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Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1h7Jtka

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1h7Jtka

Crowdfunding isn’t being talked about as much as when Amanda Palmer ran her famous Kickstarter campaign, but it’s still going strong. It’s still a great way to fund your projects. However, we’ve all learned a few things about the process along the way. Crowdfunding is more than just a funding tool. It’s a way to connect with your fans, build a deeper relationship, and get people interested and buying your music before its even created. Pre-sale and marketing are just as much a part of crowdfunding as funding.

Here are 5 crowdfunding for musician tips that will set your crowdfunding campaign on the right track. These tips come from the CD Baby blog. This is just a short excerpt, but you can check out the full article here.

1. Build your crowd and then fund: Although there is a discovery element to most crowdfunding platforms, you’re gonna end up very disappointed if you launch a campaign without an existing fanbase.

2. The number isn’t as important as loyalty: If you buy followers or email subscribers, it doesn’t mean they’re gonna buy your crap. You don’t need a huge fanbase to run a successful campaign; you just need an active group of loyal fans, the kind you earn one at a time and interact with regularly.

3. Give your fans an experience: You’re not just selling downloads and t-shirts. You are including your fans in the creative journey. More on this in the next section…

4. Over plan for the fulfillment process: Make sure to get all the pertinent information you’ll need when fulfilling all the orders, rewards, perks and exclusives you’re offering. One of the most commonly overlooked pieces of information is the size preference for t-shirts. But also, make sure not to offer the house concert option to people in Thailand if you’re not going to be able to follow through.

5. Keep updating after you hit your goal: There is often a gap between when all the money is collected and when the final product is released. Don’t leave your fans hanging like a prom date that might not show up. They spent a lot of money on that dress. Make sure they know you’re still taking them to the dance. Keep them updated as to your progress.

There are a lot of great crowdfunding tools out there, but one that stands out for musicians is Pledge Music. Because the platform is specifically focused on musicians, they have a lot of tools in place to help you keep on track and follow the tips outlined above. Here are some stats from Pledge Music:

* 22% of PledgeMusic site traffic comes from fans sharing pledges-only updates.

* 75% of pledgers contribute to a campaign without knowing the band personally. Ergo, they are the email subscribers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, etc.

* The average pledge is $55-$70.

* 37% of pledges are over $250.

* 37% of the income comes after the 30-60 day campaign on other platforms would have ended.

* PledgeMusic boasts an 86% success rate of reaching funding targets.

* On average it takes 17 pledges-only updates to hit your financial goal.

If you want to learn more about crowdfunding, CD Baby has a free guide available.

Photo by smaedli

Photo by smaedli

The bigger the industry, the more powerful it’s smallest players. That saying is derived from John Naisbitt’s book, “Global Paradox,” and while it was meant to describe the global economy, it holds true for most industries as well – especially the music industry.

The music business is a huge multi-million dollar industry with hundreds of thousands of players. Big record companies can throw around huge amounts of money to make things happen for their artists, and as a result, super star acts seem to snowball out of control while smaller artists struggle to just get by. As an independent artist, its easy to feel trapped by your small size. You can feel like you can’t possibly get the same kind of success without the big marketing dollars and top-of-the-line production quality. That’s one way to look at it.

There is another way to see your situation. Instead of that depressing outlook, keep Naisbitt’s thoughts in mind. The bigger the industry, the more powerful it’s smallest players. This means that the most powerful player in the music industry is YOU – the indie musicians, indie labels, and music entrepreneurs. Power doesn’t have to mean money, influence, or even fame. Power can be the driving force behind the industry – the force that brings about new ideas, the force that paves the way for the future of the industry.

Big companies can’t be as creative with their business.  When there’s that much money being thrown around, safety is key. They stick to the tried and true for the most part. If they try something new for the release of their top artist’s album and it flops, they will miss out on the millions of dollars in sales that keep their business running.

The small players, on the other hand, don’t have as much to lose. A musician just starting out can experiment with a new album release strategy or promotion campaign. A music entrepreneur can start a business around a completely new concept that the big players are afraid to experiment with.

More often than not, its the smaller players that come up with the new ideas that drive the music industry forward. After they have been proven, these ideas are adopted by the big companies and artists.

Don’t look at your size in comparison to this massive industry as an inhibitor. Instead, view it as a freedom. You don’t need to be afraid to experiment and try new things. YOU are the driving force behind the music industry.