IT’S ART ran three successful two-month crowdfunding campaigns within the last year to help computer graphics (CG) artists fund their artbooks, reaching on average 250% of each campaign’s initial goal.
IT’S ART was built for computer graphics (CG) artists, directors, producers, and fans. It’s a community portal that offers CG artists a place to show their work and get feedback and inspiration. The France-based website also acts as an educational resource, providing all sorts of software tutorials for 2-D and 3-D rendering, as well as resources for the business side of the CG world.
As a way to further the site’s mission, IT’S ART founder Patrice Leymarie decided to offer in-house crowdfunding to the site’s members, giving CG artists a means to fund their projects. Staying completely independent was a top priority to Patrice, so he decided to use IgnitionDeck Enterprise as his crowdfunding platform because, as he put it, he needed the “freedom to control our own service.”
Patrice never leaves anything to chance with his site’s crowdfunding campaigns. His team spends over a month preparing for each one. Part of this work includes discussing potential roadblocks and what the team will do to overcome them. “We try to simulate all scenarios for the campaign, to know in advance how to react,” he explained.
IT’S ART already had a substantial following, so they used their website and Facebook to promote their new crowdfunding initiatives, which were met very positively. “People were happy to have the opportunity to support [projects] on a website that represents the [CG] niche,” Patrice explained.
Besides preparation and a well established community, Patrice credits their crowdfunding success to his team’s evaluation and adaptation skills. After the second week of each eight-week campaign, Patrice’s team would re-evaluate and adjust the entire operation in order to keep the campaign from “going off the rails.” This review-and-adjust strategy kept everything on track and led to the surpassing of each campaign’s fundraising goals.
Crowdfunding deadlines motivate people to contribute. Patrice describes the last two weeks of each campaign as a “rush mode,” with way more activity from pledgers taking action to support a project.
Patrice warns against halting all communication and effort into engaging your contributors once you’ve reached your goal.
“Be sure to understand the side effect of crowdfunding,” he said. “A campaign doesn’t end the last day of the campaign. [On the] contrary, it is just starting. You need to keep your pledgers always updated about the product if you want them to keep trusting you.”
If you stop reaching out after the campaign is over, you’re eroding any confidence you’ve built with your audience. This is especially important to remember if you want to crowdfund in the future.
Patrice acknowledges that every campaign is different and will be marketed accordingly, but he urges us to be flexible when it comes to payment options. For instance, are you using several different payment options? If one has a glitch, do you have an alternative way to accept payment? If your credit card processing gateway goes down, what will you do? Patrice used IgnitionDeck’s offline payments functionality to make it possible for people to support projects with personal checks.
You may need to adjust things on the fly, but with a little planning you wont find yourself scrambling or missing out on contributions to your campaigns.