Finding a way to fund your dream is a huge challenge when becoming a musician. After all, if you can make music your day job, you’ll be able to invest more time into working your way up the ladder. If you’ve got a dedicated following of fans who love the beats you produce, you may consider crowdfunding.
If you’re thinking about going down this route, we’ve got some advice for you. Here’s our guide to music crowdfunding for artists.
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a way of asking followers, friends and investors to contribute an amount of money (however great or small) to become part of a larger investment target set by the owner. This is a popular way small businesses achieve investment without the need of a large steakholder.
It’s not just businesses who can use crowdfunding though. In fact, some of the big players in crowdfunding actually begun as a platform for fans to connect with the artists they care the most about.
Why Should You Consider Musician Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding isn’t just about raising money, it’s also about getting your music out there and building a close connection with your fans. It’s also a great validator for the type of music you produce.
Crowdfunding can be used for many different reasons. Whether you’re looking to launch a new album, tour, record more music or lose the day job and produce music full-time, crowdfunding may be a way of achieving this.
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Advice for Crowdfunding Your Music
Before you launch your campaign, you need to know what you’re doing. We’ve got some essential advice to get you started. This should set you on your way to a successful campaign.
Know What You Want to Get Out of It
Have a goal in mind and know what you need to achieve it. Be realistic, your goal should be representative of your following and promotional clout. Do a bit of research and see what you’re likely to achieve.
Think About Your Deadline
Some crowdfunding sites require you to set a deadline. This is important for a number of reasons. First of all, you can’t touch the money until after the deadline. Moreover, you need to actually successfully reach that number within the time frame you’ve given yourself.
Promote the Hell Out of It!
Your crowdfunding efforts are going to be seriously underwhelming if you don’t share it as much as you possibly can. Constantly promote your campaign on every social media channel you can. Get your friends and family to do the same. If you know anyone with a large following, ask them to give you a shout out too. Link to your crowdfunding page from everywhere, including your YouTube and Soundcloud accounts.
Tell Your Story
Be as personal as possible, people aren’t going to invest money if they don’t know what it’s going towards. Whether you record a video or write an article, make sure you tell your story. After all, people invest in people.
Asking a person for money is one of the most difficult things to do. Don’t feel shy or ashamed about asking for support.
Get your pitch right. This means you need to be as genuine and honest as possible. Explain why you want the money, talk about your vision and above all, be utterly transparent about the project. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to push a hard sales approach here.
Thank Every Contributor
This is such an important part of any crowdfunding campaign. People are putting money forward to help you achieve your dream. These are real fans who care about your success. Make sure you say thank you.
This can be done in many ways – most crowdfunding platforms will allow you to create a tailor made thank you email. Go a bit further than this if you can. When people support you, make an attempt to say a personal thank you. Keep people updated on your progress and ask for their help sharing your campaign with their friends. This is how crowdfunding truly takes off
Another option to consider is rewards…
Offer a Reward
Give someone an incentive to contribute to your campaign. This comes in the way of a reward scheme. This could be anything from merchandise to free VIP gig tickets or more.
Offer a number of reward tiers to incentivise larger donations. The more money a person contributes, the greater their return will be. Be sure to consider the feasibility of what you’re offering. The last thing you want to do is offer a reward which is too expensive or difficult to deliver.
Get Friends and Family to Donate Immediately
The more money a campaign gets behind it, the more people are likely to donate. This can make things a little difficult to get off the ground. Ask friends and family to donate immediately after launch to ensure you don’t sit on £0 for long.
If your campaign isn’t working, be ready to switch it up and try something new. Keep a regular track of the amount of money you’re getting and consider what you could do differently to increase this. Think outside the box.
Keep in Touch With Fans
The one thing crowdfunding will do is show you who your most dedicated fans are. This is a powerful tool for any artists. Keep in touch with them, even after the campaign has ended. Tell them about your progress and give them exclusive perks for being so dedicated. This can include anything from exclusive music video promos to pre-sale gig tickets.
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The Best Music Crowdfunding Sites
Okay, so now you need to find the right platform for crowdfunding your music. Each platform has its own processes, advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to do your research and make sure the platform you’re choosing is right for you. Here are some of the best crowdfunding sites for your music.
PledgeMusic is a crowdfunding site specifically made for musicians to build and engage with their fanbase. The site focuses on reward based offerings where fans can pre-order merchandise, music or access to exclusive content. It goes beyond being a music based marketplace but instead focuses on allowing fans to support the creative process of their favourite acts. A successful PledgeMusic campaigns is a great way of validating your demand.
ArtistShare boasts to be the internet’s first crowdfunding platform connecting artists with fans. This site creates a link which enables fans to support and participate in the artist’s creative process. With over 10 years of experience, any artist is in good hands when looking to fund their work through ArtistShare. In fact, projects delivered through the site have received countless awards, most notable of which is the 9 Grammy awards and 18 Grammy nominations.
Iniegogo is a general crowdfunding platform that’s ideal for musicians to fund their projects. Although it’s a wide-ranging platform, Indiegogo is an ideal place for musicians to see their ideas become a reality.
Pateron allows musicians to run a membership platform for fans. They offer experiences and rewards to the most dedicated. The platform also manage a lot of the work for you – so you can spend more time creating. Oh, and they only charge 5% fees!
When you think crowdfunding, the word ‘Kickstarter’ won’t be far behind. They’re the giants of the crowdfunding world and there’s good reason for that too. Kickstarter gives musicians the opportunity to find the resources and support needed to make your aspirations reality.
Attract Fans with Music Videos
A great way of engaging your fanbase is by producing high quality videos to go along with your music. When paired with your crowdfunding campaign, it’ll show fans exactly how serious you are about producing great content. Music videos don’t need to be expensive and you don’t need to be an editing whizz to produce them. We take the stress out of the process for you. Find out exactly how cheap and easy creating a music video for your tracks can be.