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#836787 - 08/10/10 10:25 PM How to raise funds without begging?  
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Cheezo01 Offline
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St. Paul, MN
I just got a great amount of input encouraging the production of a physical CD versus just distributing electronic files. I'm taking that advice and have decided to go the CD route.

The next step is a bit more troublesome...How can I fund this thing? approx. $800-$1200

As I see it there are a few options...
1. Save up. (this will take some time, and I am eager to have a finished product)

2. Beg. (not the most honorable of options, but I could ask for a loan from a more wealthy family member. I do not look forward to the awkward position this would put me in, however I would have the money quickly)

3. Get a loan. (I don't think most banks are willing to take risks right now, especially on the stereotypically "flaky" musician-type looking to distribute a debut album)


That's all I've got. I'm not the most finalcially minded fellow. I'd appreciate any suggestions or ideas you all have for funding a project like this.

#836789 - 08/10/10 10:35 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cheezo01]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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#1 sounds like your best option. A part-time job flippin' burgers should meet your $1,200 goal in 6-8 weeks. In the meantime you can put the final touches on your CD.

#2 is definitely out. That option should be for emergencies only.

$3 - As long as you have good credit a bank should work. Heck, you could put $1,200 on a credit card.

John smile

#836790 - 08/10/10 10:35 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cheezo01]  
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Joice Marie Offline
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Joice Marie  Offline
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Some patrons will support a PRE -Buy to help an artist raise money

put your mailing list together and write a good letter --- suggesting that they buy more than one copy for presents
1200 $ = 60 patron copies at 20$ each.............

if you can get a local business that will play and sell your cd -- then you can possibly get them to support a bigger number --- 2 businesses then even better

look at your circle of support and make contact -- with tact and honesty.

jm


perfection is unattainable, excellence is totally within reach

http://www.youtube.com/joicemarie
http://www.myspace.com/lemonmcfartney
#836792 - 08/10/10 10:40 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Joice Marie]  
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Oh I should maybe put it out there that I already work 3 jobs, one full time, one part time, one freelance...I don't really have the option of getting another job, unfortunately.

#836796 - 08/10/10 11:09 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cheezo01]  
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#836835 - 08/11/10 02:41 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Ethan]  
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Jean Bullock Offline
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What about trying the download way first and see how may people are really interested in the music? If enough people download your song, that may be a good sign that it's time for a physical CD. My daughter is 24 and she hardly ever buys a CD anymore. She buys downloads from iTunes. She often buys whole albums from there. Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

Last edited by Jean Bullock; 08/11/10 02:42 AM.

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#836847 - 08/11/10 03:17 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Jean Bullock]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Male prostitute.

M

#836848 - 08/11/10 03:21 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cheezo01]  
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WriterTomYeager Offline
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got any stuff around you can sell to raise funds for the CD?


most houses can always use a good shoveling out anyway.....got any antiques/collectibles?.......your music seems to mean alot to you now so you probaly have stuff you care about less than music you can turn into cash.....even if you cant fund the whole CD from selling stuff-you can probaly get halfway or 2/3 there.......just an idea.......


good luck!

Tom

#836854 - 08/11/10 04:32 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
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Polly Hager Offline
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Beg the wealthy family member and offer that person a 10% interest payback! smile


http://www.soundclick.com/pollyhager
http://www.facebook.com/polly.wilmot
http://www.reverbnation.com/rockcandycincy
You're supposed to be grooving as hard as you can, all of the time. - Stephen Gaskin
#836855 - 08/11/10 04:33 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Polly Hager Offline
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Male prostitute.

M


Marc, not everyone is skilled or good looking enough as you are in that area! laugh


http://www.soundclick.com/pollyhager
http://www.facebook.com/polly.wilmot
http://www.reverbnation.com/rockcandycincy
You're supposed to be grooving as hard as you can, all of the time. - Stephen Gaskin
#836859 - 08/11/10 04:42 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Polly Hager]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Originally Posted by Polly Hager
Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Male prostitute.

