Digital Music News has a very interesting article up about what to expect when launching a fan funded campaign. The advice comes from the manager of a few unsigned bands who raised over 10 grand using Kickstarter.
1) Fans often want influence, not swag.
..early fans are still in it for the influence, not the swag.
..30% of funding came from backers that did not select merchandise packages to match their pledge amounts….It turns out that superfans simply aren’t that motivated by merch. (DMN)
When The New Rockstar Philosophy did our Fanfunded project in the early part of this year, we found that incentives DID HELP to woo those who we didn’t have a previous relationship with. Friends and family didn’t go for the extras, but with people we didn’t know, to us, it appeared that incentives did work. Also it’s important to note we’re a music website not a band.
2) You need big donors.
..Musicians will not build careers on micropayments alone; they will require larger individual investments from modern-day patrons. This is already happening, whether or not artists are aware of it.
….one artist recently told me that he received a $2,000 Kickstarter pledge from a man who wanted Executive Producer credits, even though that was not an advertised pledge package. (DMN)
It’s interesting that fans are creating their own incentives+larger price points. We too had folks bring us projects and ideas that we didn’t think of when creating our incentives, but we were totally game for these ideas. So perhaps it may be worth having a MAKE US AN OFFER incentive where any fan can get involved in a way that they would like.
3) Most fans won’t donate, no matter how hard you try.
This is the hardest thing to get over….This will be especially true as more and more artists pursue the same financing routes and overwhelm fans with the same call to action.
Just 1.3% of online fans contributed to our Kickstarter campaign – a good response rate were it a traditional direct marketing campaign. But few DIY bands would know that to be normal. The consequence is that many will look at their Facebook or MySpace fan counts and overestimate how much money they can raise.
Yet this is ultimately the wrong number game. Not all fans are created equal, yet history has shown that it takes just a few important fans to make a huge difference. The artists that recognize this will differentiate themselves, at least when it comes to financing. (DMN)
People don’t really donate, and this revenue stream is already being saturated by artists, both important points to remember. But the idea that not all fans are created equal is an obvious yet often forgotten one. Super fans are super fans for a reason, they love you and want to support you. And guess what? They’re created not born. That means the power is with you. Go create them!