Drew Kennedy is one of those artists… His Kickstarter project is for his 6th CD and does an excellent job of sharing a personal, emotional connection.
Before you go any further, make sure you watch Drew’s video. It is under 3 minutes and it will make everything that follows a lot more specifically applicable and less nebulous…
CONNECT FANS TO YOUR MUSIC
The most important thing that Drew does is to establish the connection between his songs and his fans' listening. By doing this, he gives fans an ownership interest in this project.
Give someone ownership of a problem and see how they respond...
The incentives are dramatically different and the odds of a successful outcome increase. This is just a statement in general that applies from profitable businesses to caring for scarce resources. It applies to Kickstarter projects, too!
Bringing fans into your project and giving them ownership brings a whole new light to things. You are no longer simply asking for money; you AND your fans are attempting to get your artistic vision out to see the light of day.
When the responsibility is shared, people are likely to respond. I see it in over and over, day after day, in project after project...
Drew In His Video: Whether you know it or not, you're one of the most important pieces of my creative process... If you are going to write and perform music, there has to be something on the other end of that to soak it up... Without ears on the other side of everything, without people that are fans of music, without people that are constantly looking to discover something new that they can share with their friends, without any of that, the songs that I write would just float off into the air... You are on the other end of my creative process.
Drew also gave some critical insight to me via email (italics/bold highlights are by me).
Drew Kennedy: When you decide to get into this business, you sacrifice a lot of your personal thoughts, ideas, and beliefs right off the bat. They're not just for you and your friends-- they're for everyone. I never understood the old "cooler-than-you / I'm-aloof-and-thus-mysterious" outlooks. Cut us a break, right? If you're so aloof, why do you write from such a personal perspective in your songs? You're already putting yourself out there in one of the most vulnerable ways imaginable. Just own it already. Show your fans who you are, and they'll take personal ownership in you, and more importantly in your music. THIS is exactly the type of musician/writer/artist/creative person Kickstarter works best for, and I hope that I am, indeed, that person.
The overall, specific point to take away from Drew's example is the way that he chose his language, both in the video and project description, to make this connection.
He was very deliberate and explicit which is the best way to get your point across.
STRONG $100 PACKAGE
As I was wondering through the inspiration of Drew's project, I almost glossed right over his packages but luckily I caught this.
Drew's average pledge per backer at the moment is just over $73.
This is a good level to shoot for in your Kickstarter.
I just want to point out that his $100 package of a unique, matted, photograph taken by Drew has received a significant amount of interest (34 to date). This is a good example of a strong mid-level package.
Also note that he has two takers on acoustic house concerts for $1250. This is a package that you NEED some action on. Nice job by Drew for setting a fair price that has attracted backers.
Connect your fans to the artistic process making it a shared mission to raise your odds of success. Pay careful attention to communicating this connection in an explicit manner through your spoken and written words.
In order to raise your average dollars per backer, offer strong rewards packages in the middle to upper level. Drew's offering of a photograph at $100 and an acoustic house concert at $1250 are good examples of this.