M


Marc, not everyone is skilled or good looking enough as you are in that area! laugh


Marc's a male prostitute Polly? eek

John smile

#836866 - 08/11/10 07:00 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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niteshift Online content
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Why not get the artwork and covers done, upload to Tunecore for $47 and get worldwide digital distribution. www.tunecore.com

Then, get 50 copies physically printed, for review, freebies etc and see how you go. You can always print more. That can't cost $800-1200 can it ?

I think it would probably be better to spend the left over money on advertising and marketing. If the production cost is $X , then the marketing budget should be at least $X, and preferably a lot more.

cheers, niteshift


#836872 - 08/11/10 09:16 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: niteshift]  
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DukeWill Offline
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Many people find a hard time selling 1,000 units. In all honesty, if $1200 is a challenge, I would think it is going to very hard for you to make it. Just go the Kunaki route and buy them a few at a time until you know you are successful. Or, google self-funding for musicians to find out how other people have done this. If you know a lot of people, you might could find 12 people who will sponsor you for $100 each. Or, forget 1000 units and buy, say, 300 for $600. Good luck!


Thanks,
Bill
(New Sig: What do I know? Good luck, songwriter!)
#836878 - 08/11/10 10:01 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: DukeWill]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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Saint Petersburg. FL
I am financially conservative and my policy is never be beholden to anyone, just so you know where I am coming from.....

Why do you wish to release this project? Ask yourself if it is for profit, for vanity, for kicks, to have something to sell at gigs, etc. Make sure you know why you want to get the funding.

If it is for profit, you need a business plan. You should itemize costs including interest/debt service, etc. Your inventory ties up your working capital (the amount you spend on CDs) and there is a cost involved (interest, the other things you could be doing with that money such as investing it, etc.) Then you should plan your marketing campaign, project how many units you will sell and at what price, and add in any other costs of selling like shipping, advertising, etc.

If you are a local musician who wants to sell CDs at gigs, you may be surprised at how few you will sell and the low price people are willing to pay. Unless you are famous, people will buy CDs willingly at $5, if they REALLY like you at $10, and not at all at $15. YMMV but not by much. Remember you can buy CDs by top artists for $7 - 8 at Walmart.

My guess is if you do it right, you will conclude that a small inventory of CDs from Kunaki, which you will replenish as needed, is a much better idea than buying a thousand to sit in a closet somewhere......even if you pay slightly more per CD.

And if you want the CDs for vanity or Christmas presents, you can't afford them.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#836895 - 08/11/10 11:40 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Polly Hager]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Polly,

Actually my gigs lean a little more to the "reverse stripper."I show up naked and they pay me to put my clothes back on.

MAB

#836896 - 08/11/10 11:43 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Polly,

Actually my gigs lean a little more to the "reverse stripper."I show up naked and they pay me to put my clothes back on.

MAB


Good one Marc! laugh

John smile

#836897 - 08/11/10 11:46 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Well I've figgered how to make money without begging. Write Songs! I'm rich already!


Ray E. Strode
#836910 - 08/11/10 12:52 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Cheez,

Sorry to be so glib, I was having a little fun at the whole thread.You are being serious here and I will give a couple of points hopefully that can help you along.

You have gotten great advice here. Colin has broken it down very well into catagories. You should print that one out and refer to it.

It is a situation we all have to deal with. I write about 300 songs a year and deciding which ones are the top of the heap and what should be included on a pitch or a CD or even a show, is a big decision. And I don't want to waste money any more than anyone. I can't.

You first have to determine what a "release" is in your world. Around here (Nashville and the Internet) people are always "Releasing" a CD. They are having lavish parties,doing press releases, inviting friends giving away copies and basically spending twice as much as the CD costs to make in order to give it all away for free.

They generally find out that "releasing a CD" has about as much relevance in today's world as "I'm changing my socks today." Everybody does it,everybody is shooting songs all over the place and everyone is finding out the hard facts. Radio is not going to play anyone not on a major lable, period. Smaller radio, pod casting, Internet, sattalite, might but a lot of these stations that feature new music have two listeners and they are not the ones we want in our audience to begin with. Being the "hottest act in Cell Block D at Highland Correctional facility for the Mentally Insane" is never that glowing a review.

