Sixty percent (60%). That’s the failure rate of crowdfunding campaigns done by artists and creatives as shown by the Kickstarter stats for creative genres: film & video, music, publishing, food, fashion, art, comics, theater, photography, dance, crafts journalism… pretty much anything that isn’t games, tech or design.
Does that blow you away? It sure blows me away. And not in a good way.
Hi, I’m Ian Anderson and I have been researching crowdfunding since 2012 with a focus on helping everyday people raise funds for their next artistic endeavor. Here’s a little bit about how I got here…
Armed with a fancy slip of paper (a Master’s degree in Applied Economics), a computer and an internet connection, I have gained a few decades of experience in statistical modeling and analysis. This is just a nerdy way of saying that I’ve spent years translating real-world observations into repeatable systems and processes that business could use to make money.
Before your eyes gloss over and you tune me out, let me say that I’m ALSO a kindred creative spirit.
I sing and play guitar and have been in bands.
Longer than I’ve been an Economist as a matter of fact.
MATTER OF FACT, I once quit a pretty decent job as a software programmer at a large computer manufacturer (whose name I cannot mention but it begins with ‘D’ and rhymes with Bell) to release 4 CDs of original music and tour all over the American West for 5 years during which there were some amazing “rock star” moments but also a few debilitating, what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here moments!
I have experience with the natural tensions that exist in an artist’s life.
- The incredible fulfillment of creating something VERSUS the discouragement of wanting to share it right away but not having the ability to do so.
- The excitement of sharing your creation with the people whose opinion you value most VERSUS the fear of whether they’ll take you seriously as an artist.
- The dream of ditching the day job so you can put everything you’ve got into your art full time VERSUS the worry of how to make it happen but not knowing precisely how and wondering if you can make it work.
Crowdfunding is a microcosm of these situations.
But my intense belief is to focus on the good, be positive, have an abundance mindset and be relational. And I’ve learned this is exactly the mindset that makes for an amazingly successful crowdfunding campaign!
Coincidence? Possibly. Totally cheesy of me to say? Probably. But it’s true 🙂
Anyways, at this point I am an ‘everyday’ sort of family guy who works from home in the mountain-town of Bozeman, Montana, USA. And I believe in a couple of things pretty strongly.
First, I LIVE to make things better.
It is just one of those ideas that resonates so deeply in my core that I cannot ignore it and everything I do ends up embodying this idea. Certainly making crowdfunding campaigns more successful (money, backers, fulfillment) and easier (less risk of failure, less worrying and second-guessing) is how I do this professionally.
Personally, I obsess over self-improvement. For example, I used to be a 275 pound Econ-geek and it took me over 15 minutes to “run” a mile. I hated running.
Now I’ve lost 100 pounds and regularly run about 1,000 miles per year. I love participating in crazy mountain runs like the local Bridger Ridge Run (“19.65 miles of brutal climbing and descending, complete with unstable footing, unpredictable weather, and, of course, miles of exposure along the ridge line of the Bridger Mountain range”) and road races ranging from the 5k distance to full marathons.
Second, we need to care for each other.
A strong belief of mine is that the best outcomes in life happen when we are trying to do what’s best for each other, not just what’s best for ourselves.
I live this out in my personal relationships with my wife, kids, parents and friends by continually examining my own motives and context. I aspire to improve relationships and make life better for all parties moving forward.
Sometimes this requires me to change my thinking. Sometimes it requires me to be courageous in standing up for what I believe to be true. But accepting that challenge is always worth it.
When you couple these core beliefs with a tendency to nerd out, I am what you get.
And what you get when it comes to crowdfunding is a guy who loves to:
- scour the internet for ideas and totally psychoanalyze them,
- put together data sets and analyze the statistics, and
- use the results of both to tell stories that people understand to teach them how to do a great job in crowdfunding.
This includes musicians, authors, artisans, film-makers, photographers and the like.
Along the way, I’ve helped answer questions that most people have like how many fans do you need to crowdfund?
The answer: not many.
I’ve helped total newbies raise $5,000 to $10,000. Established artists usually raise at least $10,000 but usually more, up to $60,000.
Welcome, cheers and here’s to the journey!