Before Crowdfunding Your Film, Read These 3 Books

Share this Post!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on Reddit

If you’re here, you understand the important role that preparation plays in your crowdfunding journey.  Here’s a short list of three invaluable resources that will not just improve your crowdfunding campaign, but make you a better communicator, storyteller and community-builder overall.

Please purchase them from your local independent bookseller.

1. Crowdfunding for Filmmakers

by John Trigonis

The Basics:

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but I’m always surprised by how few of my clients have picked it up. The book takes you step-by-step through all the most important elements of your campaign, including more than a few I promise you haven’t considered yet. With sections like “It’s called promotion not spam-motion,” “Remember when…the power of nostalgia” and “Te: Integrity is the Tao to (Ka)-Ching!” this book tells it like it is with brilliant nuggets that you can apply to your life overall, not just your campaign.

Why I Love It:

  1. It’s up to date. The author released the first edition in 2013, which doesn’t sound that long ago but is actually light years when it comes to ideas on the Internet.  But then, he actually released a second edition in 2016.
  2. You literally couldn’t ask for a more informed authority. John Trigonis has crowdfunded his own projects more than once, and in his role as film strategist at Indiegogo, he has closely observed (and had a hand in strategically architecting) hundreds if not thousands of film campaigns. He knows firsthand what happens when filmmakers take (or – God help them -don’t take) his advice.
  3. The author is accessible.  Lucky for us, Trig is a prolific tweeter. It’s clear that helping filmmakers is his passion, and to that end, he’s one of Indiegogo’s strongest competitive advantages, and an invaluable resource for anyone thinking of launching a campaign.

2. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die 

By Chip and Dan Heath

The Basics:

This book is the rare combination of practical, extremely helpful and with sections like “Jurors and the Darth Vader Toothbrush” and “Who Spoiled Halloween?” it is an absolute page-turner. If you can manage to internalize the universally relevant concepts in this book, you are set for life.

The book explores why we remember some things and not others. What makes some concepts or ideas land immediately while others, no matter how important or foregone the conclusion, fall on deaf ears.  It’s a must-read for teachers, salespeople, storytellers, marketers, and really just about anyone who ever needs to persuade or capture someone’s interest. For filmmakers, this is a book that will revolutionize the way that you pitch your film, be that in a meeting with a studio, in an informal conversation with a potential collaborator, or on your crowdfunding page.

Why I Love It:

  1. It takes its own advice. This is a book that tells you how to make ideas palatable.  And it is in itself evidence that its advice works, because the way it presents its very own concepts follows the rules that it sets forth. You will remember the ideas the book introduces even years after you read it. You will cite them in conversation, and passionately recommend the book to others, much like I am doing now.
  2. It’s all stuff you already know, you just didn’t know that you knew. The concepts are so fundamental yet so revolutionary that by the end, you’ll feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when the good witch tells her she always had the power to go home.
  3. You will use it every day of your life after you read it. Not only will it make your pitch video “pop” and help you to jazz up your campaign copy. It’ll improve everything you write for the rest of your life. It’ll help you get through to anyone from your kids to your boss to a store manager whose return policy is impossibly stringent.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People

By Dale Carnegie

The Basics:

There’s no better proof that anyone can crowdfund than the fact that one of the resources for advice is a best-selling book that was originally published in the 1930s.

This is a book praised by a diverse set of luminaries – Warren Buffet, Donna Reed and even apparently Guy Fieri (but don’t hold that against it).  If you haven’t read it already, all you need to know about it is that it teaches exactly what the title says it will.  Don’t think about it as a way to manipulate, though. The book preaches authenticity, which we at Genuine Article value a great deal.

Why I Love It:

  1. It’s massively relevant. It explains what makes people tick in ways that relate to many aspects of communication, not the least of which is crowdfunding. Hell, it includes imperatives like “Talk in terms of the other person’s interest,” “Make the other person feel important,” and “Throw down a challenge,” all of which are no-brainers for anyone prepping a campaign.
  2. It’s applicable to audience-building in general. Even the bits that may not seem directly relevant to raising money (like “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound”) are absolutely applicable to building and maintaining an engaged audience, which is a core predictor of success in film.
  3. It works both ways. Not only will it aid you you in applying principles of human behavior in order to make stronger authentic connections, it will help you deduce when those principles are being leveraged upon you, be that by an unscrupulous salesperson or in a manipulative social situation.

In summary, it’s clear that many of the skills you learn and strengthen when building a great crowdfunding campaign for your film will spill over to many other areas of your life. Reading them is a great investment in your film, your career and your ability to be an effective communicator long term.  Best of luck, and if you need any help, get in touch to learn about all the different ways we help filmmakers raise money and grow their audience!

Share this Post!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *