A few weeks ago, I ran across this Kickstarter project by The Strive.
My first take was that it would easily meet its goal so I was surprised to find an Unsuccessful Funding scenario.
Without hearing back from the band, it is only speculation as to what happened but today I am going to indulge in a little speculation!
First, let's just browse through the project section by section.
EACH PROJECT SECTION LOOKS GOOD ENOUGH
Take a look at the video, project description and rewards.
I find nothing alarming in any of these sections.
The video is decent enough. Production quality is good and the front man does an excellent job of communicating into the camera in a comfortable and sincere manner. Their spliced in video and audio seems professional.
The project description has most of the necessary content. It discusses what they are attempting to do and has a Call To Action.
The rewards have 3 of the Big 5. No, we don't like to see physical CD and album backer credits omitted, but that isn't the end of the world...
Of course, after all the studying that Levi and I have done around here, it is easy to come up with some recommendations...
Overall Project Recommendations
In my estimation, this project comes up short in communicating a Purpose Worth Backing. The way I interpret their language, it sounds more like they are just asking for money and less like they are inviting viewers to be part of a bigger purpose.
If your only purpose is to release your next project, you may want to rethink things.
As I have said before, all artists are excited about getting new material out and all artists think it is their best music yet. That is as it should be and is part of artistic progression.
And it is fine to think that but the fan may need a little more substance rather than just take your word for it.
As I have asked before... What is the inspiration behind the songs? What emotions are you dealing with? What can the audience connect to?
The answer to these questions are an important part of gaining viewer buy-in.
Assuming audience trust and buy-in is folly. Your fans are no different than other consumers, they expect quality in your upcoming project. If they are not convinced of that quality, their participation cannot be assumed.
Project Description: Pay attention to formatting. There are 2 big chunks of text that are easy to get lost in; the most important messages (purpose, call to action) are not highlighted but should be. Use images to make it more visually appealing and to help draw viewers in.
Project Rewards: Include physical CD and album backer credits at a minimum. Get extra credit for adding in anything extra that gives backers a "part" of the band.
EVEN SO, THE PROJECT COULD HAVE SUCCEEDED
The interesting thing here is that I have seen many projects that could make the same improvements just listed above but they still succeeded!
What I am saying is that you don't have to deploy the perfect Kickstarter project to achieve success.
There is nothing too bad in The Strive's Kickstarter. As a matter of fact, it is mostly good.
So what REALLY happened?
THE BAND GAVE UP
Click here or look below to see the Kicktraq for this project.
There is no meaningful contribution after 10-28... Look at the "Pledges & Backers By Day".
This really confirms it... NOTHING HAPPENED
The Strive got about a third of the way into their project. And they had achieved over 25% of their funding. This is a great indicator and really trends toward success.
The only possible explanation I can think of is that the band quit trying.
I don't say this to make them sound like slackers, but here's the thing...
I have heard bands say OVER AND OVER that fundraising is hard. They are SURPRISED how much effort it takes. They spend MORE TIME promoting their project than they thought. It is HARD WORK.
I would be interested to know, did The Strive reach out and personally contact people in the middle or at the end of their campaign?
Heck, did they contact anyone in a non-personal manner?
The evidence suggests not.
But the overall evidence provided both by Kickstarter's statistics AND by my anecdotal observation is that The Strive was right where they needed to be and that they could have successfully funded had they put adequate effort into the 2nd half of the project.
There are ALWAYS portions of a Kickstarter that could be improved.
But a Kickstarter doesn't have to be perfect to succeed.
More than anything else, it just takes work.
I would speculate that if all The Strive had done differently was make a supreme effort to personally reach out to fans over the last 3 days of the project (with the appropriate message of course), they still could have funded.
Do your best on your project then do your best reaching out. Don't give up. Keep fighting.
I tried to contact The Strive but was unable. If you are they (or you know them) and want to set the record straight, by all means, please let me know!