Jump to content
Vara La Fey

Crowd-funding?? Any thoughts??

Recommended Posts

Vara La Fey    35

I read an article yesterday about Amanda Palmer, a singer who got herself hugely crowd-funded on Kickstarter. Does anyone have any real knowledge or personal experience with crowd-funding?

 

I'm a trans-girl working to hone my writing skills so I can put together an all-trans band and maybe take it somewhere. The time is soooo right for this!! Being trans, I'm basically a part of the "LGBT" community (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and nowadays countless others). The LGBT is very good about supporting its members and generally sticking together. There's friction, but we're generally good about it. And generally affluent. And generally have very few members writing hot original LGBT-themed music for us - and somewhere right around ONE hard rocking all-trans bands currently doing it. I think the LGBT is my built-in audience, and would be perfect crowd-funding donors of LGBT projects in general. If you can reach 'em. I won't even tell you how bad my financial situation is right now. Let's just leave it at this: I badly need it.

 

In general (LGBT or not), how do you beg your peeps for money? What do they need to ensure that their donations are going to a legitimate cause or project, rather than just dope? Or are these sites disappearing because of dope money and other scams?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Richard Tracey    252

I think crowdfunding is still a legitimate way of sourcing capital to start you out. A lot of big acts are starting to use it, but you have got to offer something in return. Look at a lot of the music acts that use Kickstarter and see what they are doing. Speak to the LGBT groups and see if they will back you, which should give credence to your crowdfunding. If people know it is for a reason and they like that reason, they will back you and if you have the backing of certain groups, it can only help within the community.

 

You normally provide a video explaining who you are and what you are looking to do, show them your music even if it is raw and not finished, as that is one of the things you need the capital for, explain you have ideas for the band, but start-up costs a lot of money. But most of all, tell them what they will get in return.

 

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rudi    571

I wish you good luck, but I just wouldn't do what you're suggesting.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
john    1,416

I would look to Patreon. It is a good deal more interactive than other crowd funding platforms with better tools, making it easier for you to earn as you go as well as set larger targets.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vara La Fey    35

Thx, guys.

 

Richard, I'll think more tangibly about what a band really can give in return. I know that generalities won't cut it.

 

Rudi, why wouldn't you do it?

 

John, I bookmarked Patreon, and will check it out. Right now it looks like one needs sellable-quality production there. I can't afford it, hence wondering about crowd-funding.  :-(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
john    1,416

Not at all... assuming you can do something on video, streaming etc. The point is you raise funding to do a proper album by giving people what they want, your music, interviews, photo shoots etc. It is a combination of crowdfunding and fan base building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
john    1,416

As an example, here is the Patreon page of a fellow Songstuffer raising money for her 4th album, Lauren O'Connell:

 

https://www.patreon.com/laurenoconnell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vara La Fey    35

John, thx!! I will check her page extensively tonight.

 

I actually have an old friend who is a big-time sound engineer, and is hanging his shingle again and offering a free-upfront recording deal for points later. Can't beat it. But I wouldn't go to him with this until I really have something worthwhile. Right now we chat about computer problems and such.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve    86

I have supported artists with crowd funding in the past and I would offer this piece of advice.

 

 

Have something that funders will want to hear! Just being a 'Trans Band' isn't enough for me to support you. (Even though I do  have a lovely couple of friends who are  tranny)  You need to convince me that what you are offering is genuine talent.  A product that I would be willing to buy whether you are Gay, Straight, Bi, Trans, or whatever.  If you want to sell your product, (in this case, Music) Produce good music! That will get you some backing! (With a lot of hard work on your part promoting what you have to offer!)

 

Good luck! :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just1L    902

I've thought about it many times and looked into it but I've never went any further. I do agree with both you and Steve above. The time is right yes, but just being "trans" may not be enough. It reminds me of that heavy metal band Anvil they made the movie out of. They started something but were left in the dust by those that jumped aboard because those that did, had better music. Now, I'm not saying your music isn't "up to snuff" so to speak as I don't know. Just something to consider when working on material. Good luck with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HoboSage    1,909

Reality Check: You're 48 years old - right around the corner from being 50. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by HoboSage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vara La Fey    35

Thx guys!!

