The 7 Personalities Every Successful Film Crowdfunder Has - Raindance

Few professionals would view split personalities as a prerequisite for success except in the modern film industry. Split personalities imply deceit and dishonesty. Split personalities invite animosity and disrespect – two elements most filmmakers shirk.

But wait a minute. Raindance is right in the middle of a crowd funding campaign to raise money for an action movie shot right here in and around our offices in London – one of the world’s most expensive cities. We realise that a successful crowd funding campaign relies on satisfying a wide range of needs and objectives that only a split personality could satisfy.

No matter what your new media objectives are, or what kind of films and movies you are making you will need to identify and create a social media marketing strategy that can sync into your crowd funding and distribution strategies.

Wouldn’t it be a useful exercise to identify these different needs and know which areas a successful crowd funder needs to address? This exercise, guaranteed, is not taught in any film school in London.

The 7 Essential Personalities Every Film Crowd Funder Should Have

We react in different ways to the same group of people. For example, you wouldn’t speak to your film production colleagues the same way mid way through a Monday morning shoot as you would at the wrap party afterwards.

In the same way your crowd funding strategy needs to be able to speak to a diverse range of people in a wide variety of ways in order to get the message across in an appealing way.

Let’s examine these 7 different personalities to see if we can identify each of these personalities and see if they can be adapted to your upcoming crowd funding needs:

1. The news anchor person

Mon dieu there is a ton of information out there. And here is where personality numero uno comes in. You see – if you become known as the place to go for information, or better yet, trusted opinion of what all this information means, you are on your way to attracting an audience.

Nowadays Google and Twitter are like the Yellow Pages used to be – readers search using hash tags and keywords. And do you know what is really nuts? Filmmakers are taking to blogs and social media feeds from trusted ‘experts’ almost as much as relying on search engines to find key information and opinion.

Here’s the learning:
Strengthen your social media strategy. Focus on becoming the place to go for key information and editorial comment. Share your knowledge and insights to your followers, to your audience. Share film industry knowledge – and don’t worry if it is published by your competitors. Learn the basic terms of crowd funding. Sharing knowledge builds trust and respect. People will remember where they saw it first and come back time after time for more gems.

2. The Carer

Any crowd funding campaign, like other social media campaigns, can’t be all push push and push. Constant promotion will see your audience and campaign start to wither.

It’s like first morning on the set when a dude comes up and tells you all about their day, but doesn’t give a rat’s crap about yours. Nobody likes people like that.

Remember the warm feeling you get when someone comes up to you and asks how your day has been – and means it? That’s what Number 2 is all about. and the strange thing is, when you care, you learn about who is listening to you and that makes the task of getting your campaign across even easier

Here’s the learning:
There’s no greater asset than being able to plug into your audience and finding out what they want. The best way to do that is to ask them questions. Make asking a question a daily habit. Design your questions around the types of answers you and your team would like answers to. Ask. Listen. repeat.

3. The Helpdesk

Providing free and reliable information is one of the Raindance hallmarks. I realise I am taking one hand and firmly clapping myself on the back. But it is true. The number of times filmmaker have had direct personal access to me for a question, often simple – is countless. and of course, when I need a hand I very often get them helping me back – even if it’s as simple as mentioning a post like this one on Twitter post or liking it on Facebook.

Here’s the learning:
Look at your different social media feeds and make it a daily habit to answer questions or comments. Remember that people respect promptness and friendliness – even if you don’t have the answer.If you are available on telephone or Skype then you have gold dust. I can prove this theory – if you help someone once, they will come back years later.

4. The Influencer

Ever want to be thought of as a ‘thought leader’? That’s a pretty flattering and ego building accolade to have. Boiled down, it really means that you earn the respect of your peers through what you say and do. Everyone wants to be around someone who knows what they are doing. So how can you pull this off? It’s pretty easy actually.

Here’s the learning:
Any person of influence, whatever the field, has this basic quality: They don’t rely on other people or other resources. They are, by the very nature of the beast, resourceful. That’s why you are crowd funding, correct? You aren’t relying on others. You are taking your future into your own hands and you are doing it as a leader not a follower.

5) The Jester

You want your crowd funding campaign to go viral, right? Nothing goes viral quite like funny. People like seeing something distinctive. If you can manage to do something that is unusual and funny, people will tend to share it through their own social media, which means your crowd funding campaign is going to see more hits and hopefully more contributions.

Here’s the learning:
Your potential funders have a sense of humor. Be witty and humorous. Remember, people won’t donate to a corpse.

6) The Entertainer

This is the entertainment business and each of your posts and videos need to be entertaining. Not just funny (as above) but entertaining. Learn how to squeeze the emotion out of every drop or every post you make.

Here’s the learning:
Don’t share your content, present it. Can you make a one minute video? Or a slideshare presentation with some slick graphics? Remember, you might be crowdfunding, but you are a visual communication expert first and foremost. Strut your stuff.

Don’t get too hung up on this. The main goal of your posts is to get people to click on them. Once clicked it’s down to the quality of the individual posts. Remember the maxim: A picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures, moving pictures – is the easiest way to entertain.

7) The Snake-Oil Salesman

There is a good dash of cheese to this whole process and sometimes people pull back from self-promotion. You basically have to get good at it and it you aren’t, it’s hard to see how any crowd funding campaign will succeed, let alone your career.

Here’s the learning : If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will. If all the tweets and posts you write don’t come from the heart they will simply be a string of words that no one will connect with. you have to believe in yourself and learn the fine art of self-promotion.

A Trip to the Shrink

Successful crowd funding campaigns for films need to access a wide variety of people and be able to identify what excites them and motivates them to contribute to your campaign.

You won’t be able to hire seven different people to perform these different functions but you will be on the lookout for someone who can pivot from one task to the other and be able to turn on the proverbial dime.

OK my Pedigree Filmmaking Chums. What have I missed? Please share in the comments box below.

Happy crowd funding.



Photo Credit David Martinez / BIFA 2018

Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters than Elliot Grove. Elliot is the founder of Raindance Film Festival (1993) and the British Independent Film Awards (1998). He has produced over 700 hundred short films and five feature films: the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead (2006), Deadly Virtues (2013), AMBER (2017), Love is Thicker Than Water (2018) and the SWSX Grand Jury Prize winner Alice (2019). He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance BREXiT trailer 2019

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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