Monday, January 16, 2012

5 Hot Tips For Getting Your Project Funded On Kickstarter!

5 Hot Tips For Getting Your Project Funded On Kickstarter

Kickstarter is without a doubt one of the best ways for an aspiring artist to get the funds they need to record and release an album.  Over the past few years Distrophonix has worked with a number of bands and artists that have used Kickstarter to make their musical dream a reality. 

For those of you not yet familiar with, it is a website that allows your family, friends, and fans to help fund your musical projects without having to give up any of your musical or creative rights.  Instead, supporters donate money to either help make a project a reality because they are a fan of your music, or they donate to win different prizes and gifts provided by you.  This could be anything from a free song to a private concert.  The choice is yours.  The best thing about Kickstarter is that it allows your supporters to donate as little as one dollar to your project. Therefore, each supporter can donate an amount that fits their budget. 

Below, you will find some proven ideas and tips that you can use to get the funding you need for your Kickstarter project: 

       1.  Provide Great Prizes

The most important thing that you need to do to make people want to donate money to your project is to make sure that you are giving away amazing prizes as a thank you for their support.  Here are a few ideas that others have used: 

-Give away a free download of your music.
-Give away a free autographed pre-release copy of the finished CD.
-Give out free tickets to your CD release show.
-Give Credit as a producer on the album.
-Give a “Thank You” in the albums liner notes.
 -Allow a supporter to attend a recording session.
-Personalized messages or recognition in a song, video, or website.
-Offer to give an exclusive private concert to your top supporters.

This is by no means a complete list.  Get creative.  The more interesting the prizes, the more likely you are to get the donations you need.  Just be careful to not give out prizes that will cost you too much money.  There is nothing worse than getting your project fully funded, and then realizing that you are going to have to spend a large amount of the budget on fulfilling your prize obligations.

2.       Get The Word Out

Dedicate time ever day to promote your project on Kickstarter.  This means contacting everyone you know and telling them about your project and asking for their support.  Yes, I mean everyone, even your Great Aunt Myrtle.  Well actually I take that back, not everyone, you might want to avoid contacting that crazy ex who bashed in your car windshield after you broke it off last Fall.

It is important to diversify how you get the word out.  It is without question that you should be using email and your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to let people know; but don’t stop there.  Taking the time to pick up the phone or meeting someone in person and asking for their support can be a very powerful tactic to getting the donations you need. 

3.       Make Some Advertising Materials

Whenever you are playing a show, or working on your street team activities you should have some sort of flyer to hand out that outlines what your Kickstarter project is about and gives information about how they can support it.

Another great option for the traditional flyer is to hand out free music download cards to promote your project.   They are cheap; Distrophonix for example will make 1000 cards for as little as $99. These cards are a nice alternative to flyers because it allows you to get your message across while at the same time giving your potential supports a free song to check out.  Download cards are also less likely to be thrown out or discarded.

4.       Promote Your Backers

If your backers are a business, or perhaps another band or artist, do something to help them out in return as a thank you.  Consider doing a Facebook or Twitter post endorsing the company or promoting the other band/artist that offered their support to you.  This is a nice courtesy and it will pay off in the end for you.  It shows your supporters that you are a class act.  Helping someone else out will result in more attention and ultimately more donations to your project. 

5.       Ask For Referrals

Don’t be shy.  There is nothing wrong with asking your current supporters for referrals to others that may be interested in your project.  Remember, they believed in you enough to make a donation in the first place.  They are excited about your project and believe in you.  Give them a chance to help you out further. 

The key with getting referrals is to ask for them.  If you don’t ask, the chances are you will not get them.  This is not because your supporter doesn’t want to help; it is simply because most people do not think about telling their friends about you and your project.  For example, you might say something like the following: 

“I just wanted to take the time to thank you for supporting my project on Kickstarter.  This project really means a lot to me, and it is exciting that it may become a reality. As you know, I need to raise X dollars to make this project happen.  I am X dollars from meeting my goal.  If you could tell your friends that may be interested in my project I would greatly appreciate it.”

All of us here at Distrophonix want to wish you the best of luck with your project!  If we can ever help you out in any way please let us know.  We also want to hear your success stories, and any other tips that you would like to share.  To send us your successes or tips, please email info (at) Distrophonix (dot) com  We look forward to hearing from you!

Written By: Distrophonix

Monday, January 2, 2012

Top 5 Reasons to Have Your Music On The Rock Band Video Game!

For everyone who doesn't already know, Harmonix has opened up Rock Band to allow artists to upload  their own songs for fans to download and play along with.  It's an awesome opportunity to reach a huge audience and get your music some serious exposure.  Plus, every time someone buys your song on the Rock Band network, you get paid.  Of course, it's a little more complicated than just uploading your song to Rock Band, but there are some great companies out there that will take care of all the technical stuff for you ( for example).  Now more than ever it's important for artists to stay current and accessible. 

Check out my top five reasons to get on Rock Band:

Reach a new global market: People all over the world play Rock Band, so why shouldn't they be playing your songs?  Even one song could be the start of an entire fan base halfway around the world.

