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It Takes A Fanbase: Amanda Palmer's Tips For Kickstarter Success

Amanda-palmer-kickstarterAmanda Palmer continues to raise the bar at Kickstarter after breaking the record for crowdfunding music. Palmer's always been open about how she does things, it's part of her approach to both art and business, and last week she shared her insights on Kickstarter crowdfunding with both the O Music Awards Blog and Techdirt. Plus, her behind-the-scenes helper Sean Francis shares his view from the trenches.

As I work on this post early Monday morning Amanda Palmer: The new RECORD, ART BOOK, and TOUR, her awkwardly titled but extraordinarily successful Kickstarter campaign, has passed $565,000 in pledges. And for the "hella rich," she's launched The Loanspark Collective so they can loan her even more money. She's setting a powerful example of success in the new music industry.

Here's some of what she told the O Music Awards Blog:

Amanda Palmer's Kickstarter Tips For Bands

1). You have to have fans before you can ask them to help you

2). Show, don’t tell: HAVE A GOOD VIDEO

3). Don’t just reward the rich: keep every level rewarding

4). Be honest: You’ll be amazed at how helpful people really are when you talk straight with them.

5). No tool is a deus ex machina: ANY platform can work.

Furthermore: "Your music must be good, you must respect your fans, and pretty much without exception: YOU HAVE TO TOUR."

She elaborates more on all these points at OMAB but she also shared quite a bit with Techdirt about building a fanbase including the following:

How Amanda Palmer Built An Army Of Supporters

"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."

"The basic tenets of success in music are still true: have good songs, touch people, work hard. But as far as getting around from place to place... musicians are no longer traveling by limo with one-way glass protecting them from view. Now we're all going on foot, door to door, in the open sunshine... with the internet as our magical, time-space defeating sidewalk."

Sean Francis has been a behind-the-scenes force on Team AFP for over five years. Here's some of what he had to say:

"For several years, I've watched and aided, as Amanda's interwoven strategies predicated on those two things - pioneering and connection."

"As she's toured, written, recorded, and Twitter'd away, we were privately (and sometimes publicly) playing with puzzle pieces which are culminating in the release of this new album...Team AFP have spent hours on the phone and sent literally hundreds of emails, every week (sometimes daily)...and with the launch of our Kickstarter this past Monday, the public is seeing what several years of work can do."

"While you were sleeping, Amanda Palmer built an army."

There's more at Techdirt as well as on Hypebot.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) maintains a business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.