Letâ€™s face it. Not all projects are the same. They come in different shapes and sizes with a variety of adjectives to define them. Youâ€™ve got your â€ścoolâ€ť projects, your â€śbig ideaâ€ť projects, your â€śpetâ€ť projects—I could go on and on. But, no matter how your project can be described, if itâ€™s not fundable, itâ€™s a waste of your time.
Now, before we dive in here, letâ€™s take a moment to define â€śprojectâ€ť. Whether it takes shape as a product or a service, a project is something you do or create with the ultimate goal of generating revenue and further establishing your brand.
Hereâ€™s a real world example of how you can make a project fundable:
Before anyone ever hired us to do anything, and I mean anything, we were our very first client. The project, was my debut feature film, â€śPremiumâ€ť, for which we needed to raise over $500,000. This was no small sum for a kid not born with a silver spoon and less than $1,000 in savings. Iâ€™d spent more than five years writing the script, traveling the festival circuit with short films I had directed, and teaming up with a squad of hungry artists and entrepreneurs selected to assist in transitioning the film from script to screen. I had a plan, yes I did! As a matter of fact, you couldnâ€™t tell me that the project wasnâ€™t fundable, but for many years — it simply wasnâ€™t.
Entrepreneurs often consider funding or investment in our projects a preordained reality. We wouldnâ€™t be working on the project if we didnâ€™t think weâ€™d see it through to completion and completion means weâ€™ll secure the funds necessary to execute. But, why then are so many of our friends, colleagues, as well as our very own projects perennial eyesores on the proverbial to-do list? Because we easily fall victim to that all too common entrepreneurial ailment: assuming that people care about our project as much as we do.
All those years, I woke up every single day and thought first about â€śPremiumâ€ť and then about going to the bathroom. I am sure thatâ€™s a little TMI, but it was that serious. What I failed to understand was that no one else shared my obsession. Until I could ignite similar feelings — until I took the time to ponder what aspect of the project would inspire support and investment—Iâ€™d have an un-fundable project on my hands.
After more than 300 meetings across two coasts hadn’t panned out as desired, I decided to take a closer look at our approach. I realized that there were gaps in our presentation that caused potential investors and collaborators to tune out. Once I finally accepted that no one cared about my dream as much as I did, I developed a handful of key strategies that enabled our team to meet our financial goal and cast some amazing talent in our “little film” including Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star Trek).
Click here to see the five key steps my company uses to ensure our projects, as well as the campaigns we create and manage for our clients, are fundable. The same strategies can you a little time and heartache while you work tirelessly to fund your own project: