If you think that for your project to be a success it is enough to have a presence on a crowdfunding platform, it is that the keyboard prevents you from seeing the reality. Without fans and visibility, you won’t get very far. It is those who follow and admire you who are most likely to boost your campaign. It is not easy to estimate the size of the audience, their loyalty and their willingness to contribute financially, so your campaign must take this uncertainty into account.
- How many friends do you have on social media?
- How many people go to your concerts?
- How many subscribers do you have to your newsletter?
- How much do you estimate their average budget?
- Are your fans receptive to messages and calls to action?
All this data will allow you to have a more accurate idea of what to expect from a crowdfunding campaign.Many artists (even famous ones) fail and don’t get funding, often because of excessive greed and/or lack of knowledge of their fan base. Don’t miss your chance and be prepared.
Choose your platform
Crowdfunding is in vogue and many platforms, with their own characteristics, appear every day. It is essential to compare the differences and advantages between the various possibilities, such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Ulule or Kisskissbankbank.
It is up to you to examine the costs of each platform (commissions, fees…), the restrictions, the types of projects preferred, the size of the platform, reputation, the tools they offer and the language of the service, as well as the user experience. Once the platform is chosen, the deployment and purpose of your campaign can then be modified.
How much would you need? How much should the contribution cost? What would be the desired budget adding the costs associated with the crowdfunding campaign (commissions, taxes, salary, safety margin, etc.) Knowing your fan base, do these goals seem realistic?
These are some of the questions you should consider when setting fundraising goals. Even if it’s a big event in your career, if this is your first campaign and you don’t yet know how your fan base will react, keep your feet on the ground. It would be very foolish to do a crowdfunding campaign that is going to leave you in debt because of a miscalculation of the budget needed.
Determine the contribution
It is essential to offer a wide range of contributions ranging from 5 € to more than 1000 €. In fact, keep in mind that not all your fans are the same. Some of them will want to make a small gesture to do their bit, while others will jump at the chance to enjoy a unique VIP experience.
Don’t hesitate to offer traditional and original rewards to satisfy everyone: CDs, vinyl, limited editions, downloads, merchandising, dinners, a phone call/Skype, a party with the band, backstage passes, a studio session with the band, a music lesson, a personalized song, handwritten lyrics transcriptions, a private concert, a signed instrument, etc.
Plan the campaign
- How long will your campaign last?
- How will you maintain the buzz during that time?
- What is the cost of these operations?
- What do you need?
- How long will it take to get all this up and running?
During this fifth phase, you need to develop a dissemination plan and determine what content will be broadcast on which channel and at what time. One mistake to avoid is trying to promote the campaign only at the beginning and at the end. By planning actions throughout the entire operation, you will maintain a constant interest, even during the low period of the campaign. So, be sure to consider:
- The creation of original content throughout the campaign: new compensations, new videos, new excerpts from a demo, etc.
- Mailing campaigns and creation of segmented lists.
- Detailed social media posts at each stage.
- Press releases, updates, contact with blogs and media.
Prepare the basics of the campaign
To give your campaign the best chances, you will have to produce quality promotional content: videos, professional photos, complete descriptions, a neat online presence (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and your official website).
These elements are essential as they are the ones that will sell your project to the fans. Therefore, you need to put all your effort into communication to have a quality result that is clear, entertaining and represents your brand image. To do this, put yourself in the place of your fans. Often what will tell if fans will pull out the credit card or not, is what you are going to give them in return and the reasons why you are asking for help.
Video is especially important. Try to answer through it the main questions related to your campaign, while getting it to take shape: who you are, what is your story, why this campaign now, what are the rewards, acknowledgements, call to action, etc. Make sure it is as lively, entertaining and formative as possible.
Communicate about the campaign before, during and after.
Throughout the duration of the crowdfunding campaign, it will be vital to keep contributors informed, as well as others. With regard to sponsors and supporters, it is normal to show them transparency (budget calculations, calendar, partners, etc.) and to inform them about new developments.
The interest here is not that you take the money from their fans and go off and make the album, but that you create a stronger and more reciprocal connection than ever before. For this campaign to work, you will need the help of your entire network, ie:
- Yourself and the different members of your group.
- Those who are close to you, your family and the professionals who follow you closely.
- Your fan base and their networks
- The general public and the media
Don’t forget to monitor the progress of your campaign on a daily basis to improve what is not working. Be responsive and listen to your fans. Whatever the final result of your fundraising, don’t forget to openly express all your gratitude to all those who follow you from near and far. Your fans don’t want you to take this relationship for granted and the connection to be just a transfer of money. Be empathetic and stay close to them, even when you don’t need them immediately.