13 Ways To Launch A Successful Music Kickstarter Campaign
Guest Post Written By Kosha Dillz - @koshadillz
I have created a huge task for myself in ordering new merch, back ordering old merch, and finishing a 9 song EP, mixing, mastering, hiring PR, shooting videos, radio, etc. With all the "OMG WTF am I'm gonna do" syndrome appearing once every couple hours, I need to put my head down and work hard while still keeping my eyes on the prize. Finishing the Kickstarter and getting on that stage ready to rip it the F#$K up for 41 cities. At the release of this article, I will have about 9 days left on my kickstarter. Dont just stand there, pledge something!
1. I have begun to follow my fans and friends on twitter
For a long time I thought it was all about being "rare" and "not following" anyone. I realized how much time I spent on deciding whether or not I would click follow or unfollow. I realize that doesn't matter. I am here to have conversations with people anyway I can. If it is through Direct messaging and searching who may be interested in me, I am going to do this. I have since created many new fans just after following a bit more than 500 "normal people" and have made many more connections and receive pledges.
2. Direct messaging ALL of my 5000 friends on Facebook
Sure I can send a mass message to all of them through a service that cost maybe $90 bucks (and I will) , but nothing beats real conversation with people. Some people tell me to "stop asking them for money." I then tell them that is essentially the job of it, as you can see in my video. It should be easy to raise 10k with 5000 friends. The trick is not to "feel down" asking everybody. I don't care if it is someones Mom or Dad or your ex girlfriend // boyfriend, you better ask them to contribute your kickstarter.
3. Have amazing rewards.
I have these team kosha zip ups which are in the process of being created and they are the coolest thing in the world. I have 3D pickle USBs with over 90 of my songs on them for $100. I have combinations, I have 12'' vinyl for my last album Awkward in a Good Way, and an enjoy Kosha Dillz shirt that is like Coca Cola. I also have Publicity functions, consulting, rap lessons, private shows on Skype, and you can even name my album whatever you want for $10,000. Yep. You can name my album "Kosha Dillz Sucks" for $10,000. You can name it "molecular microscopic masturbation" for $10,000. Maybe you can name it "Bestbuy.com" ? I'm quite open to the possibilities.
4. Have a stomach for old high school friends who you never liked.
This video could be serious but serious doesn't resonate with someone who you don't know so well, or who have known you for years but you haven't talked to since your high school reunion. Send it to them and engage in conversation. Make each one special. Here is an example below…
Me (mike)- Jon! (seen his name on side bar of Facebook..fishing for response"
Jon (him) " Wow it has been years..so hey…mike…are you still doing like…the music thing?"
Me- Well actually Jon, I called you about that. I'm fundraising for my next EP with kickstarter. If I don't hit my goal, I get zilch. Being that you haven't bought an album in 10 years, pledge for a kosha Dillz pickle USB with all my music for $100 . Good news is it won't charge you until next month , and if only i hit my ultimate goal of $10,000!
Jon – Oh I'm actually kinda tight right now, but I' can share it.
Me – It is all good. I never thought you would actually pledge but just wanted to show you how I was doing. Share it on your wall, anything helps, Even $2 helps. You get a digital handshake for that.
Jon - I can do 2 bucks. ok just pledged! I actually put $15 for the digital EP. You keep going. You're gonna make it some day.
Me- Maybe one day I'll make it, but you ended up with Shirley and those 7 awesome kids. You're the best dude!
Ok…weird high school world conversations but it might be very similar to this!!
5. 20 – 30 Phone Calls a day.
I think that at least 20 phone calls a day should be made to people that need to know about you. Have a schedule to call them up and leave them messages. Let them know directly while you're calling. I think being direct is good. It is also really great when you reconnect with someone. Most people have been watching you. I have 4000+ phone contacts. I can call everyone and I also have 5000 Facebook friends. It should be no trouble to have 9000 contacts help you get you your goal, whether it is 8 k or 15 k.
