How to Finance Your Personal Project


Turning Personal Projects Into a Career


Lesson Info

How to Finance Your Personal Project

What I love about this project is giving children a voice to say to the world how they feel so it'll be great to have these guys say how they feel number one about being part of this project what it means to them and more so of course I do ladies first who will start here okay so was it like for you to be in this project was a feel like to be photographed and what she would take on the future would you like to see happen if you are the president of the united states um well this is very cool being here with you all and I think if I was the president I would first start by we send billions of dollars every year the u s does to egypt and the money doesn't get sent to the actual people and just get sent to the muslim brotherhood regime and so I would make sure it would get sent tio the actual people of egypt and not just the people in charge of egypt and so for instance we were there like all the streets except for like the really fancy hotels were like it was practically walking in slums...

they everyone was so poor they don't have any money there's flies everywhere the streets were dirty so those are the people who I need the money, not just the government this is why under this project they have a voice and have a lot to say and they can't be ignored thank you but how do you feel how did you feel being photographed and how do you think this will change how you think it will impact your life being part of this book I really am glad that this project is being done I think it's what we did hear from the young people in our country including me and um I am if I was president I was I want to take care of all the boning informal because as that this book is saying the future presidents, the kids of this nation of the future and if their border lowers the self esteem so I think that we should if I've posted at focus on the kids and divorcee stop being jokes because we need you if no one gets in trouble or they're gonna keep being rude to keep picking and pulling and not helping so if we focused on the kids it can help a few short and I think this project has really packed my life because it's me it's ways race of steam and I've I had left of course is that score good? It will be even better and your soul you're so beautiful your state was so powerful you have a lot to say I'm so proud of you and thank you for being a part of this project their other kids who feel the same way who are going through what you have going through in school and they'll identify with your words and thank you for everything you've done and being apart this project hee hee I want to talk about news how the news exaggerate about egypt how they say bombs were going off in egypt but I was watching the news in egypt and more travel guys said that just a block go down and was like a little fire with their exaggerating and it looks like a big fire so I will if I were to be the president I would stop that I would like maybe check the news first and then send it into the news company sounds cool thank you guys so much shouldn't have a lot to say the image is a powerful what they say is powerful and you're looking at the future right now twenty years from now you'll be looking at kids they have the ability to take charge and lead this country them as adults even their children their children's children what happens today what happens in this book will affect them and their children and their children's children forever and you are now all a part of it in the process as we are making it so guys thank you so much very much for coming out here and speaking and tell me how you feel about your future about the world and being a part of future presidents you know it's funny because the beginning of my career I want to shoot fashion and beauty and celebrities and I thought that would be fulfilling that would make me feel so amazing toe have my work published and it does feel great I don't take anything away from that but that's not what fills my soul what makes you feel good inside you know I do all these jobs and had the work published but you do feel a little empty after that doing my personal projects like this it feels you in a different way you don't feel empty you're you're creating something that's special that's deeper that's a part of you so I'd like to hear from you guys if you have a personal project and you have questions about uh how you go about doing it, bring him out here if you're not scared to say anything about your project put it out there it's an into crave live I'll try to answer those questions right now so send those in well as we go through the process of funding your creative projects, I think we have a question already one of the things that I would like to discuss is you're talking about personal projects and I think sometimes we get overwhelmed because we're thinking they have to be big I have a personal project that you suggested that to write a magazine article and if you could discuss kind of how to get there how to get people involved that would really be helpful to make allison thank you so much for that reminding me about that because people do feel they have to have a big colossal no gigantic project to make it worth well but no, it doesn't have to be maybe a project is having your personal project just published in a magazine and that also is a big deal. So how do you make that happen by submitting your work simply said their magazines all over the world who are looking every month for submissions you give them the story give me your idea and submitted to the magazine may be surprised how much this stuff it's published by you guessed giving that magazine the idea it could be an online magazine could be potential magazine which I hope never goes away if he all those different things to get your project out there so your party can be something for publication it can be a book can be exhibit it can be bigger than that it's up to you there is no right or wrong way to do your project it's your vision put out there thank you alison thank you very much that question from the old way of funding versus the new way of funding a project the old way was in two thousand one I went to a publisher