It’s no exaggeration to say that crowdfunding is one of the great online success stories of recent years.
Few could have predicted the incredible success of the process and much less the revolutionising effect it would have on the way in which people seek funding for a whole range of things - from new businesses to startup music festivals.
It’s not surprising either that the growth of crowdfunding has paved the way for many innovative new businesses, specifically tailored to cater for the industry, to spring up and flourish.
Crowdreacher is a London-based startup production company that creates video and promotional content exclusively for crowdfunding campaigns. We were really eager to get an idea of what it’s like to work in such a new and thriving industry so we decided to have a chat with Crowdreacher founder Chris Colton.
Chris is a former teacher who gave up his job to go in search of his dream career in video production, which eventually led him to create Crowdreacher. Here’s what he had to say...
So Chris, can you tell us a little bit more about Crowdreacher and what you guys do?
Our services range from consulting, scriptwriting to confidence coaching and video production. We work with clients through any stage of their campaign. They may need to have a chat about their ideas and get some advice before proceeding, or need assistance in planning and promoting their campaign. Depending on our client’s requirements, we can design a package suited to any budget. At Crowdreacher, we aim to work with students and graduates on all of our projects, giving them the experience they need to progress in their desired industry.
Obviously a film production company operating solely for crowdfunding campaigns would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago. With such enormous growth in recent times how do you see the crowdfunding industry developing in the next few years?
The crowdfunding industry has increased dramatically since it began although it isn’t a completely new concept - the Statue of Liberty was crowdfunded and raised over $100,000 with an average contribution of 89 cents. Crowdfunding as a process is now considered to be a useful platform to test products prior to launch and gain equity investment in startup businesses. With more crowdfunding platforms being introduced each year, the number of funds raised will continue to grow.
A new concept that particularly interests us at Crowdreacher is that of live crowdfunding. This process is becoming popular in Europe and has shown some success. Campaigners are given the opportunity to pitch live at events and contributors can donate via mobile apps.
Is there a particular reason that you have decided to cater exclusively for crowdfunding campaigns rather than being more diverse in your services?
Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular means for raising funds and testing the market. In 2012, crowdfunding platforms raised over $2.7 billion and the Elevation Dock became the first campaign to raise $1 million. Crowdreacher has identified the need for the production of successful videos to support campaigners. With our focus on this industry we have tailored services to ensure clients receive the best service available. If you come to us, we not only produce your video, we give support throughout your campaign as standard.
We have all heard lots of advice and tips on what makes a good crowdfunding campaign video, but what makes a bad one ?
Poor organisation and story development can lead to the production of a bad video. If you produce a last minute video for your campaign, it shows. Story is key to success.You must be able to connect with your potential contributors. Self-shot video interviews with no additional footage are dull and will not lead to a successful campaign. Poor production values such as image and sound affect the quality of the video. If you don’t invest in a quality video, how will your contributors believe in the quality of your product or service?
It’s normally the case that people don't find out about crowdfunding campaigns until they are (or are about to) go live, so we are curious about how you manage to promote and market yourselves to the right sort of people?
You need to have a plan before you start a campaign. They require a lot of effort and consistent promotion. It is essential to time your marketing. A schedule and strategy is a key to success. For example, if you are an up-and-coming sunglasses brand, you may choose to run your campaign throughout May and June. This gives you plenty of time to arrange the first batch of orders in time for summer.
Tell people about your project constantly. You can expect to raise between 20-30% from friends and family, so keep on at them to promote your campaign through their friends and via social media. Create unique early bird perks to support this. Limited quantities of a product tend to generate demand.
Thanks for the thoughts and advice Chris and best of luck with Crowdreacher!
By Eoin O'Hara - follow him on Twitter @EoinStartacus
Have a look at Crowdreacher's videos on their YouTube channel and find out more about them on Twitter @reachthecrowd.
Have you had any success with crowdfunding? Tweet us your thoughts @clubworkspace