Launching a successful crowdfunding campaign is tricky, launching a successful music crowdfunding campaign? Well, that’s even more challenging. Artists don’t have flashy inventions to catch the attention of the press, or a successful business to present to the world. Their campaigns are incredibly personal, which is why we love it all the more when they succeed.
“If you’re a musician, it’s very important to have released some music and invested time and effort building a better relationship with your fans.” Explains Marcela Bovio, the vocalist who’s currently making crowdfunding look easy with her wildly successful Indiegogo campaign. “It’s hard to get people to invest in music if they don’t know your work.”
This campaign launches Marcela’s first solo album, Unprecedented, and it’s not hard to see why it’s captured the imagination of hundreds of backers, tripling her $6000 target in the process. At once ethereal and expansive, the vocals are, at times, emotive enough to fit comfortably on a Broadway stage, at others so intimate they should be reserved for small audiences and candlelit venues. Accompanied by a string quartet, it’s an album that’s hard to place solely in one genre, and one that stays with you long after you’ve stopped listening to it.
“Making this album was an adventure for me.” Says Marcela, “I have played with bands for years, but with this album, there were no expectations. I arranged the strings, wrote the songs; it was new territory for me – hence the name, Unprecedented.”
Her first album it may be, but it’s her second successful crowdfunding campaign – her band, Stream of Passion, raised $43,000 in 2013 – and it shows. With well-organized stretch goals, targeted rewards and a simple video, it’s fair to say that Marcela has got this crowdfunding thing down. So, any tips for you musically minded crowdfunders out there?
“For a musician, it is all about the relationship you have with your fans.” Marcela reveals, “I am very open on social media, I share a lot, and I like to respond to every single message I get. I also like to go out into the crowd and talk to people after every show I give; fans really appreciate that and it helps form a connection, a community around the music. Crowdfunding works well for me because I’ve been making music for quite some time; I think crowdfunding for an album would be very hard if you hadn’t built a fanbase yet.”
It is something our other crowdfunding bands have noted; that success is down to the fans. “That was the most important thing we got from the first campaign,” Marcela agrees, “it gave people a chance to contribute to the band, to be valued and become part of a community. In the end, that was better than the money.”
There are so many tools out there that can really help drive traffic to your campaign. Did Marcella make the most of any of these second go around? “I relied on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and my own newsletter.” She says, “As I said when you’re crowdfunding for an album, it’s all about your fanbase and the community you have behind you. Sure, some people might discover you through your campaign, but most of your backers will be fans.”
And that, as it turns out, is the main difference between music crowdfunding and campaigns like RoccBox; success is driven by existing fans, not new backers. These incredibly personal campaigns (Marcela will be cooking dinner for four of her biggest supporters) are not about launching a new brand, gaining marketing insight or the host of other benefits a campaign provides, they’re about doing what you love with the full force of your community behind you. That’s the secret to music crowdfunding, and it’s one Marcela’s campaign has made full use of.