and had them fund my project that's not easy it's never been easy to use your work published in that way but once upon a time it was the only way to go and publishers where the gatekeepers in getting your work published and lawson found I had a corporation fund the project microsoft sponsored and funded the project and that was an altruistic project lost and found was not for sale it was given away so I had a publisher that sponsored a project I had my microsoft corporation that funded, lost and found and now we have a crowd funding what is crowdfunding? Because people don't know how it works so let's go through that process. What is crowdfunding has anybody here does seem I have ah project now being crowdfunded I think somebody not always does does anybody have a project on kickstarter? You have funded in the past? I've donated on kickstarter before, but I haven't funded one of my projects yet. So tell me about that process was it like how do you use kickstarter meat? From your point of view, my point of view uh founded project and uh you look into it they usually have a video system submission or narrative about what their project is about um mindy gledhill has a project of through creative life on and then of course I also donated to yours and I actually got my kids involved there watching the video behind me and thinking it's pretty cool that's wonderful let's go in deeper in the crowd funding up here you have you doing as well? I have never done one before and I don't have a project on kickstarter right now. However, I'm I'm planning on having one within the next thirty days, so I'm kind of in that research and development and getting the video tune don't because wonderful let's go through crowd funding. So how to use crowdfunding? You want to first create your your online campaign? You want to sketch it all out just like when you first have your idea for your project? Write it down, make sure you have the idea solid you're on my campaign describes your project so that people can get it they want to know about it, can you do it was your experience? Who are you and why are you the person to do? This project explained that you'd make a video and I hate doing this process, but you must do it. Make a video that describes your project until the crowd about your project write it down first planet out, make a video set a goal for the amount of minutes you want a raise for your project and they're they're more than just this more than just kick start the other programs out their web sites out there that can use for crowd funding and we'll go through those sites as well I'm talking about kickstarter because they are the biggest one the biggest crowd so with kicks daughter you said an amount of money that you want to fund a project but also of kickstarter it's all or nothing if you want to raise five thousand dollars for your project and you can only raise two thousand dollars you don't get the money and nobody's charged so if you don't raise the amount of money you trying to get you get nothing and no one is charged so you're making a pledge for a project as you sign on to back a project uh it's done through amazon and at that time is just a hold you pledge tio pledge a dollar they're not charging that dollar until the end of the project and they see if it's funded or not the tons of crowd funding sources of course there's kickstarter which we've been talking about today but there are others as well like indiegogo dot com there's also unbound which is for books on lee and pump slush which is also books on lee they're probably even mohr that you because we know about that I don't know about eileen about these four and they're great for your personal projects and they all work a little different I think indy gogo does not if you raise four thousand dollars in turn raise five thousand dollars you'll get a portion of the money we'll kick stories all or nothing, it just changes with each company so decide which works best for you and your project maybe a project is ah, a book on lee, maybe you're designing a game. Maybe you were designing a new pin or new watch that would be for kickstarter, so kick star is for creative projects, but it must be a project with a beginning and an end and it mostly switching bring to life so all the rules are on kickstarter dot com you can check all that out and see if your product falls into one of those categories pros and cons, crowdfunding well, there a lot of pros that very few cons and that's why I love it today because this was not around five years ago, ten years ago and now the world's changing so much publishing is changing a lot. Speaking of which, there's a book, I think if you want to do a book, beauty, a photo book or just ah reading a book there's a great book for you to read about how to bring your book to life, and it's called a p a p e the fantastic book, so check that one out kick starts the biggest one and that's why I'm using them and if you don't eat you go you get nothing so it be who's you toe push your project out there now with kickstarter and all these crowdfunding sites it's not easy you just want to like make your your campaign and put it out there then sit back and it's going to happen it doesn't work that way you gotta push it every single day and you only have a limited time they suggests three days on kickstarter that's their suggestion you goes which is forty five days but once you said it you can't change it so you have a limited amount time to raise the money if you don't hit it yes all over again but it pushes you to make it happen you can exceed your goal on crowdfunding sites but you can't do less than that on kickstarter if you say you want to raise two thousand dollars you raise eighteen hundred on kickstarter you get nothing you must reach your goal or exceeded in order to get anything how it works how does crowdfunding work? You offer the finished product to the crowd the general public and exchange you offer your product or other benefits so it's not like you're giving money and getting nothing in return for anything you donate you get something back in return and that's the beauty of it so before you make your project you should donate to a project before I made my kickstarter campaign I found three photo parts that I liked a