40+ Mil Spotify plays, 500k+ Twitter followers, $100k+ Kickstarter. Producer, speaker, out-of-the box thinker.
Successful independent songwriter/producer Ernie Halter has released 8 albums, toured 50 states, and seen his popularity swell to more than 500,000 Twitter followers, over 11,000 Facebook 'Likes', 13,000 YouTube subscribers, and 3,500,000+ views, and more than 40 million streams on Spotify.
In Nov 2012, Halter raised $35,000 in Kickstarter funds to write a song a week for the 52 Songs Club. Due to the creativity in launching the project, The Tennessean front-paged the story in its business section saying: "Artist Masters Keys to Finance". In 2014 Ernie Halter raised nearly $30,000 for an acoustic record of 90s R&B classics. The project was a staff pick, and Ernie was invited to the Kickstarter HQ in Brooklyn to perform.
Halter's album Kickstarter in 2018 for Catbird Soul raised $56,000.
Ernie Halter has shared the studio and stage with:
Jason Mraz, Lady Antebellum, Neil Young, Colbie Caillat, Sara Barielles, Katy Perry, Eric Hutchinson, Tony Lucca, Allen Stone, Drake Bell, Sister Hazel, and more. Justin Bieber covered Ernie Halter's "Come Home To Me" on his Purpose world tour.
Halter's songs have been heard on SiriusXM Coffeehouse, Good Morning America, A Thousand Words (Film), Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Jimmy Kimmel Live, General Hospital, Cougar Town, Army Wives, The Real World, and Disney's Sonny With A Chance.
Halter has led master classes on independent music business at various universities, such as Mike Curb College of Music Business / Belmont University in Nashville, Berklee College of Music, Orange County School of the Arts, and The DIY Expo.
I've been in the business as an independent artist for over 10 years. I've recorded 7 albums and have more than 10 million streams on Spotify. I've also done a lot of house shows and still do.
I believe the platform you'll need: https://www.openstageit.com/
But your fundraising success will be determined by your existing network (mailing list, social media, direct word of mouth). So if your fanbase is still developing I also recommend http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/.
Let me know if you have any questions and I'd be happy to schedule a call.
The answer is simple. The execution is difficult.
1. Have OUTSTANDING songs that MOVE people. Songs that make people who hear you want to tell other people. It doesn't matter how much "growth hacking" mojo you've got. If your songs and craft isn't there, it's like trying to start a fire with wet matches.
2. See step 1 again.
Once you're at a point where people who hear your music (not friends, and not family) want to share it with other people, your job is to perform in front of as many people as you can and to give new fans tools to make sharing your music easier.
Performing opportunities are everywhere, Some obvious and some hidden. There's YouTube, StageIt.com, Ustream, but the best performances are live, because it's harder and harder for someone who doesn't know you to stumble upon your music online. Find gigs. Create gigs. When Van Halen was struggling to get heard, they became their own concert promoters. They paid for a deposit on venue, booked a well-known headliner, sold tickets, and put themselves as the opening band.
Anytime you're performing, have a mailing list so you can stay in touch with fans who want to hear from you.
Make sure your website is professional looking, easy to navigate, and has plenty of audio and video samples. Look into sites like Noisetrade.com that offer free music in exchange for email addresses.
I have over 10,000 Facebook likes, over 6 million YouTube and Spotify plays, and nearly 500,000 Twitter followers, (and not the kind you pay for), and you know what that means? Nothing. It goes back to the old adage that quality > quantity. The only numbers that matter to me are the fans that are actively engaged and sharing what I'm doing. That's the only thing worth paying attention to. The rest is just buzz words and bullshit.
More times than not this would involve cowriting with the artist themselves. You could also hire a reputable song plugger to pitch your catalog. However this comes at a price. Getting signed to a publishing deal that has relationships with artists and labels is another way to go but like anything worth having is very competitive. I live in Nashville and the city is full of people trying to do this exact thing -- most of them of been at it for years. The last and most important ingredient of course is to write exceptionally good songs. :) Best of luck.
For crowdfunding I think Kickstarter is the best way to go. It seems to be the most well-known, and doesn't hide the dollar goal amount like some other platforms. I think transparency is key in gaining trust.
Setting a reasonably low goal amount is a good practice because it helps build momentum. I used Kickstarter for my last endeavor, a unique song-a-week project that raised $35,000. That's 400% of my $8,500 goal, which was fully funded in the first 12 hours. Having the goal amount visible helps people feel connected to a tangible goal and feel like partners.
The best way to get the word out is through an existing community of "fans". Obviously having a unique and remarkable product is crucial. Give your fans a something that they can tell their friends about in a few words.
People don't buy WHAT you're doing, they buy WHY you do it. Be passionate about the reason you're starting the project, give people a chance to resonate with you and your company.
Note: I'm not a business person. I'm a musician who's learned enough about business to keep doing what I love. I'm also a music fan, which helps me always keep my audience in mind. I think this is extremely important. What do they want? What will they feel connected to?
Do your homework. I researched hundreds of successful campaigns before starting mine and felt it was time well spent.
Offer creative rewards. The more creative and unique the rewards, the more likely people are to get involved and spread the word.
As far as hiring experts, I don't think that's necessary but do agree that seeking advice from those who've been successful crowd-funders will go a long way.
I would love to talk more with you about your project and brainstorm some out-of-the-box strategies to help effectively connect with your audience and get them passionate about your campaign!