As a musician, you typically have no problem imagining how awesome your new idea is going to turn out...
It's sorta like picturing how your ex will suddenly take you back when they hear your song.
Or how a room full of 500 people will want to raise their glass high while singing your chorus the next time you play.
When it comes to crowdfunding, you probably start out with a few daydreams about how everybody and their dog is going to be flat out jacked to pledge to your project and share it with everyone they know.
Of course, you realize a small chance exists that not everyone will want to pledge to your project.
And somewhere after that, maybe those small doubts turn into big doubts.
So, quite logically, you focus on what is in it for the fan by using logic to justify your request for their support.
And then pretty soon you are filming a video that is the result of your doubts instead of your vision and purpose.
Of the 100's of music Kickstarters Levi and I have reviewed and analyzed, here are the top six assumptions of what makes a potential backer care about you and your project...
Six Reasons You Think People Will Pledge to Your Crowdfunding Project:
1) This is my best work EVER!
This can also be seen in statements like It is going to be AWESOME!" and is an attempt to inform people of your project's quality.
2) This is the opportunity of a lifetime!
This implies to your fans that your current situation (like having a big-time producer lined up or having a shot to tour with some recognizable band) will result in something greater than what you may be able to do should this rare opportunity pass.
3) Together, we can do this.
Also known as be a part of something bigger" or that's where YOU come in", this suggests that the only way to accomplish this project is for everyone to band together. No pun intended.
4) Let's do something great!
The more people contribute and the more they participate, the better the end product will be.
5) You'll get amazing and fun rewards!
This is often pointed out in an attempt to A) remind the person that you are providing value, B) to balance out the exchange by providing goods in return for the backer's money and C) to invoke the scarcity principle by implying that some of the rewards will only be available by pledging during the campaign.
6) It's all or nothing!
The project only funds if the goal amount is reached. There's no risk to the backer.
These are actually all great reasons for potential backers to care, but they have no power without one key ingredient: why. Let's come back to this in a sec.
Though you can see these reasons mentioned all over the place in successful music Kickstarters, you will also see them mentioned all over the place in failed Kickstarters which often lean primarily on these reasons.
But...People Only Pledge to Music Crowdfunding Projects for These Three Reasons...
- They feel obligated to you for personal reasons.
- They want to support you as an individual and/or they want to see you succeed at your passion.
- The project personally connects with them and/or they really want your product.
These actual reasons for why people pledge have little or nothing to do with the above six reasons that musicians think will compel people to pledge.
People don't care what you do, they care why you do it. ~ Simon Sinek
Start With The Why, Not The What
In Sinek's TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, he sites examples of people and organizations who use the power of knowing their why" to inspire cult followings when the majority of other people and organizations lead with the what" which gives them lackluster, run-of-the-mill results.
The Golden Circle [pictured at the top] shows us that people make their decisions with the same part of the brainthat controls their emotions.
When crowdfunding your music, it's imperative to understand that a potential backer makes their decision based on emotion NOT logic.
Because of this, musicians need to lead with emotion and human connection points, like this:
First, Why. What's your purpose, what's your cause, what's your belief.
Second, How you're going to do what you do.
Then, What you're going to make. This is the tangible end result of your project.
Whether you are working on your project video and description or you are talking with people about your project, be certain to highlight WHY you are embarking on this project.
This is your Purpose and you might think it's obvious but people need to hear it.
Show Your Passion
Don't just gloss over Why.
Even if it's somebody who knows your soul's core, make sure you give your Purpose/Why due time.
If you try to sum it up in one sentence and then quickly move on to What you are doing, you will have undermined your Purpose by implying that it isn't important enough to go into detail about.
Communicating your WHY gives people the necessary connection to your project way more so than talking about producers, studios, great guest musicians, amazing sound quality, or awesome recording gear.
Show Why you value your endeavor so highly that you are willing to go out on a limb to chase your dream.
Only then will people's support for your dream follow.
See this concept in action: