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3 Tips For A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

crowdfunding marketing Jun 16, 2021

Crowdfunding is a fantastic way to involve your fans and raise funds needed to move your music career forward. I think that sometimes it can have that stigma of "asking for money," but to me, this never made sense because all you are doing is basically asking your fans to pre-order your project. 

I have completed one crowdfunding campaign where the target was $5000, which ended with a little over $6000. I did a few things to make sure that it was going to be successful, and I want to share 3 of those tips with you. 

Before I get into those, I suggest that you do some research on the best crowdfunding platform. Some platforms won't release the funds you make if you don't reach your goal amount, meaning that you have put a lot of time and effort in and won't receive anything in return. Check out the platform's fees and how much they will take from your project so you can make sure it is worth it.  Lastly, check out the other campaigns on the platform, how they are set out, how many similar campaigns to yours are successful and whether or not you are happy with their overall terms and conditions.

1. BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR TARGET: 
What do I mean by that? First, you need to look at the size of your audience and following to have an idea of what a reasonable amount to crowd-fund would be. If you're just starting and have a hundred people following your journey and you're asking for $15000, unless your parents are going to contribute most of that amount to your campaign, chances are you won't make your target. 

When I started my campaign, I had approximately 6k followers on Facebook, 3k on Instagram and an email list of 300 people. I still think that $5000 was a big ask. However, I was very engaged with my audience, so this made a big difference. So be realistic with your target and make sure that you will be able to provide what you are promising once you make your target. For example, if you are crowd-funding for $2000 but the project will cost $6000, you should already have the extra $4000, so once the crowd-funding project is completed, you can send out the rewards to the participants.

2. BE CREATIVE:

Crowdfunding is one big marketing game, and as soon as you approach it that way, the easier it will be to make your target. Get smart with what you offer, get creative with how you offer it and get everyone involved with cool, different incentives. You have to remember that many artists are crowdfunding their projects; big successful bands have even done this in the past, so you need to understand that this isn't an easy thing to do. Making your target through crowdfunding is difficult. 

When I ran my campaign, I called around and visited some of my local companies to see if they might be able to offer some discount vouchers or products for the project that I could use. As a result, I was able to get a bunch of $20 vouchers from my local Hog's Breath Cafe, $10 vouchers from the jewellery store "Silver Butterfly" I sourced an XBOX and a bunch of other cool things that I gave away each time I hit a milestone. 

I also used a part of the funds that I was making to purchase a MATON guitar to put into one of my packs, that was the $1200 pack where the buyer would get the CD, all of the merch, digital downloads and the MATON guitar. This sold very quickly and helped me get to my target. 

So I would suggest you run little competitions to entice your audience to purchase one of your rewards. Just asking people to donate to your campaign won't work.

3. Make Your Rewards Worth It:

Your music will always be a part of the reward, but aside from that... how can you step up your rewards? Here are some ideas I have seen in the past that I think are fantastic:

  • (A) Digital + Physical signed copy of the album
  • (A) + (B) a merchandise pack (t.shirt, hat, stubby cooler, signed poster)
  • (A) + (B) + (C) a half-hour zoom private Q&A (make sure this has guidelines)
  • (A) +(B) + (D) A 2-hour house concert (with your travel guidelines stipulated)
  • (A) + (B) + (E) An invite to the studio when recording (this should be a high-ticket item)
  • (A) + (B) + (C) + (D) + (E)
  • For the biggest item, consider purchasing something of great value that you can perhaps get from your music store with a discount.

Sometimes your music won't be enough of an incentive; it will be for your die-hard fans, but they will need an extra little push for those sitting on the fence, and that can be done with the rewards. 

A successful campaign is much like a launch, and I would recommend it going for at least 4 weeks. You need time for your audience to see what you're doing and for them to want to get involved. Remember, this is one big marketing campaign, just like they have for the new movies coming out. You gotta get your audience excited and make it worth their while.. it's all about what you can do for them, not what they can do for you!

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