Music Crowdfunding Without A Fanbase - hypebot

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Levi James

We're honored to grace the pages of Hypebot. Thanks Clyde!

According to Kickstarter, around 75% of all music crowdfunding projects raise under $10,000. We've also seen that many of these projects under $10,000 seem to be for debut albums.

There are a lot of people funding their first records with crowdfunding, but there are way more people doubting that they have what it takes to make the bold move of launching a crowdfunding project without fans, Facebook, or a mailing list.

Not only is it possible to do this, but tons of people are funding music projects this way every day.

We've found the six things that most of these successful projects have in common, and then we used Tony Polecastro as our lab rat (willing musician) to prove our approach.

Tony doesn't believe in Facebook (no personal profile or page), has never even been an "artist" (he's only been a side man in a few bands) so he had no mailing list or fans. He doesn't even play solo gigs (he doesn't sing, just dobro, banjo, and acoustic guitar instrumentals).

He raised $9500.

We'll be releasing his full case study soon.

Anyway, I hope that helps. Cheers!

Levi James

Clyde Smith

Thanks for the interview. I enjoyed finding out more from you guys!

Ian Anderson

Hey Clyde,

Thanks for reaching out and bringing this important topic to light.

Everybody has been saying that "the internet is changing everything". Helping launch artists is one huge way that it is changing the rules of launching a music career.

To echo what Levi said, so many musicians have inspiring dreams but potentially crippling assumptions, one of the bigger being the necessity of a fan base in order to crowdfund.

But if you are a smart and diligent artist, that assumption does not hold.

Heck, I only WISH my band could've crowdfunded our first album instead of setting out with 1,000 CDs and $10,000 of debt.

Martin Rowell

If you're going to ask friends and family for support there's really no reason to use Kickstarter.

We raised money for our latest album through house concerts, e-mail and phone calls. Here's what we learned:

1. It's not easy asking for money. It's even worse going back to someone who's turned you down.

2. Set up a separate bank account for the project. Preferably at a different bank than yours. Tell your donors what you're doing and keep them posted on progress.

3. Thank everyone...in person if possible. And really let the few donors that go above and beyond just how important they are. And of course, everybody gets CD's.

We recorded in a home studio and raised enough money for mastering, duplication and a little something for the band. The rest went to postage.

"Townes", from "Americana Motel", won Best Americana Production at the New Mexico Music Awards.

You can hear our work on our SoundCloud page:
https://soundcloud.com/e-christina-herr/sets/americana

More info about E. Christina Herr & Wild Frontier at http://echristinaherr.com/

LetsMakeMusic

Levi, did you ever release the case study on Tony Polecastro? Sounds like it would be a great and informative read.

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