Do you love or do you hate kickstarter?
It's pretty interesting doing a Kickstarter Campaign. It's interesting partly because of the feedback from other musicians. Some like it, some are indifferent and some are very negative about it. Our lead singer was on a gig recently and a musician was yelling at him about our Kickstarter campaign.
If you want to see a Kickstarter campaign done right. Check out ours. There’s actually a social media team involved. They’re based in Amsterdam. They’re monitoring the account and posting on Twitter and Facebook. The most important thing about doing a Kickstarter campaign is getting the word out, and out again and out again.
Here is also something to remember. I didn’t know this. MOST of the money comes at the end of the campaign. When the pressure is on. Remember that if you do yours. It’s our second week as I write this and we %25 of the money and our social media team is saying that we’re right on track.
You have to repeatedly remind people that you’re doing this campaign. Just like a telethon, just like anyone who is basically begging for money.
I remember going to these conventions where schools would coming looking to hire artists to perform at their school. That felt like Kickstarter. You had to play videos at your booth, meet people, go to all the parties and presentations during the week. You had to let people see you over and over again so that they would go home and then remember you and hire you.
Remember, and this is the thing students forget. Jazz musicians also have to pay mortgages and loans and buy food. I always ask students, ‘Where are you going to get the money to pay for these things?’. I ask this mainly to get them thinking.
Anyway enough of that, the thing about a Campaign like this, is it's simple. If you want to support the cause give, if you don't, you just don't. What's all the complaining about? Someone is trying to raise money for something they want to do and they're appealing to friends and fans and family for support. That's not so unique, is it? I've been asking for money from family for projects for years. In fact my dad gave me the $$$ thousands I needed to start vibesworkshop.com.
I have given to about 6 projects. I felt and feel great doing it. I like the artists I supported and gave what I could. Now I've received some projects that I didn't dig, or didn't dig the person doing it. Or I felt the person would never support something like this for me. And I didn't give anything.
That's the thing about something like this. You can just not give anything.
Look at all the great people on this site. Who doesn't love Dimitri? If he was doing a kickstarter campaign for a musical project. You wouldn't feel good about helping him out? I think Kickstarter is a great thing for people who aren't famous, or aren't rich. Kickstarter is for people who need financial help getting things done. For people who have developed friends and fans on the Internet. If you’re presence on the Internet is not great then it will be hard for you to raise money.
I am learning about promotion with this latest Kickstarter campaign. People who raise money can get things done, make cds and have a career in music. The days of sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring are over. Aren't they?
What about a grant? Who has filled out a grant? If you get the grant, the government gives you money to do a project, play a concert or whatever you're trying to do. Where does the government get the money from to do this? From the people.
This is something for us to talk about because, many of you guys are young musicians and you're going to go out there and form bands and make cds and build a fan base. How are you going to pay for the cds? For the promo for the cds?
Promo for a CD runs between 1000 and 3000 a month. Add cd costs, etc., and the prices go up and up. Watch this video. All though it gets a little cheezy, this is a woman who knows how to market and promote.
I mean if your goal is only to play music and nothing else is important (money, gigs), then none of this is of interest to you, I'm sure. But if you are going to ask clubs and restaurants to hire you, you better bring in fans and make this place money. In a way you are maybe the restaurants Kickstarter person. You bring people in and they give the restaurant money, in the end he gives you some of that money.
I took the money but I always felt a little weird getting paid in a club when NO ONE came in to see us. Is it the restuarant's fault? Partly, but I ALWAYS considered it my fault. It was my fault that no one wanted to here my music. Did I suck? OR, did no one no I was playing in this restaurant?
Since I'm involved in this campaign and I'm getting a lot of feedback from musicians about this, I thought it would be interesting to talk about it.
What do you think about Kickstarter?
How are you going to record, print and promo a cd?
How will you pay for a music project of any kind?
Young musicians and even old musicians are going to have to decide how they will handle all this. No way is right and no way is wrong. You go your way and I go mine right? But we're all faced with the same challenges if we want to make money at playing music. We need cds to get gigs and exposure. We have to pay money to make the cd and pay for the exposure in order to get the gigs. We have to pay musicians for rehearsals and for gigs, we have to buy equipment. We want to get endorsements from companies because we think we play great and will help promote the endorsements. But that means we better fill clubs and that goes back to making CDs and promoting ourselves.
I've come across a couple negative musicians about Kickstarter and My reply was 'Don't give anything if you don't like it. What's the big deal'.
Whether we succeed at this or not, I have learned a ton about social media and reaching fans on the Internet. If none of this matters to you, then I would guess that you have another job, are already a very successful musician or are teaching full time some where. If you’re trying to make part of your living through playing the vibes, then I hope you really check all this out!!!
Give me your 2 cents. My experience trying to do this is something I think I should pass on to you guys, and think it wold be great to have a discussion about this. And money. Money is an uncomfortable thing to talk about, isn't it. But artists have to pay mortgages and rent and insurance, just like everyone else.
Your turn. What do you think?