Busting 6 Common Crowdfunding Myths

Posted on 29 November, 2016 by Team Wishberry

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Although crowdfunding has been making great things happen in India since a really long time, it’s not uncommon for people even today to have completely wrong and often crazy ideas about crowdfunding. With a crowdfunding platform for almost every kind of cause- creative, philanthropic or purely entrepreneurial- budding in India today, one would expect the air to be clearer by now. But well, let’s save that discussion for another time. Right now, let’s clear up some of the most common misconceptions surrounding crowdfunding in India.

The myth: The crowd doesn’t give money

Projects like films, music, theatre, board-games etc. can’t be seen as charity nor do they hold any interest for VCs. So obviously, these ideas are left to gather dust, right? WRONG. There’s another breed of people- backers, also known as the unsung patrons of the arts. All you need is a great idea, a strong network of friends and family and a strong marketing strategy. These people will back you and became your strongest supporters. If you’re good at what you do, people will want more and more of it. How do you explain Punyakoti- a Sanskrit animated film- that raised Rs. 41 lakhs from close to 300 funders 80% of whom were completely random people?

The myth: It’s too risky

What if all of this is a con? After all, fake crowdfunding campaigns have happened in the past. Well, this is where a crowdfunding platform comes in. No platform worth its salt will host a campaign without fully verifying its legitimacy. Moreover, running a crowdfunding campaign (at least in India) is a lot of work, there’s plenty of awareness-building, networking, marketing, following up to do- that in itself takes away any possibility of running a con.

The myth: It’s a onetime thing

Most crowdfunding campaigners feel that crowdfunding is a onetime affair, mainly because of how much of time and effort it takes, and because it seems a little pitiful to ask money from family, friends and fans over and over again. But, crowdfunding won’t really be as difficult or crazy as it was the first time around. Plus, crowdfunding a creative project isn’t so much about who is doing it as much as it is about what the person is doing and why. As long as people are reminded of that, it works. Moreover, the second time around the whole thing relies more on the feeling of community than anything else. Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival and Gaysi Zine have successfully crowdfunded on Wishberry twice- both times with great response!  

The myth: It’s not very good for an artist’s reputation to ask for money from fans

These is nothing more than a mental blocks. In no way does asking your fans for help tarnish your image or popularity. In fact, if anything at all, it brings you closer to them. Moreover, fans love to contribute heavily towards their favorite artist/filmmaker’s success. If your fans love what you do, they want more and more of it to exist and more and more people to know about it. As one of our repeat backers Sembian Vijaykumar (funded Punyakoti, Poorvaa and Pothole Watch Mobile App) puts it, “I regularly browse Kickstarter and Wishberry in search of entrepreneurial projects to fund and if a campaign catches my interest it is because I am attracted to its core idea and objective”

The myth: It’s extremely easy to go viral

Don’t let the Potato Salad type of projects fool you into believing that anybody can go viral and raise money in a matter of 48 hours. In reality, a campaign does not go viral or get online traction unless family and friends have funded it within the first week itself. Also, it takes some next level PR & marketing skills, a lot of hard work and patience to snowball into a giant of creativity and break the internet. It takes about 30 to 90 days to simply prepare for a crowdfunding campaign- this includes creating a database, setting up a mailing list, creating a marketing and PR strategy and so on.

The myth: Crowdfunding makes it easy for someone else to plagiarize your idea

Crowdfunding puts your idea out there for the whole world to see, before the entire project is even ready.  So, what if someone with more money beats you to the finish line and snatches the one thing you have going for you? Remember two things: no matter how great an idea is, it’s the execution that makes all the difference. So, even if someone does steal the idea, the end result may be completely different to what you envisioned. Secondly, protect your intellectual property, so that any chance of plagiarism is dealt with at the root! Don’t let the fear of being copied stop you from realizing your dream! We hope this clears things up for you! Got more myths that need busting, or questions that need answers? Ask away in the comments!

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