The single most important factor of a strong crowdfunding campaign is a great video. You do not need expensive equipment and fancy editing techniques to make a compelling video. Sure, a professionally shot video edited in Final Cut with After Effects titling is impressive, but a great video can also be a simple, sincere static shot of you looking straight into the eyes of your donor through the lens of the camera, and sincerely, honestly and succinctly explaining why you are excited about your crowdfunding campaign.
No matter what method you use, keep these tips in mind:
1. Shorter is better. The average person browsing the Internet will not pay close attention to any video more than 5 minutes long. The best videos are 90 seconds and under. Use the video to make a few key points, to let donors see who you are and what you look like, and to make a personal appeal for their help.
2. Remember what journalists do in the first paragraph of every news story: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. The video may be the only chance you get to grab someone’s attention, so do not assume potential donors read the rest of your profile. Tell them who you are, what you are raising money for, where will your crowdfunding campaign takes place, when you expect the crowdfunding campaign to be finished, and, most importantly – why should they help you?
3. Use visual aids. If you can show donors something, show it in your video. If you have photos or graphics, learn to use a simple editing program like iMovie or Windows MovieMaker and edit them in over your voice.
4. Make sure you are in your video. Donors want to see you, not just your crowdfunding campaign. Do you know why politicians always ask for your vote at the end of every speech? Because it works. Ask for donors help at the end of your video. Look straight into the camera, be sincere, and tell people why they should help you.
5. Have good audio. Nothing is worse than bad audio when watching a video. If a donor cannot understand or hear you, you have just put up another roadblock to success. Shoot your video in a quiet place, and consider buying an inexpensive microphone rather than using the one attached to your video camera on web cam. Good audio is a difference maker.
6. Check your lighting. Next to inaudible audio, bad lighting is the second biggest video killer. You do not need to buy expensive studio lights, but make sure your face is visible. If you are showing photos or props, make sure they can be seen. For example, do not sit in from of window with backlighting that makes you look like your identity is being hidden in the witness protection program. Review your video, and make sure you, and anything you try to show donors, are visible.
7. Script what you are going to say, but don’t read your entire pitch. It is important to have a great opening that grabs attention, and to have a great closing that helps seal the deal. But people who are reading their pitch are not looking into the camera, and eye contact is very important to showing your sincerity. Try to memorize the important parts of your pitch.
8. If you are camera-shy, or don’t feel comfortable working with video, consider narrating a slide show. PowerPoint and Keynote are easy programs to use, and an effective “video” can often be a slide show with a good voice over, and perhaps some music also.
Make sure to put your best efforts into making your campaign video. It allows potential donors to hear and see both you and your invention and gives you the chance to appeal to them. Telling your story in a professional, interesting, and engaging manner will help with your crowdfunding campaign.