For every new creator on the internet, there is another who is unaware of crowdfunding or has never been crowdfunded in Africa. Reminiscing about a celebrity crowdfunding campaign that sent the internet into a frenzy made me aware of how much creators are missing out and why a long-term solution was sorely needed. Davido, the multi-millionaire Afrobeat star, went online a few months ago and requested money from his fans and friends. Within 90 minutes of the posts, the Afrobeat musician shared a screenshot of his account balance, which showed more than 42 million nairas.
That’s not the end of the story; he received more money as time passed, and it wasn’t just from friends who wanted to help a friend, but also from die-hard fans who gave whatever they could afford. Korty, an avid content creator, requested money from her fans as a birthday gift last year, and her fans surprised her by sending her not only money but also gifts. Ini Cash is another YouTube content creator who asked his fans for help in purchasing a new camera, and his fans generously responded.
There are more remarkable crowdfunding stories and even people raising large sums of money, but the primary issue is why crowdfunding isn’t a household name among African creators, why the average African creator is hesitant to embrace this alternative monetization method, and why platforms like Fidia exist.
Crowdfunding is the practice of raising funds from many people. It is a type of alternative financing, as it involves financial routes and procedures that emerge from non-traditional monetary systems.
Crowdfunding is especially beneficial for creators who are unable to obtain funding from conventional sources.
Creators create massive amounts of free content, and this content is viewed by both local and international audiences. The consistency with which this content is produced converts regular viewers into fans, and for some, they become emotionally and mentally invested in the creators. For the creators, curating content begins as a hobby and gradually evolves into an extra job with no source of income. Investing time and resources to maintain a fanbase and relevance becomes a chore, and the next step is to look for ways to monetize it.
The average creator uses these three methods for monetization;
- Brand collaborations/sponsorships: The advantage is that they could make a lot of money if a big deal is secured. The disadvantage is that it is very inconsistent, and brands that pay more prefer larger creators.
- Selling merchandise and subscriptions: The advantage is having multiple streams of income. The disadvantage is that convincing audience takes time, and most people will stick with freemium.
- Advertisement: Multiple advertisements can generate a lot of money, which is great, but seeing too many ads can derail the content and sometimes demotivate the audience.
Crowdfunding is one method for creators to directly solicit support from fans who enjoy their content. With so many popular crowdfunding platforms available to creators worldwide, finding a platform designed specifically for Africans can be difficult. Crowdfunding isn’t popular in this part of the world because raising awareness of crowdfunding among average creators is one thing, and creating platforms that cater to Africans and their specific needs is another.
Bridging The Gap With Fidia
Noticing this imbalance and the lack of a crowdfunding culture among African creators, Fidia decided to not only build a platform to address this issue, but also to support African creators and their creative businesses (funding, education, support, etc).
Soliudeen Ogunsola, Ajibola Akelebe, & Gbadebo Bello
- Education: The first way of letting creators know they could earn from crowdfunding is by teaching them. Fidia is dedicated to spreading this gospel and pushing creators to confidently seek support from their fans.
- Funding: The majority of creators at their budding stage find it difficult to scale and this is attributed to a lack of sufficient funding. Fidia intends to support creators by creating a strategy for funding.
- Support: Creators like every other entrepreneur need as much support and Fidia offers support to the varying levels of creators
The Fidia platform is a collection of tools that enable creators to showcase, grow, and monetize their work. With every feature on the platform being essential to every creator, a payment link is a crowdfunding tool designed to bridge the gap, allowing creators to receive support from fans all over the world. Showcasing content/creativity is extremely useful for creators and establishes their credibility, which the creator profile on Fidia does justice to, and creators looking to sell their digital products can do so through the product pages on Fidia.
Fidia is working hard to build an ecosystem for creators that embraces crowdfunding for creative work, as well as to showcase and grow creative businesses. With this vision, African creators can be confident that the bridge will be strong and unswerving.
To find out more about Fidia, send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://getfidia.com/
You can also follow @getfidia on Medium, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook.