Mindy Gledhill is a singer/songwriter who began releasing her albums independently after an initial label release. For her fourth album, "Pocketful of Poetry," Gledhill decided to conduct a PledgeMusic campaign. It was a huge success, ending at 115% of her goal and resulting in a new album. Earlier this week we spoke about why she decided to conduct a crowdfunding and album creation campaign via PledgeMusic and why it was ultimately more about building community than raising funds.
Mindy Gledhill has already had an interesting and somewhat eclectic career. Her first album, "The Sum of All Grace," was released on a Christian label, Lumen Records. She told me that she caught the entrepreneurial bug working on that first album and decided to take matters into her own hands while exiting a strict genre label for a more open-ended positive pop approach.
But she's also had the experience of singing vocals for star dj Kaskade who Gledhill connected with in Utah. However her initial attempt to convince one of Kaskade's producers to produce one of her albums was rebuffed. Only later was she invited to sing guest vocals on two of Kaskade's albums.
Gledhill related that it was a strong lesson in not feeling rejected by an initial "no." It also reinforced the value of focusing on long-term relationship building in the industry.
Fan Visit! [Pledger Update from the PledgeMusic Campaign]
Gledhill revealed that she's been working with Ariel Hyatt and CyberPR for the whole album campaign and that it was Hyatt who said she'd be missing out if she didn't try crowdfunding. Hyatt maintained that the benefits in awareness and momentum towards the release alone would make the effort worthwhile.
I asked Gledhill why she chose to conduct her album campaign on PledgeMusic, a platform for which fanfunding is but one piece of the puzzle and not always that, rather than on what might now be called a traditional crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
Gledhill was drawn to PledgeMusic for multiple reasons:
Likes that it's focused on music and preferred PledgeMusic's branding.
Appreciates the way that being focused on music defines the site and services.
Felt that traditional crowdfunding platforms were too much about the financial goal.
A site like Kickstarter implies that she's just getting going when she's deep into her career at this point.
Preferred PledgeMusic's focus on the overall campaign and the involvement of fans.
In particular, Gledhilld expressed that she didn't want the campaign to be about needing people's money to make it happen but, instead, wanted to focus on bringing people into the process.
Building Community While Making an Album
Though she exceeded her goal, the power of the campaign for Gledhill was in community building. In recounting her experience it was clear that she was strongly touched by the response of people who were so enthusiastic about and even thankful for the chance to feel included.
Gledhill chose to hire a videographer to make sure her video updates looked good for her Pledgers. She said that she couldn't match big budgets but still felt it was worthwhile to create updates that were visually pleasing.
Another community aspect came with the contribution of 30% of her campaign revenue going to support Provo's Rooftop Concert Series which brings new music from emerging acts to the public for free. She's deeply involved in making the Series happen and says it's been particularly important for young musicians.
Mindy Gledhill reveals multiple aspects of crowdfunding's benefits beyond the money when approached as a way of connecting with fans. This approach is particularly powerful when conducting whole album campaigns as opposed to limiting involvement to the funding stage.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.