The breath-taking results of the kickstarter campaign for a Veronica Mars movie have gotten Hollywood’s attention.
But crowdfunding isn’t just for Hollywood.
It can prove the right avenue for niche projects with a focused—and passionate—audience. And it’s an excellent option for those ready to bypass traditional distribution systems that don’t favor the creator—such as publishing (or movie studios).
To decide if you might be crowd-worthy, start by answering these 5 questions:
Is your idea worthy? You need an idea that has clear benefits you can articulate to users, buyers and supporters. Nothing vague, nothing purely self-serving—you are looking to engage a tribe who will get excited about your project and spread the word. Case in point: the good Samaritan who requested $5,000 for bullied bus driver Karen Klein—word of mouth rocketed his campaign to over $700,000.
Are you ready to receive—and act upon—constructive criticism? This is your chance to market-test a concept—to gauge reaction from potential buyers and tweak or even abandon a project that doesn’t catch fire. This is not for you if you can’t have dialogue with your potential on-line supporters or you’re not ready to admit your project could be improved.
Are you prepared to run a campaign? Like successful political campaigns, this is about getting the word out and engaging like-minded souls to align with you. Which means you don’t just slap up your appeal on kickstarter, but execute a multi-layered marketing and media strategy. Start with compelling video as the centerpiece of your package if you want to maximize your odds. And then be prepared to live and breathe your campaign—from your social media platforms to targeted media outlets to your email signature—if you want to close the deal.
Have you protected your intellectual property? This may mean early patent filings or copyright protections. It means securing all of the URLS and getting some competent legal advice so you—and your project—are protected.
Are you ready to implement? Before posting a crowdfunding request, lay out your implementation plan in detail. Working out the specifics not only ensures you’re asking for the correct amount, but will keep you focused as questions—and opportunities—arise. Treat this as serious business—your funders expect and deserve nothing less.
Crowdfunding isn’t for everyone. But if your project is crowd-worthy, this may be just what it takes to take off.