How to Run a Successful Campaign
So let's, talk about running a successful campaign obviously, you know us, we're just going to say wing it, you'll figure it out. No, no, no. Where were all the planning? It sorry, we're going toe you put that slander, jason, you don't, randi, actually, one look, you did come in, so I thought I'd throw that. Sure, sure. Hannah just was asking in terms of high levels, what do you what do you consider numerically is a high level tends on the potential people that you could have donate. Okay, one million one million digital pinky thing with let's say, for use of that let's say, it's a beginner, a start up and start up in I think it really depends a ten thousand five to ten thousand dollars. I mean, it seems wild and everything, but then again, you're trying to hit that psychological point of making all the twenty five dollars, and fifty dollars, one hundred dollars, one hundred twenty five seem really reasonable on dh. Then, as we said, you just do not know what might get funded. And if y...
ou look around and some of the other a successful musician campaigns and stuff, you'll see. I mean, they're all all the stats are there I mean, you can you see what, how many rewards were actually chosen a lot of the high ones aren't but if you scroll down it there's usually the one that actually is like yeah, I wanted that I wanted that house concert I wanted the band to come to this to my house and perform or I wanted my, um I wanted my name as thea producer I think that's like one like a really high one that sometimes gets funded I would partially suggest that the number also depends on the size of the goal, right? So like if you set the highest level of ten thousand but your goes two thousand or three thousand dollars, that would seem a bit out of place true, but a thousand dollars actually makes a lot of sense somebody right away you can get one third of the way in one donation start and you want to at least look credible you don't want your highest level to be say just one hundred dollars, because then people going to think, well, these people probably I don't have much to work with exactly so let's talk about planning and executing the campaign prepared prelaunch launch run your campaign than completing close out okay, that sounds obvious right there's certain things you should do at every single one of these stages and the really key to do it just in the right order and just in the right way here's our favorite preparation stage remember, we always talk about this, you know, like with branding, you've got to get all that stuff together before you can make your merchandise well, for kickstarter and crowdfunding, you got to get your images together a description and it's going to be hard for you to write the copy is going to take you a while to get it right. Use all the stuff. We talked about the marketing session earlier in order to make it really solid and aimed at the people you want to aim it at. You want to plan out your social media announcements and all the social media that you have and you want a promoter list. You want a list of people who can get your message out about this campaign. Some people do this after the campaign has started, like, oh, who else can help me get this out? And they only think of their own stuff? You know, any bloggers? Do you know any podcasters new media? Do you have friends with really large number of followers, for example, there's a lot of things you could tap here. If you do it ahead of time, you could have this ready to go. The next thing you're going to d'oh is choose the platform which we talked about earlier she's, the one that meets what you need define the project, which we also talked about already in detail set the fun goal to be something that's reasonable find this stretch goals and not just you should announce the first stretch goal, but if you're really smart, you'll have a bunch more stretch goals ready to go. I've seen some campaigns say, hey, we've got this and it's going really well and then they get to the end like, wow, we funded all this well, if it like, they see really uncertain. Well, if we get this much more money, we'll do this thing, you know, and they're kind of fishing for the right thing to dio you should actually kind of think through it to get even mohr what's going todo, because if it's really successful, it can come out and then define the rewards based on what we talked about previously and then choose the end date. Now the studies show that funding occur. Most of the funding occurs at the beginning of the project and at the end of the project well, that's the case then the longer you have your campaign, it actually doesn't necessarily help because there's not going to be a lot of activity in the middle, but then that said, the month long campaigns tend to do the best it also is very easy to understand in terms of communication so what do I mean by that? You know, the best interest of communication? Well, you're going to be talking to people fairly regularly, but not so often that you want to spam them once a week is pretty good for four weeks, it actually works out very well also you part of this? Is that something we didn't talk about to put in here? But the ticking clock? Oh, yes, which is a great council so you like having a very clear and date that is, that doesn't meander go for six months or whatever you build up some suspense and you build up which movies use very well, yes, there's just ticking clock that, you know, it's coming and and that kind of can help drive funding and, well, she said it drives your message, your messaging and it also drives gives everybody a little burst of ah excitement all your funders to try to get ok, we got to get that google in before that date, so considering that once you've chosen your end aid here's another thing that most musicians don't do, this was really important. You get initial funders and you get them tow line up ahead of time before you even start the campaign saying, will you donate, why do you want to do that? This is a concept