First of all Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou to everyone who supported me!
Secondly, I don’t see my Crowdfunding campaign as a failure (I put that headline there to tease you! )
The story goes: Last week the Possible campaign I had been running ended and wasn’t successful. You can still view it here: http://www.pozible.com/project/195417
I had many pledges of support from friends and family. In my research, I found that many pledges in successful campaigns come from people who already know you. Contrary to the belief that random people are going to give you money (which may happen in campaigns for the social good) but when its something of the nature that I was looking at support was really going to come from friends or friends of friends. I was mindful of that all the way along. # TIP1 – Know who you are talking to.
On this notion I was just amazed by the generosity of people that I have just met online in the past AND the fact that there was random people who just pledged money just because I asked.
The whole thing started with, ofcourse coming up with the campaign itself and knowing that I was ASKING people for help which was extremely difficult for me. It was hard to ask people for something i needed.
I had been reading (prior to even thinking about this) “The Art of Asking: How I learned to stop worrying and Let people Help” – by Amanda Palmer, http://twitter.com/amandapalmer.
I had seen Amanda in a TedEx talk quite some time ag0 (you can watch it here) and following that came across her book sometime later, so from that conversation in my mind I had already begun to see that there was power in asking and that it was a challenging concept for me not just in my professional but also in my personal life and this was something I will have to wrestle with – > I wrote a post about it.
Why would people give me money? Why should other people support my career? Why can’t I fund it myself? Why can you just go and get support the way other people do who go to uni and pay later?
There are lots of questions I asked, some I had answers to others I didn’t. Overall I decided it was something I was going to embark on and I knew that NOT doing something just because I wasn’t comfortable, isn’t a good enough reason not to do it. What did I have to loose? People don’t HAVE to support me, they are doing it because they want to AND I was actually totally fine that people didn’t actually part with their money unless I met the target. To me that was a good thing, it meant that they were protected as well. That was all good.
“when you reach the uncomfortable bit, it is when you know you are about to embark on something good, something new this is the part that is telling you to keep going!”
That is something I am always saying in art class.
#TIP2- Face your demons, if you have some around this face them ask yourself questions – KNOW your why!
Once I had committed to the idea of funding a campaign, I knew that it would be uncomfortable but i would need to do it! Otherwise i would be a hypocrite in all that I stand for! I won’t go into the technicalities of shooting and editing a video in one weekend! That was a challenge in itself, especially whilst trying to look after two kids but hey, i did it! Sure there are bits that need improving it’s not movie quality, there are bits I would have changed if i could but i wasn’t going for professional angle I was just happy I was able to deliver – i was talking to the audience of people who already KNOW me remember. If i could afford a super dooper camera and editing i probably wouldn’t be in a crowdfunding campaign was the way i looked at it.
#TIP3: If you are going to embark on this journey, keep remembering your audience in your marketing, and don’t let the technical things like of not having a good camera stop you this is not a good enough reason not to do it. People don’t really care about video in this case, they care about you! I shot my video on my Samsung phone and edited with Movie Maker!
So next came the campaign itself … the asking, the posting the planning of how it was going to play out.
I did researched this bit. I knew that there would be people who would pledge no matter what, there would be a quiet period during the campaign when nothing happened, and that often there was a burst at the end of the campaign. What surprised me again was the fact that people actually pledged pretty much during the whole time! My friends and colleagues, shared my posts they supported me in the ways that THEY could! That was important to me, it wasn’t about how much or whether you pledged or not. I can’t tell you how much joy this brought me just to know they thought of me, I didn’t feel so alone in my quest. This brought some hope but mostly gratitude. What astounded me even more is that i had at least 4 friends / colleagues actually ring me to discuss how they could help and give me some options.
One person said
“What is it I’m actually pledging for? I know i pledged money but i didn’t even really look at what it was for, it was just you and you asked for it so I gave”
Can you imagine?
Of course, I can! I have done this myself, bought something without really researching it because it was recommend by someone else, or pledged towards something just because I knew the other person. It’s just different when you put yourself out there and it happens for you. AMAZING.
I was able to raise over $2000- worth of pledges. Almost half-way. I knew it was a tall ask to get the full amount when I set out. Perhaps I could have made it had my campaign been a bit longer? Perhaps I could have done a bit better mid campaign in terms of promotion and asking… I just knew however, I regardless was going to have to deal with the reality of it all!
#Tip4 – Whilst your campaign is running you are going to hit reality. Work out a way before you start of how you will deal with it. It will make it easier!
Reality, I only had 1 month.
