Crowdfunding for Musicians: 7 Steps to Success

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Crowdfunding campaigns are an excellent way to finance a specific project in your career as an artist.

Also called participatory funding, this system aims to provide an alternative method for independent structures such as artists or music groups to obtain funding from a large number of donors.

This concept, which appeared a few years ago, is growing continuously and rapidly, and more and more musicians are deciding to take the plunge and create their crowdfunding campaign

We have seen the emergence of all types of financing projects revolving around music: album recording, merchandising production, video clip production or even entire tours.

Indeed, there is no limit to what you can ask for, as long as your fanbase is ready to follow you. And that’s where it’s important to follow a step-by-step approach to a successful participatory fundraising campaign.

Here are 7 tips to help make your fundraising a success!

1. Understanding crowdfunding

If you think that being present on a participatory financing platform is enough to win your project in advance, then you put your keyboard in your eye. (Ow.)

Without fan and visibility, you won’t get very far.

Because it is those who follow you and admire you who are most likely to boost your campaign. It is not easy to estimate the size of its audience, its loyalty and its willingness to contribute financially, so your campaign will have to take these unknowns into account.

How many fans do you have on social networks? How many people come to your concerts? How many subscribers do you have on your newsletter? How much do you estimate their average budget? Are your fans receptive to your messages and calls to action?

All this data will give you a better idea of what you can expect from a crowdfunding campaign.

Many artists (even recognized artists) fail and never reach their funding goal, often because of too much greed and/or misunderstanding of their fanbase. Don’t waste your chance and get ready!

2. Choose your platform

Crowdfunding is trendy, and as a result, many platforms arrive every day with their own specificities.

Thus, even if we will favour global players such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, it is essential to compare their characteristics and advantages.

It is up to you to take into account the costs of each platform (commissions, fees), constraints, preferred project types, platform size, reputation, different tools offered, service language and user experience.

For example, PledgeMusic is a reference in crowdfunding for musicians.

Depending on the platform chosen, the course and purpose of your campaign may be modified.

3. Setting objectives

How much would you need? How much would your counterparts cost you? How much would the desired budget be by adding the costs related to the crowdfunding campaign (commissions, taxes, quid pro quo, safety margin, etc.)? Knowing your fan base, does this objective seem realistic?

Here are some questions you should consider in determining the objectives for this fundraising.

Although this is an event for your career, feel free to be reasonable if this is your first campaign and you don’t know how your fans will react.

It would be more than silly to do a crowdfunding campaign and finally get into debt because of a miscalculation of the necessary budget.

4. Determine counterparties

It is essential to offer a wide range of counterparties from €5 to over €1,000. Indeed, it is necessary to take into account that your fans do not look alike.

Many of them want to make a small gesture to contribute to the building, while others jump at the opportunity to enjoy a unique VIP experience.

Feel free to offer both classical and original counterparts to satisfy everyone: CDs, vinyls, limited editions, downloads, merchandising, dinner, call/Skype, evening with the group, backstage access, studio with the group, music lesson, personalized song, handwritten transcriptions of the lyrics, private concert, signed instrument, etc.

5. Plan the campaign

How long will your campaign last? How will you feed the buzz during this whole period? What is the cost of these operations? What do you need? How long would it take to put all this in place?

During this 5th step, it is a question of developing your distribution plan and determining what content will be broadcast on which channel and when.

A mistake not to make would be to promote your campaign only at the beginning and end of the campaign. By planning your actions for the duration of the operation, you will maintain a constant interest even during the off-peak period in the middle of the campaign.

So be sure to think about:

  • The creation of original content during the campaign: new counterpart, new video, new excerpt from a demo of the album, etc.
  • Your emailing campaigns and the creation of segmented lists
  • Your detailed publications on social networks at each step
  • Your press releases, updates and contacts with blogs and media

6. Prepare the basis of the campaign

In order to give your campaign the best possible chance, you will need to produce quality promotional content: pitch video, professional photos, full description, optimal online presence (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and official website).

These elements are essential since they are the ones who will sell your project to your fans.

You must therefore put all your efforts into your communication, in order to have a quality result that is clear, entertaining and that represents your brand image.

To do this, put yourself in the shoes of your fans rather than your own. This is often what your fans will receive in return and the reasons for helping you, which may or may not make them take out the credit card.

Video is particularly important. Try to answer through it the main questions related to your campaign, while putting the forms: who you are, what is your history, why this campaign, what are the counterparts, thanks, call to action, etc.

Make it as light, fun and informative as possible.

7. Communicate on the campaign during, before and after

Throughout the crowdfunding campaign, it will be essential to keep contributing fans and others informed.

As patrons and supporters, it is more than normal that you show them your transparency (budget calculation, calendar, partners, etc.) and that you inform them of any updates.

The point here is not to take money from your fans and go out into the wild to make your album, but to create a stronger and more reciprocal connection than ever.

To make this campaign work, you will need the help of your entire network, i.e.:
You and the various members of your group
Your relatives, your family and the professionals who follow you closely
Your fanbase and its network
The general public and the general media

Remember to monitor the progress of your campaign on a daily basis so that you can improve what would not work. Be responsive and listen to your fans.

Regardless of the final result of your fundraising, don’t forget to express your full gratitude openly to all those who follow you closely and closely. Your fans would not want you to take this relationship for granted and make this connection a money transfer.

Be human and stay close to them even when you don’t need them immediately.

Conclusion

With these tips in mind, it is now your turn to try your luck and raise funds through your fanbase. You will learn all the more by doing your own campaigns, so go for it.

Excellent crowdfunding campaign to you!

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