called social proof and it's something that they used all the time in business in order to get people to buy things like this is the most popular ex in america, we'll say something like that. Well, you're more inclined to actually be interested in it in this particular case, since you're trying to do funding, you don't want to make it seem like you have to fans and one of them donated, and then the other one might be the person who is looking at it. You want to make it seem like there's already a bunch of people interested and going for this, and that they have a chance of making it so it's, not just it's, a question of the number of funders which gets displayed on these crowdfunding platforms. So there's not only the number of funders that's important there's not only the fact that it will show that it gets some of the way down the path to actually completing the goal. There's a third thing, and that is, if you have a high profile thunder. Somebody whose name actually could really be interesting is, if you know anybody in the music business or, you know another famous artist or, you know somebody who actually just has any kind of name at all. The people would recognize this gets down to borrowed credibility which we talked about in the marketing part you had this in and all of a sudden people get much more excited about the whole thing it's not to say that this thing's required because not everybody can get that, but if you can get both a good amount of money, a decent number of funders and a high profile funder you would have the three things to really make it successful. It would be excellent and it would probably make your campaign successful. We'll be off to a very good start, so I think a lot of a lot of musicians they seem because it's an online thing and technology that may be all of the funding should occur online and through through that medium. However, the thing is you really want to work behind the scenes ahead of your launch date to pull together people and get them to pledge ah ahead of time so that when you do launch and we'll talk about that a little bit here when you do launch, you are right out of the gates already show a lot of momentum and then, like we said, that's the social proof and if you remember the three key concepts it was achievable, something that's achievable concrete and understandable, but the last one really spoke to something that will be successful so this is kind of how you cede the tip jar in other words tio to prove that this will be successful that you will meet the funding goal very important yes is it like the higher the profile of better or ocean yeah if you give president obama president well uh you know funding your campaign you'll you'll get a lot of interest you would want to advertise yeah you probably want to mention do you know I mean so anyway receiving that you've got something like that what's the most important asset that you need to prepare and I think about that you know like take a guess like what you're going to get rid of you know get some images get some words gets whatever it is you're building your page and you're going to be marketing this I think what would be the number one thing do you think that you should prepare not to put any of you on the spot I'll give you hit it should be something that could go viral yes yeah it's your video it needs to be able to go viral here's the thing about video everything that we talked about in the video session everything we talked about the video session comes home right here its share a ble that allows you to explain it in your own words in a visual way in an artistic way not in a dead way that just sits there it's the on ly media that khun truly go viral out of everything. I mean, you could have audio. You could have a great set of words on the project, but it just doesn't have the same impact. And so what does that mean? Well, I was going to say this is where you talk about amanda palmer's video. Yeah, I mean, that's you said that it's actually very artistic it's a credible, statistically done. And it tells her story really well and it's part of the reason why it was successful. She it really is a key part of why amanda palmer successful so that's part of your homework. Go check out her video she's on the street. She doesn't use any word. She has music going on the background, her bands, her band's music. And she holds up these cards, these thieves posters and just has her message and just stands there, holds it up and throws him out in the street. Actually, when it's done there littered all over the street then she runs off. I hope she came back and clean them up. But cricket. Now, there's no reason for them to go see the video you just described I just described a complete detail and you gave away the end tonight. Did you see the thing is even those I said all of that that doesn't even come close of conveying the kind of emotion that comes out of watching it partly because the music does such a good job of pulling you in and by the way she stood just to give you another part she starts the story by saying hey I had a label but there they don't want to put this out so you help me put this out I'd love to have you help me put this out and it becomes remember we said earlier and you become part of her story and that's compelling that's a very compelling and artist she's she's got a very artistic way of talking if you have not seen amanda palmer's ted talk I highly recommend it she talks about how she does her music and why she depends on her fans it was after she had successfully funded this kickstarter campaign she talked about how she did it and what she did in order to lead up to it fascinating story is that the art of asking yes yes it's called the art of ass right very good very good so any questions about the video probably not that just spend time on this it's very important it has to have a call to action more than just about anything else you've ever done but it's a very straightforward one it's help help me achieve this dream when you launch, this is another thing