He made his hit web series Video Game High School come to life thanks to backers of its campaigns, and now Freddie Wong is ready to share his very own secrets to crowdfunding success.
During his interview with Tubefilter, Wong discussed the key steps of creating a crowdfunding campaign for a film or video:
“You have to go into it with an audience pre-set. There hasn’t been a major successful film campaign without a built-in audience and the reason for that is people treat crowdfunding like pre-ordering. You look at most of what gets funded to a crazy degree. It’s all products! People say, ‘I want the Pebble watch,’ or whatever the product is, and they order it.
“When it comes to doing a film or something more intangible, a lot of the success is what you offer on the perks side.”
Noting what makes a “good perk,” Wong explained:
“The perks need to be interesting, especially when it comes to physical goodies. And more importantly, there needs to be an aspect of exclusivity or rarity. We’ve done props from the show, signed poster, and had DVD covers and poster designs that you could only get through the crowdfunding campaigns. Sure, we sell products in our store, but getting something exclusively through the campaign is different.
“The most successful campaigns understand that you need to give a very strong incentive in order for someone to hand over their cash. The people that put on those campaigns treat the campaign less like a charitable donation and more likely think of ways they can give value to their fans.
“Matt always says the first $5 a funder gives you is charity, but everything else is them wanting to buy something.”
Also explaining why he and his crew decided to launch a campaign on Indiegogo for Video Game High School third season when the other seasons were successful on Kickstarter, Wong said:
“We always like to try different things. And Indiegogo offers flexible funding and PayPal support. We have a lot of young fans who don’t have credit cards, but have access to a PayPal account.
“So, that was one of the main reasons, but the team over there was also very helpful and provided a ton of insight. We have relatively very limited experience with crowdfunding, so it’s always helpful to hear as many viewpoints as possible, especially because there is no playbook. The more information you can get a hold of the the better. Getting that support and being able to talk to their team was helpful.”
In regards to using the funding method in the future, Wong added:
“Crowdfunding was a major part of the financing of those first couple of seasons. As our careers develop, it may become a lesser part of the financing, but that doesn’t mean we won’t use it. We look at people like Louis CK and Aziz Ansari who are essentially doing pre-orders online. Fans like that and they also like participating and doing cool and exclusive things. We can still do that. We may not be able to say we need to do it, but we can still do it. Then it just becomes less about getting the project done and more about pre-ordering, getting fans involved, and giving them an opportunity to get cool stuff.”
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