February 14th, 2011
How To Run a Successful Self-Funded Creative Project
The age of the Creative has fully arrived. We are in times when Creatives have the real possibility of identifying an audience for their work and getting funding from that audience.
Using a combination of creative software, free intelligence solutions and free crowd-funding solutions (here and here), Creatives globally can be up an running within 1-2 months on the creative project of their dreams.
THE VALUE OF COMBINING A TARGETED INTEREST GRAPH WITH A CROWD-FUNDING TOOL: When you identify Key Influencers who are passionate about YOUR niche AND their followers, you will have discovered a fertile field in which to plant your crowdfunding campaign. Why? Because these are YOUR people, the ones who LOVE what you love! When you place a Kickstarter or Indegogo project WITHIN a targeted social footprint chock-full of Passionates, funding and momentum occur that much faster. Your Facebook page is GREAT for family and friends to participate BUT you also need to get this project in front of its tribe!
Following is a simple process for getting going:
2. GATHER: your materials: video, photo, music, text.
3. CREATE a promotional video (this one of the MOST important aspects of successfully funding a crowd-funded project).
4. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE/FUNDING SOURCE: Once all of your materials are together and are tightly written, edited and scored, it is time to create the interest graph around your offering. An Interest Graph is a term used to describe the tribe of people who are passionate about the content in YOUR creative offering. While the initial funds for any creative project often come from family and friends, it is a great idea to do a little “intelligence gathering” on your potential audience and funders.
a. THE AUDIENCE WITH AN AUDIENCE: Go to wefollow.com , Research.ly and listorious.com. Type in keywords related to your niche. In both of these free solutions, lists of key influencers will emerge. Those influencers and their followers are YOUR tribe. They are the ones who will be interested in what you have to offer.
b. STUDY SUCCESS: Go to Amazon.com and Last.fm and study “similar products” or “tracks you might like” to get an idea of how Creatives of your stripe are marketing themselves. Study the successes AND the failures.
c. AGGREGATE THE INFLUENCERS: Create a Twitter account and brand it. This Twitter account should be around YOUR niche interest. Do NOT title it the name of your movie or album. Title it more generically and then follow ALL of the key influencers you discovered in wefollow.com and listorious.com. Their content and their audiences will be a very valuable resource for you in the following ways:
i. – As an idea of what is trending
ii.- As a virtual tribe to “drop” your Kickstarter or Indegogo project into. Once you create your project in one of these two funding solutions, you can announce it into the fabric of this niche social footprint. The way to do this is simply to tweet the video you created with a link to the Kickstarter project.
iii.- Feedback on your offering. You can direct members of this niche tribe to your video and get valuable feedback. Remember, the best part about critics is how they refine a creative offering. The best Critics are actually lovers of Creativity and offer constructive feedback. Even blistering Critics are valuable since these individuals shave away the fluff and help one identify potency. Never fear a Critic. Seek out a Critic and seduce him or her through your offering.
5. CREATE THE CAMPAIGN: After creating the Interest Graph (the GENERIC “social footprint” around a microsite based on that genre), it is time to create the Kickstarter or Indegogo project. Both sites have EXCELLENT instructions and are very easy to use.
6. MARKET THE PROJECT through your interest graph, to family and friends, and on all of your social networks. Let people know about your project with short punchy tweet-length messaging that contains bit.ly or ow.ly links leading back to the video on YouTube and to the crowd-funding solution.