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MMM Podcast Episode #7 – Kickstarter for the “DIY Musician” With Kat Parsons

by John Oszajca on July 24, 2012

Kat ParsonsRecently I reported on Amanda Palmer’s astonishing Kickstarter success, when the indie artist raised over 1.2 million dollars to help promote her upcoming album/book release.

However many readers pointed out that Amanda Palmer is by no means your average musician. She has a major label past, a huge following, managers, publicists, and a reportedly large mailing list.

Fair enough…

So I thought it important that I let you hear directly from another musician who has had considerable success on Kickstarter, but who also perhaps shares more commonality with the average musician who is out their fighting the good fight each and every day.

Her name is Kat Parsons’. Kat is a singer songwriter from Los Angeles, and also happens to be one of my favorite members of the Music Marketing Insider Circle.

Kat recently released her first album with much help from a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised over $20,000 in donations.

Kat does not have a record label, manager, or expensive publicist, or any highfalutin major label past. Rather she is a your average musician, making good music, working hard at the “business” side of things, and just generally kicking ass when it comes to her career.

So if you were skeptical of Kickstarter after hearing Amanda Palmer’s story, listen to the latest episode of the Music Marketing Manifesto Podcast and see what you think.

Just go to itunes > Search “Music Marketing Manifesto” > and subscribe. The episode will begin to download immediately. You can also access the Music Marketing Manifesto itunes page here <==

If you’d prefer you can also listen here on the site. Just click the play button below…

And if you’d like to learn more about Kat Parsons’, you can download a free track from her most recent album at KatParsonsMusic.com

Oh yeah, and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you a Kickstarter convert or still unconvinced? Let me know via the comments below.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin August 22, 2012 at 5:39 am

Hi John – I’m wondering if you would mind telling me how you put the Facebook comments on your posts? Was it a WP plugin, and if so, which one? Thanks

Robin

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John Oszajca August 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Hi Robin,

Great question. It is just a wordpress plug in called “Facebook Comments for Wordpress Here is a link to the plugin site:
http://we8u.com/facebook-comments

But there are quite a few different options out there.

Get in touch if I can ever help with anything else

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Heather Miller August 5, 2012 at 4:23 am

Great interview! I’m using Kickstarter for

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Heather Miller August 5, 2012 at 4:27 am

whoops! I was saying, I’m using Kickstarter for my first EP and my goal is much more modest, but I’ve reached it with a couple days to spare and the whole experience has been really amazing! Building a big camaraderie/team feeling and excitement for the release that I’m not sure I could do on my own site as effectively. Or at least not as effectively with my available time and amount of expertise!

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John Oszajca August 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Hi Heather,

That’s great to hear that you reached your target, for sure! Keep us in the loop about how things are going.

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Pamela Mortensen July 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

ohn and Kat,

Thank you so much for this podcast. It’s answered a lot of questions I had about Kickstarter. I’m especially grateful for addressing the “begging” points of this kind of platform. In all honesty, it’s one reason why I’ve shied away from this kind of platform. But there are some really great practical and creative points and ideas here for getting a successful campaign going. It’s got me a bit excited about giving it a whirl at the same being creative with it. Many, many thanks.

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John Oszajca July 24, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Thanks Pamela,

I know what you mean. The “begging” aspect of it was the reservation I had as well. But recent events have shown me how it doesn’t need to come off that way at all. Thanks for the comment.

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Pamela Mortensen July 25, 2012 at 5:59 am

John, Today I went to Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter page to see what I could learn and there is a lot there. From there I went to a few other pages to see what creative ideas folks are using and what sort incentives they offer up. It’s really spawned some ideas for a campaign in the near future. Many thanks again. And now to work…..

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John Oszajca July 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Thanks Pamela, that’s awesome to hear.

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Corey Koehler July 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I was in the “it feels like begging” camp but I think you guys brought up some great points and have changes my mind a little. Time to start mulling this over. Thanks!

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John Oszajca July 24, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Thanks Corey,

I really appreciate the comment.

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Kat Parsons July 25, 2012 at 4:49 am

Mull away and may it all go wonderfully!

