Listen up, musicians! These are the reasons why you might FAIL at crowdfunding

Posted on 6 June, 2017 by Team Wishberry

Many, many artists are appreciating crowdfunding because it serves as a viable option for them when it comes to realising their dreams. We have many examples for you: Indie artist Tejas Menon crowdfunded over Rs. 4 Lakhs for his EP titled Make it Happen, Kristian Bent crowdfunded close to Rs. 2 Lakhs for his first indie-folk music album Campfire Stories, Pretty Child, an animated music video collab raised more than Rs. 3 Lakhs! Well, the list goes on and on, but there is another list — and this one’s darker. This is the list, which contains the reasons why your crowdfunding campaign might fail, and it especially talks about musicians.

We are not trying to be alarmists here. Read on to see if you are about to make these mistakes because eventually, they will hurt your campaign.

Your crowdfunding campaign might fail if you don't know how to 'ask'

What we mean when we say ‘ask’ is that for any crowdfunding campaign for succeed, you need to let your potential backers know that you need to raise funds! And that essentially means ‘asking’ for funds. We understand that in a country like India it is especially difficult for artists to make their work seem important enough and worthy enough of monetary investment. And doubting family and peers compounds this. But you have 2 very important things in your arsenal:

  • Your art
  • Your willingness to make it!

Therefore, be straightforward and ask for participation from everyone you know. Your campaign will need it. Be polite and be clear. Ask for what you need without guilt tripping anyone or making him or her feel burdened.

Your campaign might fail if you are unclear of your end goal

This one’s crucial. What are you trying to achieve with the campaign. Your end-goal has to be clear. Is the campaign for the music video of a single from your debut EP? Or is it to arrange for recording sessions? Be clear when you put in these details and make them public. Only those crowdfunding campaigns work, which are clear when it comes to the goal. Saying something wishy-washy such as the money is to forward work on your music album will interest no one. Rather, it might just make your call for funds sound dubious. Take a look at how Mumbai-based band Blek and animator Nishlesh explained what the campaign was for:

Your campaign might fail if you don't care about your backers

This is something that you will find all crowdfunding experts telling you. Setting up uninteresting rewards (returns), or even inadequate ones will make you seem like someone who is just after the money. Therefore, ‘tickets to my concert’ is a good option but not good enough. Here’s what Tejas offered to his potential backers during his crowdfunding campaign:

The rewards make sense: they are personalised and it feels like Tejas really wants to engage his community in his campaign!

Your campaign might fail if you play the victim card

It is a known-truth that indie artists rarely receive the nod from the mainstream, especially in a country like India where Bollywood seems to rule the roost when it comes to films and music! But harping on that fact will get you nowhere. You might just come across as a ‘cry-baby’. Instead, focus on positive affirmations such as building a community, or bringing music lovers together to create a nucleus that survives because of unity! This was Kristian Bent’s reason for crowdfunding his music album:

Your campaign might fail if your 'pitch' is boring

Crowdfunding is an online and particularly visual medium of asking for funds! Coupled with the fact that people don’t like to spend a lot of time reading lengthy explanations, your pitch video becomes crucial. One with very little or zero appeal will fail to attract the attention of potential backers! Moreover, people expect something creative from artists and that includes musicians as well! Here’s Blek’s pitch video for inspiration!

These are just pointers when it comes to why crowdfunding campaigns for musicians might fail. We believe that if you want to get it right, you will, because crowdfunding is not just about raising funds; it is about building an active community that supports your music and appreciates you as a deserving artist as well!

Want it? Why wait? Crowdfund it!

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