I’m doing a marketing makeover on Christine’s Kickstarter project. She’s a photographer turned film maker who’s raising money for her movie script “Divorce Photographer”. At first glance she seems to be doing a lot right. Let’s see if we can dig a little deeper and help her fine tune her pitch. (I’m listening to Tricky while I work). Hold onto your clapper board, here are my top 9 tips for boosting your Kickstarter project…
1. First Impressions Count, Make Me Understand Fast.
The first three elements that grab my attention are the name, the initial image, then the tagline.
The image: I like your main image. It communicates the title and tagline visually. A good image can often seem obvious, but obvious isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The name: “Divorce Photographer” is superb. Short, simple, but it gives us an instant idea what this movie is all about. I can’t improve on that.
The tagline: “A wedding photographer gets dumped. She decides to start shooting divorces instead.” It’s great. Simple, expands on the name a little. If I’d change anything it would maybe be to add a couple of words to clarify the comedy angle.
“A wedding photographer gets dumped. She decides to start shooting divorces instead. Hilarity ensues…”
I wouldn’t necessarily use those words, but they illustrate what I’m getting at. They make it clear that this is a comedy and I think that’s important. If there’s one overall impression I want to make sure you communicate, it’s that this is a comedy. That line between feeling pain and laughing at ourselves is a fine one. We laugh to relieve the pain.
Overall tone: The writing tone is great, it’s personal, friendly, lighthearted. But you talk about real feelings and the backstory behind the movie. Good so far.
Action: Just like TV shows use canned laughter to make it clear that we should be laughing, it’s OK to make it blatantly clear we’re marketing a comedy as well. Add a few words to the tagline to increase clarity.
2. Remember you’re always selling a result.
Your sub-headers are an important short hand that communicates the overall message of your pitch. You have a big sub header that says: “OH. THAT MAKES ME SAD.”
You’ve identified the problem and why it hasn’t been solved, but I want a hint at the resolution as well. Mentally, I’m looking for a header that says “BUT THE ENDING MAKES ME HAPPY”.
Movies tell the stories of our lives. We face challenges. We struggle. Then we find resolution.
You hint at the resolution, but only in a few words…
Divorce Photographer is a comedy that explores the flip side of marriage and relationships, the pressures exerted on couples to live happily ever after, and the decision to love in a new way.
I don’t necessarily want to know the ending to the movie. And, OK, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a “happy ending”. But I do want to know there is an ending that is going to make me feel better about myself than when I went in. I want to know there’s a resolution. That I’m going to learn something new. That the journey you’re going to take me on is going to transform my pain into something better. If it doesn’t, why would I watch? What’s my incentive? Why should I care?
Action: Write a few paragraphs that focus on the payoff the viewer gets for having this movie in their life.
3. Your customers never understand your industry.
You have a section talking about what sort of movie is actually being made. I didn’t really understand this section, because I don’t really understand the movie business. And I don’t care about the movie business. I just consume movies that make me feel better.
Kickstarter is about sentimental ideas. If I buy into the idea that marriage and relationships are messed up, and I want to relieve a little of that stress through a cathartic movie, then you’ve hooked me. All you have to do now is give me a deliverable I can believe in.
Action: What I, as a potential backer really want to know is “WHEN am I going to benefit from this concept?” So I would make that clearer from the Customer’s POV.
4. People buy from people.
You’ve got a section named “Who’s on the team”. Kickstarter is all about the public having direct access to talent and being able to back people with dreams. The less abstract, and the more human, the better.
Action: Add your smiling head shots to the list of team members.