Crowd Funding and How You Can Make It Work For You – Part 2

In the past 5 months, I have invested in two crowd funding campaigns and have heard of two others.  This is a four part series on the different campaigns I have come across and the success it has led to or is leading to for local businesses/entrepreneurs/artists and organizations.

The first installment discussed how Social Palates used a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to open a studio and retail space in downtown Salem.  Now I focus on Emerald Rae, a local musician who successfully used crowd funding to finance her latest record “If Only I Could Fly”.

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For a refresher: Crowd funding according to Mashable, “describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.”  (mashable.com)

Emerald Rae is no stranger to crowd funding campaigns.  These campaigns are known to have a strong presence in the musical world.  Between her solo career and with her band Annalivia, Emerald has been involved in three crowd funding projects; two of which led to success.  Annalivia’s first campaign launched in December 2011 and did not reach its goal.  Many lessons were learned from this first failure that led to the success of future campaigns.

Emerald shared 5 tips on how to run a successful crowd funding campaign.

  1. Set attainable goals.  Don’t set your financial goal so high they are unattainable.  Set a fair budget that can be reached and is more frugal in nature.
  2. Stay within the boundaries.  Beware of raising too many funds.  Emerald shared that she knew of artists that exceeded their budget and then had to find ways to use the additional funding towards their project.  “You do not want to have a surplus that you have to grow your project and make more work for yourself in the long run.”  She continued to state, “Once I hit my limit, I stopped advertising.”  She then let the campaign run its course.
  3. Utilize brand ambassadors.  Even though contributors receive a gift for their contribution, Emerald made a point to personally thank each contributor in an email message and asked them to spread the word to their connections.  “Eventually you are going to max out of your audience, but if you ask that audience to share with their connections, the campaign has new life.”
  4. Grow slowly.  Emerald paced the campaign, she didn’t want her data to have peaks and valleys; she wanted a steady trajectory.  Every few days she would reach out to another community or forum and shared her campaign.
  5. Invest your time.  Emerald also shared that in order to maintain this trajectory you need to work on the campaign a little every day rather than investing a lot of time at varied intervals.

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Emerald talked of another benefit that artists experience through crowd funding.  “It’s a new resource to get music out there.”  The method of raising funds has developed into a great resource for the audience to find artists they may not necessarily know about.

“Crowd funding is a good way for people to get involved and help the people they wanted to support.”  Emerald found the process extremely gratifying as she watched her community pull together as her “peeps” rallied to support her.

Image Sources:  Emeraldrae.com