that not everybody does right? And we're going to tell you to do things in a certain sequence that's very different than most people talk about when they talk about crowdfunding. You may be started on a monday and then you use monday and tuesday. You do not announce it yet to the world. You just announce it to the initial backers that we talked about earlier and you have them see the tip jar ever hear of that term seed the tip jar? If any of you take tips or or if you're even playing music on the street, he opened up your guitar case your guitar player, you throw some money in there, in fact, throw a five through a twenty and throw some ones and even some change that don't even throw change make it so that people are more likely to do it the higher the amount that they're there, the more likely if if you even don't even have any ones you have, like a five and like a twenty year couple, five, twenty and ten, they're more willing to throw higher amounts and they're more willing to throw money in at all, so if you had an empty and they don't even get the idea that they should be throwing money and in the first place that your case is just open and sitting next to you because you got your guitar out of it and you're playing for fun, right? So the way this works it's the same thing your seating the tip jar you're showing by the time you actually announce this to the people that you're trying to get to do this but it's already starting to be successful in his momentum remember the time to do this is the most most of the money for most campaigns are at the beginning of the campaign and at the end of the campaign doesn't have to be two days it could be one day you could start on a tuesday. The key thing is you need to announce your project most likely at three p m on wednesday in your time zone why would you do that? Well, put yourself in the head of the person he want to share your video all over the place they're back from lunch the day's not over yet they still have to do their work and their board so they were opening up facebook they're checking out what's going on and they find that you have an image or a video about your project and they think it's cool and they click re share on their own wall and it starts to go viral there's a lot of money going into studies to find out how people use social media because there's really money at stake for major companies to use the power of word of mouth ample pied by social media to actually go far and they find that three o'clock and every day of the week is basically the time where people share the most and wednesday's probably the high stand of the group again now we've given you a whole bunch of stuff that maybe you're thinking probably by this point very differently about this whole thing then you might have even just you know, about twenty thirty minutes ago when we started this this is really a different structure that again you can do this step by step so let's talk about running the campaign and diving into this now that we've got everything ready to go your first goals to get your backers to share the video that's your marketing intent at this point it's not the marketing intent of the video is to get people to actually commit to the campaign and donate but your goal with the video is to get your backers to share it see the distinction at that point and then you're second goal this is why you have the one dollar level and the low levels is you up sell the backers that you already have and this is where you can use the crowdfunding message system to talk about backers now jason and I have even broken this down further let's talk about communication miles stills and talk about what you should actually d'oh obviously do it at the initial launch. Weekly updates are perfect because anybody who's part of the campaign, they're not going to consider that spam, but here's the great ones, here's the ones that you'll get a lot of mileage out of you talk about it when it comes close to the funding goal, you talk about it when it's funded so that you can announce the next stretch goal, and then you talk about it every time you get close to any stretch goal, all of these are legitimate, no one could would consider them spam, and you can actually have a cycle that keeps going if you do this there's an excitement that happens basically close to any goal, any finish line there's a few more milestones when you're close to the end, that should be obvious. This is the last chance they have to be able donate to it, and of course, when the campaign ends is a thank you to everybody who participated the messaging at the end of the campaign and post end of the campaign depends on the platform this is part of what we talked about that was a very dense set of things. But hopefully you can see the sequence and how to use this each time you get close to an end it's a sort of a ticking clock as jason was talking about and certainly at the end of the entire campaign which is entirely based on just time and date that is a ticking clock all these things generate both excitement and reasons to go forward and communicate with people and just to be clear about this note about at the end of the campaign events on the crowd funding model we're talking about there is if it's fully funded or partially funded because even though this thing might close out, you may still be able to get more pledges that's what that absolutely ok, so let's move on to the next part that's just the beginning of this now you have to to the prospect right like, hey, I got a whole bunch of money this is great ah and that's happened by the way I mean, I don't know about musicians, but certainly people have gotten money off. I think they're I think there are sites dedicated to yeah as a shadow in freud or something like that where it's like kickstarter projects that have just failed and just didn't didn't go they funded, but they just failed at that point he don't want to be that uh you want to be on one of those sites the ones that happened the most tend to be software based ones sometimes