There are three common scenarios when the clock runs out on crowdfunding campaign.

  1. Congratulations – you reached your funding goal.
  2. Yowza! – you obliterated your funding goal by a huge margin.
  3. Time to regroup – your campaign came up short.

So the ever-important question in all creative endeavors – what to do next?

Finish the damn project!

Regardless of the outcome of your campaign,  if you’re passionate about your project, you owe it to yourself to finish it. If it’s dependent on financial support and you were blindsided by scenario #3, then you may want to consider breaking it up into smaller, more digestible chunks and/or reevaluating the scope of what you can realistically accomplish. Art isn’t a perfect process, and unfortunately neither is funding it – especially if you’re an independent creative who doesn’t have access to the “Uncle Scrooge” level money bins that larger mega-corporate mega-conglomerates have.

Ship It. Ship It Real Good

If your campaign succeeds in reaching its goal (scenarios #1 and #2 above), your backers will expect swift completion and shipment of the deliverable goods you promised them as part of the reward tiers and stretch goals. Hopefully, you already had a head start in completing your project before your campaign went live, right?

Now that the campaign is over and is a success (congrats, by the way), you need to follow through with your end of the deal.  The less time you wait on shipping things out, the better. Rope in family and friends to help you organize packing and checklists because this is admittedly the least fun part of the process and you’ll want to ask the people that are most likely not going to hate you when it’s over. Remember that Producer person we mentioned way back in the Phase 2 article? This would be a great time to put their organizational skills to the test.

Thank your supporters

Fortunately platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo make it easy to send out mass emails to your supporters, so the burden of keeping track of contact info is somewhat lighter. However, if you have the time, energy (and/or extra team members to do it for you), you will find an extra level of gratification in directly thanking your contributors on an individual level. Now, obviously in a largely successful campaign, you may end up with thousands of individual contributors, so budget your time wisely.

Don’t be afraid to brag a little on social media as well. Your successful campaign would not be a success if it wasn’t for the money, time and attention of all the people out there. Share your humble thanks and let them enjoy the part they played in making your dream happen.

Pay it forward

You are not the only artist out there with a dream project. If you see that someone whose work you admire has started their own Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, do your best to get the word out. Contribute money to their project. Tweet about it. If you know the artist personally, reach out to him or her and offer your help. Become an evangelist in the same capacity that you would want them to be yours. Imagine the thanks you’ll get the next time you see that artist at Comic-Con!

Continue the momentum

A successful crowdfunding campaign serves as validation of the demand for your work. The final product that comes out of the campaign is your calling card, proving that you have a fan base and that they are eager to support you. How you capitalize on these positive vibes is ultimately up to you, but leveraging that fan base into a second campaign is not unheard of. Crowdfunding success stories are a dime a dozen, but who knows – yours might be the one that lands you a full time gig at a large studio or leads to your original IP being optioned by a big Hollywood producer. But you won’t know for sure until you get your dream project out into the world.

Crowdfunding, despite it’s potential pitfalls, is a great way to get the ball rolling. Just do us a favor – let us know about it. Zerply is always willing to lend a hand and share the awesome work into which our growing community of artists has poured their blood, sweat and tears.

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