I enjoy music, simply put. From Acoustic Guitar, Country and Jazz, through New Age, Pop and Rock. I’ve been known to include Opera and A Cappella amongst my favorite tunes. As part of my love for music, I enjoy supporting new, up and coming artists through crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. The content of the campaign helps drive whether is is successful or it fails.
Right before writing this post, I literally spent several hours going through the current projects in the music category of these crowdfunding sites. While reviewing the current projects, I came across mistakes that were being made over and over. Looking at their goal and how many days are left, most of these same projects are likely to not get funded.
All crowdfunding campaigns should have an introductory video. This video helps show the project (and its intent) is real. Just having a picture at the top of a project isn’t going to sell, especially in the music category.
Project Creator and Their Story
The creator of the project needs to make a presence on the introductory video, even if only for a moment. They are welcome to tell their story and what is inspiring them to write and play music, but it needs to be kept brief. When the story is long, the interest of the prospective crowdfunding backer is lost.
Sample of Music
Personally, i can’t get behind a musical crowdfunding campaign if I can’t hear the music. Ideally, the introductory video will contain some sampling of the music for the project. I like it when the artist plays the music live on camera; sometimes at the beginning or end of the video. This live representation also helps show the true intent of the project.
A paragraph or two of text isn’t usually sufficient to encourage backers. The content of the project page needs to be informative and as complete as possible.
Every webpage should have proper formatting which includes easy to read text and uses heading styles. Give a prospective backer the opportunity to skim the page for the information they need to make a decision on the campaign. Long text without headings makes this difficult. Just like a long story in the introductory video, too much text without clear organization can lose supporter’s interest.
The Artist and Their Story
You may recall, for the introductory video I said to keep the story brief. Here in the body of the campaign is the place to fully vet the story behind the project. Still keep the information limited to what is relevant to the project.
Provide links to more samples of the music for this project. Full songs are great, but at least include a 30-60 second cut of a couple tracks. I need to know what I’m backing, and I will not back any artist which doesn’t allow me to hear what they are producing.
Tell the project reviewer how you came up with the target funding amount. Don’t forget about shipping costs and the crowdfunding site’s fees, plus any marketing costs.
Risks and Challenges
Describe the possible pitfalls for the project and how they will be addressed. I’ve seen many creators mention something along the lines of “The album is being created regardless of successful funding. This campaign helps ensure the project is properly completed with the best recording and mixing…”
The campaign needs to include reasonable rewards for backers. Some crowdfunding supporters will back a music campaign for just a few dollars without a reward, but the rest of us would like to see some kind of fair return on our investment.
I’ve seen campaigns that think a social media “thank you” is worth $50. If you want a copy of the CD, you’re spending $75-100. This is not good! The support price and rewards need to be reasonable, otherwise potential backers will move on.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Digital Download – $10-15
- Signed CD – $15-25
- Backer Credit and signed CD – $25-50
- Custom Track, credit and CD – $75-150
It helps if the rewards stack. Meaning, the second reward includes the first reward; the third reward level include one and two. Be clear on what’s included.
For a highly successful music campaign, tell us how the additional crowdfunding moneys would be used. Some musical artists will add tracks to the album or use a more expensive mixing technology, for example, or maybe hire another instrument player or vocalist. Decals are a big thing right now, so perhaps have a custom decal of the main album cover feature.
Successful Music Crowdfunding Disclaimer
Naturally, i can’t guarantee any results for a successful music crowdfunding program. I am offering this information based on my backer experience in crowdfunding campaigns for music. Hopefully this information will help musical artists be successful in their project and contribute to their career.