Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Amanda Palmer's Kickstarter Tips

Amanda Palmer image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Amanda Palmer's always been used as a the perfect example of how social media promotion is done in our Music 3.0 age. As I posted last week, she's now a beaming example of how to mount a Kickstarter campaign as well.

As of this writing, she's had over $600 in pledges just 8 days into her month-long campaign, which is pretty amazing. So just how did she do it? She gave away her secrets on crowdfunding to the O Music Awards Blog. They are (with my comments afterward):

1) You have to have fans before you can ask them to help you. [This one seems pretty obvious, but is mysteriously overlooked by many artists.]

2) Show, don't tell: HAVE A GOOD VIDEO. [This is a lot harder than it seems. You have to sell your fans on your idea/music and not be obnoxious about it. People get paid a lot of money to do this every day, which suggests its difficulty, so make sure you put a lot of thought into it.]

3) Don't just reward the rich: keep every level rewarding. [If you look at some Kickstarter campaigns, it seems hardly worthwhile to even consider some of the lower pledge levels since you don't get all that much in return. As you get to the higher money pledges, the rewards always become a lot more interesting, but you want to reward those that can only afford the lower levels as well.]

4) Be honest: You'll be amazed at how helpful people really are when you talk straight with them. [Fans naturally want to help. The more honest and open you are, the more help they'll give you. If something feels funny or below board, they'll start to pull back.]

5) No tool is deus ex machina: ANY platform can work. [Don't get stuck on one platform since the name of the game is delivering your music to people, and giving them the chance to help you out by buying something occasionally. Without those last two things, the platform doesn't matter.]

Last but important, Palmer gives the best tip: Your music must be good, you must respect your fans, and pretty much without exception; YOU HAVE TO TOUR.

Another great tip from Amanda comes from a conversation she had with Techdirt in which she states just how she developed that fanbase in the first place:

"I've been tending this bamboo forest of fans for years and years, ever since leaving roadrunner records in 2009. Every person I talk to at a signing, every exchange I have online (sometimes dozens a day), every random music video or art gallery link sent to me by a fan that i curiously follow, every strange bed I've crashed on...all of that real human connecting has led to this moment, where I came back around, asking for direct help with a record. Asking EVERYBODY...And they help because...they KNOW me."

Every time I post something about Amanda Palmer I get a lot of negative comments and emails as she can be a polarizing figure if you're not a fan. The thing is, she's out there doing well in what a lot of people can't. Whether you like her or her music or not, at least take heed of her techniques. She's giving them away for free.

Check out her Kickstarter campaign, and read both the O Music Awards blog and Techdirt posts for more info.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.


jef knight said...

That's a great article, Bobby.

I've been liking the whole Kickstarter thing and am planing to use it. This is a great primmer.

Also, probably no on tells you these things, but you blogs are pretty great. I check them out over coffee every morning. Kudos, bud.

David Liszewski said...

minor correction: she's had over $600 THOUSAND in pledges in 8 days ..


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