6. Explain that they don't have to pay until the end of the cycle unless you hit your goal
I have spent a lot of time explaining to people how and what kickstarter is. Not everyone realizes this and it is a huge step to letting people become available to pledge the bucks. Also, I choose kickstarter
because the "all or nothing" makes people feel a sense of urgency. If you get hit by car get injured and still live ; that is like indie gogo. Kickstarter is like a 16 wheeler truck. You need to do something or your die! It is all or nothing baby. There is no in-between. When people see that, they usually will notleave you in the dust to get killed. If they do , well then you already know to unfriend them or unfollow in a month.
7. Email lists, Event page updates, performances
I feel like some of these need to happen and they do not need to be used every day.
For instance an email list, can really help blast off to 15,000 people who maybe only 1500 will check. But those people there will be 20-30 backers of all sizes. It may also take them a bit to do. Updates and notes on who to follow up with is cool. But if you engage in conversation, you can let them see #6. Having a few shows makes it live and person to reach new heights. Im currently headed to Fargo for some performances, and hosting a show in SF and in NYC. I created an event page to see interest in my kick starter so people have it pop up on their reminders.
8. Do live interaction on fan pages and give free incentives
I have raps on your answering machine for $30. Yesterday I opted to do it for free with the hopes of people would hit me back on the pledge tip. The more Free stuff you do that people appreciate, the more likely they are to buy something in the future. I probably rapped on 10 answering machines the other day, and that is great promo regardless. You should become very personal for these pledges. The blogs don't pledge guys. You really have to become the humblest person. I don't like doing things for free, but I need leads to survive as a salesman, so this gives me a bunch of leads!!
9. Use $5 and $10 promoted posts Facebook to get "personal"
Take out an Ad. You should always spend $5 and $10 on ads that hit you and your "friends of fans" This is an easy way to see people who bite and like and comment on your discussion thread. You can follow up by adding them on your personal account. Have a chat with them and convert them into a believer. I spent all day doing this and it works. Many of my fans truly support me for my work ethic, so they enjoy supporting my music. Soon, they might even like my music. lol.
10. Physical Fliers
You walk around the city for a month and you should always be promoting. Having 500-1000 fliers to pass to people you meet at coffee shops when working on your kickstarter will really help you out. I met someone at TSA in Minneapolis after the Sound Set festival and the guy gave $10. More importantly, he is a pledger, and he is jumping on before the rest of the world!
11. SnapChat and Instagram and Vine
Updates are always great. We all use these things every day. Great feature about these is that we can also use direct messaging with them, and they didn't exist two years ago for me. I wasn't as popular yet, and now my reach is way larger.
12. Collaborate with artist friends
Ask your artist friends to reach out to their fan base. My friend @alispagnola tweeted out my kickstarter to 1.6 million people and I got a slew of new followers and friends who enjoy my comedy and character. Matisyahu fans love me as well as other rapper and rocker friends. My new Warped Tour bandmates can share to their friends, and everyone loves to see the process.
13. Release new music with Milestones
After hitting $1500 , we released a new song via Okayplayer.com. Now my kickstarter is also attached there and people see a song and more awareness. I don't even have to have them click the kickstarter. I can send the music link and they can see it themselves! At 7500 new video. At 10,000 the EP name!!
Main goal of my month of promo is to never stop plugging it. You don't have to plug it to everyone, but when they ask you how you are doing, you can explain to them what you are pushing. You can also mention you don't wanna send it to them. Don't worry about your haters. People will hate on the method that they have a job, but in reality all we are doing with a kickstarter is pre selling our product to a few hundred people before our project comes out. With that being said, look at some great rewards, whether it be mine or someone else's, and pledge something. I believe in strength in numbers, and I also believe in the fact that you can change someone's day by pledging and not knowing who they are at all.
Kosha Dillz is a headlining act on this years Vans Warped Tour playing all 41 cities on the Beatport stage. His DIY tactics have helped him stay relevant in music, connection languages, freestyles, and hustle to break through to the next level of fan interaction. He also is going to be on a tour bus for the first time in his life and is excited about it. Follow him @koshadillz on twitter/ IG and Realkosha on Snapchat. He usually snaps back a freestyle rap.