This post was written by guest contributor Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub.
Crowdfunding- a new way to gather support for musical projects.
With the advent of modern social networking (and sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and a habit of building a mailing list, musicians are more connected to an extended network of friends and supporters than ever before.
As a Co-Founder of RocketHub, one of the world’s largest crowdfunding platforms, I have seen thousands of projects raise funds and awareness via this new form of micro-patronage. Crowdfunding platforms can offer the credibility and infrastructure necessary to successfully harness the financial power of the crowd, but because crowdfunding is a new trend, many artists misunderstand how to effectively leverage the tools available to them.
When undertaking a crowdfunding project of your own, be sure to avoid these common pitfalls:
• Setting unrealistic fundraising goals: “Internet Angels” (wealthy strangers trolling the internet looking to give away large sums of money) are the exception, not the rule.• Underestimating the importance of marketing your project: The assumption that “If You Build It, They Will Come” (simply posting to a crowdfunding platform and expecting contributions) is a conviction best left to Kevin Costner movies.Crowdfunding is WORK, but it is smart work.Here are 6 Tips for Crowdfunding Success:1. Identify Your AlliesCrowdfunding is a team sport. Success will require help from your friends, family and wider network. Make a list of your teammates, including direct collaborators, high impact financial contributors, and broadcasters (press contacts and social leaders) who can spread your project to wider circles.2. Create a Great Project
Make sure that your project is worthy of your time and other people’s attention. Why is your project important to you? If your answer is powerful enough it will resonate with you and others.3. Be Creative With RewardsThe rewards serve as the foundation for the exchange – so be creative when putting the rewards together. Having the various price points is key to effectively monetizing your network. The different levels of rewards let all those who wish to be involved participate in your crowdfunding campaign – based on their financial means. $20 is the most popular price-point, $50 is the average, and the $100 level is the 3rd most popular. Every reward should be fun to read and must contribute to your brand as a musician. Think of what you can offer beyond the obvious – i.e. if you are a musician that can bake cookies you can tap into your culinary skills to develop original rewards.4. Prime the Pump
No one wants to be first on the dance floor – it’s equally true in Jr. High School and in crowdfunding. Your first wave of contributions will demonstrate that your project has the momentum necessary to reach your fundraising goal. Before your project goes live, ask your closest friends and supporters to contribute early.5. Spiral Outward
After securing your first wave of contributions, reach out to wider circles of friends. Thank supporters publicly, via social media, and celebrate the milestones you pass. Keep your connections talking about your progress and encourage them to spread the news through their respective networks.6. Meet the Press
Once your project has momentum, follow up with the broadcasters mentioned above. With the social proof of your network’s support, your project is ready to meet a larger audience.