lot and I don't need it and I saw how it worked and I watch people like give me updates on their projects like oh this is really kind of cool and I got involved in it and I watched them and became part of the project there's a photographer in brazil who shot pictures back in the nineties of these children and she went back again and she's there right now shooting these same children as adults so I donate to her project and I loved it and I loved her telling about you know here she is on the plane getting off the plane you take a picture and put it on her kicks daughter to show you her in the airport going to meet the first people and I love being part of that process so I'll use kick start the same way from now on as I go out if it's funded I will take you all around with me and show you as I go state to state and updated even after it's funded that's the beauty of these sites you take everybody with you through the process and see how they make their project come to life that's a wonderful, wonderful thing to watch others do it so you can do the same thing or more so wonderful wonderful outlet that we now have that we don't have five years ago you decide on your price points for levels and kick start it could be anything from one dollars to ten thousand dollars but you decide on what you give each of those levels it's a wonderful idea so he is an example of what my page looks like I got to show pictures I give examples I talk about it I make uh levels for each person anywhere from being a dollar on up and each one there's a different benefit for example there's there's ah way to donate books to children at different schools you know what a one book in your name to a school oregon book you condone eight ten books to a school district is totally up to you I have always felt levels beyond just having a book for yourself you have one to give to your daughter's school your son school or the whole district it's only up to you and organization to do the same thing and it's all to you there's no rule about what you can or can't do it's totally up to you so you want think about all this before you make your project think about your levels look other projects get ideas see the ones that have been successful and the ones that have not been successful and find out how you can make it work perhaps we can do the questions while we wait for that and other questions in the audience right now the big topic fund your projects that's a big deal you mentioned that if you don't raise the money then you start all over again is there a limit with kickstarter on how many times you can start over again? Do you keep going keep going until you get it um I wouldn't do it again we kick start by different tried different site if I couldn't raise my goal on kickstarter if I would go to one of the other sites and try that way okay, thanks, but even if your question I'm not sure if you could do it more times on kickstarter but I'm not sure if that would actually do it if you didn't hit the first time on kickstarter gotta first figure out why didn't you hit that goal right? Maybe change up your offering or something thank you all for a meeting and change out how you promote your project how do you get it out there to the world? It's not easy you can't just put a post on twitter or on facebook and think people respond to it and you've got to think about how people respond to things. How do you respond to things? What makes you, you know, donate to a cause or project? Think about that and then tweak your project that way any idea if there's any rules as faras creating a separate five o three c for a nonprofit there are rumors going on kickstarter there are rules you can't do that one kickstarter catches they had that all those list down there things that you can and can't do you can't give it to charity you can't have ah fun, fun my life project you can't have that it needs to be a defined project so different read all the rules and regulations for funding project through kickstarter or any of the other sides they all have their own rules great thanks, matthew we do we do have some projects coming in from the internet as well they like to share one with you a mystic images says I have a dream to do something with teen pregnancy and matthews workshop has inspired me to try and do something with my photography skills in that area s o and they keep coming in as well past great to hear that's great to hear so what do you have for your projects? What's in you? How do you use photography? Tell your story and put it out there to the world ahmad christian is about you have actually you go gordon a kickstarter funding but before the eure kickstarter you actually did your research you knew how much is going to question, but maybe after you go to funding your, um expensive expenses we want went up so you know ah upend the whole thing and add more once you say you you raise all men you want to raise one kickstarter and it's not enough for your project you want to go back and do another type of fund raising another way or you fund the rest yourself so with my project it's causing a lot to do what I want to do if my expenses exceed my goal which they shouldn't I think what I put down should being finished the traveling and the printing of the books I don't research before so I know what it takes to finish the book if you don't hit your goal saying you hit your goal and you want tio raise mohr then you should probably like but more research into the time it takes you to toe to raise it. You don't want to put a lower amount on kickstarter saying it's one course you ten thousand dollars to finish your project but you're scared you won't get funded and you put down two thousand dollars to raise your your project two thousand dollars won't hit it so you have to give people something in return for their funding. You can't do that in two thousand dollars on course you ten thousand dollars to do it so make sure you put down a realistic goal for your what you want to reach and then you push like hell to get it funded hopefully and a follow up this is more so what if you've raised ferried out thirty thousand dollars and after you project you still don't need that much money what do you do with the actual do you refund it? Do you send it back if you have