A Gal’s Guide to Making a Movie is a new weekly written series by Erin Bagwell. To view the whole series click here.
Part Five: The Mogul
Sal and I took the night off on August 28th, 2014.
I had been working nonstop to try to raise the money for our Kickstarter campaign and I was utterly exhausted. We had raised $38K in three weeks but we still needed about $20K to reach our goal, and we only had four days left to do it.
It was safe to say at this point, I didn’t think we would make our goal. I was starting to feel really deflated and it was heartbreaking to know that despite doing my best, it wasn’t good enough.
While Sal and I were out at dinner my mother called to check-in on me. She had a habit of avoiding my calls during the weeks prior- I think it was too much for her to hear me so crestfallen. So when she called me, and I was on a rare night off, I was excited to hear her voice. She asked how the campaign was going and I lied to her and told her I thought it was going well.
Then there was a pause on the other line and she said something that totally floored me.
On the phone in that tiny ramen restaurant in Williamsburg, she told me that her and my father had talked about it, and they were willing to get a second mortgage on their house to cover the rest of the money needed to reach our goal.
My eyes flooded with tears and I was overcome with the love and generosity of their offer. I got a full body chill, and in that moment of support, I knew we would be funded. It didn’t feel like an option anymore- we would find the audience and I would make this happen.
I told my mom not to worry, that we still had time.
But let me back things up.
During the Kickstarter campaign, I did all kinds of press to get the word out.
Big press, little press, TV press, online press- whatever I could get my hands on to promote the film. However, I started to notice that it didn’t matter how many followers a brand had, it mattered how many *engaged* followers a brand had.
I’d throw my name and our Kickstarter link out to some BIG publications and stared lustfully at my phone waiting for a million notifications to come in, alerting me to people contributing to the campaign. But they never came.
However, the audience that was willing to take action and had an engaged audience were usually lead by a single person; an influencer.
These influencers were people who had spent years creating and cultivating an audience that liked what they like and were therefore, excited and motivated by the content they created and promoted.
So that’s who I reached out to- upwards of 100 influencers with an engaged audience and folks with a platform and a following.
And the one that emailed me back wasn’t just an influencer, she was a mogul. Her name was Marie Forleo.
Marie Forleo is the creator of MarieTV, a YouTube series with nearly 350,000 subscribers. Her mantra is to help you build “a business and a life you love.” She is also the founder of B-School, which is her digital business course aimed at helping you achieve said life. She is also extremely passionate about empowering women globally through investment, education, and media.
Marie and I chatted on the phone for an hour. She told me about feeling discriminated against when she worked on Wall Street, how she cut off all her hair to look less feminine, and how she cried in St. Anthony’s on Broadway in New York City when she felt like her dream job in finance just wasn’t the right path for her.
We connected, I heard her story, and I felt a cosmic swell that she was going to be an amazing voice to showcase in the film.
She offered to spread the word to her community and the next day she sent out a newsletter about the Dream, Girl Kickstarter to over 200K people.
That morning was one of the best days of my life.
Join us next Wednesday to hear the next part of Erin’s story. Or sign up for Feminist Wednesday’s newsletter to get it right to your inbox.