Viral explosion: Rock Band parties are popular.  All over, people get together, not only to play the game, but also to listen to new music.  Between spreading by word of mouth and on-line resources like Facebook, Rock Band can be the start of a chain reaction of new fans.

Bring your fans to the next level: Everyone wants to be a part of the music.  Give your listeners the chance to play along with you.  You'll help create a deeper connection to the music for your fans.

Rake it in: Not only do you get paid when someone buys your song on Rock Band, but the increased fan base can also raise record and concert sales.

Stay Modern:  Keep up to date on the latest ways to get your music heard and sold.

By, Tom Thibodeau

Why Should I work with Distrophonix?

Why Should I work with Distrophonix?

There are literally hundreds of companies out there that can get your music into iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, etc.  With all of those choices, why should you choose Distrophonix over the other guys?  Here is why!!!
  The other guys charge a sign up fee.  We do not!  It’s ALWAYS FREE to sign up with us!!!  Those that charge a sign up fee only care about getting that initial money.  That’s how they make their money.  We on the other hand care about you as an artist.  We want you to be successful!  The more success you have, the better we do.  So we have a major motivating factor to make your music sell, unlike the other guys!!!
The other guys get your music into just a few stores, in just a few select countries. We are different! We will get your music into 300+ stores WORLDWIDE!!!
We help market your music through the use of internet radio, podcasts, blogs, and social networks.  We even offer opportunities to get ads in major publications like AP and AMP magazine!  The other guys don’t offer that!
We help to get you sponsorship and licensing opportunities.  Most recently we have helped some of our bands get deals with Microsoft, Airwalk, and Warped Tour!
We are REAL people!  We want to get to know our artists and help them in anyway possible.  As a Distrophonix customer you are free to contact us anytime to get advice on recording, booking, ordering merch, and any other music related questions you may have.  Our team is made up of ONLY musicians!  Some of us have been in the music industry now for 20 years.  We are experts at what we do!  So next time you have a question and need some advice pick up the phone and give us a call.  Or better yet, if you happen to be in Baltimore go ahead and stop by for a visit!
Want to learn more about what we can do for you?  Check us out at!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Should You Move to Nashville, NYC, or Los Angeles?

Should You Move to Nashville, NYC, or Los Angeles?

Got this in my email box...
I live in Ottawa, Canada and have been struggling for the past 5 years to keep a band together long enough to build momentum with my music. Every time i start building, some idiot quits for what has become an encyclopedia of reasons. I've heard them ALL. I have a professionally recorded and partially mixed album (which i wrote and co-produced) filled with what people describe as 'bloody awesome' tunes. Mike Turner (Our Lady Peace), Dave McMillan, Jason Pierce, Shawn Lefevbre and Adam Kasper all worked with me on it. People keep saying 'if you can't conquer your city 1st, don't expect to conquer the world', but i can't get anywhere here. 
My question is this: Would you recommend packing up and moving to a better music mecca, or staying and marketing myself as an individual artist (rather than my band), maybe getting interest from an indy label that way and hooking up with the right musicians then??
Good question! Am going to answer it in two parts. The first about the general concept of moving and the second with something specifically regarding Ottawa (and Canada in general)...

I think it's great to be in a "music center" like Nashville, NYC, or Los Angeles. You'll have a lot of opportunity that you won't have in a city without a similar infrastructure of all things music business, such as labels, managers, studios. or other quality musicians.

With that said, you don't have to be in one of these cities to do well in the music business. Sometimes, it may actually be better that you're not, since the "that's the way we do things around here" mindset is common and may not work for what you're doing. I love Nashville as much as anybody, but an inability to think differently from what everybody else is doing has killed off (or changed beyond repair) a lot of really cool projects that simply didn't fit the mold.

So the answer is, "I don't know." But I do know that keeping a band together can be tough anywhere you are. If you're thinking of moving though, I'd suggest a couple of trips to check out where you want to move to-- one during an event such as a music conference or festival and one on a random week when nothing special is happening. I'd also try to connect with "locals" online, via songwriting and musician organizations.
Before doing that though, the first thing I'd look at is yourself... In this case, specifically about how you're connecting with other band members.

From my experience, the best results come from when you're very clear about who you are, what you want, and where you want to go. Clarity if half the least.

For more info on the subject, check out this episode of Music Business Radio with Chris Pandolfi. He's in a band called The Infamous Stringdusters and talked a lot about keeping a band on the same page and moving forward. And The Infamous Stringdusters has six people, so he knows as much as anybody!

About your specific location...

One of the things about Canada that I love is that you have an audience that is hungry for Canadian acts. It's very easy for many countries, especially one so close to the United States, to get lost in the music that is created here. The upside of that though, is that the "local boy makes good" act can absolutely kill it.
So why aren't more acts conquering Canada? The main one is that it's huge and you're going to have to hit the road to make it happen... That means playing all the little towns from Toronto to Vancouver. If you can though, you can have a long career. Just ask Trooper or any of the other Canadian bands still working after 30+ years of doing it.
Best wishes!