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What To Expect When Launching A Kickstarter

Brendan Fitzpatrick is an artist FO SHO!

You can tell this a few ways…

First, his project is named Ram’s Head Lady Slipper.  I have no idea what that’s all about but it sounds damn artsy.

Second, he wrote a song per day in 2011…  recorded about half of them, 150, in 2012… and is releasing an album per month in 2013.

Whoa, that is definitely something only an ARTIST would do!

So, you can take a look at the project if you like, but the awesome thing that Brandon has to share with you is more of a “What To Expect When Giving Birth To A Kickstarter”.

View Brendan Fitzpatrick’s Kickstarter

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BE PREPARED FOR SOME HICCUPS

Kickstarter and Amazon

Several artists have mentioned that the Kickstarter/Amazon set-up is more difficult than they expected.

Setting up with Kickstarter seems to be okay.

But setting up with Amazon can be a bit more challenging.

One artist mentioned that setting up with Amazon cost a week because she was trying to use her music business bank account but Kickstarter required the bank account name to be the same as the project creator so she ended up using a personal bank account.

Brendan had this to say:

Brendan:  The only frustrating thing that happened involved setting up the business account with Amazon I didn’t put my middle name in there (as the IRS knows me) which led to many emails and confusion. It got sorted out in about a week, but for a while there I thought the whole thing was screwed.

Bottom line, make sure you have your ducks EXACTLY in a row (accounts, names, tax ID, etc.) and be prepared for this step to be a bit more than a formality.

Project Creation

Because you are a musician, you know that the process isn’t always as simple as idea —> completion.

Probably the biggest difficulty I hear of lies in getting the video filmed and, implicitly, in knowing just how to say what you want to say.

Brendan:  I hit the launch button about 2 months past my original target date. What happened? A lot of the delay was due to being too ambitious with the video. I did everything but storyboard this crazy idea that ended up being scrapped. Just wanted it to stand out, you know? I ended up doing a few different versions of the more humble iMovie thing that’s up there now. I kind of wish that I had just went small to begin with.

Two months?!!  F–K ME!

But Brendan is not the only one I’ve heard this story from.  I have a friend whose yet-unfinished-Kickstarter was scheduled to be released in October.  Stumbling block?  Yep, video.

Be prepared to go through a few different ideas for your video and be open to the fact that it may literally take months.

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WHO TO FOCUS YOUR PROJECT ON

Part of the fun of this is the quite intoxicating idea of sharing your music on a really large scale.  I know I have had many, many (many, many, many) dreams of sharing my music with, literally, millions.

That is a dream worth having and not giving up on.

But don’t assume that it applies to fundraising!

Brendan:  I have a whopping 294 people on my mailing list. They are mostly friends around the country, or people who have signed up with one of the various local bands I’ve been in, etc. I’m in the national band Clem Snide, and the main dude there, Eef Barzelay, gave me a shout to his mailing list. Not sure how many are on that. An s-load, I think. I’m pretty sure a few of those folks have pledged, but mostly it’s friends and family, who are getting their first opportunity to support my very own thing.

Mostly it’s friends and family.

For more established bands, backers are by far most likely to come from your existing fan base.

Because the probability of backing is so much higher for people who are already in your Circle of Influence (friends, family, fans), make sure that you keep them in mind when creating your project.  What appeals to them?  What do they like?  What knowledge can you share with them that establishes a personal connection to this particular project?

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THE TAKEAWAY

It helps to be realistic when creating a Kickstarter.  Musicians like you and I get inspired and easily excited by our visions.  This is GREAT!

But of course you have to put in the day to day work to see the vision through.  This takes time and isn’t always straight forward.

Be ready for a few challenges…

But in saying all this, I certainly want to encourage you to stay strong in your vision and know that more fun awaits!  One last quip by Brendan to take us out…

Brendan:  Although I’ve been writing and playing music all my life, I’ve never been curious about the promotional side of it. Frankly, I was dreading that a bit when I started putting this together. But watching people pledge has been great. And interacting with them, feeling the love and support, has been an inspiration. I’ve been energized by it. Makes me want to keep doing it, you know? If that’s all I come away with, it will have been more than worth the trouble.

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