About six months ago, I wrote a post called How to Get Your Music Listened To (Via Email). In it, I talked about an artist named Zach Gospe and his manager, Riley Soward.
These guys are a great example of what you can do when you're wiling to put in the work. Since writing that post, they've connected with producer Mark Mazzetti (John Mayer, Elton John, Sting) and they're in the process of recording a new EP together.
I want you to take a look at the project on Kickstarter for a great example of how to do crowdfunding right.
A few things to look at...
1. The "Our Story" elements in both the video and the copy do a great job of getting potential donors emotionally invested in the project. This isn't just about recording music -- it's about helping two upcoming music business entrepreneurs and being part of something at the ground level, before it goes big.
2. Look at how these two work together. It's been my experience that every successful creative person in this business (or other creative businesses) has somebody behind him to take care of the "non-creative" details.
Do you have this person in your career?
3. This reward for donating...
I talk about the power of 2-for-1 deals in my book, Six-Figure Musician, and this is a perfect example of one. It costs almost nothing to send out an extra CD (or sell one at your show) and it takes about the same amount of time. By sending two CDs instead of one though, you make it very easy for the buyer to share your music with his friends.
This leads to more people coming to your live shows, more people visiting your web site, and more people spending money with you.
If you're thinking about using Kickstarter or another crowdfunding platform to raise money for your next project, I encourage you to spend some time looking at how others are doing it. You'll learn a lot about what works and what doesn't when it comes to getting the money you need. Also, I encourage you to donate to projects, so you can learn from what happens after you make the decision to get involved -- this is where most bands mess things up big time, so jump in like a "fan" would and pay attention to how you want to be treated, so you can treat your fans just as well.
So take a look at the project on Kickstarter and see what you can learn from it. Also, listen to the podcast I did with Benji Rogers of PledgeMusic.