Victoria Westcott's 5 Rules of Crowdfunding that you can apply to YOUR art projects

I just watched this awesome talk from teacher, entrepreneur, and movie producer Victoria Wescott about crowdfunding that I just HAD to share with you! This video isn't a pitch of any particular crowdfunding site, it simply explains how makers of all sorts can effectively turn to their people to get their projects out there...

  1. Make something awesome! As I always say, the first step to having a successful art business is making your art. This should go without saying, but you'd be surprised how many so-called artists, poets, musicians and writers never actually make anything. At the risk of paralyzing you with pressure, I would add that you should try to make it awesome. Don't panic! If you are productive, awesomeness will certainly follow. So again, make your art!
  2. Sell to your audience! You don't have to wait on a publisher, record company or gallery to approve of your work. Marketing is getting easier and easier. Make an effort to locate like-minded people. Join communities of "your people" and make nice. Build relationships and when your product/ project/ whatever is at the point where funds are needed, design a sales page/ crowdfunding page/ whatever, and share a link with them.  If you made connections based on shared values, your people will not hate you for sharing what you have made with them. Especially if it's awesome!
  3. Don't ask for charity! Artists sell emotions. Don't play the poor artist/ musician card. It wasn't cute when you were a little kid, and it's not cute now. If charity or altruism is a part of your mission, you will do better to focus on what VALUE you are bringing to your customers' world rather than to what you NEED from them. Sure, they will be helping you out, but that isn't attractive. Let them know how awesome the project/product is, and how it reinforces them.
  4. FOLLOW THROUGH! You don't have to sell out to be professional. Keep your promises. Keep everyone posted. If you want people to keep their promises to you, you know how your customers/backers/ supporters feel. Do what you said you would do. Be present, transparent, and accountable.
  5. Thank the customer for their tips! If you do ALL of these things, you'll be surprised at how often you get back way more than expected. Sometimes it's extra cash, but often it's intangibles like referrals, media coverage, and freebies. Whatever form these tips take, never forget to show your gratitude!
Speaking of gratitude, thanks for reading!

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