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Documentary Crowdfunding Tips: How To Reach $10,000 In Two Weeks On Kickstarter

Documentary Crowdfunding Tips: How To Reach $10,000 In Two Weeks On Kickstarter
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Guest Post By: Iris Lai
Publish Date: June 28, 2017

I am part of a small production team that has produced three documentaries: Design & Thinking(2012)Maker(2014), and now Hanzi(2017).

The first and the second movies were both successfully funded on Kickstarter, fulfilled on time, and went on to inspire many audiences worldwide.

Now we're funding our third film Hanzi on Kickstarter, in which we reached (and then surpassed) our goal of $10,000 in 2 weeks after the launch. 



Being a 3-time successful creator on Kickstarter, we'd like to share some tips to help you succeed with your own campaign: 



Documentary Crowdfunding Tips

Documentary Crowdfunding Tips: How To Reach $10,000 In Two Weeks On Kickstarter


1. Start to build the audience at least a month beforehand: using social media like Facebook, twitter, or Instagram, you can start collect people's interests and emails before launch. You need to find out who your target audiences are and what they thought about your project in the beginning. That's also important for estimating the Kickstarter goal based on the number of people signing up your newsletter. Having an established audience beforehand is helpful to the launch.

2. Maintain a mailing list who always like your project: keep in touch with all your customers and supporters from previous projects, and tell them you have a new project when launch. Most of our Kickstarter backers are returning backers, and they know you will fulfill on time and have trust in you. That helps create the important first-day push for the project.

3. Have an awesome video: Having an impressive Kickstarter video should be the easy part to filmmakers. We usually use the trailer or teaser of the movie for the Kickstarter video, and treat the whole Kickstarer campaign page as a temporary website, with synopsis, trailer, and everything about the movie. 

4. Find the right press or blogger for the review: after initial excitement for the project, the campaign might get stuck and cool down a bit. This is when we start contacting press or bloggers that are related to our subject. You need people talking about your movie outside your inner circle. 

5. Share the Behind-the-scene stories: people love to hear stories behind the movie, like how you choose your interviewees, how you manage filming cross countries, and even how to design your movie poster or T-shirt. Showing these stories also tells people that you have progress in the way.

6. Engage the backers: they are your strongest champions and willing to spread the words for you more than any other people. Have a conversation with them, care about their feedback and comments, and let them feel being part of the creating process. 

7. Stay super active all the way: the most important tip is to stay active so people remember you're around. Post Kickstarter updates at least once very week, send newsletter to remind (but not spam) people your progress, and contact any possible supporters or partner every day. Let people know you're passionate about your project, and they'll pay attention to it.

After all, it's how we can make the best documentary that really matters. Have a faith in your project, and I'm sure you'll get the great feedback back to you.


Documentary Crowdfunding Tips: How To Reach $10,000 In Two Weeks On Kickstarter


Our new project is still on Kickstarter with its final push: http://kck.st/2rcFD8C. Come visit us and share your thought with us, and help us spread the words about the project. Thanks so much.:) 



About The Author

Iris Lai is a film producer and editor based in Taipei City, Taiwan. She co-founded a small studio Muris and produced three documentaries, Design & Thinking, Maker, and Hanzi. With strong interest on exploring more creativity related films, she will lead the studio continue to produce documentaries or narratives to further explore creativity and innovation.



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