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There is no question that a compelling crowdfunding video is a critical campaign asset.  A professional and polished crowdfunding video showcases your story and your ability to represent your business - essential skills you need to harness for your campaign and beyond.  iFundWomen's Creative Director, Sarah Sommers, is an expert storyteller, having produced & edited over 50 high-quality and professional crowdfunding videos within the last nine months. we asked her to share her top ten tips for how to make your story shine.

1. BE BRIEF

Your crowdfunding video should be between 2-3 minutes.  No matter how much they care about you and your business, people won't watch more than that.  Also, if it takes you longer than three minutes to succinctly explain your idea, you need to stop, drop and work on that elevator pitch before even thinking about pressing record.

2. ASSUME PEOPLE KNOW NOTHING

Never assume that people know what your business and campaign are all about.  Make sure your video answers these questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What's your elevator pitch?
  • What is your business all about?
  • Why are you uniquely qualified to do this?
  • Why should people care?
  • What exactly are you raising money for?

3. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Chances are someone on planet earth has crowdfunded and produced a campaign video for a product or business that closely aligns with yours.  Search the internet for crowdfunding videos in your category and take notes on what worked.

4. WRITE A SCRIPT

Organize your thoughts by writing out your answers to the questions listed above.  If you don't overthink it, the answers should just pour out of you. Then go back and edit your script down to a page and a half - max. That translates to about 2.5 minutes of video.  No, you do not need to memorize this script.  No, you don't need to record the entire script in one take.  This script will serve as a reference when the camera is rolling.  Take breaks from filming between answering each question to give yourself an opportunity to regroup and gear up for answering the next question. Watch iFW entrepreneur, Cindy Gallop, make the most of her script in her campaign video. 

5. IF YOU'RE FILMING ON YOUR PHONE, HOLD IT HORIZONTALLY

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when DIYing their crowdfunding videos is holding their phones vertically when recording.  You want your final video to fill the screen, so avoid those ugly black bars on either side of your final video by holding your smart phone horizontally while you record. It's an easy mistake to make and it's even easier to avoid!

6. OPEN WITH A BANG

No matter the order you film in, the final video should have a powerful opening in which you grab the viewers attention by explaining what your business in about 15 seconds or less. The co-founders behind Ezza did a great job with this in their iFundWomen crowdfunding video.

7. SHOW YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE...AND PICTURES

Your backers want to hear your story from YOU! Whether it's campaign backers or potential investors, it's important to show your audience the woman behind the idea. Having said that, nobody needs to watch a talking head for 3 minutes, so be sure to have a healthy mix of footage of yourself along with imagery and b-roll that reflects your brand.  Founder & CEO of The Blues Woman, Chef Amanda Yee, did a fantastic job telling her story.  

8. MAKE SURE YOU SOUND GOOD

You need to be heard clearly. Sound quality is important when it comes to your crowdfunding video.  You don't need to be a professional video producer by any means in order to pull this off - there are very affordable lavalier microphones that are compatible with smart phones as well as more advanced cameras.  Don't forget to add subtitles to your video when you embed on Facebook and other platforms!

9. LAY DOWN A TRACK

Adding music that matches your brand is an easy way to spice up your video.  For example, check out the iFundWomen crowdfunding video for Latinas In Business.  You can find free tracks in editing programs such as iMovie, but if you are willing to invest a bit more in your video, there are some great licensable music libraries, like musicbed.com.

10. POST IT EVERYWHERE

Vimeo and YouTube are both great players for your video to live on.  Vimeo has the benefit of hosting your video without any annoying ads running before your video plays.  However, if you are YouTube savvy and you know how to turn off your monetization settings, then that is also a great option.  Once your video is live and has been added to your campaign, you should post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and wherever else your audience lives. You can always re-post shorter clips from your video throughout the length of your campaign as a refresh for your audience.

Sarah Sommers, Creative Director, iFundWomen

Sarah Sommers, Creative Director, iFundWomen

With these 10 tips to help guide you, you have the power to create a high quality crowdfunding video.  However, getting in front of the camera and representing your business can be a daunting task for anyone. So, at iFundWomen, we want to help close the confidence gap for female entrepreneurs by offering professional video production services to help ease the process.  Whether you are near or far, our production team can help you film and edit a winning crowdfunding video. Check out our packages here.