CROWDSOURCING FOR BANDS - 10 Tips to Make it Successful

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CROWDSOURCING FOR BANDS - 10 Tips to Make it Successful

By Jeff Diamant from Diamond Amplification and Diamond Guitars

So you have a band. It’s not easy. And we get it. How do you get it off the ground? We know the gig money doesn’t do it, and it’s a very competitive market. How do you get new gear? How do you pay for your demo, or the album you want to record? What if you need a new PA? And the list goes on. . . I’ve been there, and in this industry for well over a decade. This is the experience I’ve gained and hopefully it’s helpful to you.

Crowdfunding is a great way to help your band. With its increasing popularity, people are getting used to crowdfunding campaigns so you no longer have the learning curve for teaching people what your campaign is and how to pledge to it. But throwing up a campaign and hoping for the best won’t get you there.

Here’s 10 tips on how to make crowdfunding work for your band. . .

Number 1 – and not just the first one listed, but by FAR the most important. . . HAVE A GOAL. Not just a number, but a number and a goal. For example, your campaign may be. . . we need to raise $3,000 to record our 3 song demo to help us try to get signed. Or, we need to raise $7,000 to record our video for X song. People don’t like to generically give money. But if you have a goal, they are more likely to “contribute to the cause” so to speak.  The conventional wisdom is that people are over 20 times more likely to contribute to a cause they agree with than to generally give money without any knowledge of where it’s going.

Number 2 – BE SPECIFIC. Detail is important. If your campaign is to raise $3,500 because you need a new PA, tell people which gear you’re getting by name and model, why you’re getting that gear specifically, and how much each piece costs.  When you provide detail, people assume that you’ve done your homework and have your proverbial S*&! together, not just some merry band of lovable losers who will probably end up buying beer and pot with the money when they find out they didn’t raise enough because they planned poorly.

Number 3 – SHARE, SHARE, SHARE on your social media. It’s amazing how many people open campaigns and don’t even share it on their own social media. What? What was the point? If you can’t even share it on your own social media, potential pledgers will probably assume you’re too lazy to help yourself, so why should they help you? On the other end of the spectrum, the more you share it, the more likely that your friends will share it too. And don’t just share it on the band’s social media. Each band member should share it on theirs. And it should be shared at LEAST 1-2 times a week, on everyone’s social media.

Number 4 – GET THE GIG PLEDGES! Bring an iPad to your gig. Tell people about it on stage. Have it at your merch table. Ask people to pledge, physically show them your campaign on the iPad and then ask them to pledge again. Simple fact. . . it’s harder to say no when they’re face-to-face with you. When they’re at home, they know you won’t know that they looked at your campaign and decided not to pledge. But at the gig, they’ve had fun, they loved the band, they’ve had a few beers, and they’re far more likely to pledge when you show it to them and ask them to!

Number 5 – LINK, LINK, LINK. Put it on your Facebook, link it on your website, or your ReverbNation or anywhere you can link it. The more it’s out there, the more opportunities people have to find it.

Number 6 – SHARE LOTS OF PICS/MEDIA. On your campaign, share lots of band pics, your story, your successes, your songs, your links, etc. The more they get to see and read, the more likely they are to invest themselves in your story, hence, the more likely they are to pledge.

Number 7 – FIND THE LOWEST COST. All crowdsourcing sites have fees. Why give away more of your money to the host for your campaign? All you need is the platform to host it. www.unified4people.com has the best service I’ve seen, and the best rates in the industry so I’d head there first. None of the others provide you any additional service or exposure that justified any extra cost. Don’t forget, crowdfunding depends on you more than the site.

Number 8 – GIVE PERKS. Find some way to benefit the people who pledge. For example, if you give $5, we’ll send you the mp3’s of the demo for free when it’s out. Or maybe, we’ll notify pledgers first so they can see the advance copy, or whatever may work for you. You could also consider a discount code for all pledgers to your merch store if the campaign funds. If people get something back, no matter how small the value, they’re far more likely to give!

Number 9 – EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. No one wants to give to sloppy campaign. Get someone who is a good writer, and good speller, to proof read your campaign. Remember, you’re creating an impression. The better impression, the more likely they are to donate so don’t short your campaign with spelling errors.

Number 10 – Well, I really only had 9, but 10 was a better title. So, I guess, Number 10 is GOOD LUCK!

I hope this helps!

 

Tales from the Industry,

Jeff Diamant

Founder

Diamond Amplification (www.diamondamps.com)

Diamond Guitars (www.diamondguitars.com)

 

 

HANJIN INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING BANKRUPTCY

Hanjin docks on hold.

Hanjin docks on hold.

With the recent bankruptcy announcement of Hanjin Shipping (one of the top 10 providers of ocean transportation services globally), there has been a large amount of speculation of the impact that this will have on American importers this peak season. What effect will this have on the Musical Instruments/Guitars market? It could be significant. 

At a minimum, we know that many Hanjin operated vessels are anchored at sea in fear that if they docked, their vessels would either be seized as collateral or not unloaded, as the ports would require payment prior to unloading.

Related news received as of Sept. 7:

A federal judge granted Hanjin Shipping's request to have its rehabilitation in bankruptcy court in Korea be recognized under the U.S. bankruptcy code for Chapter 15. Judge John K. Sherwood of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark, N.J., granted the order on an interim basis and will hear arguments Friday (Sept. 9) to ensure creditors receive adequate protection. Further, the Hanjin Group conglomerate's chairmen have said that it would provide $90 million to help resolve transport disruptions. This should give U.S. importers awaiting cargo on ships anchored outside U.S. ports hope that they will get their goods soon.

The Wall Street Journal Reported:

About 95% of the world’s manufactured goods—from dresses to televisions—are transported in shipping containers. Though Hanjin accounts for only about 3.2% of global container capacity, the disruption, which comes as retailers prepare to stock their shelves for the holiday season, is expected to be costly, as companies scramble to book their goods on other carriers.
...

While Hanjin was granted protection by bankruptcy courts in Korea and the U.S., conditions are “bordering chaos,” said Lars Jensen, chief executive of SeaIntelligence Consulting in Copenhagen. “With so many Hanjin ships barred from entering ports, shippers have no idea when their cargo will be unloaded.”

The courts’ protection permits Hanjin ships to move in and out of certain terminals in those countries without fear of asset seizures. But shippers and brokers say the rulings don’t solve the shipping line’s problems in the U.S., as it is unclear whether Hanjin will be able to afford to have the ships unloaded once they dock. Moreover, the courts’ rulings don’t necessarily apply to ports in Asia and Europe.

What effect will this have on musical instruments, especially guitars? That remains to be seen. Guitar Center reported:

As we wait for the situation to unfold over the next few months, we expect that ocean capacity will remain very tight on the Asia-to-U.S. shipping lanes.

We anticipate this will radically slow the delivery of guitars into the US, which will make supply scarce for a while.