PERK YOUR LIFE UP - A SERIOUS BUSINESS
We’ve recently completed orders for most of our perks from the Disappear Here IndieGoGo campaign. And while we blogged a few thoughts about the nature of crowdfunding generally, there are a few more interesting things to say...
As previously mentioned, it is important to factor-in the design (your time), production and postage costs of producing your perks. It’s great if you create beautiful, bespoke items for the generous few who gave you money, just so you could make your ideas a reality – but in the real world – you have to control your expectations, and focus upon your project – as nice as perks can be – the crowdfunder is really in it for the money – and the project is the Big Thing – so your “margins” should aim to be broad (raise as much money as possible) and put more time towards the final goal.
The image below is a snapshot of the inclusive numbers from the final amount we actually received (£976.44), contrasted with the amount raised (£1050). IndieGoGo seem utterly generous, compared to the amount skimmed by Paypal - once again - it's something to bear in mind.
WHAT THE PERK?!
After the boring business above, it’s also really important to say that perks can and should be fun. Ideally, they will reflect/enhance what your project is about. Disappear Here is all about Coventry ringroad – so ideally – lots of circular gear that at least reflects the shape, or harks back to other iconography – motoring/elephants/phoenix/brutalism/modernism – this is all well and good – but in reality, this can also be a stretch. The DH logo is not strictly circular, in itself; our pin-badges are – but otherwise, we were forced to think more on our feet. Another angle on this could be something like postcards, the sense of transience, a postcard from somewhere – that might have worked – but how exciting is a postcard?! The jury is out...
We did have plans and ideas of producing something like PiL’s Metal Box album – but once again – cost rears its ugly head. This is perhaps more of a £100/£200 donation gift, which is hard to put together before you’ve actually done any part of your project – crowdfunding is an inherently precarious chicken Versus egg process.
PEOPLE ARE GENEROUS
The people who are most willing to help you and support your project may not necessarily ask for a perk. Some people can see that you are running on eggshells, and as such, it does little good to bleed an artistic stone that is very much rolling towards a long-term creative goal, not necessarily looking to flog merchandise to create a project infrastructure – while this is a major step, it can make you feel more like a business manager than a free-thinking creative type – head in the clouds, feet in concrete.
DISAPPEAR HERE – THE PERKS!
With perks now being sent out, it’s worth our mentioning that badges will be available to supporters later on, and as there will be a substantial amount of artwork produced over the course of the project – much of this can be purchased as a (FRAMED/UN-FRAMED) print* – (£25 / £10 plus P&P) which was one of our most popular perks – just get in touch!
Best of luck with your own campaign!
*We appreciate that this is perhaps a very gauche, commercialised and reified style of exploiting the work, but unlike clichéd artists of old, we refuse to starve in a garret or live off the thin air of “exposure” - all the money we make helps us to live / keep on creating.