Crowdfunding is, briefly put, street performances online. This, of course, sounds a bit strange but it is true. With crowdfunding, generally all you are doing is presenting yourself and your music … in front of a worldwide crowd. And while you are doing this, you are passing around the hat.
Even though the majority of your crowdfunding campaign takes part online, meaning via the crowdfunding platform, social networks and through email communication, you should not underestimate how much the real world can influence the success of your crowdfunding.
Of course, you are going to ask your family, friends and acquaintances to support your campaign when you see them. But the same applies to your fans; you should not just ask them for their online support.
Here are my three tips on how you can incorporate the real world into your campaign:
1. Use gigs to advertise for your campaign
Just as it is in the online world, the same is true here: don’t spam. This means that you do not take every suitable and unsuitable chance to annoy people with your campaign. But still, you should explain what drives you, your activities and your goals. And you can get your fans in the know when they are attending your gigs.
However, there is still room for more: Design flyers which you can pass out at your gigs. You can use them to advertise for your campaign or you can do like the band Lilabungalow does at some of their gigs and immediately take up some donations and hand out reward coupons to your fans.
The flyers can also be used to expand your pool of email addresses. Ideally, this can be done by incorporating a QR code which leads your fans directly to an email registration site. Maybe you can reward them for registering by offering them a free download of one of your songs.
Generally, you should plan a crowdfunding campaign for the long run. This means start early with collecting email addresses. A list of emails with numerous fans does not only increase your chances of successfully completing a crowdfunding campaign.
2. Let fans take part in your life
This does not mean that fans have access to the darkest corners of your private life. The rewards which you offer during crowdfunding will only bring in as much money as they are worth to the fans. The value of a CD or a T-shirt is always compared to similar products. This is, for example, why it is difficult to raffle off a T-shirt for 100 €.
This is why the rewards should always communicate something unique and have a personal added value. You should begin well in advance before the launch of your campaign with collecting personal things from your musical career. Things such as signed drumsticks or an old guitar which has its own story and has been signed can be the star prizes among your rewards. And, they do not cost you a lot when compared to other rewards which you must first have produced. Let your imagination take hold of you and ask your fans what they would like to have from you.
3. Pass on your experience
If you have successfully completed crowdfunding in the past, speak up or write about your experiences. Even if you are in the middle of a campaign, it is sometimes helpful to talk or write about it. Artists who are considering crowdfunding are thankful for any tips and knowledge they can gain from experience. This way you can possibly avoid the one or the other mistake. Use your blog, your contacts to other bloggers or other media. A real worthwhile summary about their crowdfunding campaign using Kickstarter was written by The Doubleklicks.
Maybe you also have the option or the contacts to pass on your own crowdfunding experience in the form of workshops. Furthermore, here you can make contacts and and gain feedback.
If you want to support other artists as a mentor with their crowdfunding campaign, then please get in touch with me. As an artist with at least one successfully completed crowdfunding project, you have the chance to pass on your knowledge and your experiences using music+crowdfunding.
As an indie artist, you should definitely take advantage of what established artists or superstars rarely have and that is the closeness to your fans.