The Evolution of Crowdfunding for Creatives

April 23, 2014
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Written by Jason Francis

Social Media has opened up the ability of the ordinary person with extraordinary thoughts to reach out without limit and influence people, cultures and businesses. We often look at the power of the expressed word via blogs, video and tweets as the growing medium to deliver these messages. Presently though, we are seeing the meteoric rise of crowdfunding. This takes the expressed idea to the next natural level which is major financial support.

There is a lesson I learned in my professional career that you truly know how much people support you by the movement of money.  It’s one thing to click links, share and RT content but the ability to financially move and influence takes the power of social media to another realm. Recently, Temple University hosted a crowdfunding panel that featured two ladies that have leveraged the power of the site Kickstarter to fund a number of projects for their respective businesses. Issa Rae, creator of Awkward Black Girl, and Evita Robinson, creator of the Nomadness Travel Tribe, stand as examples of what can be done via this new form of fund raising. Awkward Black is a critically acclaimed web series that Issa fully shot after raising nearly $60,000. Evita to date has run 3 successful campaigns to the tune of over $50,000 which included a national college tour in 2013. By humbling yourself and coming directly to the people, you get the most genuine of support possible.

“We have to get over the shame of asking people for help and we have to stop shaming those that ask for help.” – Evita Robinson

Not only does this directly result in resources to complete projects but in the process it turns the campaign leader into a better business person as the skills of marketing, promotion and social media interactivity get pushed to the limit, making things work out. In addition, it can put you on the radar of major brands in a way that was not possible before. This isn’t a mega corporation giving you what they think you want. This is direct unquestionable input and desire from the consumer.

In response to the changes in the economy and workforce, over the past few years we’ve seen the rise of creative new means to reach success. Technology opened the doors for remote business, Social Media is transforming and extending the reach of our voices, and now crowdfunding is changing how businesses bring products to the public. Are there limits to what the people can do without major business investment dollars? There may be no roof to this newly created field. A perfect example is the recent success of M3D, a Washington DC-based startup that raised $1 million dollars within the first 24 hours of their kickstarter campaign for a consumer-based 3D printer. Presently, they’ve raised over $2.5 million in a little over a week. From travel to television to technology, crowdfunding has put control of our creative destinies squarely in our hands.

About The Writer: Jason Francis is a Writer, Blogger and Social Media consultant. He specializes in connecting the rapidly growing world of digital media and entrepreneurship via social media. His site www.TheSocialMediaSamurai.com speaks on a number of social, technical and professional issues that affect the lives of young business people. In addition to this, he helps manage the Nomadness Travel Tribe, an international collective with over 7000 members worldwide.

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