books you print more books what's really up to you to do anything you want that there are people who have raised I think that the top ones like two point one million dollars and they're people who make games and things like that so everything goes to the project you just make a better book more books have a traveling tour music to on your product where you want to all right thank you told it to you there's no rules on that one funny that you should mention that games as date deana and photography had told us that developers of the torment game one eight nine hundred thousand dollars and got four point five million as of today she says it's kind of insane but it's a pretty but that's a legendary game area I don't know that that sounds the gaming area is huge but I mean that's the thing that's great. So imagine if you know sixty people gave twenty five dollars apiece so second there's be a big investment what's the crowd who believes in your project I've acting funny three products that I really like and can't wait to come out feels good being part of it right? I mean it's it's a way to find if there's demand for your on a project is that project your product whenever it is making you have benefits special the secret to raising money on kickstarter is making your pledge levels your benefits special how can you make it special sometimes you're giving whatever you're making away as it is part of it people are say you're doing a book project you're basically pre selling your book but they can buy the book later on if they want to what else can you do besides that to make them feel special is being a part of your project so I have a lot of things that I thought about I don't talk to my friends about to get levels so in some cases I'm taking a polaroid because for polaroid there's only one image you can't copy it it's one image so on one level I'm saying people a polaroid from that location that's signed so they're really part of the project and it the only person in the world that has that polaroid that special in some casing cases I'm offering to go and speak to a school or organization about empowering their kids in some cases I'm offering a photo shoot where I bring a family or group to california and do a slimy style photo shoot I have always felt levels involved and have you can get involved so how can you make your pledge levels special? What can you do that special and different that nobody else could do? And one level I have the actual poster that zendaya wrote, and she has her special stuff on the poster and it's only one. So I'm giving that away. So all those fans who are fans of zendaya and their means of them out there, somebody can only have that one poster. So one person we could get that all these things are part of the project that I give in my levels. So think hard about your pledge levels in what you can do to get people involved if you have ideas for place levels. Cindy and this talk about those questions for the next one. I see there's any questions about that? Well, maybe, I mean, it would be cool to talk about one of the projects we have in our studio audience and whenever it anderson some pledge levels or things that maybe for the smile project, if you were to do a kickstarter actually, for my book, I had not planned on selling it out to the general public. This was going to be more private for marketing. I am beginning to teach other dentist orel photography and portrait photography, and I would be able to use that. Now guys you ready for this one? There is a great organization called give back a smile in the american academy of cosmetic dentistry and I was sitting here thinking about the stories that battered women would tell dentist volunteer their services to restore a battered woman's smile or man but it's usually women and use that for a fundraiser for the um give back a smile program that's cool so that would be more that's really cool yeah I like that a lot thank you don't let that go out of the meeting tomorrow and I was going to approach them about the give back a smile and stories on the left and the photos on the right I like that thank you I like that yeah you look alison we have some some questions that air coming in online question from camille how much over your estimate to finish your project do you think you should ask for on something like kickstarter and now we'll run into more expenses but I don't want to set my goal too high or too low no you don't want to get too high for sure or too low you try want hit it on the money supposed to possible it is what it takes for you to finish your project it's very tricky if you go too high because it's hard raising more money for sure if you go too low you have to still produce your project for what you said you didn't produce it for so you can make sure you you asked the right amount of money to finish your project another question came in from cyprus again high income in cyprus matthew I hear it can be a good strategy to find several different funding sources for the same project we're worried about not being funded is it okay to reach out to a couple different funding sources it's funny a friend of mine told me this just last week that that's acceptable to do I didn't know that until last week when a friend mentioned that to me as well so um I don't know if there's there's no rule on kickstarter about being on different sites at all um I'll look into that that's a good idea yeah thanks thanks for that question also because it's new for me is what I'm learning as I go so your hand again what if you're getting down to the end and you're short of your goal are you allowed to personally contribute so you go on amount good question I don't know about that to be honest I don't know but say if you like a thousand miles away for your goal in this I called my family right away guys contribute right away okay question I think that's a good question if you're that close I wouldn't want some of that happened you push harder to get it funded call I hadn't called all my clients shit, but this week I'm ten days away. I'm gonna call my clients and we'll call friends. I've actually called celebrities and ask him to tweet for me I called layla ali last week. I called one day last week had all them tweeting for me last last week when they