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How to Run a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign (According to People Who've Done It)

Curious Quail's Kickstarter campaign garnered 187 backers and $10,050.

Here's the truth: A lot of you are going to attempt to use Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or PledgeMusic to fund your next major project, and for some of you, it's going to be a roaring success. You're going to feel really, really good about yourself and what you're doing, and your supporters are going to be intrinsically involved in the process, making the whole thing that much cooler.

But then some of you – most of you – are going to hit a brick wall. You're going to spend hours upon hours promoting your campaign, personally messaging your dedicated followers and friends, begging people for money in the best possible way. You'll pour so much time and devotion into it only to not meet your goal and likely feel dejected and discouraged. And frankly, that's just not fair. Not with all the love you've poured into it.

So I'd like to skip the second scenario and zip straight to the first: meeting your goal, bonding with fans, and putting out a killer product that you can be proud of. I spoke to several artists and industry professionals to find out their most trusted go-to tactics to ensure a successful finish to your crowdfunding campaign.

7 Signs You're Not Ready for a Crowdfunding Campaign

Before you can run a crowdfunding campaign, you’re going to need a crowd. (Photo by David Fisher)

Many artists see their peers running successful campaigns on Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, and Indiegogo and think crowdfunding is the road to easy money. They envision an internet filled with people who are just waiting to fork over $10, $25, or even $100 to fund someone else's passion project. They see music campaigns on Kickstarter have roughly a 50 percent success rate, and think, "Hey, I'm talented. I could be in that 50 percent!"

What many of these artists fail to recognize, however, is the groundwork that was laid out before these campaigns were launched. Artists who've experienced success with crowdfunding didn't just have great campaigns, they were in a position to run great campaigns. The latter is something many artists neglect to think about.

5 Reasons Why You Didn't Reach Your Crowdfunding Goal

Image via neoseeker.com

It can be incredibly disheartening and even soul crushing to run a crowdfunding campaign that fails. Just because your campaign failed, however, it doesn't mean you're a terrible artist – it could just mean you ran a terrible campaign. With crowdfunding being a relatively new phenomenon, the blueprint for how to run a campaign isn't entirely clear. That said, the foibles and good-campaigns-gone-wrong errors are slowly coming to light, and if your campaign didn't reach its goal, it might be because of one of the following reasons.

3 Not-So-Obvious Benefits of Running a Crowdfunding Campaign

Turn your fans into an excited group of minions! (Image via blog.games.com)

For DIY, indie, and even some major label artists, crowdfunding is a major way to bring in revenue and ensure that a project will move along with the capital you need. Running a crowdfunding campaign is a great way to garner experience, and there are lots of ways an artist can benefit from it. While the basics are obvious – getting your campaign actually funded, gaining some new fans, and putting some cash in your pocket – there are some not-so-obvious benefits, too.

Before You Even Think About Crowdfunding an Album, Read This

We couldn't possibly talk about the downside of crowdfunding without bringing up Amanda Palmer's controversial campaign somehow. Which side were you on? (Image via theguardian.com)

Asking people to shell out money to support your musical endeavors can be problematic. The most common type of those campaigns seems to be funding for an album, and the honest truth is that not every band or artist should be asking.