WWhen American singer-songwriter Candice Russell needed money to promote her new EP “Ignite,” she turned to Kickstarter. She asked for $5,000 and not only reached her goal – she received over $10,000.
We had a chat with Candice about her crowdfunding success.
Why did you choose to crowdfund the EP?
I originally thought I had enough money to finish my EP, but as I was beginning to wrap up the project it became apparent that I would need at least $5,000 more to package and promote the music. I knew that crowdfunding has been a successful way of helping a lot of other artists so I thought I’d give it a shot!
What did you do to spread the word about the fundraiser?
Social media was definitely my best tool to spread the word about it. Facebook in particular was a huge catalyst when it came to promoting it, since that’s where people were the most active and responsive. I also utilized email and word of mouth.
What was the biggest challenge with the crowdfunding?
I’d say that it was getting over my fear of failure. I was initially not excited about asking people for money. It’s a scary and slightly uncomfortable thing to do. What if people don’t respond? Do they even care?
But I came to the realization that people who love you want to give. They want you to ask them for help, because they want to see you succeed. And if someone isn’t interested, then that’s okay. Not everyone is going to be part of your “inner circle of supporters.” That makes you even more thankful for the people who are.
How did you market the EP and the project on social media?
I made sure to use all of my social media platforms. I tried to keep people updated on my Kickstarter progress weekly and posted things such as pictures of my merch to remind them of the fun rewards.
But the most effective and successful way was to send people private Facebook messages telling them about my campaign. I personalized the messages so they knew I was talking to them specifically and wasn’t just sending them an automated message. If they weren’t able to give, I asked them if they could share my Kickstarter on their Facebook page. People responded really well to those messages and a large percentage of them ended up giving towards my Kickstarter and almost all of them shared it.
What was it like to see the great response?
I was, and still am, totally blown away by the response I’ve received. I did not expect that what I asked for would be doubled! It’s so amazing to be going into this new chapter of my life and music feeling so supported by my friends, family and fans.
What will the extra money go to?
Anything raised above the original $5,000 goal will go toward an extensive social media and marketing campaign and production of a lyric video, allowing me to get my music in front of even more people.
Two people pledged $1,000 or more, which means that they’ll be the first to hear you perform your new songs live in their homes. What will that be like?
It will be so fun to finally get to play my new songs for people! I’m really looking forward to getting this music out there and hearing people’s responses.
How did you decide on what the different “pledge prices” would be?
I did my research by looking at other people’s successful crowdfunding campaigns. Once you get started on this part, it’s actually kind of fun coming up with the rewards.
Do you have any tips for other artists that want to crowdfund their material?
Just go for it! Don’t let fear keep you from crowdfunding or going after your dreams. Also, take the time to make sure you have a planned approach to your project before you start. The online course “Launch and Release” was a great tool in helping me approach my Kickstarter campaign.
You can find more about Candice Russell on her website here.