This is an exclusive guest post from musican Derek Evans, who is currently using the PledgeMusic platform to crowd-source money for an upcoming album and 3 non-profit organizations. I asked Derek to write this blog post to share with you his experiences of embarking on a crowd-sourcing project, as I think he has a multitude of valuable insight on the topic. I hope you agree.-Brendan
My name is Derek Evans. I am a musician who started a project called “Music With A Cause.” A project to help raise money for my upcoming album, 3 non-profit organizations, and challenge myself to build a new audience in the process. Here is my story.
Today’s independent musicians have many advantages. Five years ago we did not have active tools such as Fanbridge, Add This, Facebook, ReverbNation, Soundcloud, Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, Band Camp, ArtistData etc. What I mean by “active” tools is that there are various ways you can easily create and maintain a solid business with little, but consistent, effort. At the end of August 2010, I decided that I was going to use PledgeMusic to combine two of my greatest passions: Music and Charity. However, I decided to give myself a challenge. Prior to launching my project, “Music With A Cause”, I spent about 3 months looking at other artists projects. I wanted to see how people were engaging their fans. I wanted to understand why others were featured and why some were left behind. It quickly became clear that the people who were doing well, for the most part, had their business module in effect. What I am talking about here is the modern day artist taking responsibility for the real work involved with a campaign/building a business.
Going into “Music With A Cause” I had the following challenges:
- I would not target friends
- I would not target family
- I would not target people currently on my mailing list
- I became ill in June 2010 and eventually had to have a tumor removed in September 2010 (Finally back to health in November 2010 with 13 days remaining as of today)
- This created a greater challenge because I would be in and out of the hospital
- I did not have the ability to generate new fans from playing live shows
- Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research in memory of my grandfather
- Dana-Faber.org- The funds would go directly to a friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with cancer
The idea is that if I followed through the steps below accordingly, the project work by itself. Therefore, not having to worry that if I was ill and in the hospital and ultimately seeing if my challenge within the project would work.
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