Crowdfunding your first play? Here’s what will ensure success!
Posted on 26 April, 2017 by Team Wishberry
Image courtesy Pixabay
But when you get started in the world of theatre, it isn’t an easy road. Theatre is a difficult place to survive in, when it comes to the money, and that is exactly where crowdfunding comes in to ease the pain.
Is it easy for a budding, not-yet-established thespian to successfully crowdfund? It absolutely is! Especially if done smartly. And that’s why we bring to you these simple things to follow while crowdfunding to ensure success and bring your art to fruition.
Stay legit with your target
Crowdfunding will get you your required, not the wanted, budget. But, since you are yet to establish yourself, it becomes even more important for you to realise that not any number you have in your mind will be achievable. Set your budget smartly. Look at what you require for the most important stuff, without going overboard or underboard, and zero-in on a number. That is what will ensure people don’t think you’re being unfair or trying to get more than you would need.
To be and to appear fair is crucial while crowdfunding. This is the most significant factor in getting people to fund you.
An example from Thespo 17’s successful crowdfunding campaign on Wishberry
Spread news about your project
Statistics show that a major chunk of the funding (approximately 60%) comes from the personal networks of the campaigners. This means that around the time of your campaign going live, your entire network should be aware that you are crowdfunding. You can do that by sending out emailers, personal messages, updating your social media, and even just making phone calls to the close ones in your network. Be prompt with your correspondence, clear out any doubts that your potential backers might have, and, most importantly, remain available. Yes, it sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But, nobody said it was easy.
Once your circle is aware that you are crowdfunding, it is very important to keep them updated from that point on. Tell them when you reach 50% of the target amount, and then when you cross 80-90%.
Inform them and congratulate them when you successfully crowdfund. Give your network and especially your backers, regular updates about how the project is taking shape. It can be at various stages — once you acquire the production equipment, your rehearsals begin, how you are going about your first show and what special things you have planned for the same, ticketing information for shows of the play, etc.
This will increase your credibility and will help you crowdfund easily in the future again.
Get a 'senior' to talk about you
Your campaign becomes more credible when a trusted name endorses it or talks about it. If you are already in the theatre space, it is most likely that you have had mentors or guides in the form of senior thespians. Or, you know popular thespians and they know you. Connect with them, tell them about your project and request them to talk about your project/campaign on their social media. This will earn you the trust of your prospective funder/audience. It also increases your reach since your project has now reached out to that thespian’s fanbase, which is completely new territory for your campaign. That works, folks!
Image courtesy The Hindu
Ask, don't push!
How you ask for funding from prospective backers plays a vital role in whether they will fund you or not. Do not bring in the ‘victim of the system’ angle or don’t go overboard with pride with the ‘I am an artist I deserve this’ line. Everyone is tired of sob stories and entitled artist angles, and you should avoid adding to that. Pitch it like a work of art that you are making, a product of sorts, and that you need money to make it, which you are expecting from the funder and you will give them something in return. When you maintain that dignity in your tone, people will take you more seriously.
At the end of the day, crowdfunding means opening the doors to your art for public consumption even before it has achieved completion. Therefore, be honest about your dealings and above that, maintain that fire and you will get there!