If you’ve been reading up on our 100 Music Kickstarters To Learn From series, asking friends who have done projects for tips, or studying projects yourself, then you are somewhat ready…
But there are always surprises lurking around the corner.
And today, we are going to talk about the top 3 surprising consequences of a successful music Kickstarter.
1) You Feel Like You Need To Please Everyone
It doesn’t really make sense that succeeding in your crowdfunding project would lead to self doubt, does it? It sure doesn’t to me.
But check out what a couple artists we’ve interviewed have to say:
I’ve had to be careful to not think too much about the people backing the project and just create what I want to create. My mind can start to go, “I wonder if this person will like this song? I know Miss Jensen backed this and I don’t know if she will like this style.” ~ C.R. Smith
It took me a while to accept that even though people have expectations, as an artist I cannot worry so much about that as about being sincere and hard working. ~ Lindsey Pavao
As an artist, you are already used to a certain amount of criticism.
But you have to be sure to see the forest and not the trees once you start recording your project.
Just because people have funded your project doesn’t give them editorial power.
It means they believe in you and that your only responsibility is to be true to your artistic vision.
2) You Might Run Out of Money
There is no doubt that you have to be careful to account for all costs in your rewards and pricing.
Recording, mixing, mastering, Fees, duplicating, shipping… they all have to be in there.
More than one artist has surprised themselves by getting a whole lot of pledges for their $10 CD and then realized that they don’t have any money left to ship the rewards out to backers!
Here’s another one you may not have thought about:
[My] other biggest fear *important* is taxation laws. I highly suggest that everyone gets an accountant if they make over 10k in a kickstarter, to make sure that your money is used for your project properly!!! It is like running a small business and running the numbers/costs/etc is very important. As someone without a manager, its a huge responsibility, but very doable with a little help and practice. ~ Lindsey Pavao
As she points out, there are a lot of moving parts to your project.
But did you catch the bit about taxation?
Yes, you will be responsible for paying taxes on your income assuming it exceeds your expenses.
Obviously, the point of crowdfunding isn’t to be left with a large profit, but you need to account for the potential that, when added in with other earnings from playing or selling merch, you may owe some taxes on your income.
3) You’re Surprised by Who Supported You
In the initial stages of planning your project, it is easy to sit around and imagine the people that are going to contribute to your project.
Your best friend since Kindergarten, your super-encouraging childless uncle, your ex-girlfriend’s cute friend that comes to shows and has always seemed to like you but has never said it… no-brainers, right?
We found out that a lot of the time the people you plan on being your biggest supporters may let you down. Although, what’s exciting about that is realizing you have all these people you never dreamed of rooting for you to succeed. Don’t give up…. listen to the encouraging voices, they have more value than all the negative ones. ~ Mickey Pangburn
With all the folks I had on my list and was sure they would pledge, I was stunned by who really came forward. All in all more folks that I did not expect to pledge did so, and the ones I would have bet my life on it did not. Why? I honestly have no clue… the best tip I can give to anyone going for a campaign is DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY. This whole experience might actually be a spiritual awakening! ~ Hans York
As Mickey correctly points out, even when you are let down by this there is always somebody else there to pick you up.
And as Hans adds, it really can provide for some personal growth.
There will always be elements of the world beyond our control, sometimes frustratingly so.
Stay focused, believe in yourself, and focus your effort where it can have the maximum effect.