So it comes down to one word. GIGS. How many gigs will you play? How many do you think you can sell through that?

You might think of "stripped down versions of your CD."

Major Nashville artists have gone to "6 packs" (6 songs)or "8 packs" (8 songs) for their new releases. Less songs, less cost, you can still release two a year. Packaging is less. And it keeps interest building as you get ready for your next release.

We used to have 45 rpm records, which were two songs, one on each side. That is closer to what we are going back to which is why we are concentrating on MP3's and Singles.

Having a 5 or 6 song CD, selling it for $5-$10 is a regular thing now. People won't feel cheated if your product is well written and well recorded. But you HAVE to build up that interest by playing live and your relationship with your fans are going to determine what your sales figures will be.

Getting a short run of 50-100 at a time is another key. This is a GREAT thing about CD's. You can still look and sound good, just do it a little less expensive.

There is nothing like doing what most people do, including a former friend of mine, who got 10,000 copies of his CD thinking he was going to sell 100 a night and was ready to re-order. About two years after he got them I was at his house to write one day and asked him about his sales. He had me stand up from the chair I was sitting on and pulled back the cover to reveal that the entire chair was MADE UP of CD boxes from that CD. He couldn't give them away.

Also, if you are trying to do booking, or just build fan base, you need to give thought to a You Tube video on one of your songs.They are no longer hundreds of thousands of dollars and can be done fairly reasonable.But they are a nessasity for artists in the modern age. Just like the bio and press kit, if you want to be taken seriously, better think about that.

And that is one you can get your friends (sponsors) involved in. Have a fan party "write the video" show. Get them involved.
There have been artists like Lucinda Williams, who have sold "sponsor ships" in her project. For $1000,people joined her in New York for a couple of days,hung out, and Lucinda actually let them sing on the CD. Then they got copies, t-shirts, etc.

I have known bands to get fans involved in the writing of a song, done limited partnerships, framed certificates, etc. The more you involve your audience, the better off you are.

Every song does not have to be fully recorded. Doing a couple of very stripped down numbers actually creates a more "intimate feel' with the audience.

Funding these things are all about being creative. Determining what you do well and getting the most bang for your buck.

Think long and hard about what you are doing, listen to the people here and seek more ideas. There is plenty of food for thought.

Good luck,

MAB

#836971 - 08/11/10 05:08 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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T.Wallace Offline
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Good thread, and some great ideas by all. I am in the process of making up a disk aswell. I started with the vision of a fully polished disk, with a five piece band, fully engineered and so on. When I started pricing I was amazed how much it would cost me. So I started saving, while I was saving I started doing research of the affordable studios in my area. As well as the cost of getting studio musicians to complete the sound. I discoverd I could buy the USP interface, Mics, and a pretty good recording software for half the cost of studio time plus I get to keep it, and there is no time limit for the studio time. I know this is not a professional studio recording but if you take your time you can turn out some decent material to sell at your shows. Plus in my case my shows are usually a solo or a duo performance. So I have opted to record as such, because this is what they will hear when they come see me. You can either leave it at that or in my local area, there is a college that trains in radio arts they will engineer it for virtually free. Plus all the profit from this can be set aside to do a professional disk in the future if you still wish.

Just my two cents worth (worth even less with the exchange rate from canada to the us)

#836984 - 08/11/10 06:22 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: T.Wallace]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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T.

It depends again on your application and where you are going. Most of the people I have ever known who went this route, ended up with such a learning curve on the equipment,got bogged down with the technological side, and ended up using a studio after all AND have paid the money for the equipment. If you are a techi it might be fine, but usually people get bogged down on one side or the other.

The money ends up about the same and if you are the only musician you only have yourself to spice up your product.If you feel good about that, then do what works for you.

Studios and musicians are there for a reason.To bring a proffesionalism to people's projects that they can't do on their own.And again, you are just not going to be able to compete technically with people who play day after day in the studio settings.

