2,527 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Editor's Note: Over the next several weeks, Karinna Kittles-Karsten will be keeping a journal of her crowdfunding journey and sharing it with us here on Crowdsourcing.org. Karinna has decided to turn to crowdfunding to help raise support for her TV series, "Love Around the World," and she'll be sharing all the milestones, accomplishments, mistakes and lessons learned along the way in this exclusive series.
In this first installment, Karinna explains how she made the decision to crowdfund and shares some insights into her preparations for the big campaign. Watch her video introduction below and scroll down for the full journal entry.
My Crowdfunding adventure has just begun and it has already been two months in the making.
So here is how it happened… the Kickstarter site had been popping in and out of my sphere of consciousness throughout the last year and several friends of mine had campaigns that I would send in donations for. I thought it was a novel idea to fund a passion project but I did not think much more about it.
Then in late spring I started to explore how I might fund my own campaign for my online tv series, Love Around the World. This is a show I am very passionate about that I began shooting at the end of 2010 in Europe and wanted to edit the existing footage and get back on the road into an even higher quality production.
My best friend Alix, who lives on the east coast (I am on the west), and I started to discuss this on our weekly Friday afternoon call. She told me how another friend of hers, who is a fine artist, successfully funded her art project through crowdfunding.
Then David, a mission-driven entrepreneur and advisor to me, and I were driving from Los Angeles to Ojai one Sunday morning and we began talking about Crowdfunding. We both were discussing the amazing opportunity that this presented for entrepreneurs, artists and cause related projects. David told me that he wanted to introduce me to Aggie of Crowdfunding Live. He said she was the most knowledgeable person that he had spoken with in the space who was launching a new crowdfunding site and live educational event. David called her right then and left a message on her voicemail introducing me and asking to set up a time for us to speak.
Before I spoke to Aggie, I got on the web and started doing my own research. I read about the Pebble campaign crowdfunding success story and got very excited about the possibilities of this endeavor. The Pebble guys were inventors and young entrepreneurs who could not get VC investment. They had created a watch that you could view your email on and much more. They set out to raise $100,000 and ended up raising over $10 million within a month of crowdfunding!! This was mind blowing.
I also started looking at other success stories of media related projects like mine and getting the lay of the land. I looked at films, travel media projects, web tv shows, and mission related ventures. Some that resonated with me were the Meaning of Life film, Smile TV web series, Save Blue Like Jazz movie, Advanced Style documentary , Naked Sea, a Spencer Tunick art project on the dead sea, David Choi and Clara 2012 Fall Tour, and the Rise and Shine, Jay Demerit film. These projects inspired me and I saw my project “Love Around the World” complimenting these other high impact, make the world a better place through media, crowdfunding successes.
Aggie and I finally had a chance to talk the next week. We had a very good talk about what I was up to and she invited me to come to the CrowdFunding Live one day event she was having in early June in Los Angeles, a week and a half later.
I decided to go to the event and I am so happy I did. The day and the price of admission was very well spent. I got a full overview of the crowdfunding space from A to Z.
I met a lot of people that inspired me and gave me great insights into the undertaking of crowdfunding. I met Crowdsourcing.org founder Carl Esposti and I finally met Aggie. I met Betsy Chasse, the producer of What the Bleep…who was beginning a crowdfunding campaign of her own, I met the guys from the Rise and Shine, the Jay DeMerit film campaign –that was super cool. Hearing their story of what it took for their crowdfunding raise, was truly eye opening.
I discovered that Crowdfunding is not for the faint of heart. It is a big task, that is to do it right. However, to my good fortune, I also realized that I had a lot of key elements in place to have a successful crowdfunding campaign-- which is a huge plus! As it can take a year or more to put the pieces together that you need.
Here is My Crowdfunding Check List:
1- A video of your Crowdfunding project –Check.
I already have a Love Around the World trailer of my show made. Yeah!! I just have to add a wrap around video, speaking straight to camera about the project and my crowdfunding campaign.
2 - An audience that is willing to support you. Check…
I am an international love educator -- that means I inspire people to see and experience the possibilities of love -- and the founder of SacredLove.com and these roles have helped me develop an audience which is familiar and supportive of my work.
3 - A social media presence. Check.
I have a social media presence. For someone who still doesn’t truly understand social media, I happen to have a couple of accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Pinterest and many others.
4 - Friends and family that could add donations when you call. Check.
**The reason you need 2, 3 and 4 (such a substantial audience) is that crowdfunding statistics show 30% of the funding needs to come from your own audience. Time to start loving more people, more often!!
5 - And oh yes, Rewards. Check…..
I already have great rewards based on my product line at SacredLove.com. Whew!
So here's my final thoughts on the journey so far:
Get your ducks and materials in order.
To be successful at Crowdfunding, know this is a big undertaking and adventure!