June 15, 2011 · Tips & Insights

3 Communication Mistakes Campaign Owners Make


Phone lines

Sometimes it's hard to step outside of ourselves and see our campaigns the way others might see them. Of course we know why we're seeking funding on IndieGoGo and why people might be interested in our campaign, but from time to time, we stumble at effectively communicating those ideas to the outside world.

Once your campaign is up and running, use this checklist to ensure you're not making some common mistakes that lead to a lack of funding.

1 – You haven't branded your perks.

One of the things that makes IndieGoGo different from the usual fundraising platforms is that contributors get something back when they help fund your campaign. It's your job to effectively communicate what it is they're getting at what contribution level and explaining why that perk is a benefit to them. You know who does this really well? Your local public radio station. Next time you're stuck listening to a pledge drive take note of the unique individual branding each giving level gets and try to apply some of that same magic to your campaign. (Tote bags, anyone?)

2 – You don't adequately describe The Impact.

Make a universal appeal to all potential contributors that motivates them to take action on your behalf. Explain how your campaign fits into the larger picture. If you're a New York City theater company, don't just tell your audience, "Our third season will be the best of all and without these funds it won't happen." Tell them why, on a global scale, their contribution helps. Here's a great example from the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival 2011:

Census figures reveal that multiracial individuals are the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., yet many multiracial storytellers are told that they and their work must fit into traditionally defined categories in order to find an audience.  By establishing a new genre with this one-of-a-kind festival, we are boldly stating that there is a demand for stories that explore this experience. 

3 – Your video doesn't make a direct appeal.

Your campaign pitch video is not the place for gradiose introductions or ambiguous special effects. While studies show that our Internet video attention spans are getting longer, it's still believed that on average, online video viewers check out at the 2 minute mark. So you've got about 120 seconds to get your point across.

While your theatrical trailer might showcase your creativity and talents and might be entertaining, it's not giving us the full picture. Your video should be about your campaign, not your project, and it should contain a direct appeal.

Check out this simple pitch video from The Audrey Project for a good example of how to take a no-frills approach to a video pitch.

Photo courtesy Flickr user greg_or.