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Bill July 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm

“Kat recently released her first album with much help from a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised over $20,000 in donations.”
Not True.
By her own words she raised $20,000.00 in 2005 for an album/cd through her own efforts. (In 2012 $s about $24,000.00) (Related to Gram Parsons?). She also has had success through other personal efforts, Concerts, email, etc.
She is to be commended for diligence and variety of sourcing.
Good manufactured press for Kat, MMM, John, Et al. but generally disingenuous.

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Charley July 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Wow. You haven’t spent much time talking to either Kat or John, have you? “Disingenuous” is not a word I would associate with either person.

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Charley July 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I listened to the interview again, and I really don’t see what was not honest about it. She said she raised about $17,500 through the kickstarter site, and about $1,800 at a fundraising concert. Yeah, she worked her butt off building a fanbase. You don’t think this works without fans, do you?

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John Oszajca July 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Lol, thanks Charley. I can’t really track with the original comment at all, but hey, everyone gets an opinion. Pretty straight forward interview about how Kat raised the money to support her latest album. Perhaps Bill didn’t listen to the interview. I’ll let the interview speak for itself. Can’t please all the people all the time ;-)

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Kat Parsons July 25, 2012 at 4:54 am

Hey Bill-

I’m sorry to hear you feel this way – authenticity is VERY important to me. I just realized what your comment means re: the album…yes, that is a mistake! It is not my first album….I’ve had 2 albums out and an EP…this is my 2nd EP…apologies for the misprint. For clarity’s sake, I’ll outline the information- if there is different information somewhere else, that is a mistake.

For my 2005 album, I raised a little over $18k through crowdfunding (using paypal….not using an official crowdfunding website).

For the 3 Eps intended to be released in 2012, I raised: $17,727.00 on the Kickstarter Website PLUS at a live show Kickstarter fundraiser party in LA raising a total of $19.561.11. Not sure where you saw $24k.

I WISH I was related to Gram AND Alan…sometimes I like to pretend.

Not sure how talking about my Kickstarter project to other musicians is going to be great manufactured press for me, but I sure hope it is useful to someone!

Best.

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Scott July 25, 2012 at 8:09 am

So get out of your mom’s basement and go get your own record funded and then some day someone might want to manufacture some press for YOU! In the meantime, try not to miss the point so much. These people are trying to help you. Get it?

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Michael Pickett July 28, 2012 at 12:04 am

??? Having listened to most of the interview now, I can’t really understand what clocks in as ‘disingenuous’. I actually appreciate the content because I have really not wanted to consider fan-funding or Kickstarter, but am glad to have additional info/effort on Kat and John’s part to further wrap my mind around how it might work for my career. As for additional press for John…I post just about every link John posts on my FB page and flag my indie musician friends in this regard. Am I being disingenuous? I hope not…as my intent is to give musician-friends info they might not otherwise have to move themselves forward (which I believe is at the heart of MMM as a whole). I guess the old saying rings true…no such thing as bad press. Thanks for this content.

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Will Black July 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Great podcast, John.

I’m right in the middle of successfully growing my fanbase via MMM 2.0 methods (mailing list / weekly newsletter) for a late Fall fan-pledge campaign for an early 2013 recording project.

Rock on,

Will

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John Oszajca July 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Thanks Will. Best of luck with your release.

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Charley July 24, 2012 at 5:07 am

As a musician myself, Kat is one of my indie heros! I love her latest CD. She’s an entertaining writer and blogger. Ohh…and she’s one of the nicest people you will ever meet (hey, with an email address that includes, “KatLovesYou,” what would you expect?!).

Now I have to go listen to the rest of the interview…but I wanted to be the first one to post. She is an indie musician who is doing a LOT of things the right way!

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John Oszajca July 24, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Thanks for the comment Charley. Kat is definitely kickin’ some ass and doing a lot of things right.

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Kat Parsons July 25, 2012 at 4:55 am
Scott July 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I agree. Kat’s emails and blog posts are awesome (katparsonsmusic.com to get on the list) and so is her new EP! Not to mention that she’s great live and she’s one of the most thoughtful people I know. Kat Rocks! \m/

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