Video Made the Crowdfund Star

Video Made the Crowdfund Star

by June 23, 2015

Video Made the Crowdfund Star 

As society grows more and more accustomed to instant gratification and the immediacy of technology, fewer individuals take the time to thoroughly read things. Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat, looked at a deep user behavior across 2 billion visits across the web over the course of a month and found that most people who click don’t read. In fact, “a stunning 55% spent fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page.”

Yet, writing is still a an undeniably critical component of a crowdfunding campaign. Rather than abandon writing for your campaign, spice it up by using other mediums to enhance—not replace—the written aspects of your campaign. Video is a great way to do that because a third of all online activity is spent watching video.

The Goal


To get the right mindset, step into your donor’s brain, but be careful not to make a mess or move anything. In all likelihood, the first thing you would do as a donor visiting your own crowdfunding page is look for a video so you can quickly ascertain what the project is all about without reading a single word. In most cases, visitors click play on a crowdfunding page’s video long before reading the pitch or checking out the perks.

The goal is to satisfy this desire for immediate knowledge in the simplest way possible. You need to create a video that captivates your target audience. It must prove that your project is worthy of the viewer’s time and money. But, how is this done?

Make a Good First Impression

You must be present in the video. No matter how camera shy you are, you must be brave enough to place yourself in front of it. Donors tend to fund people first and projects second. This is especially true in the arts. Fortunately, the video does not have to focus on you the entire time. If you have other people involved in your mission, get them in on the action, too.

Whoever is in the video, make sure they dress nicely, speak clearly and confidently, and radiate charisma. You want people to like you and what you do. While you may have your own unique style and way of doing things, for purposes of your video, try to think about what will appeal to your target audience of donors.

Share Your Passion

Passion speaks to people. Your video, like your art, should resonate with the audience on an emotional level. That means sharing an authentic glimpse of who you are, what drives you, and what you are trying to do with your project.

Remember that the pitch video is not simply about explaining what you need and asking for a handout. It needs to convey what your project is, why it excites you, and why it should excite your potential donor, too. Regardless of how great you think your project is and how proud you are to have created it, explain to them why it should matter to them and why they should share your passion. They want to know how they can become part of this thing that has you so excited, so be ready to tell them.

Brevity is the Soul of Wit

Think about the best commercials you have seen on television. They convey a message about a product in 30 seconds or less. Because You’ll lose about 1/3 of your viewers by 30 seconds, 45% of them by 1 minute and almost 60% by 2 minutes. You will need to get someone hooked on your message in even less time than that. Do not take your time getting to the point. Hook your audience immediately, because you are competing with the siren song of the internet. If you are not getting to the point quickly enough, your viewer will be off to watch adorable cat videos somewhere else on the internet in no time flat.

Be clear about what funding you need and how it will be spent. A huge deterrent for potential donors is the fear that their contributions will be wasted or spent on something other than the proposed project. Make it clear to your viewers that your campaign is not a secret way to fund a vacation. When possible, refine your message so that it drives to a point. Remove fillers, use succinct and rational arguments, and appeal to your audience’s emotions discreetly.

Look Professional

You do not need to be a professional filmmaker, but you do need to respect your audience by having solid production value. Use sufficient lighting, straightforward camera angles, steady camera work, and clear sound quality. A high quality video with reasonably clear audio can be captured on many smartphones today, so there is really no excuse for a bad or unprofessional looking video.

When in Doubt, Think Like a Donor

If you ever feel in doubt during the process of producing a video for your crowdfunding campaign,then it’s time to climb back into that donor brain. Consider what you would look for when visiting a crowdfunding page. Be critical. If you are missing it, find a way to create it. Above all, you want to meet their intellectual and emotional needs so they will want to help you to meet your goal.

For a limited time, you can take a short course on crowdfunding for free and learn more about crafting an effective campaign video here: An Introduction to Tax-deductible Crowdfunding