12 Awesome Music Crowdfunding Tips From 7 Successful Musicians

“Manafest Shares 3 Killer Tips For A Successful Campaign”

Here are some great music crowdfunding tips from a number of successful campaigners including Manafest, Bigtree Bonsai’s Brandon Hagstrom, Christa Couture, Stone & Snow’s Karen Bridges, Midas Whale, Ariel Rubin and Curious Quail’s Mike Shirley Donnelly. The biggest message? It’s a lot of work if you do it right! These tips come from IgnitionDeck, TuneCore, Sonicbids and Substream Magazine.

Karen Bridges of Stone & Snow:

“Plan, plan, plan – and do your research. There are hidden costs to crowdfunding (credit card fees, shipping and packaging, postage, sales tax, income tax, etc.), and all of that needs to be built into the amount you ask people to donate. Set your total goal to include those things, and don’t overwhelm your donors with too many choices.”

“It’s going to take a lot of work to make good on the promises that come along with the donations. Artists should take an honest assessment of their abilities. A lot of creative people aren’t very good business owners; it’s just not in their nature. If organization is not your strength, enlist someone to help.”

Ariel Rubin:

“Emulate Success”

“Research other projects similar to yours and make note of what they said and how they laid out their information. I looked at a lot of ‘how to make a successful video’ tutorials as well as projects by people like Amanda Palmer who have had amazing results inspiring fans to take part.”

Midas Whale:

“Set a high (but attainable) goal.”

“After calculating the minimum of what you would need for a project, go ahead and double it. If you’re treating your project like a full time job (which you should), you will find that your time will be worth the extra money.”

Ariel Rubin:

“Be Inclusive”

“Phrase your write-up inclusively using ‘together we can do this’ language as opposed to ‘I need your help.’ Just like building any relationship, your fans want to see the effect they will have, and directly see themselves as linked to you and your project.”

Brandon Hagstrom of Bigtree Bonsai:

“There are several ways to approach the launch video, but it has to be interesting, enticing, and it has to be you.”

Mike Shirley Donnelly of Curious Quail:

“Offer rewards that appeal to existing fans and potential new fans”

“Our reach doesn’t extend that far beyond Northern California yet, and while we had a few general ‘ship to anywhere in the US’ fun rewards (custom Converse Chuck Taylor shoes, a custom Fender Telecaster, care packages, handwritten lyrics, etc.), most of the big-ticket items were all localized to our region. We had a lot of random Kickstarter traffic, and people sent us messages asking if we’d be adding more rewards for people farther away.”

“It was a failing on our part: we focused on rewards that our existing fanbase would want – which makes sense to an extent as you’re trying to mobilize that fanbase – but Kickstarter also served as a way to build a fanbase…We could have changed the house show reward to a private Stageit performance or something similar, but we just weren’t thinking about it at the time. You never know when some random person across the country wants to give you lots of money to support what you’re doing.”

Christa Couture:

“The biggest thing we learned after that first day was to offer a LOT of payment amount options … We didn’t initially make a lot of cheaper donation amounts. I think our lowest was $40, and that was a mistake.”

Midas Whale:

“Release new content constantly during your campaign.”

“You can sit there all day sharing and resharing a link to your project on Facebook, but very soon people will get annoyed and secretly start wishing your project will fail. The best alternative is to release new content (videos, music demos, etc.). You will find that even a simple video can improve your public image and keep your fans’ passion going strong.”