get the word out there but a tweets not enough as it goes by so fast you gotta do more than just tweet and billing facebook and what I'm discovering it's it's more powerful, too is time consuming but it's more powerful if you send personal messages and get it out and have other friends to the same thing. So even now, more powerful if you guys tell your friends and teachers and families about a project that you believe in and get the word out that way, that sometimes is more powerful than funding yourself. So good question, thanks for that one other from me, the internet vision photog chimes in asking about tips and tricks that you might have learned in the process of funding you mentioned going into other funding projects. We're learning about it. Are there any pitching strategies that you learn it? Well? I think so it's a great it came from who again vision photo, online vision photo dog I love that question because I've learned I've learned so much in the last forty five days about it number one you've got to be on top of it every day, so when I start my campaign I was here but then I got a job had to leave and go to china, so the day I left into the day I came back, nothing happened at all all like kickstarter, so I learned that I need to be on top of it every single day loss a loss valuable days by being away because the time difference in china and here also not being to get online the way you can in the states in china's it was difficult but you need to be on top it every single day and it's almost a full time job just doing that and also people need to know that um if you don't raise the money, you may not make your party come to life or it may take longer if I don't hit my goal I'm not going to give up on my project it does take a lot longer to come out someday will come out next year says this year I want out the end of this year if I don't hit my goal it may be the end of next year before comes out so please for my project it's it's you going out there and pushing all the time I get up at five in the morning and I hit all social media so that's what I have to do to make it happen and it will be a lot of work for sure but like I said earlier it's not supposed to be easy this is brand new they're new and news today that we didn't have five years ago and to be brand new every was two years from now five years from now that make it easier and better to publish your word get it out there having exhibit so this is the time you go to work and you call in all your friends do clients your family to go out there and help you bring your creative projects toe life that's great thank you thank you for that question also again vision photo hog it's going to adjourn the audience yeah you've been talking about special benefits and just listening to you talk has given me a tundra different ideas on da slightly off topic I was mildly crushed to hear that there was no fund my life project available through kickstarter so I now do own fund my life project dot com but because it could be an idea but when it comes to something like the lower hanging fruit right, you know some of the things that are easier to offer that's because that's the stage that I'm in but I'm finding the most difficult is finding the incentives because given example well, my um my, the project that I'm not announcing just yet. It's called the american project, and while it's not while there's no there's, I'm not building anything. I'm not writing a book, but it will have me traveling a lot s o there would be the potential to meet with people or or something along those lines, but there isn't anything physical that intangible that yeah, there's, nothing necessarily tangible about it. So that's kind of the mogul that I'm trying to move so that's not tangible, so it is an idea it was what's the in product what would be as it is a name product the in product should be ah ah the it'll be easier for people around the united states to take advantage of our natural resource is to visit parks, tio ah, to get their youth think their kids and, you know, especially high school aged kids, out outdoors and into places that are really underfunded and ah and underutilized right now start by first running down um your game plan, write out a press release, go through that process of writing a press release, which I've also done that question about things you do I want with that b s election second as well, so write a press release and spell it out a one page explaining your idea and then look at it from being somebody else looking at your press release, will they get it and where they want to get behind it? And as he ask your friends, once you feel comfortable asking different friends, would they support this? If they didn't know you were, they supported? Sure, she'd support me, so we've already got so you have one person and my guess is that's to you so far we're doing good. So that question earlier about things that you do that I've learned through this process of doing the kick starter I've learned that it's very powerful, too also get is many things in the fire. Doing a press release has been great, so I had personally is done by a friend of mine, skip cohen. Thank you very much, skip cohen. You're amazing. Send out a press release and has been viewed over six times to the press. I have friends who produces on different shows. I call them up, okay, guys, what going to do, and they gave me advice on things to do to get it out there.

Class Description

"You build your business shooting for other people. You build your career shooting for yourself." From creating and choosing projects to organizing details and financing, this course will teach you how to effectively manage personal projects to grow your photography business. This inspirational workshop is designed to help you practice your craft and elevate your photography business. During this comprehensive course, Matthew will offer step-by-step instruction on how to launch and execute personal photography projects. Matthew’s workshop is part of a 3-day event sponsored by Sony called “Shoot What You Love", a 3-day inspirational event sponsored on April 22-24 with fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, family photographer Me Ra Koh, and conservation photographer Cristina Mittermeier.