In Nashville we are pitching songs for the industry, for the artists, for My Space, You Tube,Face book, for videos,movie and television opportunities, overall writing catalogue, attracting potential investors, co-writers, etc.

So it is never just one application. For my competition, I am dealing with the best songwriters in the world, so I have no choice but to play the game by established rules.

Just keep your options open and make sure you research everything you are doing before you commit resources to that. Weigh all the options and remember that a lot of things look good from a distance. Might be different the closer you get.

The biggest thing you can do is stay in contact with a lot of people who have done this before and find out their ups and downs. Try to emulate their ups and limit their downs.

MAB

#837005 - 08/11/10 08:04 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Cheezo01 Offline
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Posts: 88
St. Paul, MN
Thanks for all the input. My goal for having the discs would be to sell them at shows and provide that professinal veneer needed to score more gigs.

This being my first disc I'm not concerned with turning a profit. What I want is exposure. I want to make a disc cheap enough that people will be willing to give it a listen, but I don't want to end up in the poorhouse for over-extending my means.

Corporate sponsors sound like a great idea, but what can I offer them in return to make it worth their while?

Using Kunaki is also a decent option, but the price-per-unit is rather high. I'd have to run that against the expense of having surplus product, but I don't think that printing a run of 500 is unreasonable. I've already got a distribution list of 150 places I want to send them.

I also like the idea of getting people involved, but again how do you provide suffiecient incentive to get people excited about helping you in your project?

#837009 - 08/11/10 08:18 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cheezo01]  
Joined: Sep 2007
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Ethan Offline
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Ethan  Offline
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Washington State, USA
The incentive is only there if they are genuinely excited about you and your product. That's the riddle.

#837014 - 08/11/10 08:36 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Ethan]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Cheez,

A lot of this depends on how popular you are with your fan base. No one can answer that for you. A lot of people talk about corporate sponsorships but the truth is what you say, what is their return? If you are performing a lot sponsors like Budwiser, etc, might consider putting up signs and having givaways like t-shirts and hats, but that really is not cash.

I would think your best bet would be smaller donations from friends. And then there is the other thing. Either getting out and doing gigs (which you need the CD) or taking money from your normal jobs toward the CD. There is not a lot of different answers on this.

Everyone who does this always have the "eyes bigger than their bank account." Probably going to have to figure out a way to do it a little at a time. Takes longer but you are not broke all the time.

Again, one of the reasons I am suggesting a smaller project, singles or just a few songs, is that it is more cost effective.
Again now, the ball game is changed for what is considered a CD release. Could just do a very few songs.

To me, that might be your best bet.

MAB

#837044 - 08/11/10 11:52 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: May 2006
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Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline

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Saint Petersburg. FL
A final note from me......my friend Jayne is an outstanding singer/songwriter. She sold out of her last CD and until she gets a new one completed, she is selling home burned CDs of her professionally recorded songs. They are in white paper sleeves and have her name written on them with a Sharpie. She sells out at every gig - for a few bucks a copy. People want her CD badly enough to dispense with all the fancy stuff. I think she is making more profit than when she had professionally prepared CDs for sale. Her cost to make them is almost nothing.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#837052 - 08/12/10 12:29 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cheezo01]  
Joined: Apr 2006
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,099
Ft. Myers, FL. USA
Originally Posted by Cheezo01

Using Kunaki is also a decent option, but the price-per-unit is rather high.


At roughly $2 per CD? You can still sell for $5 and make 150% profit.

Don't have 500-1000 CD's made. Make 20 or 50. See how they sell. Take the profit and make more when needed. All you have to do is reorder. They have your info on file.

#837077 - 08/12/10 03:36 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Sep 2008
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Polly Hager Offline
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Polly Hager  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,526
Cincinnati, OH USA
Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Polly,

Actually my gigs lean a little more to the "reverse stripper."I show up naked and they pay me to put my clothes back on.

