If you ask anybody in the know, they’ll tell you that crowdfunding is the wave of the future. Everybody from established musicians and filmmakers, to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and guys who just wanna make a potato salad are turning to the public to fund their latest bold venture or passion project.
To better understand how to do crowdfunding the right way and avoid doing it the wrong way, Music Feeds tapped Nick Coppin, drummer for Melbourne’s Antiskeptic, who managed to raise over $20,000 to help fund their third studio album, ‘Stare Down The Ocean’, and relaunch their band after a six-year hiatus.
Putting together a crowdfunding campaign is a massive task! It’s certainly not just something you put up online, expecting cash to suddenly start rolling in. You’ll find you will be busy for the entire campaign, so it’s important to be really well-planned and to execute it well from the beginning to end of the project.
2. Be organised
We held our first Pozible campaign in early 2012, back when crowdfunding was a fairly new concept and not many Australian bands had done it. Although we hit our target and raised a respectable $6,000, looking back at it, our planning was terrible and we really had no idea what we were doing!
The rewards we’d offered were costly to outlay and going to take us a lot more time than we’d originally thought to fulfil. We were offering copies of our new album and tickets to launch shows, and at that stage we had yet to have written anything, let along be at a point where we were ready to record or tour!
It’s now 2014 (over two years since we did that first campaign) and come September/October, we will finally fulfil the remaining rewards we had offered. I’m just stoked we have such understanding fans!
3. Do your homework!
I was determined this time around to put a lot more thought into it, so I did plenty of research on all the different crowdfunding sites (Pozible, Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, etc.) and looked at bands that were trying to achieve similar things and what rewards they would offer. This really helps you gauge what works and what doesn’t and can help the initial stages of shaping your campaign.
4. Think like a fan
I’m a massive music fan and have those bands that I hold dear to my heart, those I’d do anything to support. It’s important to wear the ‘fan hat’ when coming up with rewards for your campaign and to think of things that you know your fan base will respond to.
One of the rewards we offered was a chance to be in one of our video clips. Instead of paying extras, we had fans paying us! Some people may scoff at that, but this reward was met with huge enthusiasm from our fan base and sold out early in the campaign. The fans had a fun day they will never forget and will be forever immortalised in our video. As a music fan – I reckon that’s pretty cool!
5. Be wary of outlay costs
We made the mistake in our first campaign of not really taking into consideration the costs and time involved with producing some of our rewards. While it’s nice to see money coming in, it can really take the gloss off the project when your money ends up going to other things, instead of what you may have been campaigning for all along!
This time around, I tried to be really savvy with things that we offered and thought of rewards that I thought fans would love and that wouldn’t cost us more than our time (digital downloads, handwritten lyrics, invitation to a VIP listening party, etc.).
These items really worked for us, barely cost us anything and were great rewards for fans. They were a lot easier to fulfil than the rewards offered in our original campaign and saw most of the funds go directly to our main goal.
6. Remember: Crowdfunding is addictive!
As I said earlier, you’ll find that you will be busy for the entire length of your project, but I’ll tell you now – it is such an addictive buzz getting email notifications telling you someone has pledged towards your campaign!
Knowing that you have people believing in your project and backing it with their hard-earned money is such a good feeling. It’s like creating an army of vocal supporters. These guys are investing in you, becoming a part of the project, and sharing that fact with the word.
We ended up raising $17,315 as part of our latest campaign. This has been massive for relaunching the band and has created a groundswell of anticipation for our new album. We are so appreciative of our fans for partnering with us and helping us create something we’re all really proud of.
Antiskeptic’s latest album, ‘Stare Down The Ocean’, is out Friday, 19th September. The band will embark on a national tour later this month – full details below.
Watch: Antiskeptic – When The Night Comes In
Antiskeptic National Tour Dates
Thursday, 25th September
Newtown Social Club, Sydney
Tickets: Newtown Social Club
Friday, 26th September
The Small Ballroom, Newcastle*
Saturday, 27th September
Enigma Bar, Adelaide
Saturday, 4th October
The Brightside, Brisbane
Saturday, 11th October
The Evelyn, Melbourne
*Young Lions not appearing