Internet crowdfunding is a great tool to start your independent project. You have a high chance of being able to obtain the necessary funds to complete a project you otherwise would have trouble starting without this valuable resource. If you want to make the most out of your campaign, you have to generate awareness in the correct way.
Here are the most important aspects when using a crowdfunding website to generate money for your music project:
1. Offer great perks (but keep them simple)
Sometimes people will oversell their project, and offer elaborate perks that no one has much interest in. If people are donating to your project, the chances are they are doing so because they want to see the project made. If you offer perks, make sure they are relevant. Such as; offering copies of an album once it is finished, or allowing someone to sit in on a recording session. Price the perks accordingly. The more elaborate the perk, the more money the person needs to donate.
2. Create a professional video explaining why you need funding for the project
Majority of people who see your campaign page will click on an explanation video if it is there. They will be far more likely to donate to it if you put your heart and soul into this video. Show them the very best side of your music. Include sample tracks. Show the value in the music you have made. Explain the costs of making a studio quality album. Talk to your audience directly, and introduce yourself as someone with a project they believe in.
3. Tell them how the money will be used
Most people don’t know that it costs roughly $13,000 to rent all the equipment necessary, and pay engineers to make a truly professional quality album that can be sold commercially. Break it down for your audience. Show them where all the money will go, and how every cent is going to be used. People appreciate the information, and it demystifies the reasons behind your budget. People trust honesty, especially when they can see real facts and figures.
There are many crowdfunding platforms on the Internet that can help you achieve your goals. However, all of them require smart marketing, and you must sell your project in the best possible light. The more you can authentically connect with potential donors, the better.
Some examples of the individual crowdfunding platforms that are both popular and effective are the following:
Kickstarter: Kickstarter is a deadline-based crowdfunding platform that works with following the guidelines. You can pitch your project in a promotional video, offer perks, and receive donations. Kickstarter will keep some of those funds in exchange for using their service.
Indiegogo: Indiegogo is also a deadline-based crowdfunding platform, but it does not have a minimum amount of fund you must meet in order to collect donations. You can use video promotions, and perks just as you can with Kickstarter. Indiegogo will also keep a small portion of the money donated as a service fee.
Patreon: Patreon is non-deadline based. You can continuously use the service, and they will take a small percentage of the money donated to your band. It’s less of a way to fund an individual project, and more of a way to receive recurring monthly donations for your band to keep creating music, whether that be a YouTube channel, or helping you pay for the costs of maintaining a band.
Pledgemusic.com: Pledgemusic is a goal-based crowdfunding platform, but specifically for musicians, and their projects. You can offer incentives, and perks just like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and you can market your project in the same ways as you do on these two platforms. There are no deadlines by which to reach your crowdfunding goal.
Artistshare.com: ArtistShare allows artists to connect with their fans, and provides fans ways to fund projects. The website may work better for you if you already have an established fan base, and are looking for a way to fund projects and opportunities your career may not be presenting to you currently. You must apply to be an artist featured on ArtistShare, and they feature projects by invitation only. It’s a more competitive route, for a more established musician. Because of the way this platform works, the crowdfunding guidelines above are less of a fit for this particular platform.
What are some examples of very successful crowdfunding campaigns?
Glad you asked! Many musicians have been very successful using some of the aforementioned platforms. Let’s start with an established band who had to fund an entire album after losing their record label.
1. MISERY SIGNALS
Their video provides a great explanation for WHY they need funding, and they illustrate the popularity and significance of their music with a sleek, and polished presentation. It’s not wonder why they were funded well beyond their goal. Find their Indiego campaign here.
2. TOAD THE WET SPROCKET
Here is a band who hadn’t made an album in 16 years. With this project they chose to use Kickstarter and funded five times the amount of their original 50,000 goal shooting up to 260,000. Their video is an announcement followed by a medley of various track samples. Like the guidelines suggested above, they thank their donors in the form of perks, mentions, and shout-outs to those who participated in the donation process. Check out their Kickstart campaign here.
3. PROTEST THE HERO
Protest the hero has a great explanation as well. They start by showing you who they are, and the quality, and nature of their music. They go into the details and explain why they need money from you. It is a fabulous example of informing the audience why it appears that crowdfunding is the best option to get their music project is funded, and your money is going to exactly where they say it is going. Clearly Protest the Hero succeeded with their strategy as they funded their album 200,000 dollars past their 125,000-dollar goal. Make sure you study their video and see how their pitch engages the trust of potential donors with facts, and samples of their music. ind their Indiegogo campaign here.
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Mike DiGirolamo has had a strong interest in music from a young age, playing both the cello and trombone. Outside of music he has a love for movies, theatre, and environmental science.