MAB


Marc, you know that ain't true! You're a good looking man! Still, I can't afford ya! Unless you accept a barbeque rib dinner with grilled corn! laugh

Cheez, listen to Marc...he knows of what he speaks! smile


http://www.soundclick.com/pollyhager
http://www.facebook.com/polly.wilmot
http://www.reverbnation.com/rockcandycincy
You're supposed to be grooving as hard as you can, all of the time. - Stephen Gaskin
#837078 - 08/12/10 03:41 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cheezo01]  
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Keith Gamble Offline
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Keith Gamble  Offline
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You are receiving some great advice Cheezo01, and I want to say thanks to everyone who has responded; this has been an education for me. Cheezo01, check-out the book entitled "The Savvy Musician", by David Cutler; I am sure there is information in that book that can get you closer to your goals.

Keith Gamble, Saxophonist

#837091 - 08/12/10 05:41 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Keith Gamble]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,359
Bob Cushing Offline
Bob Cushing  Offline

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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,359
cincinnati oh usa
Rob someone! In my case make enough money gigging every night to fund yourself.


bc
#837350 - 08/13/10 01:04 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Bob Cushing]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Cheezo01 Offline
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Cheezo01  Offline
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St. Paul, MN
I'll check out that book Keith.

and Ben you do make a fine point about using the profits to drive production as needed, even with a small margin of $3. I suppose paying a little more per unit is worth not having the overhead or having to procure as much startup cash.

and Bob...beleive me, if it were possible to make enough from gigging that I could do it I would. Problem is that in St. Paul, MN there aren't many places to play my more folky kind of music where you can make more than just tips. Of the places that desire my kind of music and also pay musicians for gigs there is steep competition for shows. Nobody seems to get in without a disc, professional promo, etc. to showcase their work. It's kind of a chicken and egg problem.

Hopefully this album will allow me to play regularly enough that I can fund the next album, problem solved. That's the hope at least.

#837417 - 08/13/10 06:16 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cheezo01]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Cheezo,

Most major releases take about the second or third record to pay for the first ones. It is why so many artists get dropped from deals. They just don't make enough money to recoup. The music business is very expensive. You have to either adapt to the market or create your own.

Most of what I have seen in Minnesota is folky or alternative. Seems like you would have a lot of venues up there. But of course there are a lot of people doing the same thing. Which might tell you something. Music is about adaptation, not as much about change. You might think of adapting your style of music into something different from what there is already a glut of.

That would make it even more difficult to sell product. About half of a music career is in finding your niche from the beginning.

MAB

#837656 - 08/14/10 06:32 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 4
Jordan Doucette Offline
Casual Observer
Jordan Doucette  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 4
Massachusetts
Actually fund raising is a good idea. Artists now are trying to offer things in exchange for people funding different projects whether it be personal concerts, portraits, music downloads, songs, a signed instrument or even letting them have a closer look at the process as you go along because they helped to fund the project. You can allow your fans a chance to be a part of the actual process of making a cd in exchange for funding your project. A great site for doing that is: http://www.kickstarter.com/ Basically because you set a goal and a time frame, if you don't raise the amount in the time given, all funds are reimbursed to the people who donated. So it's kind of a safeguard as well if you don't get enough people interested and involved. Either way, I wish you good luck with funding your project and getting out there.

#837814 - 08/15/10 02:44 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Jordan Doucette]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 379
Cecilee Offline
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Cecilee  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 379
Norfolk, VA
Kickstarter is a great site for raising funds. I have a project on Kickstarter right now:

http://www.bit.ly/helpannfeld

Unfortunately, with Kickstarter, the problem is getting people to actually look at it. I haven't been having much luck myself so far and my project ends in less than three weeks. I've had a few backers, but I'm nowhere near my goal. frown

The thing with Kickstarter is that it all depends on how much interest you can drum up for your project and how good the prizes are. I know others have been very successful on there with their respective projects, some even far surpassing their intended goal! Maybe my luck will change in the last few weeks of my project; I have my fingers crossed. smile


English/French piano/electronic singer/songwriter from Virginia. Influences include Charlotte Martin, Kate Bush, Pet Shop Boys, and Mylène Farmer.

http://cecilee.bandcamp.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/cecileeprojects

New album Rendezvous on Bandcamp!
#837817 - 08/15/10 03:17 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cecilee]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 9,066
John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Posts: 9,066
PA
I'm guessing it would be very difficult to find funding for an independent artist's CD. It's just not a very enterprising venture or one having much charitable appeal.

