How microfunding sites like Kickstarter can stifle success.

Michael Epstein suggests that microfunding better suits a label model, where funders on a Kickstarter-type campaign can invest in a slate of projects rather than in a particular artist. Scott Andrew notes that sites like RocketHub encourage some acts to put the cart before the horse, raising money from an audience they haven’t yet cultivated.

I stick by what I wrote in Grow Your Band’s Audience. For most artists, recording more than a handful of demo tracks ultimately distracts from the process of building the kind of audience that can support long-term patronage. Unless you’ve got a war chest of savings in the bank and an independent income stream, it’s more important for you to focus on developing a powerful live gig before trying to cut an entire album.

Now that you can quickly bust out multitrack demos on an inexpensive laptop, you don’t have to abandon recording altogether. String together a bunch of singles, release them through a service like Tunecore, and you can scratch that itch. I love that Kickstarter, Sellaband, and Rockethub have grown into powerful tools that automate the fundraising process. However, you’re in this to become good at entertaining, not good at fundraising. You’re still going to earn more money faster by booking live gigs and creating solid experiences for your growing audience.