What do the fans want?
By now you’re familiar with the story of the Pebble, the iPhone/Android connected wristwatch. The manufacturers asked for $100,000 on Kickstarter. So far, they’ve raised $7,447,226.
BECAUSE PEOPLE WANT THE WATCH!
Musicians are using Kickstarter the wrong way. They’re focusing on themselves instead of their fans. Most are asking for funds to record albums. Their pitch is give me this money because I’ve been screwed by the system and can’t get enough to record properly.
No wonder so many music-focused Kickstarter projects fail. No wonder those that succeed have so few backers.
How do you create something that people truly want to own? How do you refocus your pitch from yourself to your customers?
Kickstarter has a role for beginners, but its true use is for those who are already established.
It all comes down to the idea.
You remember the idea, right? That riff that entered Keith Richards’ head in the middle of the night that ended up as the bedrock of "Satisfaction"? Too many pitching on Kickstarter don’t know that inspiration is just as important as perspiration, if not more. Tons of work on a lousy project…still yields a lousy project.
You’ve got a favorite band. How much would you pay for new music by this congregation?
A new Metallica song. For a buck.
A new Eagles album for five.
A Kiss album for the same price.
And the reason I’m focusing on these ancient acts is because they’ve got reps, ga-ga fans, and they’re all out of their deal. They can take a risk. They’re the ones who should be on Kickstarter. Delivering not only finished product, but a view into the process of creation.
Even better, the ideas should be interesting unto themselves.
Metallica shouldn’t say they want money for a new album, but money for a musical biography of Aleister Crowley, with special musical guest Jimmy Page. Or a manifesto on Harley-Davidson motorcycles or tattoos.
Don Henley is going to deliver an autobiography with the new Eagles album. It’s the only place you’re gonna get it.
And Gene Simmons is going to allow buyers to purchase merch they can get nowhere else, bobble-heads of the women he’s screwed or their original manager, Bill Aucoin, who knows.
Kickstarter is about cutting out the middleman.
It’s not about begging, it’s about delivering.
Kickstarter is for when you’ve already got a platform. Or when you’ve got a new music idea that’s so riveting that you’d rather do it without venture capital investment, if you can even get that.
But your idea must be really damn good.
Maybe it’s an Internet TV show.
If you guarantee appearances by famous people, if you don’t say give me the money and trust me, people will line up.
People want to know what they’re going to buy.
The more you can delineate it on Kickstarter, the better chance you’ve got of being funded.