December 15, 2011
Kickstarter My Heart
About a week ago I saw an update about Five Iron Frenzy hit my Facebook feed regarding their return to creating and performing music. What really struck me about this was not the notion that SKA could be seeing a revival… It was more like “holy crap, they’ve raised HOW MUCH MONEY?”
The news item linked to a Kickstarter page where they were raising funds to record and release a new album without the assistance of a record label. The band has set a goal of $30,000 and had already raised (at that time) over $130,000! For those of you that aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, here is the Cliff Notes version:
Kickstarter is a website that assists individuals in raising money for various projects (typically creative projects). Pages are created with information detailing all aspects of the project that is to be funded. The page creator can then offer incentives for giving at specific levels. Incentives can be limited to a set number of supporters or it can be left wide open! The project creator sets a funding goal and a time frame to meet the funding. Supporters can pledge money using debit / credit cards and in the event the project meets its goal in the allotted time, the cards are all charged and the money is funneled to the project creator. Projects can exceed their financial goals as well (which is the case with Five Iron Frenzy and several others).
It’s a great tool for raising money and there is nothing wrong with asking (in the case of musicians) your fans to support your efforts!
But make sure you incentivize.
The more the incentives you offer (and the better the incentives you offer) the better the results you will get. Five Iron did a fantastic job of offering incentives and adding incentives as goals were met. They not only met their goal but exceeded it in a matter of days.
I realize that Five Iron Frenzy is an established band with an established fan base and with the announcement of their return, it was much easier for them to raise funds that it would be for a brand new band just starting out. Kickstarter, however, is still a great way for young bands to allow their fans to invest in their careers early on.
Have you used Kickstarter? Post your experience in the comments!