 

Steve and Just1L - I know that trans isn't enough, but IF I offer good music and such, I do think a lot of people would appreciate the uniqueness, and the LGBT community will be very likely to support it. Yes, IF the music and all that stuff is good. And getting feedback on that is why I'm on these critique sites in the first place. If you're curious, see my submissions "Incoming" and "Radio Free World" in Song Crit. And give it to me, both barrels. I can take it.

 

HoboSage - Yeah, I'm "around the corner from 50". Where's the reality check in that? Do crowd-funders not like to fund middle-agers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HoboSage    1,909

You think 48 is only "middle-aged" in terms of making an initial splash as a member of a rock band?  I don't know about that.  But, if it doesn't work out, maybe you can still make it in professional sports. :)

 

 

Edited by HoboSage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jenn    172

It doesn't matter what race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, species, etc., you are... if you have to beg peeps for money, then this isn't for you lol. If you've got something, people will come and be willing to pay for it on their own accord. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rob Ash    477
1 hour ago, Jenn said:

It doesn't matter what race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, species, etc., you are... if you have to beg peeps for money, then this isn't for you lol. If you've got something, people will come and be willing to pay for it on their own accord. 

 

 

Absolutely, absolutely wrong. I can't state emphatically enough how much I disagree with this sentiment.

 

Crowd funding is the very definition of success by popular opinion. If you don't have what it takes, you won't get a cent in contributions. It is a fact that the most successful campaigns at ANY crowd funding site are those where the originator or author of a request for funds demonstrates, in great depth, exactly WHAT he or she is attempting, for which they desire financial assistance. Further, crowd funding is not that same as begging. It is a request for support, of an idea, a new product, or, in this case, a new and unknown entertainment act, via financial means. Funders are free to choose only those projects in which they personally find a measure of potential success. Every penny given to a poster on such a site is a declaration of support for the idea represented.

 

I am sorry, Jenn, but I think your post was ill considered.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jenn    172
52 minutes ago, RobAsh15 said:

 

 

Absolutely, absolutely wrong. I can't state emphatically enough how much I disagree with this sentiment.

 

Crowd funding is the very definition of success by popular opinion. If you don't have what it takes, you won't get a cent in contributions. It is a fact that the most successful campaigns at ANY crowd funding site are those where the originator or author of a request for funds demonstrates, in great depth, exactly WHAT he or she is attempting, for which they desire financial assistance. Further, crowd funding is not that same as begging. It is a request for support, of an idea, a new product, or, in this case, a new and unknown entertainment act, via financial means. Funders are free to choose only those projects in which they personally find a measure of potential success. Every penny given to a poster on such a site is a declaration of support for the idea represented.

 

I am sorry, Jenn, but I think your post was ill considered.

 

 

I still stand by what I said, but let me explain myself so I don't seem ill-considered... I am 21 years old, and people among my age group have begun to abuse things like Gofundme and all those things.. Just yesterday I saw someone asking for money so they could learn to scuba dive. This may not be the same situation for artistry, but it's similar.. Last year I wanted to buy a new radio for my car. My first instinct wasn't to make a gofundme and ask people to give me money. no, I checked the job listings and I got myself a job and paid for my own radio. maybe it's how I was raised.. but I believe, if you work for something, then you deserve what you get. and if you don't work hard, then well, expect as much back as you put in. Now, say the fundraiser is for something authentic and the person genuinely needs assistance, then that is acceptable in my eyes.. But still, the person needs to do their part to make the donations worthwhile. Again, this is all just my opinion and I didn't mean for it to come off snobby or anything. But seeing people ask for donations for luxury things... just grinds my gears!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
john    1,416

I don't like standard crowdfunding sites for much that reason. Patreon is targeted at artists, writers, musicians etc. The idea is not  to ask for donations, it is to ask for patronage, something for something. Additionally I would point out a couple of points worth considering:

 

