3 Reasons Crowdfunding Can Change Your Life
[This article was originally written for a magazine devoted to young actors. While the focus is on creatives, these principles apply to any entrepreneurial endeavor.]
To many, crowdfunding is a mysterious and magical vehicle for making a ton of money that’s way too intimidating for the average person to take up. For every celebrity campaign we hear about succeeding there are 10 campaigns we've been invited to support that either fail or never deliver on their promises. Even as a coach who consults with dozens of people a week, I will be the first to tell you that crowdfunding is one of the hardest things you'll ever do. So, why do a campaign? Because three years ago I was a struggling actor and I'm now about to direct a six million dollar feature. I also work consistently as an actor. In other words, crowdfunding changed my life and here are three reasons it can change yours, too!
This is probably the most easily identifiable. Raising money for a project that can serve as a vehicle for you as an actor or filmmaker puts you in the driver’s seat in a town where creative people like actors and writers often have trouble feeling empowered. As an actor, I had done some things prior to 2012 that had garnered me some attention, but the momentum never seemed to sustain itself. Frustrated, I decided to write a movie and crowdfund it. After successfully raising $32,000 for it, it went on to win festivals and garner awards. All of a sudden, my creative partner Ryan Welsh and I were creative forces to be considered. Here's the kicker - we didn't even put ourselves in as actors but it still managed to heighten our profiles as actors and artists who get things done. The auditions doubled. Since many of you reading this are actors, consider this: there is no better acting reel than a film starring you that you raised money for.
Marketing is an essential key to a successful crowdfunding campaign (a major reason I'm usually hired). When done well, you and your project will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people a week. My most recent campaign, a horror web series called LA Macabre, is getting over 211,000 views a week. Do you think the cast and crew’s IMDB StarMeter went down? You bet! With that many eyes on you, you've just created a platform for your artistry instead of waiting for somebody to "make you famous."
This brings me to the final reason crowdfunding will change your life: it makes you legit. Like, super legit. See, there are literally hundreds of thousands of actors, writers, and filmmakers out there trying to express their creative voice. Even the best of them sometimes reek of desperation in their attempt express their creative voice. But when one of those struggling or dissatisfied artists (you) steps forward and takes control of their career like that, the Industry flocks to help. People want to be around visionaries. My creative partner and I are perfect examples: after crowdfunding our two short films, we are now inking the deal on directing our first feature - a 6 million dollar horror film.
Think about that. In three years we went from mildly recognizable actors to full fledged filmmakers (note: I did NOT go to film school). The stamp of legitimacy that I carry with me has changed my life. I mean, I have 5 agents! A lawyer! A manager! All because I didn't wait for someone to give me creative control of my career.
If you're thinking of crowdfunding, do it. Of course, as a coach, I recommend you do it right. You can connect with me at www.TheKickstarterGuy.com for a free consultation. Don't let your fears hold you back any longer - go and make your dream come true!