On Episode 136, Richard talks to Ali Spagnola, Funding the Dream’s first legitimate rock star: Ali Spagnola. Ali is using Indie Go-Go to crowdfund the “Freedom Victory Tour” of her rock show “Power Hour”. She has raised over $30,000 toward her goal of $40,000, and has over 1,000 backers.
Ali is a great guest, and her story is compelling. As a young person, she quit her job to take her Power Hour show on the road full time, and to sell her albums online. Then, a Trademark Troll registered (wrongfully, as it turns out), the mark “Power Hour”, and sent her a Cease and Desist letter. Which Ali ignored.
But Apple and Amazon and the other online retailers could not ignore the trademark registration, and her albums came down.
Ali did not crumble and say “oh well” and go back to her day job. Ali fought for her art. Ali hired a lawyer, and three years and $30,000 later, she won. The Trademark Office admitted that the name “Power Hour” was not properly trademarkable, and Ali was free to resume her tours and album sales.
This Indie Go-Go campaign celebrates her legal victory, and Richard talked to Ali about several interesting parts of her campaign. First, she makes great use of video, and Ai talks about how she used a YouTube Channel of her project videos to reach fans and funders. Next, Ali used even the $1 pledge level to give funders the opportunity to vote on where her tour should play (a pretty cool idea), and finally, because her project – a music tour – can play in one place or in many, Ali used Indie Go-Go rather than Kickstarter, for its Flexible Funding feature. With Indie Go-Go, a project owner can choose the Flexible Funding option and get to keep the money pledged, even if the total does not reach the funding goal. This was perfect for Ali, because missing her goal did not matter that much – she could simply tour fewer cities.
Richard asked Ali her advice for running a successful crowdfunding campaign: Be passionate about what you do, and that will come across to your audience. Great advice!
~ Scott Pfeiffer is a business consultant at Marshall Fredrick & Company (www.marshallfredrick.com ) and is the Lead Writer for the Funding the Dream-Team. Follow him on twitter @fscottp, or link with him at www.linkedin.com/in/scottpfeiffer/
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