Crowdfunding has allowed everyone to produce music more easily. But… What happens when you do a crowdfunding without being aware of what you’re doing? Fatal errors. Unfortunately, there’s a huge record of crowdfunding music campaigns that don’t prosper. If you want to start as a musician in crowdfunding, we recommend paying attention to this.

Mistakes as a musician in crowdfunding

Nobody is to blame for not being an expert in crowdfunding. In general, many people assume that collective financing platforms are places where you get money for free. Whoever thought it was that way is very wrong! Crowdfunding consists of mutual collaborations, making the audience know why they should contribute money to your campaign and what benefit is obtained by doing so. Another serious mistake is the lack of promotion and the failures that may be committed in its execution. Let’s see a couple of things you should not do as a musician in crowdfunding.

Don’t try to inflate your popularity artificially

This is based on two main things: the first is to be an emerging band or musician and request too much money. But besides that, try to justify yourself by saying that you’re going to, for example, make a music video for each song of your album or something as excessive. Or worse, give very superficial and insubstantial reasons that matter little to the public. Believe it or not, there have been cases of bands that requested up to $20,000 for making an album. That’s too much and more than you really need! Please be realistic with your goal. Don’t try to inflate your popularity and importance as a musician using beautiful words and exaggerated promises.

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The second point is about using tricks to sell the idea that you really need a large amount of money. It’s like you’re trying to milk a cow till you drip or squeezing a fruit to get all the juice you can. And it’s possible that even if you have all the money that you had requested, your album turns out to be a failure or not the success that you expected. We tell you this because it has really happened before. And the worst thing is that there were bands that tried to do another campaign requesting an equal or higher amount. Under no circumstances you should do the same, that shows little professional ethics. And it makes you look like someone who just wants to satisfy a whim.

Don’t do a campaign to finance a tour

If musicians of yore and with a lot of experience saw you financing your tour, they aren’t gonna think very highly of you. And while it shouldn’t matter what others say, there are reasons why this is not well seen. If you think that, for example, you need $10,000 to be able to tour in your country with everything paid… You’re wrong! Any musician or responsible person knows how to look for other alternatives. It’s not wrong to do a tour in your country, but if you’re going to do it, pay it yourself and try to move as you can. Why do we say this? Since many bands and musicians who started small, learned to live traveling on the road. Saving to buy gas and eating at gas stations.

B. B. King Humble
B. B. King, one of the most influential blues musicians in history, began his career playing in the streets of Mississippi.

And it’s not that you have to do exactly the same to feel like a true musician. But if you want to do a tour to promote yourself and make your music known, you don’t need to make a campaign. Start simple, in your city. Go to clubs, restaurants, any places where you can play music. Meet other musicians and make tiny tours in other cities. That will allow you to publicize your talent. You can also use social networks to show your work as a musician. If you make other people love your work as much in your country as in others with a small start, it’s different. It would be less risky and frowned upon to request money for your first international tour.

But of course, in a responsible, sincere and realistic way. Considering that you already have the respect, trust and admiration of people who know you and would be willing to help you. Never abuse the generosity of people to cover expenses, especially if you’re starting as a musician.

Be very careful when setting the perks

Be very, very careful. Another very spread mistake among musicians who do crowdfunding are the bad perks. Or those perks that are a complete scam or simply, vain and useless. We don’t say it to be cruel or sound pedantic, but because it has already been shown that some musicians and bands don’t know how to do it properly. What do you think of offering a one-night “date” to a contributor in exchange for $1,000? Yes, they’ve already done it. If you thought of offering something like this as a perk, we urge you to stop for a moment and think. If you’re going to launch a musical album and ask for money to finance it, consider giving something in return that is truly rewarding.

Be careful with any CDs or vinyl records you plan to give as a perk. Don’t put them in high prices like $80 just for being limited or because you only offer 100 units. Other types of perks you should avoid are cover songs requests, writing and giving a song, etc. An easy example of how you should do it is in the Vocal Song’s Déjennos Vivir foundation campaign on our platform. They started simple offering for $3 a special birthday greeting and personalized message. For that amount money it’s reasonable to offer this type of perks either to all your contributors or in a limited way.

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Please, don’t be greedy…

Never offer superficial or poorly-thought perks that make you look as if you ran out of ideas. Or as if you were trying to get money out of people in any way. Concentrate on what people really want from you as a musician and work on it. When you offer products such as digital downloads, CDs and vinyls, always do so at reasonable prices.

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Related: Financed Journalism: Three Exponents Show The Alternative Way

Be a gentle musician and treat people well!