The hallmark of any successful crowdfunding campaign is a compelling video pitch. There were so many people who I spoke to very early on, asking them to listen to my pitch, and to give me feedback. But it was the one final piece of advice that I got from my sister who has a great deal of experience with fundraising, that helped me to tweak my pitch in the last hour. She reminded me that it's important to have a good "elevator pitch" so that people can easily relate to your message.
You can have a great message, but translating it into something visual, in this case, a video is key. In the case of my written pitch, it definitely fell in to the categoy of TLDR. TLDR is internet poison. It stands for, "too long, didn't read."
This is where the talent of Robin Adams came in. He not only has the technical skills to shoot, produce and edit my crowdfunding pitch video, he literally coached and directed me on the day of the shoot. Having worked on a few video shoots, based my limited experience, in my opinion, there is a HUGE difference when it comes to having a videographer who is just a good camera person and someone who is a director, i.e. someone who knows how to coax you into being more natural and personable on camera. We certainly had a lot of fun with it. There's even a blooper reel from our shoot and you can watch it HERE:
In the end, we went against some conventional wisdom, which says that the shorter, more concise a video pitch the better. My video pitch is nearly eight minutes long! I've read that the ideal length for a crowdfunding pitch video is five minutes as mentioned in this post: 6 Tips for a Good Video Pitch from Indiegogo's blog . I think that the Making History crowdfunding pitch video meets five out of six, except for #1 of course, which is keep it short!
There was a lot of work behind the scenes including some very last minute revisions just days right before the campaign was launched. Robin really went above and beyond what I had asked him to do with the video. I think that using the opening clip (of me talking at the ITASA 2013 Conference in February) before the actual pitch was genius. That was his idea. You can listen to my entire presentation : Getting on the Path to Write at the ITASA 2013 conference on SoundCloud HERE.
In a lot of ways this crowdfunding campaign has been a roller coaster, and the story behind this crowdfunding campaign is becoming a chapter that I will write about in the ACCIDENTAL BIOGRAPHER, an ebook about my experiences as Su Beng's biographer. It is one of the perks being offered for a contribution of $40 through the Making History: The Story of Su Beng crowdfunding campaign.