Add to that the high unemployment rate (people are losing their homes), together with so many worthy and catastrophic charitable situations, I'd be surprised to hear of someone finding funding through such mechanisms.

But then, it's always possible to find that one rich lunatic. grin

John smile

#838111 - 08/16/10 10:39 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 263
Natalie Brown Offline
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Natalie Brown  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 263
Toronto, ON
I'm doing crowd funding for the first time and so far, so good. I think it's a great win-win situation as you get to see truly how much demand there is for the products you want to put out there before you invest too heavily.

Check out IndieGoGo, I really like that platform and the Terms of Use and funds disbursement after researching 7 of them:
http://www.IndieGoGo.com/Natalie-Brown

I love how you allow your fans to pre-buy and contribute and the interactive part is great.

Will post back after my campaign is done and share results.

The way I see it, no matter if you reach your goal or not, you win because you save yourself investing in something that might not recoup.

Peace,
Nat

#838127 - 08/16/10 11:08 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Natalie Brown]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 318
Z. Mulls Offline
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Z. Mulls  Offline
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Posts: 318
I think you may be putting the cart before the horse. It sounds like you need to be out there gigging and not thinking about how many CDs you could sell.

You say that "most places" are looking for polished acts with PR plans and pro CDs. You should go to the other places. Open mics, etc. What I see in Philly, and talking to other folks I've met passing through, is that everyone starts small. Once people like you, want to see more of you, they will show up when they know you're going to be someplace. Those are the folks who will start buying your CD.

The CD is no longer as important as it was -- you make your money and you build your fan base by being present.


ZMULLS.COM
My Soundclick

2007 Grand Prize Winner International Songwriting Competition

Avatar Photo by Diana (used with permission)
#838266 - 08/17/10 02:48 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Cheezo01]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
pauley13 Offline
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pauley13  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Fuengirola, Spain
I would say it comes down to "belief".

Yours: do you believe it will be money well spent?

"Theirs" (i.e. a possible lender or investor/sponsor/benefactor): will they believe it too and see it as a viable "investment"?

If you have a "product" or an "invention" or an "idea" - and for that matter a song or an act - which is "marketable" or at the very least "generally worthwhile", then you're no longer in a place where "begging" can ever apply. You might even turn that around and say (not without merit) that others (people with money) may just as well "beg you".

But it doesn't (usually) work that way.
What DOES work is having a clear plan, setting goals, doing some work and persevering.

Before you start, ask yourself:
- Is this just a little experiment I'm doing to satisfy my curiosity?
- Do I just want to hear myself "fully produced" to see what I sound like?
- Do others that I know and who have heard my music believe that I "should" get this music out there? (i.e. is there at least a limited "popular demand"?)

This means, first - get real. Find confirmation within yourself and then among those nearest you that you indeed SHOULD do this thing BECAUSE it is (a) worthwhile and will give many people great pleasure and therefore (b) it could even be a great business.

Next, produce yourself. All you need is something to record yourself on: a basic computer setup to help you edit and arrange all that. You CAN produce AMAZING stuff with such primitive means, even if it's quite basic (the learning curve isn't that bad here at all).

See if it's got that "magic." Play it to unsuspecting strangers and DON'T tell them it's you. Smile when they criticize. Smile if they praise it. Smile if they don't notice, or if they ask you to turn it down. Learn from all feedback.

If after all this (and lots of revision!) it seems that you do indeed have "something" here, then the song(s) will from this point "sell itself." To a point.

By this I mean if you NOW take your basic-but-already-somewhat-successful production to a possible patron, chances are that he or she will also "feel it" and MAY want to support you.

BUT. I wouldn't go there just yet.
After all, you want to be fair to them, don't you?

So, why not give them as "sure" a thing as you possibly can?

And this means that BEFORE you turn to people for help, get your "product" as far as you personally can. On the web. In your community.

