Questions answered (in the same order as outlined below) on this page:


    What do we need to have in place before doing an online show?
    How can we set up an online show?

    How can we leverage an online show?


    What do we need to have in place before Crowdfunding?
    What platforms are available?

    What can we offer?

    How do we cover the costs of what we are going to offer?
    How should we communicate throughout our campaign?
    What other Funding is available?



    What do we need to have in place before doing an online show?


    How cool is it that we get to play online shows from wherever we want or wherever we are! I love that!!


    So... where to begin?!


    Well, before you do an online show, make sure that you have great quality sound and the best video equipment possible. Remember that people will only hear the quality of sound that the device they are listening on will allow. So make sure that the sound you are outputting is the best it can be so that even if they have poor quality equipment, hopefully they'll still be able to hear you well enough! That's the point after all, right? That new people get to hear your music.


    Make sure you are well lit and that people can see you as you perform for them. What is the simplest and best lighting you can use? Or can you make use of natural light instead?


    Next, what about location?


    Make sure you have a space to play where you won't be disturbed and even better, perform in a place that is visually interesting. You don't have to go crazy finding a cool location, it's fine to play against a plain backdrop or in your bedroom, but just make sure that it's tidy and doesn't draw people's eyes and attention away from you.




    How can we set up an online show?


    So many options!

    You can play online shows using sites like Concert Window or Stageit where you can stream a live performance from wherever you are. Your viewers can comment and leave you some tips, so you can literally play a paying show from your living room.


    You can bypass that and connect directly with your audience, doing a live performance via Skype or Zoom and play a private online show for people who maybe have even paid you in advance to do so. Also, how cool would this be to offer as a gift to someone - to play a show for them?


    You can just do a performance using your Facebook or Instagram or IGTV... providing a link for people to tip you or getting them to donate in advance for you to play a song request for them.




    How can we leverage an online show?

    If you want, you can record your show and then use it to for the promotion of your band. You could post it on your website or social media and get your followers to share it. This is all the more reason to make sure you have good sound, video and lighting for your show. It's worth taking the time and energy to get that bit right - not only so you are doing something that artistically looks and feels good, but so people will feel good about sharing it too!


    You could also use this to promote further shows... so think: what would make this a really cool experience for your audience...? Could you take requests on your social media in advance and play specific songs (including covers) for your biggest fans? Could you sing Happy Birthday to people? What would be both fun and feel in integrity for you?


    Also, you could invite other artists to connect with you, play a show with you and in the process cross-promote to both of your audiences.


    The sky is the limit! What other ideas can you think of...?

    Photo shoot in Hamburg, Germany. Photographer: Axel Jusseit

    Photo shoot in Dublin, Ireland


    What do we need to have in place before Crowdfunding?




    The first thing is to get really clear and ask yourself some questions:

    What is the ideal outcome of your campaign?


    That you get to record a full album, perhaps? Go into detail about this - how many songs? What kind of instrumentation? What kind of vibe musically? What producer would you love to work with?


    There's an expression I love and that I have found to be true, "Money loves clarity". So get into the feeling of this too... how would it feel to have this album recorded, so well that you are deeply happy with it and proud of it and excited to share it with the world?


    What do you need in order to do this?


    Do you need to spend a certain amount of weeks in rehearsal and a certain amount of time in a studio? Are you going to do the recording at home, and if so do you need any specific equipment for this? What about musical equipment - do you need any new equipment?


    Do you need artwork? Do you need to manufacture CDs or no? What other costs do you foresee?


    Who would be happy to help fund this for you?


    Remember that Crowdfunding successfully depends largely on you having an audience, ideally one you have been communicating with over time. Having strong relationships with your audience will really benefit you here. Otherwise, you will be looking to capture the attention and really engage with a new audience.


    Do you have an existing audience you could reach out to? Where are they? (On your email list? On social media sites?)


    Who else would be interested in funding you and supporting you? Who would love your music and want to help you create this release? Can you get really specific about these people in terms of demographics (age, location, other bands they like) etc - and where you might be able to connect with them and share with them about your campaign?


    Why should they fund this for you?


    We'll go through what you can offer in terms of specific items in a minute, but on a deeper level, why should they fund you? What do they get out of it? The knowledge that they are supporting the creation of new music and funding artists who want to share a specific message or give something positive and passionate to the world (or whatever it is you feel you are wanting to do)?


