Tag Archives: the artist’s partner

How to Succeed at Crowdfunding: Take Your Time

Fewer than 10% of those who fill out our Artist Questionnaire ultimately go on to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Potential campaigners opt out for a variety of reasons, but in most cases, it is because crowdfunding the amount of money they wish to raise will take much, much more time – and effort – than they expected.

Crowdfunding is slow, hard-earned money.

Image courtesy Shelton Interactive
Image courtesy Shelton Interactive

One of the questions we ask in our questionnaire is: When do you plan to launch your campaign? The number one answer is “next month” – usually a week or two away. In our instant-gratification online world, it’s understandable why this may feel like plenty of time to prepare.

So most people are shocked to learn that a minimum of 3 months is required, and often preparation takes 6-12 months. This is not because it takes 3 months to build the campaign – but it takes at least that long to market it.

Crowdfunding is subject to Effective Frequency, what’s known in marketing circles as “The Rule of 7”. People need to hear a message 7 times to act on it. For crowdfunding, that means prospective backers need to hear about the campaign seven times prior to launch in order to become active participants rather than remain passive observers. It’s not possible to meaningfully share a message seven times in a week or two (that’s spam). A sustained marketing plan takes time to develop, and then time to disseminate.

There is no substitute for time. So, if you are considering running a crowdfunding campaign, take a look at the calendar. Find a spring or fall month that is around 6 months away. If you get started preparing now, realistically that seemingly far-off date will be the earliest you can launch. And once you get started on the work that needs to be done to prepare, our guess is you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time flies.

If you would like a personalized analysis of your crowdfunding plan, please fill out our questionnaire. A detailed report – a $125 value! – will be delivered for free in two weeks.

 

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How to succeed at crowdfunding: Market Research

Crowdfunding is marketing. And it’s the best kind – you get paid for it, rather than vice versa!

“Marketing” can be a word that gives artists hives. But all it is is stepping way back from your project and looking at it through the eyes of your audience. What will entice them before they’ve had the chance to read your book / hear your album / see your film?

Most marketing works on the paradox of “similar but unique”. You’ll want to be well-versed in what is familiar to your audience, and after that identify the element of your work that will uniquely grab their attention. The first step is knowing your audience as precisely as possible.

blog images - market research

Think of a handful of people you know who will enjoy your work the most. Then answer these questions:

  1. What is their age?
  2. Gender?
  3. Relevant characteristics? (This could be geographic location, race, socioeconomic status, religion, shared experiences, shared passions, etc.)

This gives you a good profile of to whom you’re talking when you’re sharing your message. Many artists think they’ll sell more if they explain why really their book / album / film / project is for everybody – but it won’t. Get specific. This helps to set the right tone.

Step Two is another one that artists often dislike: classify your work. You may think your project transcends genre – and maybe it does – but that will not help sell your work. Pick the genre that is the best fit. Which (online) shelf does your work match? This helps to set the right layout for your cover or preview.

Step Three is to research bestsellers to your audience in your genre. Fortunately, online retailers like Amazon and iTunes make it easy to research bestsellers in just about any digital media. If your project does not fit these two websites, find some that do sell your craft. If all else fails, you can browse through your category on Kickstarter and Indiegogo to see what kinds of messages work and don’t work for projects like yours. You’ll want to keep an eye out for things like:

  1. Color scheme
  2. Font
  3. Layout
  4. Design elements / icons
  5. Voice / word choice
  6. Price
  7. For video: soundtrack, voice over, timing, cuts, captions

Pick 3-5 examples that stand out to you as great. What are the common components they share? Borrow these in your own marketing. This helps you to meet your audience’s expectations.

Step Four is the fun part: identify the one unique element of your work that will be of special interest to your audience. Artists often want to select the sixteen elements of their work that are unique and amazing. And your audience will love them all -eventually. But you need to pick the strongest, most appealing one to sell your work first. A confused observer does not become a buyer. A strong unique element in a familiar layout will help you to surpass your audience’s expectations.

Step Five is to work with a designer, writer, videographer, or others to actually turn this research into the pitch for your project. With the above information and successful projects that have gone before you, you have what you need to be on the same page and craft a pitch your audience can’t resist.

 

For a free crowdfunding analysis of your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

Artists Answer: What was the most valuable service received from The Artist’s Partner?

During a recent client survey, we asked the following question: “What services received from The Artist’s Partner were most valuable to you?”

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For a free crowdfunding analysis of your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

Artists Answer: Biggest surprises during your campaign?

During a recent client survey, our artists provided the following insights in response to the question: “What were the biggest surprises during your campaign?

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For a free crowdfunding analysis of your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!