The Year 2012 will go down as one of the biggest years ever for crowdfunding. It’s hit the mainstream with bigger and bigger results. But how do you really get it done? How much planning do you need? What project is right?
We talked to artist Carrie Catherine who’s crowdfunded campaign raised over $18,000 (Calling it early folks!) about the specifics. And how, through blending arts (live music + theatre), she was able to connect with her audience, collaborate with colleagues, and create a better experience for all involved.
Why did you choose to crowdfund this project?
I do a lot of community-building events, and this is the first project that I’ve actually tried to apply the principles of community-building to a creative project. That means the creation of the work was highly collaborative….we’ve been finding unique ways for other artists to contribute work and ideas to build Somewhere, SK. The story is about Saskatchewan and about the venues that we’ve performed in and will tour to. So it seemed a great fit. Crowd funding was a way not only to raise funds, but to build awareness and connect with friends and fans about the project!
What strategies did you use to raise funds quickly?
I think it all starts with a great idea that gets people excited. Top that off with unique, innovative rewards that can appeal to anyone. And then, you have to stay on top of it and work the campaign everyday. I think the most effective way of getting people involved is to personally email/message/call them. In addition to sending out tweets, Facebook updates, and newsletters, I’ve been personally connecting with people everyday. I love it. It’s basically an excuse to reach out to people I’ve worked with, friends, and family and let them know about the project. It’s always important to provide a lot of media to spark people’s imaginations: funny videos, photos, stories. But I think the secret is connect with people personally.
Can you give us a sense of the time it took/takes/will take to properly mount a crowd funded strategy?
We’ve literally been talking about this for 6 months, but you don’t need that much time. I would dedicate at least a solid month to go through the following steps: research what crowd funding site is going to work best for your project (indiegogo, kapipal or countless others); do a bit of reading/research into the do’s and don’ts of a great campaign; shape the story and your pitch; create partnerships and come up with great rewards for all your contributors; shoot a compelling video that tells the story and motivates your viewers to contribute; devise a strategy for promoting the campaign. And then launch! That sounds like more than a month. You might need more than a month.
Why did you choose to go with Kapipal?
I knew that most of my contributors would be fans or people that have heard of my music. The campaign definitely appeals most to a Saskatchewan audience, and that’s who we’ve been targeting. So for me, it wasn’t worth paying higher fees for a higher profile site such as indiegogo, which might attract investors from far and wide. That’s the biggest difference between kapipal and other sites. That said, there are many limitations to kapipal in terms of communicating with your contributors and providing photos and updates. So in the future, I would take that into account when making my decision.
Anything else musicians/future crowdfundees should know?
Above all there must be a genuine reason for people to give. I put myself in the contributor’s shoes. Would I pay this much? Would I want to support this project? Have fun and be creative. It’s a lot of work, but I love the community-building side of crowd funding and I know Somewhere, SK will be the stronger for it!
Yes it is a lot of work, but using a collaborative approche will allow you to spread out your work and spread out the network. The bigger the network the bigger the goal…. in theory. You of course will have your own set of circumstances but keep in mind collaboration on your next project.
Happy New Year!