There has been so much press around crowdfunding (also called fanfunding) lately that they’re practically buzzwords. Whether it was Amanda Palmer becoming the first musician to raise over a million dollars via the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter, or the news that Ben Folds Five was using PledgeMusic to fund the band’s first album in 13 years, crowdfunding is happening in a big way right now.
Although raising a cool mil may be a bit of a rarity, it’s not just big names who are getting funded. More than 7,000 music projects have been successfully funded on Kickstarter, with over 600,000 people pledging over $42 million to Kickstarter music projects specifically. And over half of music projects reach their goals (versus 44% of all projects). So there’s hope!
Given the competition, one thing that can help you stand out amongst the other hopeful fundees out there is to offer cool and creative incentives to your funders. In a crowded space, being unique can help ensure you’re part of the fifty percent.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, if you don’t know what Kickstarter and PledgeMusic are in the first place, here’s a little explanation: An artist sets up an account, sets a goal (“I want $5000 to help fund my upcoming album” or “I need $1200 to help make a music video”, etc) and offers exclusive and tiered rewards for fans who pledge money. The concept is kind of like busking. If you like what you hear, you throw a little money towards the artist. The catch with Kickstarter and PledgeMusic is that every project must be fully funded before its’ time expires or no money is ever exchanged. We see that as all the more incentive to offer sweet rewards to fans. There are some very creative artists offering some really innovative incentives to their backers, so we’ve rounded up a few below to help inspire your own ingenious ideas:
* do a house concert at a fan’s place
* take a fan to a baseball game
* spend the day with a fan at a museum
* say thank you to a fan onstage
* feature a fan in a music video
* let a fan pick a song title in your next album
* include a fan’s name in your album’s liner notes
* take a disposable camera into the studio or on the road, take photos and send it undeveloped to a fan
* perform a personal concert for a fan via skype
* offer hand-written lyric sheets to fans
* offer an invite to a VIP listening party
* write a song specifically about a fan
* record a fan’s voicemail greeting for them
* give a fan free access to every one of your shows for life
* have everyone in the band personally call fan
* have the band cook dinner for fan and friends in their home
* give a fan a copy of your current album and all future albums for life
* offer a fan the opportunity to be your roadie for the day
* record a personalized happy birthday greeting to a fan
* give an ‘executive producer’ credit to a fan in your album
Got additional ideas to incentivize fans to fund your creative project? Let us know in the comments below!
Note: To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you must be a U.S. resident and meet these requirements.
[Carrot photo from Shutterstock.]