It’s safe to assume you’ve stumbled across a Kickstarter project by now. Whether you’ve contributed to a project or not, crowdfunding is major new player in getting funding for passion projects. If you’ve got a project in the works but no clear-cut idea of how to finance it just yet, a mix of marketing and crowdsourcing may be your saving grace.

The psychology of Kickstarter

If you want to use a crowdfunding source like Kickstarter to back your next video project, it’ll help if you know how it works. This goes beyond knowing the functionality—it’s knowing the psychology of getting people to invest in you.

For starters, Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing approach to funding your film. If you don’t meet your goal by your given deadline, the entire project is rendered void, and you get none of the money. If you do meet your goal, you keep what was donated to you, minus the fees charged by Kickstarter and Amazon, who holds the money until it’s time to distribute it. When you get to keep your funding, your backers get rewards of their choice.

What Kickstarter does is create a communal sense of success based around your project. When people invest in your project, they stand to gain something, too. This makes them more invested in your success, so they’re more likely to spread the word about your film and encourage other people to contribute to your project.

It’s not just your project…It’s you

Kickstarter can only do so much of the work for you. Their service can help you gain a community…to a point. Let’s be frank—you have to sell your project to your contributors, and you have to sell yourself a little, too.

That’s not as tawdry as it sounds! Just realize that both you and your film need to make people excited about giving away their own hard-earned money to help you accomplish something great. Ask yourself: what do I have to say that will make someone want to fund my dream when they could be funding their own?

Approach your project with a sense of honesty and integrity. Don’t tell people what you think they want to hear just to get their donations. Be honest about who you are and what your project seeks to accomplish. A clear vision and a passionate voice will go a long way in showing people why they should invest in you. Be up front, and don’t be afraid to be true to your vision. Your investors will respect you more for it.

Negotiation and teasers

It helps to have some gentle tactical tools on your side when it comes to securing funding. You don’t need to have your entire project finalized to do this, but having a short clip, even just a few minutes, to show your contributors can help get them excited to invest in you. Also, have a very clear idea of your budget. What is the absolute minimum you can receive and still make your film? Can you ask for a little above that? Be ready with a small teaser to help get investors (and fans) excited, while also knowing what you need to spend where.

Kickstarter can be a terrific way to secure funding for your next film. As long as you approach the process with a clear vision and a sense of honesty, you may be surprised at just how powerful this tool can be.

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