Video is at the heart of every great Kickstarter campaign and if you don't have a video and make an "ask" your chances of being funded are really decreased. According to Kickstarter, videos are not required to launch a campaign, but projects with a video succeed at a much higher rate (50% vs. 30%), and they also raise more money. I have met many entrepreneurs who have great ideas and understand that they need a good video in order to get crowd funding, but many of them don't know where to start. Kickstarter has provided some basic guidelines and I am going to expand on them.
1.Tell The Audience Who You Are
If we don't know who you are why should we even think about contributing to you? This is so basic, but many people start by talking about the project and not tell us who you are and why you are asking for funding.
2. Tell The Story Behind The Campaign
Stories rule the day. I have rarely tuned out a good story, especially if it's about a start up and how far you have come. Everyone loves the "underdog" or "rags to riches" story. Talk about the idea and how you have came up with your product or service.
3. Come Right Out and Ask For Support
This is the called the "ask" it is purposely sandwiched here on purpose. You don't want to start off about talking or seeming desperate for money. Visuals or a graphic showing what you will do with the money works well, but if you don't have the expertise in creating this consider using a service like fiverr.com to get graphics created cheaply.
4. Talk About How Awesome Your Rewards Are
Rewards, swag, stuff or whatever you want to call it is at the heart of any crowd funding campaign. Most people donate because they believe in a product, but the better reward, the higher donation may come in. In the Good News Baltimore successful campaign, they used b-roll and images throughout showing off their products as rewards.
5. Express The Urgency Of Donating
Explain that if you don't reach your goal, you'll get nothing, and everyone will be sad. This is one of the things that scares many people away from Kickstarter, but it also causes what I call, "the fierce urgency of now." Your video must communicate if people don't donate within your funding window you will receive nothing. Believe it or not, there are many people who still don't understand crowd funding and your video should give a "Cliff's Notes" view.
6. Thank Everyone!
That's a basic request, but it's often forgotten. We live in a world where everyone is competing for our attention and the least you can do is say thanks for watching. This can be filmed with your product team or with a cute baby or family or just about anything creative. The key is to thank them for watching and even considering your campaign.
Some bonus technical tips!
7. Good Quality Audio Is Essential
Of course lighting and good video are important, but if you don't have the budget to get professional sound, I suggest you get a RØDE smartav and use it with your mobile device. I used it to create my video on this post.
8. A Tripod And A Steady Shot Wins
Don't try to be fancy with pans and zooms, especially if you are new to using a camera. A tripod that is stable is preferred over constant camera movement.
9. Think Carefully About Your Backdrop
Realtor's know the golden rule of selling a house, location, location location. As video content creators we need to pay close attention to the location where we film our kickstarted videos. People make instant judgements based on where you are filming and how you look.
10. Keep Your Video Short And No Jump Cuts Please
Most videos that are under 5 minutes work best. I know it may seem so hard to ask for thousands of dollars with a 2-3 minute video. Also consider doing a series of videos during your funding term.
Video is a powerful medium to help Kickstart your funding campaign? What other tips should I have included or things you have used for your own crowd funding video.