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The Crowdfunding Manifesto for Music

By Published: December 13, 2010
The Rewards Menu should read like a good restaurant menu. Every reward should be fun to read and must contribute to your brand as an artist. Think of what you can offer beyond the obvious—e.g. as a musician that can bake cookies you can tap into your culinary skills to develop original rewards. The rewards give power to your network and fans while offering the opportunity to influence the creative process and end results.

Example rewards include digital goods such as MP3s, images, art, etc., physical goods such as CDs, T-Shirts, pins, stickers, etc., mementos such as hand-written post cards, lyric sheets, poetry, etc., and experiences such as lessons, live shows, and other special events.


Reaching your financial goal is just the beginning. To make the most of your crowdfunding experience it is important to celebrate, communicate, and deliver.

Acknowledge and publicize reaching your goal. Be grateful and celebratory as your begin the follow-through process of creating your work.

Keep your fans updated on your progress. Set the appropriate expectations for timing and delivery of rewards. Use multimedia—images, videos, etc.—to document your process. Ask for input from your fans and allow them to continue along the journey that was begun with your crowdfunding campaign.

Deliver your rewards and ask your contributors to document their reactions—with the goal of broadening your audience. This is different from a typical retail experience—there is great deal of emotion involved so over-deliver on your promises. Leave a good taste that sets the stage for your next crowdfunding project.

Crowdfunding is a new path. It allows musicians to be profitable, to be fair to fans, and to be piracy proof. If done correctly, it is a sustainable way to attain funding and a larger audience. Welcome to the New Creative Economy.

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