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This article was published on September 1, 2014

How to make a crowdfunding video that sells itself

How to make a crowdfunding video that sells itself
Johnathan Leow
Story by

Johnathan Leow

Johnathan Leow enjoys helping startups with idea validation, crowdfunding and go-to-market strategies. Previously a marketing guy @PROTAG. Johnathan Leow enjoys helping startups with idea validation, crowdfunding and go-to-market strategies. Previously a marketing guy @PROTAG.

Johnathan Leow is the author of “The Crowdfunded Kit.” 

I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with the video concept for my previous crowdfunding campaign, the PROTAG Duet. That video eventually went viral and received over 9,000 Facebook shares.

But the greatest lesson learnt was that in order to make a video go viral, we must intentionally have the mindset to make one that sells by itself from Day One.

duet video
(Duet’s campaign video has over 9,000 Facebook shares)

Though it is not a requirement for crowd funding campaigns to have a video, Kickstarter statistics show that campaigns that have a video are 66 percent far more likely to raise funds than those that don’t. Videos are great ways to tell your product’s story, as well as for viewers to make a human connection with you, the product creator.  

Let’s look at three powerful ways we can make crowdfunding videos that sell by themselves:

1. Videos that sell ‘steal’ ideas from other great videos

Good artists copy. Great artists steal“- Steve Jobs

Remember this famous quote?

There’s a fine line between copying and stealing. Copying means explicitly taking someone else’s idea and calling it your own. But if you are inspired by an existing idea, and modified it so that its your own, that’s the context of what Steve Jobs was referring to.

While its a controversial statement, it holds weight. It’s true even for the process of learning. We learn everything in life by imitating others. For example, if I want to get better at cooking, I’ll imitate the cooking of great chefs by following their tips, advice and recipes.

The same thing goes for making great videos. Videos that sell usually borrow concepts and ideas from other videos that have proven to work.

If this is your first time making a video, don’t be intimidated. Seek successful campaigns out, and spend time watching and observing what makes great video. After all, if a video has already proven itself to make good money, why risk reinventing the wheel?

2. Sell the story first, then your product

Lumi is a special ink dye for printing your own clothes and fabrics, using only sunlight or UV rays to develop the color.

Lumi’s video sells its product story very well, because its founder Jesse Genet makes it easy for viewers to understand and follow its chronological journey from concept to creation. When you make it easy for people to walk through your product’s story, it immediately builds credibility.

Notice that Lumi’s video focuses strongly on the human element. The video displays the genuine and authentic personalities of Jesse and her team, and she’s personally narrating throughout the video.

People like to see campaigns that have passion, combined with some great product demonstration to prove that what you’re selling works.

3. Sell an experience

If you still haven’t heard about the GoPro camera, well, you are probably living in the stone age!

GoPro is a high definition personal camera that’s often used in extreme action video photography. Before proceeding any further, watch this GoPro promo video first, and take note of the emotions running through you.

GoPro wasn’t crowdfunded, but its promo video is well-done. There is an important lesson we can learn from it.

Pause for a moment, and now relive the emotions that you felt while watching this video. Did you find the clip..

  • Scary
  • Exciting
  • Daring
  • Full of adrenaline

Those were some of the feelings that described how I felt while watching GoPro’s video. Did you notice that GoPro did not focus at all on selling the camera’s features at all? Instead, it only simply showed the GoPro in action, mounted on a motorcross helmet.

Even if I’m not an adventure enthusiast, this video is enough to trigger an internal desire to buy a GoPro camera.

What’s the lesson here? Great videos sell experiences, not products.

The backflips and death defying stunts are enough to bring out the side of us that longs for adventure. It’s that part of us that longs to do crazy things, or YOLO (You Only Live Once) and gain recognition from our friends. And the subtle message is that where it once wasn’t possible, GoPro now enables people to share those exotic experiences.

When you sell experiences, people intuitively realize the need for them to buy your product.

If you can blend these three power tips together into one video, you have an almost sure winner in the making. And oh, don’t forget to enjoy the process!

Read next: The best tools, tricks, and strategies to create successful social video content

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