personalised like a postcard thanking them for their support. Last year, my partner backed this Kickstarter project to create Bernie Sanders dolls. Bernie lost to Hilary (albeit through dishonest means), who lost to Donald Trump – but hey, we still have that Bernie Sanders doll!

Deliver on your project

There are a few infamous projects, such as that run by Feminist Frequency vlogger, Anita Sarkeesian in 2012. Anita’s project Tropes vs. Women is still yet to see completion of its 12 10-20 minute long video series, despite being more than fully funded. Tech company SCiO is also yet to deliver on a project that was funded in 2014. For obvious reasons, not delivering on a financially backed promise can have negative repercussions for any future projects that you may want to embark on, so it’s a good idea to evaluate your time-scale and make a realistic prediction when it comes to your projected delivery date.

Although crowdfunding is tricky, with a little patience, dedication, and the right attitude it is achievable! It does, however, require a lot of time and hard work.

Maddy Sutherland

Maddy is a freelance illustrator who lives in Glasgow. She's recently graduated and is working hard to make ends meet. Self-employed? Read Maddy's experiences here.

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