I recently had a short film, Avarice, on IndieGoGo to raise $3,000 for the post-production phase of the film. We raised it in a matter of days. What to know how we did it?

Let me start by saying that this is meant to be used in addition to the campaign tips that IndieGoGo has posted on their website. That’s the best first step I could suggest to anyone who is thinking about starting a campaign.

Have Something to Show

We tried raising money for this film before we began shooting (not using IndieGoGo), and I quickly learned that the only people who would be interested in donating to a film they knew nothing about would be people who knew me very well. And let me tell you, not many people donated money.

However, when we hit a wall in post-production and knew we needed money to finish, we had already filmed the entire movie. We had tons of material to show for our vision, including a trailer and some behind the scenes videos. Anyone interested in being a part of this project had a clear vision of what they were donating to.

A lot of people talk big about making a movie, but if you actually have something to show, be it storyboards or production footage, that’s more worth a donor’s time and financial support.

Make Your Campaign Video Compelling

There are a lot of really good independent films out there that no one necessarily cares about, so why should ours be any different? Producer Dan Baker and I tossed around a few ideas about making a video to show people who we are and that they wouldn’t just be investing in this one project, but a vision that goes beyond a single film.

Before we made the video, we asked ourselves why people should invest in this. We focused on the benefit of what people would get out of donating to the project, which went farther than the perks. Basically, we focused on the heart of what we were trying to do and offered people the chance to be a part of it. And we didn’t take ourselves too seriously, either:

Make an Execution Plan for Each Week of Your Campaign

A lot of time and effort went into the preparation for our campaign before we went live. Everything we needed was made and planned ahead of time so when the campaign went live, we just had to sit back and post the new material.

Our strategy was to release a new video each week, highlighting different aspects of the film. If you just throw up some information and expect people to care, think again. The more time and effort you put into your campaign strategy beforehand, the better off you will be.

Make Sure You Capitalize on the Traffic Your Project is Generating

Your project will get a lot of attention while your campaign is live (assuming you put some time and effort into your campaign).  It’s a really good idea to make sure you capture all the fans you can get through email sign ups and Facebook and Twitter follows.  We are constantly looking for an audience for our projects, so it’s good to set that up in advance to make sure you don’t lose potential fans.

So hopefully those experiences will help some of you while trying to fund your project, whether you use IndieGoGo, Kickstarter or traditional means. I don’t think there is a certain formula to reaching your goal, but it’s always nice to find out how other people did it. Good luck!

If you’ve had success on IndieGoGo, how did you do it? What are some mistakes to avoid?

Rachel M Taylor

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Rachel is a writer/director. She loves character driven movies and really good cheese.

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