So that’s how not to do Crowdfunding … UKCFA event

This was a tough choice. On the this same evening there was the Apple iPad event, a kickstarter event on planning and running a campaign and this event run by the UK Crowdfunding Association. So, which did I decide to focus on? I decided to go to this and I’m really glad I did for lots of reasons which will become clear to you I hope.

It’s peculiarly British to have an event that tells you how not to do something rather than how to actually do it. But in fact that’s a very useful message. All to often we hear only about the crowdfunding success stories and not about the mistakes people make, where they went wrong, and what they learnt from those mistakes.

Also the crowdfunding world is perpetually dominated by the likes of kickstarter and indiegogo and whilst they’re good and useful they only represent a small part of the overall story. There are lots of other crowdfunding mechanisms available and those shouldn’t be overlooked. 

So what did I learn? Actually a lot. Whilst it is easy to get views on crowdfunding from lots of sites and to pull stats and data from all over the place, nothing beats hearing people talk about their experiences and mistakes. A personal story is worth much more than any number of stats in my opinion. 
So here are some of my favourite comments, learning and more from the evening with a little commentary here and there:
From QuidCycle: “Just start now, don’t wait until everything is perfect. Don’t be insular, and don’t believe the hype!” (Me: This is very good advice. Often people do wait until everything is in place, but waiting doesn’t always help.)

“Don’t create a fake celebrity twitter account to tweet about your campaign, nothing good is going to come out of that!” (Me: It might seem obvious, but people try all sorts of tricks to get noticed. Don’t try tricks, be honest)

From CrowdCube: “Prefund your campaign, don’t wait until you run out of money” (Me: It might sound strange, but prefunding really helps. We all know how it feels to turn up at a campaign page to see that no one has invested as yet.)

From Seedrs: “Don’t crowdfund if you don’t want to share your idea!” (Me: Another seemingly obvious comment, but it is important. If your idea is too secret don’t share it or find a way to tell people without giving away too much.)

“Don’t have a crappy video” (Me: This is a point that comes out a lot. The quality of a main campaign video is crucial and can’t be stressed enough. Ideally a a 2-3 minute video is best.)

From BuzzBank: “Don’t forget to promote your campaign on your own website” (Me: Another sensible comment, but people do forget.)

“It is as important to be offline as it is to be online. Investors are real people and will want to meet you and talk to you offline” (Me: This is very important for equity crowdfunding. You can be invisible to investors. They need to talk and meet with you.)

“Only 43-44% of campaigns on kickstarter succeed” (Me: It might sound strange, but I can believe this statistic.)

So what does all of this mean for the world of music apps? Well that’s a very good question. I often have developers ask me about crowdfunding. It’s got a bad name over the last year or two in our community. This is mainly because it is very difficult to actually crowdfund an app without annoying all of your backers and giving away loads of apps for free to people who didn’t crowdfund the app in the first place.

But having been to this event it made me realise that there lots of other options available apart from the big too, and people should be looking at everything out there, not just focusing on the obvious.

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