Funding Tips: How Creatives Can Greenlight Their Projects

June 27th, 2023  |  by amaliehluthra

Funding Tips: How Creatives Can Greenlight Their Projects

Relying on your creativity isn’t always the easiest road to success, and for every person who makes it there are plenty who don’t. That shouldn’t put you off from aiming high and pursuing your dreams but it’s important to be aware of the challenges that lie ahead.

Perhaps that’s why we ought not to begrudge successful creatives because we don’t necessarily see all of the hours and hard work put into getting themselves to the top.

It’s not just great ideas and lots of effort that will see a creative get to the top, there is also the need for funding, which isn’t always that easy to come by. So we have put together some tips to help you find and enhance your funding potential to get your projects off the ground.

Spoiler: One way is actually super simple!

Perhaps that’s why we ought not to begrudge successful creatives because we don’t necessarily see all of the hours and hard work put into getting themselves to the top.

It’s not just great ideas and lots of effort that will see a creative get to the top, there is also the need for funding, which isn’t always that easy to come by. So we have put together some tips to help you find and enhance your funding potential to get your projects off the ground.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an excellent way to tap into the following and interest you already have established, or build anticipation through effective marketing efforts. With access to a large number of people through crowdfunding websites, you can quickly accumulate the funding you need to give your project the green light.

Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have a track record of raising money for projects, such as submitting your work to a film festival, that would otherwise have remained nothing more than just a pipedream in the minds of their creators.

However, these crowdfunding platforms typically require conditions to be met such as target amounts raised to unlock your financial help so it’s essential that you put together a well-defined project and strong marketing plan in place.

Applying for grants

An influencer, content creator, filmmaker or artistic person in general can be classed as an SME (small to medium-sized enterprise) if they meet the following criteria when making money from their creativity:

 

    • They must be a business entity, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited company

    • They must have fewer than 250 employees

    • They must have an annual turnover of less than £2 million or a balance sheet total of less than £1 million

If the criteria is met, you may be eligible for government grants, loans and other forms of support. You may also be able to take advantage of tax breaks and other benefits designed to help SMEs.

Artistic support

Besides basic business grants, there are also a number of government and private grants available to support creative projects thanks to National Lottery funding and other initiatives.

For example, the British Film Institute (BFI) is one of the largest funders of film and television in the UK and it offers a variety of grants for filmmakers, writers and producers. Similarly, the Arts Council England is another major funder of the arts and it offers a range of grants for artists and arts organisations.

Platform creator funds

There is no denying the level of work that goes into making a success of being a social media influencer. Platforms are beginning to recognise the impressive efforts of some creators by creating in-house funding programs to help them further stand out from the crowd and create content people want to see.

For example, TikTok’s Creator Fund and YouTube’s Shorts Fund both provide budding and established stars with financial backing for generating top-performing posts. If you have great ideas and lots of engagement on your posts, it’s worth exploring whether your chosen platform is willing to financially back you for bringing people to them.

Sponsorships and affiliate marketing

It’s not uncommon for production companies and creative individuals to seek sponsorship from larger organisations willing to fund a project in return for brand exposure. This is particularly useful in the age of social media content creation but it’s certainly not unheard of to see product placement in films either. Sponsorship is a great way to unlock additional funding for your project but you must also be aware of your audience and how they may react to seeing a certain brand or product in your work. A heavy-handed example would be marketing yourself as a vegan influencer but promoting meat-based products, of course in this scenario you wouldn’t even entertain the idea but when money is being put on the table it can sometimes be difficult to say no.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, many companies offer an option to earn commission from mentioning their brand - sometimes as low-key as just having a link in the video description. This is a great way to earn passive income that can further fund your projects. In fact, if you’re currently on the lookout for some additional income, then look no further than Filmstro’s affiliate program which you can join right here. We offer 50% commission and an average of $94.50 per subscriber that joins via your referral link. And all you have to do is use Filmstro - for FREE - as part of your videos and share a link.

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Paid-for content and subscriptions

If you believe in the quality of your work, there is nothing wrong with charging extra for it. The way social media works means you kind of have to give something away for people to view for free, but it doesn’t have to be the case for everything you create.

Content creators in particular are now holding back some of their best content for their subscribers who are willing to pay to unlock it using platforms like Patreon. This additional revenue stream allows you to put more money into your projects to deliver even better quality content for your fans, audience and followers.

Fundraising the old fashioned way

There is still something to be said for fundraising using more traditional methods, such as hosting parties and events, auctioning off valuable items to your followers and applying directly to potential investors, such as bank loans, corporations and even local entrepreneurs.

This way you can find investors who are more attached to the success of your project, which can add pressure but is also a rewarding experience when they see your vision come to life.

Tips for approaching potential investors and funding

Conduct thorough research – Before applying for any funding, investigate the options available and determine which opportunities you are eligible for. Read all guidelines carefully to ensure you meet the criteria.

Develop a compelling proposal – When applying for funding, create a persuasive proposal that outlines your project in detail, including a budget and marketing plan. Explain your concept clearly to generate excitement about your work.

Network with industry peers – Connecting with other creators is an excellent way to uncover funding prospects. Attend industry events, join online communities and reach out to those producing similar content. Share information and explore collaboration.

Persistence pays off – Do not be deterred if your initial funding applications are unsuccessful. Continue applying while incorporating feedback and your chances of securing support will improve over time.

The best way to get funding for your content creation or influencer career will depend on your individual circumstances and goals. If you're just starting out, it may be helpful to apply for grants or to try crowdfunding. As you grow your audience and your brand, you may be able to attract sponsorships and brand deals.

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