A video presentation can easily be the defining piece of a crowdfunding profile; therefore, it’s crucial for your video to be well thought out and masterfully executed.
5 Key Ingredients
|Should be just long enough to be informative, but short enough to hold the average attention span. This means 60-90 seconds.|
|The presentation within your video is critical to its success. You should include varied shots, roughly two paragraphs’ worth of concise speech, and a call to action.|
|The visual and audio appeal of your video can make or break the viewers’ willingness to back you. While you don’t need to spend thousands on a professional video, it is important not to shoot your video on a $10 webcam with traffic noises and crying babies in the background. An average video camera should work well for your crowdfunding video.|
|Make sure you’re shooting your video in a calm, quiet place. If you have audio feedback, either re-shoot the video until it’s perfect or use video editing software to correct the problem (Pinnacle Videospin, Zweistein, and Audacity are free to use and can be downloaded online).
It’s also important to have background music that matches the tone of your product, video, and voice. For instance, soothing classical music is appropriate for a video about yoga whereas rock and roll music would be an inappropriate choice. Make sure the background music is not overpowering – it should remain in the background and should be easily spoken over.
|It’s important to make your viewers feel appropriate emotions relating to your startup. If you have a yoga startup, your viewers should feel relaxed. If you have a snowboarding startup, your viewers should feel amped up and excited. These emotions can be easily evoked through your tone of voice, the words you choose, and the pace of your speech.
Try to stay away from shouting, whispering, and wildly varied inflections.
Now that you have the key elements of your video, it’s time to put them together into four steps.
"Nice to Meet You"
Your video should begin with a visual and auditory introduction to who you are, your role in your startup, and why you’ve started your company. This part will last approximately 15 seconds.
Example: “My name is Wil Schroter, and I’m the CEO of Fundable. I’ve worked as an entrepreneur for over two decades, so I’ve learned that funding can be the most challenging part of getting a company off the ground. This is why I’ve created Fundable.”
The second shot should be of your product. You do not need to be in this shot; the varied images will keep the viewers’ interest piqued. Introduce your product in this part – use your elevator pitch. Say the product’s name, what problem it solves, and how it works. This part should last 15-25 seconds.
Example: “Fundable is an online rewards and equity based crowdfunding platform. We help startups to obtain funding by posting their information, raises, and stories on a public platform. We also provide tools for success – these include social media help, pitching advice, and marketing assistance.”
The third shot should show the product in action. Is it a website? A shot over the shoulder of someone using the website could be useful. Is it a rocking chair? Someone should be using that rocking chair. Is it food? … You guessed it. Someone should be eating that food like they’re starving. This part can be an elaboration on the elevator pitch, a short music-only shot, or include text of some sort and should last approximately 15-20 seconds.
Example: (while showing Wil clicking through the Fundable website) “We host startups in all kinds of industries on our platform. Entrepreneurs trade rewards or shares in their company for funding from backers – all the backers have to do is click on a project they like, enter their payment information, and they’ve got it. If the startups don’t raise all of their goal by the end of the campaign, no money or products exchange hands.”
"Do Something About It"
This shot should be something authentic and relevant to the product. If you’re a snowboarding company, this can be an action shot of someone snowboarding and having fun. If you’re a clothing manufacturer, this could be someone sewing the clothing or drawing sketches for future pieces of clothing. This part should last around 15 seconds and include a call to action.
Example: (while showing a montage of funded companies) “We’re helping to pave the way for entrepreneurs’ dreams coming true, and we’d like to help you. Check out our profile and if you like what you see, pledge $50 today to be featured at a discounted rate on our website for a month.”
Bonus: To Outsource or Not?
A videographer isn't mandatory for your crowdfunding video – a high quality video is. If you're unfamiliar with video editing, handling a video camera, or planning shots that appear professional, it may be in your campaign’s best interest to hire a videographer.
Your videographer doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. One option may be to seek out an aspiring videographer either still in school or early in his career. Often, these types of videographers are still building their portfolios and would gladly provide services at a lower cost in exchange for portfolio content. Local design or photography schools are great resources for this type of research.