One of the best ways to learn about how to successfully crowdfund your music project is to study successful campaigns. Launch & Release is an excellent resource that's focused on doing just that. From building an archive of what will eventually be 100 Kickstarter music campaigns to relating music crowdfunding to marketing best practices, it's a resource that will help you even if you're not planning to use Kickstarter as a platform.
I recently found Launch & Release while seeking out music crowdfunding news. I was impressed enough to reach out to Levi James who, along with Ian Anderson, is using the site to develop his own expertise while sharing what he's learned in the process. He's also conducted two successful Kickstarter campaigns and is not only applying his knowledge to crowdfunding music but is finding ways to bring it back into music marketing.
James told me in an email that he feels "very strongly that crowdfunding for bands is like a micro version of real world music marketing (and straight up internet marketing) best practices." You can see him applying that perspective in such case studies as "The Surprising Truth About How Facebook Fans Affect The Success of Your Kickstarter Project."
"I've made a full time living by managing and playing in a Montana based band (The Clintons). We went from $30k in '06 to over $200k by 2008 with only 60 shows without leaving the state, $36k of that was merchandise."
"I launched two pre-order campaigns that did around $15k each prior to Kickstarter's existence. After that I took Berklee's Online Music Marketing w/Topspin course just to get the beta invite to use Topspin. The following year I raised $22k on Kickstarter for that same band and then a year later I raised almost $12k on Kickstarter with my new band (Golden Grenade) with only 15 fans."
So James took his fascination with music marketing and his understanding of marketing best practices and used his early success to then run successful crowdfunding campaigns. Now he's bringing what he's learned from crowdfunding back into other forms of music marketing with a presale bundle for Golden Grenade that he's promoting with a Kickstarter pitch-style video.
All that would be impressive enough but Launch & Release takes it to another level by sharing what he and Ian Anderson are learning by studying other successful and unsuccessful Kickstarter campaigns. Of particular interest is their ongoing development of "100 Music Kickstarters to Learn From":
"We’re creating a repository of 100 Music Kickstarter Profiles that kick ass so you can find examples of videos, packages, and tactics to inspire your band’s Kickstarter project."
It's a generous offering that is also a smart way for Levi James to build his own brand as he becomes a true music crowdfunding expert. Even if you're choosing another platform, I think you can learn quite a bit from Launch & Release about what makes music crowdfunding campaigns work. I know I'll be turning to this site regularly to find out more.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.