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How to start with crowdfunding? (3 minutes read)

With my own company, I made two very successful crowdfunding campaigns for 2 opera performances. Now that I am a member of the SFM – Six Figure Mentors I feel much more confident about sharing the things I came across while doing these campaigns because the tips I have for you might help you with your own campaign.
I do write this blog in the first place for performing artist, however, if you are not a performing artist but interested in crowdfunding it will still be interesting for you.

Everyone who has ever tried it knows that running a crowdfunding campaign is hard work.
My company ran two campaigns of 21 days and when those were over, my team and I were quite overworked, stressed out, tired but at the same time extremely happy about the results.

Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money when you have an idea, and you want to take action to see your visions come alive on a stage.
Only many crowdfunding campaigns fail due to lack of planning and organization or unrealistic planning because let’s face it guys…we performers are maybe not the best organizers in the world, right? 😉

Here I give you a couple of tips which I hope can help you with your next crowdfunding campaign.

Crowdfunding

1) KNOW YOURSELF
Who are you? Okay, a bunch of performing artists with an idea…great.
Still, I won’t give you a penny for that alone.
So tell me:

What makes your ide, your project, your vision so special?
Does it bring something we haven’t seen or heard yet?
Why do you want to show this to us?
Does it have a personal meaning to you?

What makes the combination of artists so special?
Why did you decide to take on this project together?
Do you have a special connection with each other as a group/ organization?

Do you have a long-term goal for your group/organization, or is it just a once in a lifetime project?
Are there any other organizations involved?
If so, why did you choose to work with them?

You have to know all the answers to the questions. Note that some of the questions are more personal. This is what can make your project unique. This is what can be a total game changer.
DO NOT FORGET TO GO PERSONAL.
People buy from people. People invest in people.
This is the 21st century. We are blind to billboards along the highway, we want real people who are alive and passionate. We want to support people with a dream so important for them that we are sure they will succeed no matter what and we want to be there when they raise the flags of victory.
You should have an idea that is so clear, a vision that is so detailed, you can almost taste it.
The more details, the better. Don’t be afraid to go all in and show what it is you dream of.

1) PLAN IT CAREFULLY
Let’s say you want to put a show together. The first question is: When do you want the première, the first performance,  to happen?
And from there you plan BACKWARDS IN TIME.
Maybe you have to come to realize that your première is too soon.
This is a very important step. With my company, we sometimes went too fast and although we always managed to live up to the expectations, we paid a heavy price for our speed as well (sleepless nights, overworked brains and stressed out bodies)
So be realistic about how much time you need.
Nowadays we want everything fast and everyone is impatient.
Totally understandable of course! You have a brilliant idea and you want it to happen NOW. (Believe me, I know everything about that feeling)  But the beauty is that your idea will still be yours 6 or 12 months later.
So trust me on this:  DO NOT RUSH YOUR TIMELINE!

teamwork, step in

2) BUDGET
So what is your budget? How much money do you need?
Again: be realistic with this.
Yes, we all want 20.000 euro to make our plan come true, but are you going to get that in 21 days?
If you can, I would say combine your crowdfunding with applying for funds from different organizations so your campaign is just  1/4 or 1/3 of the total budget.
I know it is a pain to figure out exactly which funds exist. And to figure out how much they donate every year and what their rules are. But remember that if you figure this out once, you will know it for all your future projects.
*When I started my company we couldn’t apply to any funding so we were really dependant on our crowdfunding campaign. And that was quite scary. More about this after point 5.

3) FANS
Make sure that people know what you are up to. Before your campaign is launched make sure that you are informing friends and relatives that this is something you are gonna do.
This has nothing to do with asking them for money when the campaign is finally up and running.
It has to do with creating “raving fans” for your project. Take them with you in your vision and ideas about your brilliant project. Make sure they get as enthusiastic about it as you are.
I am very passionate about this point. We need fans around us to voice our ideas as well. We can’t do all the work alone. These people might not all be in a position to donate to your campaign but that doesn’t matter. If you have informed them passionately about your plan, they will share your campaign on social media and will tell their friends and family about it.

4) THE FIRST FEW %
Better not to be on 0% for too long. So make sure friends and family who are part of your raving fans and in the position to pledge will do this immediately when your campaign starts. It just looks so much better when it already hit 17 % within 1 day.
(My company had this at our first crowdfunding campaign. We didn’t know what was happening to me! We were thrilled!

5) BUSINESS
If your crowdfunding is running for 21 days make sure that those 21 days are ALL about your campaign.
Everything you do within these days is campaign related.
I do not care if you are ill, tired, auditioning abroad, rehearsing for other things etc.
ALL Energy should be in your campaign.
This is a real business you are running! There is a lot of time, energy, money, sweat, and tears involved. So I would say: You want business? Then treat it like a business!

Campaign days are the days where your project, your idea will reach the next level…or not.
In these days you can plan to pitch your idea for festivals, or plan performances and talk to the audience about your campaign. Also, plan rehearsals in this time and make a video of it which you’ll put it all over social media and any other platform you are using.
Show the fun, the passion and the joy of your project.
Remember that LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE! JOY ATTRACTS JOY!
Make sure you update on your campaign page as well with small video’s and messages, drawings and pictures. Involve your audience, your sponsors in all what is happening during these days.
You are on a mission and you better not fail!
Your campaign is the number one thing on your mind when you wake up and the last thing you think about before you fall asleep.
Don’t take this step lightly. Nothing will happen when you just put it out online and wait for money to come. Do the work for it and it will come back to you.

money

This all said: You see that you will need the TIME to do a successful campaign in both your work and personal life.
If there are other issues going on then wait a bit until that is resolved. You need a free mind to make your financial goal.

*With my first crowdfunding campaign, we wanted to start a new opera company.
We had no money, but apart from a very clear vision we had something else very valuable: We had loyal teammates who would also be part of our performers cast when the company was up and running. This way we shared the burden.
Don’t understand me wrong: If you are on your own, you can totally pull off a successful crowdfunding. It’s just very nice for your mental health if there are others who share your passion and who then also share this burden.

teamwork

I hope these tips will help you set up your next successful crowdfunding campaign.
If you like this blog post, share a comment below! Also, I would appreciate it if you take a look at the other blog posts. There might be something of your interest like How to boost your self-confidence  or  Audition tips.

And if you are wondering how I am creating my free time to write and live the life I love from the moment I wake up till the moment I fall asleep, have a look  here: How to wake up with a smile.
Or check out the how does it work? page and get yourself introduced to Stuart and Jay, my Wonderful mentors who taught me everything about having a business online, working in freedom from anywhere in the world.

Have a wonderful day!

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