You have an awesome idea, but you’re short on cash. There’s no easy way around it, making great music – especially releasing and marketing it – often comes with a hefty price tag. Don’t despair! We’ll break down exactly how to crowd fund an album, EP, merch drop, or even tour with Koji’s Fund My Project below.
We’ll also break down why you should consider crowdfunding even if you haven’t created your own campaign in the past. When executed correctly, a crowdfunding campaign doesn’t just benefit you, it brings plenty of value to your fans, and can even create new fans too! Let’s dive in.
Why You Should Be Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding doesn’t come naturally to many artists. After all, the music industry is partially built upon mystique, and some musicians fear they may come across as too needy if they ask their fans for help. However, plenty of acts have exclusively funded their art through crowdfunding and have turned their campaigns into opportunities to develop a deeper connection with their audience.
Here are just a few reasons why you should consider running a crowdfunding campaign:
- Crowdfunding isn’t begging. Let’s be real, making art is expensive. Crowdfunding might very well fund the entirety of your project, but it isn’t a handout. These campaigns allow artists to provide fans with the opportunity to, quite literally, be a part of your process. When you crowdfund, you’re working towards a common goal with your supporters.
- People love seeing the process. It can be intimidating to be vulnerable in front of your audience, but remember that your campaign gives your fans a valuable behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making the art that they love. Your audience won’t just be able to enjoy the final album or music video, they’ll also have access to a valuable and memory-filled digital archive that documents the creation of the art piece from start to finish.
- Investments pay off for you as well as your fans. When you have a stake in something, you’re much more likely to enjoy it once you’ve reached the finish line. Crafting a crowdfunding campaign gives the listener a bit more “skin in the game” and serves as an excellent way to market your music, and ultimately, foster a stronger connection with your audience.
- You can provide unique rewards and experiences for your fans. Crowdfunding opens up the opportunity to provide unique rewards for your fans, whether that’s including them in liner notes, granting exclusive merch access, or sharing polaroids taken during a music video shoot. You’re also given a closer look at your most dedicated fanbase which is invaluable.
How Does Fund My Project Work?
Koji makes it easy for your fans to fund your EP, album, music video, tour, merchandise launch, and anything else through the Fund My Project mini-app. Essentially, you can ask your fans to help you fund any asset or art project that requires financial investment.
After you’ve created an awesome Koji Link in Bio, go ahead and add the free Fund My Project mini app to your profile. From here, you’re able to set a target goal, offer donor rewards and milestones for any of your fundraising projects. You can also collect fan shipping info for mailing out rewards once you hit various fundraising milestones.
You can set the price for your campaign which will display a “top supporters” page listing who donated and how much. Fund My Project also offers plenty of space for a crowdfunding video, which we highly recommend to help amp up your fans!
Notably, Koji’s mini apps won’t take your fans to a new browser, so they can easily support your campaign without having to jump to another platform. You’re also able to download your supporter’s email addresses with a single click to create a newsletter or continue the conversation after your project has been funded!
5 Ways To Have A Successful Crowd Fund Campaign
Now that you’re ready to build a successful crowdfunding campaign, check out the strategies to get the most out of your efforts:
1. Plot Out Your Project
Your crowdfunding campaign should be clearly mapped out before you launch it. This means determining your budget for the project, showcasing where the money will go, and creating milestones with incentives for your backers.
You can also set additional goals, i.e “If we hit X by X, i’ll release my single early!” First impressions are important, so make sure listeners can get a good sense of your campaign just by skimming through your campaign. It might be a good idea to get feedback from a couple of trusted friends before announcing your campaign’s launch on social media.
You also don’t have to limit your crowdfunding campaigns to the typical album release. Here are a few ideas of assets you can crowdfund as a musician:
- An album, EP, or a single
- Recording, mixing, and mastering
- Artwork creation
- Merchandise drop
- A promotional concert
- A tour
- Travel to an exclusive fan event
- Marketing budget
- Recording gear
- Digital creation tools or software
- Music video
2. Support Your Supporters
Shouting out your top supports lets your fans know just how much they mean to you. It can also draw in new supporters and serve as a way to market your campaign while still providing value to your audience. Whether you’re sharing a story, photo or video, always link back to your Fund My Project.
You can also gamify your campaign and shout out your top supporters who appear on your fundraising leaderboard. Share screenshots and give them shoutouts online and IRL on stage! In addition to showing these users some extra love on socials, maybe you want to include their names on a piece of merchandise or tour banner for instance – you can even name different backers in your social media bio each week for the ultimate show of gratitude.
3. Make Your Passion Plea
One of the best ways to get your fans excited about your crowdfunding campaign is to make an enticing crowdfunding video. Try to make your passion plea as engaging and concise as possible, while showcasing your mission, financial needs, and what fans can expect at every milestone.
Also, be sure to contribute to your campaign, too! Your listeners might be enticed to donate if they can see that you have some skin in the game. You also can break down a lofty or price-tag heavy goal into smaller pieces. Say an album requires gear rentals, studio time, art work, and a music video shoot – Your signular goal of “making an album” can be potentially broken down into 4 separate campagins!
4. Promote Your Campaign
This may seem obvious, but so many musicians miss out on crowdfunding opportunities by forgetting to promote their campaigns. Find creative ways to market your crowdfunding campaign and treat it like an album release. Your fans want to contribute to something you’re proud of, so drum up anticipation to your campaign’s launch date!
You can also incentivize support through contests or by asking your top fans to share your Fund My Project link – imagine hundreds of supporters sharing your link across the web and super charging your goal completion timeline.
5. Keep The Party Going (And Your Backer’s Engaged)
Once you’ve reached your goal or ended your campaign, give yourself a pat on the back, but keep the energy going! Make sure your supporters have access to all content created throughout your campaign and have received any earned milestone items.Take the time to publicly support your fans.
Most importantly, continue the momentum that you’ve created! Here are some ways to keep the ball rolling:
- Build an exclusive email newsletter for your campaign backers
- Create a recap video of your campaign milestones
- Release some of your project early to your supporters
- Offer your supporters exclusive pre-sale access to concert tickets
- Highlight some of your supporter’s stories
You can also export your backers’ emails to send them recap content or even start an exclusive newsletter.
While it can take some getting used to, crowdfunding is an essential tool as a modern musician and will certainly take your art to the next level and help you become closer with fans. Sign up for Koji now to get the ball rolling!