CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN VIDEO

Your crowdfunding campaign video is your window to the world. It’s the first impression your Backers will get of your project. There is no doubt about the effectiveness of crowdfunding campaign videos.

Projects with a video are up to 20% more likely to succeed than those without one.

lightbulb 35 by 37While there are many things you can do to ensure the success of your project, your video really is the number one thing you need to get right.

It’s the first thing people encounter with your project. They will turn away if it’s too long, too boring, unclear, or badly produced.

Content

checklist-icon 48 by 48Your video should be less than 3 minutes long (we have seen amazing 1-min videos!), and it should capture attention straight away. It takes a person

about 15 seconds to decide if they will watch a video or not. Really. Go look up some crowdfunding projects on StudentBackr, Kickstarter, or

Indiegogo and play the video. Pay attention to yourself. When do you get bored? How long would you watch the video for? If you watch right to the end, ask

yourself why. If you want to stop watching early: question the reasons for this as well. You’re going to spend a lot of time pushing people to the page. Keep things

snappy so that your Backers watch right to the end. There are three ingredients to a good crowdfunding video: You, your passion, and your project. Crowdfunding is

about people and connection. Your Backers want to know what, and who, they are supporting.The great thing about video is that you have the ability to show

AND tell. You don’t have to be talking to a camera for the entire video. It’s good to intersperse with footage of things related to your project, to your life or even

other original content such as a cartoon, meme, or funny animation.

What to say

  • Introduce yourself – address one Backer (not a group). This is you connecting with another person through the medium of video.
  • Tell your story – what are you doing? Why are you doing it?
  • Show us your life – your campus and you hard at work!

What NOT to say

There are some phrases which seriously harm your chances of success. The main theme is always this:

  • Be positive. Talk about what will happen when you are funded. Avoid saying what happens if you aren’t successful.
  • Be optimistic. Avoid the phrase “even a dollar” at all costs! Don’t beg for money, you only need to request openly and honestly.

The Ask

You might feel a bit weird about asking for money. We get it, most people do.

One of the ways to minimize this feeling is to only do it once: in your video. That way, you can concentrate on getting people TO your page, rather than worrying about asking for money on each post you put on Facebook, or each email you send.

All your future communication will be about getting people to get on your page a see the video.

lightbulb 35 by 37The video (and the rest of the content) has to serve to convert these simple “viewers” into “Backers”. Be humble, positive, and grateful. Thank people in your video for the pledges they are about to make.

 

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Kelly’s putting a lot of time into her crowdfunding campaign video. She knows that this is the thing that will convert a “viewer” into a “Backer”.

She has played around with a few versions of her ‘ask’. After getting feedback from a couple of trusted friends, she decides to close her video with:

“This is the last step I need to reach my dream of making a positive impact on our environment. Please help me to help the planet by making a donation today.”

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Planning your video

Checklist-icon 48 by 48Writing a script

Writing a script is always the best place to start.

Begin with the following 5 questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you trying to do?
  • Why are you doing it?
  • How can people help you?
  • What are you offering in return?

Add any other questions you think will help build context around your project.

You’ll notice these are really similar to the questions you answered right at the beginning. Start with what you wrote down then.

Answer them in a Word Document, and start weaving in your ideas for a video. Have a look at how these creators have explained their projects:

Hayley Yu – Let’s Eat

Chris Ofanoa – Dance Apprenticeship

Brylee – Brent Street

 

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Here’s what Kelly wrote as the outline for her script:

Hi my name is Kelly Smith and I am 24 years old. I’ve just finished my masters in Earth, Environmental & Ocean Studies, and I’m about to start my PhD in Environmental Policy and Development.

I’m passionate about the environment. I grew up in a coastal town and I’ve seen the changes in my environment over my own lifetime. The changes from a rural to urban town have resulted in many impacts on the coast that concern me. My research focuses on this change, and what it means for policy planning and the future.

As part of my studies, I need to go on two research trips: one to visit aquatic farms in England and Norway, and one to a European research conference in Brussels.

The changes in the last 20 years have undoubtedly impacted the environment – the big questions are by how much, and whether this will have larger impacts on other parts of the ecosystem.

My studies will help us understand what’s going on, and provide some ideas as to how we may be able to minimise any negative effects.

In return for your donation, you can have your name published in the acknowledgements of my PhD. But if you want something even more enticing, you can also get your hands on my infamous triple-chocolate-chip cookies!