product based ones where they didn't do a good job estimating costs right? You want to make sure that you do a really good job estimating costs when it comes to doing an album but it's a lot easier to do that you have a certain amount of time for actually recording it mixed down and then there's mastering charges and then maybe if you're going to make a bunch of cds you can actually price all this stuff ahead of time this goes back a whole lot of slides to the beginning where you're going to do is good of a job as you can of estimating things he said the lowest amount you can to achieve it but then again you need to make sure that the amount that you set plus the percentage that they take out so you get back to where you need to be is enough for you to finish the project of course if it really comes down to it you might have to be ready to dig out of your own pocket but you know if you're doing a campaign like this you might not have another thousand dollars to pull it off if that's all it needs so you really want to think about this and make it work yeah because if you do not do the project that you have then successfully been funded for you will kill off this stream for any future ones. You only get what, like one bite at the apple? Yeah, you do not get to do this again if it doesn't work, okay, and then obviously the window dunkle really? You say? Oh, yes, of course, while you're doing the project, you've got to keep people up to date on the status they're very interested in how you're using their money. And that does speak to one of the points I think we talk about a little bit is that by doing by reaching out to the public, teo and your fans and stuff, to actually get them to fund a particular project, they really are getting a piece of you, and it is kind of like their project as well. In fact, that's one thought that we have here one thing that's very important, getting people to put up monday and money and fund your projects actually makes them think that they own they can tell you what to do don't don't do that. They'll say what you've done this much, and we that we don't think this should happen. Um, they may engage in a different way than they did when there was just they were just fans, and they like the music, so something to keep their mind, yeah. You know, one other thing and I want to just talk about this on this radio silent type of thing we've had friends who have put together campaigns and then some of the stretch goals were a little harder to get than they thought or actually was some of the upper level rewards were this custom thing that was very difficult to do they had to keep communicating saying we know this has taken longer, but we wanted to do this right a lot of apologies now people were very nice and we're willing to let them do this and it worked out very well but just another reminder that those higher levels it may be that you actually do most of the campaign and you hit all the rewards and then those really top rewards become really tough to d'oh you want to make sure that that's in good shape but they're achievable their achievable number one mistake you could make after you've received your funds you know that this anybody not follow through on the project that's you know there might be that's better than the slide because actually it might be really good effect you should come up here, they go back and change the slot I like that better I say that and this is number of pretend this is the number two mistake you could make it a number one mistake after that number that I like that it's not to discuss it with your accountants. So this is income and income is taxable, and so you need to talk to your accountant is the best way to handle the funds and do this kind of thing, and not only that, but all of this money is the type of thing where you can write this off. So I mean, it's pretty critical on this kind of thing to merge all of the money that you're getting is income from this stuff into the same business entity as the one that's spending all the money on all of the expenses. So that it's a write off? Yes. From online, I'm diego aki wants to know what happens if you don't have success if you don't reach your goal, just some clarification. What happens? The money that has been raised up to that point? Okay, that's a very good question on some crowdfunding defense in the platform. It really does depend on the platform. So for some crowdfunding platforms, you actually never they never take the money. The donations from the actual donators just pledges, just pledges now on some platforms, it actually builds up, and then you get it, but then again, you might run into the problem where it's just partially funded and people expect the actual project to be done that you don't have enough project for it to be done and you can actually get caught in the middle. Then again, you might have the type of project where that's okay and it's like, well, we'll make since you can do print on demand cds, for example, will make us many cds is you guys pledge so then it's a kind of a way to take preorders or put this kind of stuff together. Ok, can you give us a very good question? Um, so anyway, just to finish the prior point, this income, like we said, it's taxable and it is tracked, you'll put your tax I d number into all these platforms and further beyond that, it will be something that if you can make your expenses match in the same business entity than the write ups will, then the write offs will actually cancel them out the proper way. Um, otherwise it's, you know, the rest of the difference is just it's just profit, and again, we're getting into some technical stuff that accountants deal with. So, you know, the best devices actually talked to account at that point, but the main point here is that these are not gifts, this is actually their funding it for a particular purpose, it is income and so, um, like we said, in the very beginning, it's about tax ideas. And when you're making money with music, you have to think through how you account for that money.