Crowdfunding Mistakes Your Band Must AvoidLessons learned in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign

[This article was written by jazz pianist and CD Baby artist George KahnRead part 1 of the series HERE, and part 2 HERE, and part 3 HERE.]

The Jazz & Blues Revue is now 27 days into our 40-day Kickstarter campaign. Yesterday we crossed the $11,000 mark on our way to the $18,000 goal.  We are 62% funded, and with only 13 days to go the pressure is on.

My back is aching from too many hours on the Internet, sending emails, posting blogs, sharing in groups. But I feel a sense of calm. The events of the last week have made me more certain that we will reach our goal in the next 2 weeks.

Part of actualizing the result is having a complete vision of the final product.  This week I interviewed (and booked) a Grammy-award winning studio in Los Angeles for the recording session, started confirming the musicians and the album art. As they say, “What you think about you talk about, and what you talk about you bring about.” The more complete the picture, the easier it is to bring it to reality.

Four weeks in, and more lessons:

1. Engage – engage – engage

Remember that people are not just buying a product; they are participating in an experience. Our job is to engage people in the process of creating the project, raising awareness of WHY we are doing what we are doing. Continuing to write this blog, sending a personal thank you email to each backer, and posting regular updates on Kickstarter are all part of that process. The most “out of the box” idea: Posting short videos on YouTube, answering people’s question about the project

Here is one I posted, answering the question “What ARE you going to do with all this money?”

Next week’s video is going to be a visit to the recording studio!

As Captain Pickard on Star Trek says “Make it so – ENGAGE!”

2. One more time to go wide, and then we have to go deep, and ASK

I had read that when you do a Kickstarter project there is usually a lull in donations in the middle of the campaign, and we have experienced that this last week. Next week is the first of the month, so it is time to send out my monthly newsletter to the whole database – one last blast to remind people to get on board. After that, with 10 days left it will be time for the final push. This will involve real targeted marketing.

There are people in our database that we know planned to donate, and they have not done it yet. Some people are waiting until the end, so they can be the “hero” and come to the rescue. That time is now!

There are people that we know that have the financial capability to donate at a sizable level if they choose to. It’s time to reach out to them, and actually ask them to pledge at one of the higher levels – as an executive producer or to hire the band for a future event they may be planning. Someone really famous once said, “Ask and it will be given to you,” and my Uncle Moe once said, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!”

3. Keep the energy up

We have a new slogan, posted on the refrigerator:

“All I ask of you is to greet each day with a level of exuberance never before witnessed by mankind.”

I still love the Kickstarter platform – it gives credence to our project.  People recognize the brand and are willing to check it out. The systems they provide make running the campaign easy.  But I can’t forget – it is a campaign and I am running it – it won’t run itself.

[Read part 5 of this series HERE.]

Check out Gorge Kahn’s music at To get involved in this Kickstarter project, click HERE.

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