Tuesday, May 29, 2012

6 Crowdfunding Mistakes

Crowdfunding image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Crowdfunding for music projects is a hot topic these days, especially with Amanda Palmer's ongoing success (a million dollars in 30 days!). Everyone wants to get in on the act, and I've certainly covered many of the strategies on how to do that here already.

But let's look at a different side of crowdfunding. Why do some campaigns fail? There was a recent article in Mashable that specifically looked at this,  and I'll quote their bullet points, but the explanations are mine.

1. Nobody Knows You. If you don't have a fanbase to begin with, you're probably not going to attract one on a crowdfunding site. Why should someone give you money if they don't know you, or even worse, don't trust you? You have to do the hard work first before you can ask anyone for their dough.

2. No One Can Tell What You're Talking About. Unless you can concisely describe who you are, what you want the money for, and what the contributor gets back in return, you're sunk. This is easy to overcome; just test it on some friends, fans or even some strangers. Their feedback will help you hone your pitch.

3. Nothing Sets You Apart From Your Competition. There are a lot of open hands out there, especially now that crowdfunding has become so popular. You have to communicate why your campaign is different and why the rewards are so valuable before they'll pledge some money though.

4. You Fail To Ignite, Engage, Or Connect. If you don't get the word out, or can't close a potential contributor when they get to the campaign site, your campaign will fail. A great video (see Amanda Palmer) can help people to understand what you're trying to do, but engagement through social media, email and your website is just as important.

5. You Don't Maintain Contact With Supporters And Backers. It's important to keep a running dialog with contributors through email and social media. They want to know how well the campaign is doing so they can feel good about their contribution. If they do, they may tell others that might make the difference in being a success or not.

6. You're Greedy Or Clueless About Fundraising Goals. Be conservative about your fundraising goals. If you aim too high, you may scare away potential contributors. If you're unrealistic in how much you need for a project (like $500,00 to just record an album), you can be sure you won't get it. Remember, it's a good thing to blow past your goal; bad if you don't reach it.

Keep these points in mind when planning your crowdfunding campaign. It's not an easy process (nothing good ever is), but you won't help yourself much by ignoring this advice. Read the entire article at Mashable.

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