Next month RocketHub and CDBaby head to SXSW to lead a discussion on crowdfunding for musicians. We will share topics to help you take your music project, such as an album, music video, or tour – and transform it into a successful Crowdfunding project on a platform such as RocketHub.com. Here’s a “sneak peek” of some info we will be discussing, as we explore how crowdfunding has changed the world of music.
Assess your financial goals
In order to start your music crowdfunding project it is important to assess what your financial goal is. Gauging your first and second-degree networks is vital for determining the scope of your project goal. Can your immediate network be galvanized to fund a $500, $5,000 or $10,000 project? Create a simple barometer based on the number of people in your network –- i.e. Facebook friends, Twitter followers, mailing list participants, etc. If each person gave $20-60, what would be the total?
This figure gives you a ballpark indicator for building reasonable expectations.The bigger your audience size and the more it is energized with a deeper connection to you and each other, the bigger your potential goal can be.
A written description provides the most detailed information about you and your project. This should introduce who you are and the back-story of your project. Make sure to include an intro to how crowdfunding works (for those going straight to your project page instead of the RocketHub homepage), and most importantly have a clear call to action — i.e. the purpose of your project.
When describing your project be sure to describe why it’s important to you. If the why is powerful enough for you, it will likely resonate with others. Be clear on the why. Make it the best project possible. A compelling project takes both emotional and intellectual effort. Remember you are reaching out to your community (who may also be fans). Have eye-catching pictures of your designs and showcase any awards or accolades you may have garnered in the music world. Videos go a long way, since they offer both the chance to showcase your work and yourself.
Launch + Promote
Once you have your project outlined with a story to tell, and your strategy is in place, you are ready to launch. Handpick 15 to 25 people in your network that love what you do and know what you are all about. These should be your “loyalists” — the friends, family, and fans that trust you. It is very important to have your first followers primed and ready to contribute right after you launch your project. This sets the stage for the next steps and provides the public social proof of your credibility.
After securing your first wave of contributions, reach out to wider circles of fans. Thank supporters publicly, via social media, and celebrate the milestones you hit. Keep your connections talking about your progress and encourage them to spread the news through their respective networks.
Once your project has momentum, reach out to press folks, both local and national. With the social proof of your network’s support, your project is ready to meet a larger audience.
Remember, take ownership of your crowdfunding campaign. It is an active process, and you need to keep galvanizing your community around your goal.
Brian Meece plays a mean ukulele and is CEO of RocketHub, one of the world’s top crowdfunding platforms, which has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, NPR, and The Economist. Brian has lectured on crowdsourced funding at SXSW, Berklee College of Music, Columbia University, NXNE (Canada’s largest interactive conference), TEDxBrooklyn among other universities, conferences and institutions.