48 is old to be breaking in the pop, or any music scene, though far from impossible. Ask Seasick Steve. Not a huge international star but he has a viable career from it. He isn't alone. That aside, people can make livings from good music... as long as they have a realistic expectation, surely that is the key? Making sure people have a realistic expectation. Take me, I am 50, I plan to release an album. I am under no illusions that fame awaits, indeed I would not welcome you for it. My goal is to make good music and to make enough money from the album, gigs and other income related to my music so that my music pays for itself and enables the next album to be recorded in a better studio, for me to play better venues. That said, were my dream to be on a national stage, releasing music... why not? If my music is good enough and I am innovative enough in my marketing I see no reason why I wouldn't attract an audience big enough for me to make a modest living from it. True, there are uncertainties, but aiming to make enough to live on depends on a lot of hard work, being prepared to fail, a lot, and making contacts that believe in you... amongst other things.

 

Is it likely I could become a top line star? No. Very, very unlikely... even if I was not 50.

 

Yet again I can't rip someone down for wanting to aim that high. I would try and make sure they had the tools to maximise their chances on one hand and the sure fire knowledge that they have a better chance of winning the lottery. Much less chance without said knowledge.

 

it doesn't make me the purveyor of dreams, but I like to think that I am honest from an informed perspective. I don't sugar coat things, but neither am I a defeatist.

 

One other aspect of the teenager abuse of crowdfunding asking for donations... going beyond the something for something perspective.... artists working on decent ethics ask for money upfront, a type of presales. Pay me a reduced up front cost and I will send you a signed CD and a bunch of other stuff, do a Skype gig, even a living room gig, a ton of other stuff... it is work, just like any other.

 

Songstuff accepts donations, but believe me, it isn't money for nothing. Far, far from it. We don't use crowdfunding as such. Will people judge Songstuff because of it? Some yes. But we were taken for granted by many for a long time despite being free, despite never pushing for a donation until very recently.

 

You are of course right Jenn, some people do abuse the system, some do want something for nothing, some do take the money and run, but I hope people can tell the difference, people can judge what is worthy.

 

I remember years ago someone selling a used polythene bag on eBay. It sold. It was pathetic. Many were convinced the end of the world was nigh, or at least the end of eBay was foretold. Yet eBay is alive and well and being used by many buyers and sellers.

 

So in one way you are right, people will stop funding lazy people, but if you work hard, are seen to work hard and more than earn your donations through graft and delivering value, then just like Songstuff, people will want to support you.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jenn    172

@john yes this is what I was trying to say but you put it much more eloquently :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
john    1,416
1 hour ago, Jenn said:

@john yes this is what I was trying to say but you put it much more eloquently :)

 

I try, I try ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Peggy    380

Everything I have to say is just my perception. Fits only for me, so have been hesitant to reply.

 

I don't want to give the impression I have had no help.

 

I've been given incredible breaks in my life. I have tried to keep that in front of me (I fail sometimes). Many of these breaks were from musical endeavors. I have tried to repay (I fail sometimes)

 

But Crowd-funding, to me, is stepping outside of the personal (or if personal, is for a personal tragic situations where there are no other options). So it should be used for the same. Outside the personal.

 

So, I don't see my ideas and aspirations, and I dream big, going the crowd-funding direction.

 

Edited by Peggy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rudi    571
6 hours ago, Jenn said:

It doesn't matter what race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, species, etc., you are... if you have to beg peeps for money, then this isn't for you lol. If you've got something, people will come and be willing to pay for it on their own accord. 

 

You bet. That's right on the money Jenn.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vara La Fey    35

Thanks for all the responses!! I'm mostly gonna watch you guys hammer it out, as you're generally more up to speed on this than I am. But a couple things do cross my mind....

 

The problem of begging money for luxuries may be self-solving: most donors wouldn't donate to that anyway. Whether a high nose : signal ratio has caused a mass exodus from those sites is another thing I have no idea about.

 

As to personal causes, I doubt it matters whether it's personal to the beggar, but whether it's personal to the donor in some way. That's just human nature, it's how charity works, and it's how business works.

