You run a crowdfunding campaign for your latest passion project –– a found footage horror film the likes of Paranormal Activity; a rom com taking place at a cabin in the woods; a documentary about the life and times of someone the world might never have known about unless the crowd helped you fund it.
And you nailed your crowdfunding goal. Maybe you even exceeded your initial goal through plotting out stretch goals, unlocking new perks, and keeping your crowd involved and engaged until the campaign counts down to zero minutes and seconds on the clock. Roll credits. Splice in some fun outtakes. And then it’s over.
Or is it?
You probably asked yourself this fateful question: Now what? Normally, we filmmakers will go off and make our films. Once upon a time, filmmakers would continue using their closed Indiegogo page as a way to keep their funders informed on things like festival screenings. The more savvy ones might even redirect other potential contributors to an external page where they could buy the digital download or Blu-ray disc.
Indiegogo has since unveiled InDemand, a feature that makes it easy for campaigners who reach their goals to keep raising funds for their projects, even after the campaigns are over. As with crowdfunding, though, there’s a strategy to turning your mild-mannered film campaign into a potential money-making franchise, and here are a few steps you can take to work your way up to George Lucas status in the truly independent film world.
First, Let the Stragglers In
Chances are there were a few potential funders to your Indiegogo campaign who had every intention of contributing to your indie film project but just didn’t get around to it until it was too late and the campaign was successfully funded but closed. With InDemand, one of the first things you should do is send out an update to your email list telling them that the campaign itself is done, but the page is still open and ready to accept their contributions.
Keep all of the perks up for a few days more, and after a designated time, remove some of the limited perks and add new, unique ones, turning your InDemand page into the one-stop shop for supporters, backers and fans to stay updated with everything related to your film.
Then, Set Some New Goals
The urgency of a campaign countdown may be gone, but you should still create specific goals for your InDemand page to reach and exceed, in typical stretch goal fashion, unlocking new items with each goal achieved. This is what the campaigners behind Iron Sky: The Coming Race have been doing since their second successful Indiegogo campaign ended back in January of 2015, and look at them go.
Explain Your Goals in an “InDemand Video”
An InDemand page is not a crowdfunding campaign. It’s a way for you to continue engaging your audience and promoting things related to your film. That said, one way to relay this message to your community is with a new overlay image on your existing campaign video and some updated text in your story, the way the campaigners behind the indie horror film Nightmare City have done.
If you are so inclined, creating a new video that explains this concept can be a helpful way to not only engage your network, but educate them as well. If you plan to create a new InDemand video, be sure to include:
- Who you are (Intro, Part One)
- What your film is about (Intro, Part Two)
- When your campaign ended and how great it was (Backstory)
- How much additional funding you’re looking to bring in, and why (Purpose)
- What you’re offering now (Incentives)
- Call to Action
Keep this video short and sweet at less than two minutes and you’re ready to go. And don’t forget to create an overlay image too, to quickly let visitors know that the page is “in demand” and still accepting contributions.
Reflect Those Goals in a Newly Updated Page
As you’ve probably learned through your initial Indiegogo campaign, images speak louder than words. Create an InDemand stretch goal image, which tells us what perks get “unlocked” with every goal your backers help you hit.
Now, Unveil New Incentives…
Merchandise will swiftly prove the lifeblood of most InDemand pages, so you’ll want to get creative. This is where “standard definition” perks (read more about this in my “Three Ways to Get a Crowd Into Crowdfunding Your Indie Film” piece) get their time to really shine, but just because you’re offering T-shirts and sunglasses and mugs doesn’t mean they have to be standard def. Have a look at this mug from the Where is Rocky II InDemand page:
Another prime example of InDemand merchandising is the Range 15 Charter Donor Mug. When Hollywoodn’t, We Did.
…And Turn Your Indie Film into an Indie Franchise
In many ways, InDemand racks focus from the invitation to the incentives; whereas a campaign is all about inviting people to help you make your film and be a part of the process, InDemand is your opportunity to really make it about them and what else they can get besides involvement. This is a natural progression of a successful campaign. You’ve already proven yourself as a filmmaker and a campaigner, and now it’s time to give your audience even more limited edition, cool stuff related to your film.
And if you have done your crowdfinding right before and during successfully crowdfunding your indie film, then InDemand can prove quite a lucrative next step in going from independent film to micro-franchise.
It’s just like Yogurt tells us in Spaceballs, It’s all about merchandising once the film is funded, finished, and finally ready to be seen.
Ready to turn your indie film into an indie franchise? Start your film crowdfunding campaign today!