In the summer of 2011, I started working on my social media outreach. By then, it was clear to me that without a strong and solid social media presence, I wasn’t going to get very far or achieve what I was aiming for with my crowdfunding efforts.
In the late 2000s, I signed up for every social media website that I came across. My lack of specific focus when it came to social media resulted in inactivity or very irregular activity on some of the outlets. I wasn’t utilizing the Internet for a couple of reasons: I simply didn’t know how to use the networking websites for my benefit, and I found all the activities too time-consuming ( I was spread across 10–15 sites. What was I thinking!?!).
Spreading yourself too thinly doesn’t work in any business. So, first of all, I got rid of every social media account, which I found too confusing and not user friendly enough. My goal was to stick to 3–4 of the most popular and easiest to use sites.
Secondly, all the social media accounts that I decided to keep I got cleaned up. I updated my profiles and started learning how to navigate them, mainly Twitter and Facebook. Twitter was my biggest challenge, as my mind couldn’t figure out how the conversation was flowing.
To improve my Twitter confidence, I read an incredibly helpful e-book “Becoming a Twitter Pro in 20 Days” about Twitter do’s and don’ts and right away put everything into practice.
Soon enough, I was hooked (luckily back then I didn’t have a smartphone).
Of course, a mere following people on Twitter is pretty easy but getting involved in the conversation and being part of it is a different ball game. One that requires time and willingness to engage, listen and be helpful. I was keen and eager to get to know people online and help them in any way I could to promote their work and ideas.
I don’t feel it’s ethical to ask people for any kind of help if you aren’t ready to support others in exchange. The support can materialize in the form of financial assistance during their crowdfunding campaign or with re-tweeting of their content, reading their book, commenting, interviewing; in short — engaging.
Part of my outreach and support of creative individuals was to set up a blog with tips about writing and filmmaking. All the practical tips and advice are based on my own experiences. Any person who is a social marketer or anyone who teaches about social media exposure will tell you that having a blog/vlog is a must for anyone dreaming of success.
As I had been writing blogs and articles for a long time and in the past had even published them on my own filmmaking website it wasn’t time-consuming for me to recycle my filmmaking tips and adapt them for my blog.
During the time of working on my social media outreach, I was also in the process of publishing my first children’s book ‘Mikolay and Julia Meet the Fairies’.
That gave me an idea to start another blog, in support of other authors. I created a platform on my website that helped authors find more readers.
This proved to be very effective as the writers turned out to be a fantastic bunch of people who helped me a lot with tweeting, re-tweeting, and supporting my project during the 2012 IndieGoGo campaign.
Of course, my social media outreach didn’t only consist of tweeting and re-tweeting for others. Whenever I could, I shared my working experience with people who asked about filmmaking, writing, approaching agents, pitching and anything to do with producing visual content.
Being helpful and supportive to others was the magical ingredient that helped me create a supportive community around my projects.
A two-way nurturing community that you can count on and that can count on you too is what you need. Your online tribe will help you push your project forward, will support you and stick with you if you are willing to support them back.
Before you begin your campaign, brace yourself for a lot of headache and heartache. Your indie project is likely to be going up against a lot of fantastic ideas and business opportunities, so roll your sleeves up and start building your support system before you begin.
1. Choose appropriate social networking channels that you will be able to utilize accordingly.
2. Build and maintain a strong, content-fueled social media presence.
3. Be active, fully engage and willing to financially back other projects you believe in or find interesting.
From my research and from what I’ve noticed it looks like since 2014, the crowdfunding landscape has become pretty competitive. A lot of stars, starlets and celebrities have turned to crowdfunding platforms to support their pet projects. Also, many start-up businesses offer investment opportunities, which films can rarely offer. However, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It simply means that you will have to work even harder than you already do.