 

On age: RAMMS+EIN were all mid-30s to early 40s when they started out. Plus middle-agers today do buy new music. Being middle-aged still won't help, but it does offer a peer-audience which is more affluent than teens. Age as a sole (or even a major) viability criterion is the old-school obsolete big-label teens-only rip-off-the-naive-kids biz. It's not so much that biz anymore.

 

On that "note", wouldn't it be great if Patreon and SellABand, et al, became the replacement for those old talent scouts and development deals from the big labels? (Just as iTunes et al have become distro sites.) It seems they'd be "art for the people, chosen by the people". No middlemen. No bean-counters.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vara La Fey    35

Jenn and Rudi - Amanda Palmer needed 100k to finish one of her albums. Through Kickstarter, she begged peeps for money and raised 1.2m, iirc. And seems to be doing well since then. So your view isn't always correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vara La Fey    35

TBH, I didn't realize it was your opinion, because you stated it like it was a fact.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rob Ash    477
9 hours ago, Jenn said:

Again, this is all just my opinion and I didn't mean for it to come off snobby or anything. But seeing people ask for donations for luxury things... just grinds my gears!

 

That this is what you meant to say is another whole kettle of fish, of course. And is an extremely welcome point of view to be found in one so young, as well. It is exceedingly difficult to find such an attitude among teenagers or young adults in America these days, and I applaud you for it.

 

The conversation has evolved on it's own since I last posted, and the issue has been thoroughly discussed, so I won't rehash. However...

 

I am a huge fan of video games. Some of the most successful crowd funding campaigns I have seen are ones established by game making groups who have gone rogue from large companies to form new, independent teams. Often this occurs when a company decides to no longer support a game, or a game system. A prime example of this would be the team, that recently released "Pillars Of Eternity" which was created using am outdated game engine known by the name: "Infinity". Infinity hasn't been used in a new game since the mid '90's, and is extremely dated looking these days. Despite that fact, both the engine, and the games it was used to create are still wildly popular (to an extremely loyal and substantial fan base) today.

 

When a team, headed by one of the chief programmers to use Infinity were unable to find a big company to allow them to make modern, state of the art games using Infinity, they went rogue, started a crowd funding campaign, and tried to do it themselves. Over the course of a two part, almost 4 year campaign, they raised well in excess of two million US dollars, and far more than the stated goal of the campaign. For all the extra money, they promised to deliver extra content when the game was released, which they did, in spades. The game was released a few years ago, at a price similar to a new modern game, and was a huge hit.

 

Pillars Of Eternity is still selling well, on Steam, Good Old Games, and several other sites. New content for that game, as well as new games created using more modern game engines and code, are forthcoming.

 

I supported this crowd funding campaign, and consider it to be fully worthwhile of my contribution. However, I also agree, without reservation, that anyone using such a site to ask for money for solely selfish reasons should be forced to work in a Siberian labor camp for a month.

 

And that's all I have to say... about that.

 

 

Edited by RobAsh15
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the same fundamentals apply anywhere - not just in music. Have talent, know it, hone it, then show it. If these things are in place, crowd funding can be a very powerful tool. People see your worth and support you - just like John said about Songstuff :)

 

Also, stories of "late-bloomers" aren't totally unknown either, in a world where ultimately everything is a measure of relativity :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Richard Tracey    252
7 hours ago, Jenn said:

@john yes this is what I was trying to say but you put it much more eloquently :)

And longer !!!!;):lol::D 

 

I aged reading that:P

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ImKeN    256

Wow. Just today, I stumbled on Patreon and look what I find being discussed here! It seems like the modern way to busk. 

 

@Vara La Fey, I think your music is great so I really hope crowd-funding helps you get to your destination. :guitarplay2:

 

All the best!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rudi    571
5 hours ago, Vara La Fey said:

Jenn and Rudi - Amanda Palmer needed 100k to finish one of her albums. Through Kickstarter, she begged peeps for money and raised 1.2m, iirc. And seems to be doing well since then. So your view isn't always correct.

Huh?

I never said anything about this stuff.

I've never even heard of Palmer or Kickstarter.

:huh:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Richard Tracey    252

Remember

 

From the smallest seed, can grow the mightiest tree.

 

R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×