5 Big Lessons From A Successful $13,000 Kickstarter Album Funding Campaign

Ari-herstandAri Herstand recently shared the story of how he "made $13,544 in a month (on Kickstarter)." As he points out, though Amanda Palmer gets most of the detailed coverage, her success is fairly unique and includes a stint on a label before going DIY.  He bases his comments on his successful campaign to fund the recording of an album built around his use of looping in live performance.

Ari Herstand has been a "full-time musician for over 4 years" with "500+ shows" to his credit. He appears to be taking the lessons learned along the way and developing a consulting/coaching practice. If that sort of brand-building interests you, keep that in mind when you check out his site.

Ari Herstand Wants You To Help Build The Loop [Kickstarter Pitch]

Herstand conducted a successful album funding campaign on Kickstarter that raised $13,544 of a stated $12k goal in January. Tunecore recently shared his post about the process.

In How I Made $13,544 In A Month (on Kickstarter) Herstand details the lessons he learned including:

Treat Your Campaign Like a Full-time Job

Herstand put a lot of time and energy into preparing his campaign from shooting a video to planning ahead for content releases and social media activity specifics once the campaign launched. Then he put a lot of time into the live campaign.

"Make A Budget BEFORE The Launch"

Though planning ahead, Herstand failed to check out vinyl costs which he vastly underestimated. Budgeting is really an annoying pain but taking the time to check out the cost of everything will save you a lot of pain later.

Be Creative With Your Rewards

Show your interest in your fans by being creative with your rewards.  Put time and energy into coming up with unique ideas tailored to your fans including upper level rewards.

Make a Great Video

Your video is a key part of your presentation. Make the best product you can.

Personalize Communication

Your friends and fans all have different communication styles and need to be reached in different ways. Channels like Facebook require a higher volume of messages to reach as many followers as possible while individuals who've shown interest in the past are worth more direct contact.

Include Your Supporters in the Process

Herstand emphasizes a "we're in it together" approach and finding ways to include supporters in the process. This might mean a webcam visit to a studio or requesting lyric suggestions for particular lines. Keep in mind that you're also strengthening your fanbase and deepening connections that could continue long after this campaign.

And Afterwards?

Though Herstand doesn't address the issue of what happens after a successful crowdfunding campaign, it's important to plan for extending those connections beyond simply supporting a specific project.


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.

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  1. I need somebody to tell me who needs a songwriter!! A band or singers,PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!! I keep tellin’everybody I’m a ASCAP MEMBER!! I write r@b,hiphop,jazz, and country lyrics. I’m on facebook,youtube, and twitter. I have songs registered with ASCAP,but I don’t want to sing. If you don’t want any hit songs, don’t call me!! I want to be a winner,not just gettin’ by!!

  2. Why are you dropping these comments here?
    Anybody that saw this would think you’re kind of a loser. You post off-topic comments trying to connect with people who need a singer on a post about somebody’s crowdfunding campaign?
    And even if it was appropriate and somebody would notice, you’re not even posting contact info.
    Get a grip and go somewhere where people are looking for musicians. What you’re doing here is working against yourself.

  3. This article couldn’t be more dead on I’m currently running a successful campaign and I’ve had family members call me and say wow great job! The truth to the matter is that even at 7K I’ll have to add another 3k to break even because of terrible planning on the layouts of the rewards . This is a CRUCIAL step to a successful Kickstarter.

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