    What I'm suggesting is finding a deeper way to connect with people so that they WANT to support you and give you their money! You can connect through your messaging and your creation and the energy you use throughout your campaign, definitely, and this is something we'll talk about too.


    What does all of this come down to in terms of money, specifically?


    Get clear about the final amount of money you want to raise in your chosen currency. Decide on the number.




    What platforms are available?

    Indiegogo, Artist Share, PledgeMusic and Kickstarter are probably the best-known music sites, alongside Patreon, which I'll talk about a bit later. Research them all thoroughly and others too.


    Different platforms take different approaches - some will let you keep all the money that is pledged by donors and some will only let you keep the money that is pledged if you hit your target amount. That is an important distinction, so research thoroughly and choose carefully.



    Acoustic Rehearsal MP3 - Could you offer something like this as part of your crowdfunding promotion?

    What can we offer?

    Ideally, you will now be clear about who your audience is and what they are likely to spend and what they will want in return for what they spend. You can poll your audience to get some feedback on this and do research on other Crowdfunding campaigns for ideas too.


    From the smallest investment to the largest, some ideas are: digital downloads of your album, CD of your album, vinyl of your album, their name printed on the inside cover of your album, customized artwork, Skype calls, a song written especially for them, invites to an in-studio listen of your album, a Skype performance, a personal live performance or bundles of any or all of this or more.


    Bear in mind that you are going to need to fulfil all these orders as people pledge so do all your budgeting out thoroughly beforehand so you're not left short. Also, be sure to limit what you have available - especially at higher price points - this not only gives people more incentive to buy so they get what they want, but also you can control what you need to fulfil when the campaign is over.


    Know that you can put a time stamp on something you are offering - for example, you can state that an in-person show has to be claimed within a year of a certain date or something. Also, if you are running behind with your plans and there is going to be a lapse in time (for example that you'll need another 6 or 9 months to complete your album) before fulfilling your offer, simply let your audience know.




    How do we cover the costs of what we are going to offer?


    Basically, it's: Total Money Pledged - Costs to Crowdfunding platform - Cost of Fulfilling Orders (incl. manufacture & shipping) = Amount you have raised.


    When you are planning and budgeting, make sure that you can fulfil orders in good time, and, as I said, if there is going to be a time delay, do let your audience know. I think that most people will be understanding, they just generally like to be told.




    How should we communicate throughout our campaign?

    Remember that you are asking your audience, and others, to pay in advance for what you are creating, so it's important that you can enthusiastically engage them in what you are creating. It's your story that is important here. Show your own enthusiasm for what you are creating and make it possible for others to feel into that and want to support you.


    This vibe of sharing and engaging is so much more compelling than a vibe of begging or neediness. It can help to think that you are giving people an opportunity to support you in creating something artistic and awesome and by pledging they are doing this - so it's about a fair exchange and involvement - rather than thinking of trying to get money from people, which feels pretty yucky.


    Keep communication going throughout the whole process, updating what you are doing as you go, posting pictures and videos or song snippets, giving your audience exclusive content. It's a good idea to have an idea of some extra things you want to share as the period of time you are Crowdfunding for rolls along. It can keep your campaign fresh to add extra things to it as you go.


    Make sure that you allow enough time for plenty of promotion and for getting people to spread the word about your campaign, maybe also to leave them enough time to get the money together to pledge.


    Finally, enjoy the process. Let it be fun for you and make it fun for others too - enjoy the sharing and the interaction and the adventure of it all!


    And lastly... good luck!!!

    Sulky photo shoot in Dublin, Ireland!


    What other Funding is available?


    Patreon is a site that allows you to receive ongoing financial support from your audience. You create as normal and release as you wish. Your audience can pay you either on a regular basis or whenever you post something new.


    You can see again why it's important to focus on building a loyal audience that loves what you are creating and wants to be involved in what you are doing. There is also that element of collaboration showing up again - they get to support you, patron-style, and you get to make money doing what you love.



    The other option is to set up a "Donate" button on your site. This isn't often done on music sites, but I think of it as being like a tip-jar at a Merch table on a tour. Maybe someone doesn't want to make a regular payment, but they are happy to support you in some way. That's where the "Donate" button comes in. Even small amounts build up and can cover hosting costs or recording costs or printing costs or whatever the case may be.


    There's a donate button at the bottom of this, Music Rocks My World, site too!