Crowdfunding is one of the best methods for musicians to raise funds for any of their musical aspirations (as long as they are justified, of course). There are so many benefits to reap. But, so many crowdfunding campaigns fail due to lack of thorough planning. But with some insight from musicians that have pulled it off successfully in the past, your band could make the right moves.
“Anyone who chooses to crowdfund must be realistic, with no pretension”, says Sanjay Pathak, founder of Studios Sound Garage, who decided to crowdfund season 2 of his music project. With crowdfunding, you can’t bullshit your audience. Honesty is the only way that works for you as well as the crowd. So don’t be shy to accept that yes, you’re broke and you need your friends and fans to help you out a little. While you’re at it also figure out your personal networks (family, friends and acquaintance) and how much money you’re going to get from them. This will also help you set your crowdfunding target budget.
There are numerous methods to go about a crowdfunding campaign. It has to be interesting, fascinating and appealing, and moreover it has to be you. Your campaign will be funded first by your friends and family, and then by the crowds at large, it should have your personality and drive reflecting it. For example, Sahil Makhija a.k.a The Demonstealer of Demonic Resurrection crowdfunded for his YouTube show Headbanger’s Kitchen by directing his pitch to the metal community. No one wants to support someone, who’s not even being supported by their own personal network. Ask friends and family to back your project right after its launch. Encourage them to announce their contribution via social media, that’s how the word gets out.
“We wanted to make our pitch video look fun, while making sure our message was delivered as clearly as possible,” said Banu Jini of The Vinyl Records. When you’re expecting your fans to take your crowdfunding campaign seriously, you should too. And a pitch video is a great way to show that! These are your two minutes to convey how important the project is to you, and sell the idea to your audience. And remember whom you’re talking to. Craft your pitch such that it captures your sensibilities as well as those your fans. It’s one of the best ways to get their attention and their money.
Your network is your secret weapon
Without a really sound marketing strategy, money rolling in is almost next to impossible. Spread the word through social media, email, offline networking.
“Social media plays a vital role (in your campaign), one click amplifies your reach way more than other mediums like mailers, calls or so. Also, on social media how you present yourself matters a lot. As many campaigners bombard the same post, which is quite irritating, leaving your post unnoticed”, explains Sanjay Pathak and rightly so.
Say no to unrealistic rewards
What worked for one musician may not work for you. Impractical crowdfunding rewards could get your status as a musician in trouble if you’re not able to deliver. Plan ahead when you’re coming up with a list of rewards from the time it’s going to take to fulfil each reward in the given deadline to the last paisa, take everything into account (manufacturing, packaging, delivering, etc).
A crowdfunding campaign helps you build a foundation of trust and mutual respect with your fan base. Strengthen that relationship by keeping in touch, leaving constant updates and sharing sneak-peeks with them so they know how you’re using the money they entrusted you with. Good luck!