Think of this pitch:

- "I have these songs here, I sold 500 copies at gigs, I got 2000 downloads, I have 1500 fans online, I got 50 endorsements, etc... If I could find some help (name the budget here), I think I could vastly improve on these results by doing (here comes the plan)" - and then play them your music to see if they agree.

and compare it to:

- "I'd like $1,200 to record some songs"

For many artists it can be a god-sent to have a patron (but to be sure a $1,200 patronage will NOT get you very far...). In fact, MANY of the best artists you know have had lots of help in some shape or other. But I doubt that any of them ever got it without venturing something by themselves first.

Finally: please think of YOURSELF as your own investor. Because if the above argument convinces YOU - then YOU can go to your bank and take a chance by yourself, knowing that you're taking an honest business risk. At that point, should you consider finding a partner (another investor in your "product"), you will be entering a relationship based on proven commitment and hard work. And these are the only kinds that work!

best of luck!
smile paul


Paul Sedkowski (http://www.famegamesradio.com, http://indiemusicplanet.com). Producer, songwriter, radio personality, co-creator of Fame Games. Worked with platinum-selling managers, producers, artists and songwriters.
#838274 - 08/17/10 03:40 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: pauley13]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,865
Caroline Offline
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Caroline  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,865
Texas
I have cd's, hundreds of cd's, the one I listen to most is one I got at a show a few years ago from Mayday. It's homeburned, sharpie labeled and white sleeved. I liked what I heard when he played, I got the cd and I probably should get another since this one is about worn out. Not sure why you cwould go through the expense without having the financial backing before hand, save your money, build your fan base. Speaking as the relative who my family thinks has "national bank" as a last name, I would not borrow or beg. If you feel it would be awkward, that's probably something you should avoid. No one likes to hear from family only when they need or want something so trust your instincts, your first instinct, and save.


Caroline


http://www.myspace.com/carolineholder
http://www.soundclick.com/carolinewroteit

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them! (Dove Dark Chocolate)
#838469 - 08/18/10 06:35 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: pauley13]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,478
Kevin Edward Rose Offline
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Kevin Edward Rose  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,478
Richmond, IN U.S.A.
Good advice, Paul. Welcome to JPF! smile


Kevin Edward Rose
Celtic, Americana, whatever the folk.
Hailed by Performing Songwriter magazine as a "valued subscriber".
More music sold than Elvis and the Beatles combined!*
http://www.KevinEdwardRose.com
http://www.youtube.com/KevinEdwardRose
#840899 - 08/30/10 06:53 AM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: Kevin Edward Rose]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 15
qdaiman Offline
Casual Observer
qdaiman  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 15
Greater Los Angeles, CA
Cheezo

If you can pack 100 ppl into a bar or anything similar can make their own "scene" in any town. Find a bar that closes around 9pm or 10pm on a Sunday and ask to rock it out. You have to stress the fact that it will generate bar sales, which is large profit for the owner, keeping in mind you have 1 shot at this so pack the place out. Go from bar to bar till you get a suitor and trust me if you invite them to a gig that you have packed out they will oblige you.

If that fails get enough of your competition together on the pitch and just alternate weeks. That is how you create a music scene I've done it and you may find it more lucrative than the CD sales. I've worked around the So California music scene on all levels for a long time and people will not buy CDs typically for less than $3 at a gig and even then they had to discount them. I charge for sales tips so I'll stop here might have some unhappy patrons.

PS. send my money via Pay Pal LOL J/K

you have to think outside of the box in order to be successful in this world.

#840954 - 08/30/10 12:05 PM Re: How to raise funds without begging? [Re: qdaiman]  
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 75
Matt Moran Offline
Serious Contributor
Matt Moran  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 75
Lancaster, CA
Caroline above has what I would recommend...

Print your own, build your fan base. No one! NO ONE who expressed interest in your music should walk away from a show without some music. If anything, trade for an email address. Mailing list is gold!!!!

FYI: I have a new sign up for our next show... It says,

"1 CD = $10.
2 or more, $0 if you promise to give them to friends."

Passionate listeners, mailing list, critical mass: rinse, repeat.


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