Great storytelling is key to successful fundraising. This 30-day challenge is meant to help you launch a successful, reward-based crowdfunding campaign. In week 1 you learned how to cultivate donors. Now it’s time to focus on telling a great story.
Humans are hardwired to love a great story. Stories inspire us. Stories get retold. We remember stories. As the late Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The same is true with potential donors. They may forget what your company does or the specifics of your business model, but they will remember how they felt when they heard your company’s story.
It’s worth putting the extra time, effort, and money into making sure your campaign tells an aesthetically visual story. In fact, research shows that crowdfunding campaigns with great pitch videos raise four times more funds than those without. A great video can encourage people to contribute and serves as content that your backers can share with their networks.
Turn to Others
Look at other successful crowdfunding campaigns and watch their videos for inspiration. Learn from their experience. LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow campaign raised $5.4 million from over 100,000 backers, exceeding his $1 million target—including a single $1 million donation from actor-writer Seth McFarland (remember the rules in week 1 about bringing in big donors). Check out his string of pre- and post-campaign videos.
Sell a dream
Put yourself in the video. Backers like to hear from the company’s founders about how passionate they are about their business ideas. They need to be convinced that you and your project are worth the contribution. The Pebble Watch raised a historic $10 million Kickstarter with its video pitch.
Create a Storyboard
Find the essence of how your product will change lives. Create a storyboard and script that resonates with the audience you’re targeting.
Keep It Short and Simple
It’s recommended to keep your video to no more than 3 minutes long and make the most of the first 30 seconds. Think about how much you can convey that someone will retain in a short period of time.
Have a Good Picture
You can hire a professional to shoot your video and handle editing to create clean clips for about $500-$800. If you insist on doing it yourself using say your smartphone, make sure the lighting is good and the location is warm, inviting, and enhances the mood of the pitch. No white walls.
Have Good Sound
This almost goes without saying. Sound makes up 50% of the quality of your video. Avoid any background noise; bad sound makes you look incompetent.
Share Across Networks
Share your pitch video on different networks like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube—linking back to the campaign page.