This is the last step I need to reach my dream of making a positive impact on our environment. Please help me to help the planet by making a donation today!

If you want to get more creative, go for it! Just remember to cover each of the questions at some point. Don’t sacrifice clarity or quality for creativity.

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Planning your shots

Just standing in front of a camera isn’t enough. Show your viewers some action.

Split up the content of your video into “shots”. You might do some of the video as action shots with voiceover, while other bits might be someone talking directly to the camera.

Storyboard

A storyboard helps you get all the shots you need to get at one time. It will also help your editor to put together your video later on.

Use the storyboard supplied here to download the template. For each shot you planned, draw a quick stick figure outline of the shot you want, and reference the shot number.

Remember to have a copy of the storyboard with you when you film so you can note any changes to shots.

crowdfunding campaign video story board 1.1

 

Filming Your Video

filmicon250% of your video’s quality is in the visual, the other 50% is in the audio. The truth is, very few people will notice the quality of your video once it’s above a certain point but they will notice bad quality. A poorly created video is harder to watch, and unconsciously, it tells your Backers that you’re not dedicated to your cause, or you do a poor job. You don’t need to go out and hire a professional film crew you can make a quality video using a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera. If you’re making your video yourself, here are some simple tips that will help you to create a quality video.

Visual

  • Ensure you are well lit. Turn the lights on in the room so that you have even lighting between takes.
  • Pick a friendly background. Choose an inoffensive background. A plain white wall or a relaxing space works well. You could also film in a location special to your project.
  • Look directly into the lens of the camera while talking. This can take a while to get used to, but remember – the people who are backing you want to make eye contact. The only way to do this is to look right down the barrel and remember who is on the other side. It builds trust.
  • Look good. Take time to put on some nice clothes that represent who you are. You don’t have to wear a full business get-up, but don’t just roll out of bed and film a video either! Do your hair and makeup. This is your face to the world. Project confidence, competence and success.
  • Keep still. Your camera, that is. Use a tripod or some other stabilised surface. Having someone hold your phone might be convenient, but unless that person is a statue, you’re going to end up with camera wobbles. A rubber band is all you need to attach your phone to a stick or regular tripod.

Extra Shots

  • When you film your video, it will pay to get additional shots. For example, in some videos there are more angles and shots than indicated in the storyboard.
  • This will give your editor more options for putting your video together. Remember to capture the main footage PLUS some additional ones of places and action.

Audio

  • Film indoors where you can. This will help remove a lot of ambient noise outdoors videos have to put up with. For example, videos filmed outdoors during summer often have cicadas or crickets drowning out the sound of the person talking. Traffic and weather sounds can also be a problem.
  • Listen to the room. Really listen. Is it actually quiet? What’s that hum? Turn the fan off.
  • When you have to film outdoors, think about investing in a plug-in microphone for your smartphone. This relatively small investment can seriously increase the quality of your audio. It ensures every word you say will be crystal clear.
  • For the fancier among you: If you have the option to take sound separately from your visual, you can do that. You will then post-synchronize it during editing. The drawback is that you need a separate (and somewhat expensive) device for that, like these ones.

Voice Over

If you want to use voice over in your video, that’s great! Voice over against moving images is a fantastic way to really show how your project will work. It’s also a great way to improve the audio quality of outdoor footage.
Download a recording app and experiment with recording your audio. Sometimes you need to adjust your distance from the microphone for the best voice overs.

Weird Tip

Record your voice over from under a blanket. Snuggle up with your smartphone under a blanket fort in a quiet room. This will reduce all your outside noise to zero, and help the internal acoustics to give you a truly professional voice over for pennies.

A Note on Copyright

security_icon 48 by 48No one likes having their stuff stolen. Make sure you’re allowed to use all of your images, logos, and music in your video.

This is fairly simple to do.

Ensure you:

  • Avoid logos you don’t own – this includes on your clothing, and on the objects in your video (yes, the Apple Logo on your laptop counts).
  • Buy your backing tracks from a website that gives you a license to use them – try melodyloops.com – or use an original song by an artist who gives you their permission to use it (or use music that is in the public domain, like classical music or music published before 1922 (USA) check out this list of songs you can use from the USA or this list from the UK.
  • Learn about Creative Commons. There are plenty of stock images out there that you can use for free. Often all you have to do is acknowledge the original author in some way.

Creative Commons

Visit the links below to find out more about Creative Commons, and how to find images to use:

Cristopher is using Studentbackr to fund his education. You too can signup and start a project. Sign up