I was along halfway in my campaign when I went to Perth to attend a workshop with an international coloured pencil artist Ann Kullberg whom i have followed my whole career and fellow aussie cp artist Julie Podstolski (AMAZING). On the plane trip home I also received the gift of a cold, a terrible cold one at that and it knocked me around for at least 3 weeks. I had to cancel some of my kids classes as I lost my voice and still function as a primary carer for my two kids (mums aren’t allowed to get sick, especially ones who are doing it on their own), there are also a myriad of other things that went on (which sound like excuses at some level but ultimately i will say it was just life! It made things hard. It’s ok though, really it is. I had anticipated that it would be hard to maintain an extremely high level of commitment from myself. I find that i am stuck in that situation alot due to my health, energy and family commitments but I gave myself permission to just do the best I could with what I had.
The WHOLE time, despite feeling like total and utter crap, it still sat with me in such a wonderful place that people were continuing to support me. Some people whom I thought might help didn’t, but that was ok, it was all good. Maybe they didn’t believe I was going to really get there? Maybe they just didn’t want to? Could be 100 other reasons none of which are to do with me and whether they wish to support me or not. I found out after it all ended that some people had planned to pledge but really just forgot about it or weren’t aware of the deadline.
The point for me as in much of my life as in my art is that its about the journey not the end result.
I planned not to get too caught in who didnt and didn’t pledge or share, or how close I was to my target. If i was of different personality type and perhaps not feeling like utter shit, I could have made a few calls and cheekily asked, hey have you seen my campaign? Do you want to pledge some money? Actually in thinking about it there would be a few people who probably would have liked me to do that. Had i done that i might have made my target. But, go back to the beginning. That is not me, that’s not who I am in that time and place. Were i to do it again would i do this? Perhaps? Maybe maybe not.
Some would say I am not driven enough, others might say if I really wanted it I would have made it happen… I am not playing into that game. That game doesn’t end in Belinda feeling good. They don’t walk in my shoes, I am who I am, I did what I did and I am not making any apologies for that.
#Tip5- You are responsible, know what your willing to do and not do to promote your campaign. Don’t panic.
I HAD TRUST – that the whole process would be bringing me to something, whether that be a lesson, a person, guidance or a clearer direction. In all the things my life has lead me through, I know that there is always a valuable lesson that can be learnt from the experience. I was driven to complete the campaign and embrace the experience as much as I physically, mentally could. There WOULD be benefit, whether I met the target or not.
Then came the end…
Nope i didn’t make it. There are a few reasons why I probably didn’t make my target. I’m not going to prat-ell them off here, as my campaign will be different from anyone elses campaign, network or experiences. But I have given you some crowdfunding tips along the way which I hope help. Sure I’m disappointed, but i have gratitude in the experience of it and of the people who have supported me through it. It warms me to know that i am not totally alone in my journey even though it very often feels like i am.
It has taught me a few lessons about directions and decisions. About being kind and accepting but MOSTLY about myself and my art. At the moment I still feel a bit raw, a bit vulnerable, a bit unsure of the real value of what I will gain from it all. To those who are embarking on the crowdfunding adventure, I applaud you, its not an easy journey to make. Go forth with my support and please contact me, I will help you in whatever way I can.
Some people have been quite worried for me because i didn’t make it, I Thankyou. I have traveled much harder journeys than this, and i think i am still on a few of those … STILL yet to find the correct path. It’s easy to get discouraged wanting to give up. Leaving you wondering is this a good choice to make? But true to my form, I don’t often take the easy way out. Only by trying will I find the right path, and I wont find to it by doing the same thing over and over again that is even more ridiculous and I will never get anywhere with that. So I will continue to try and hopefully will ask a bit more when I need it.
In the past week, I have been immersing myself in the creative process. Listening to the inner voice to work, not listening to anything else unless I have to. My house is messy, I don’t want to see anyone and I have had moments when I just want to curl up block the world out delete this website never to be seen again. But then, I have picked up my easel all my recent paintings taken it out into the backyard and painted. I have been to my classes played the part as the tutor, and parted on my students that which I have learned recently, if I can help someone else in their journey then it helps.
To be honest, I am doing what makes me feel good as much as possible I know I need to TRUST the process again and see where it takes me. I am not trying to adhere to conditions, I do enough of that in other parts of mylife. At the moment I need to just follow the flow FOR ME and know that i will get to the next step at some point. I am slowing learning to listen to the advice I give in class…
TRUST the process do not to be afraid – be ok with being uncomfortable as it will lead you somewhere. You will KNOW when you get there.
Thankyou again for your support. Love and hugs to you. I hope this helps.
Would love your support, please share this post or my tips on your twitter or instagram for your continued support. Like my work and comment where you can. Most of all talk to me or someone else in your life who might need your encouragement particularly if they are an artist. That might be the only encouragement that person gets all day / week. 🙂