Kickstarter Campaigns for Artists – And Interview with David Bowden

Hal Elrod Author of The Miracle Morning: His 1 Year Total Life Transformation
December 5, 2012
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June 9, 2015

David Bowden’s Successful Kickstarter Campaign


So, I had the amazing opportunity to interview my absolute favorite spoken word artist, David Bowden as one of his Kickstarter bonuses to backers for his first film project, “12”.

Now, I absolutely adore the way he has perfected the use of cinematography, music and spoken word to create an art form that is absolutely captivating.

I let David know early on in the interview that I did not really agree with the message behind the project, but that I would back him in any kind of work he puts out as a fan. Fanatics, we’re fanatical, that’s what we do.

Now, it is somewhat of a secret that I spent a lot of time in December spending a lot of time and even a little money to promote this project because I believe in artists creating their work. And, I believe that artists that create work of this caliber should be richly rewarded.



1:16 – David Bowden Shares the Journey to Discovering Kickstarter as a Way to Fund His Art

4:44 – Pledgemusic vs. Kickstarter

6:38 – What to Do When You Hit Your Fundraising Goal on Kickstarter Much Sooner than Expected

7:30 – My Favorite David Bowden Poem and his Process for Creating Majestic Art

11:33 – The David Bowden Poetry Production Team

13:37 – What Other Art Forms Does David Bowden Do? (surprise releases revealed)

17:26 – David Bowden’s Business Model – Creating Poetry on Purpose

18:30 – Get the “12” Album: http://davidbowdenpoetry.bandcamp.com/ (It’s visually stunning, amazing experience.)

19:54 – How to memorize your poetry (coffee helps:)

21:48 – David Leaks Info About His Latest Project (Background story)


Do you tweet? CONNECT WITH DAVID BOWDEN ON TWITTER (follow @davidbpoetry)


Is Facebook more your thing? CONNECT WITH DAVID ON FACEBOOK (like his fan page and stay tuned.)


Just want to experience the video magic? CONNECT WITH DAVID ON YOUTUBE (subscribe)


If you just want the merch and or other fan swag just go to David Bowden’s main website and click on STORE: http://www.davidbowdenpoetry.com/home.html

is important to note that David has been a fan base and a list of contacts from various performances over the year. So, when he turned up the auto-tweets and Facebook posts about his project, he had some reach.

Artists that are not plugged into their fan base online have a harder time with Kickstarter Campaigns. And, I just knew that I was one of those fans that was out of touch. I, quite by chance, happened to see a Facebook post on the live feed, but I could have easily missed it because I usually ignore the thing.

And, Twitter is a mess of tweets that I don’t really read. I wasn’t on his mailing list because I battle bulging email inbox every day. I’m always unsubscribing from things that are not directly related to my current projects.

So, if you are an artist looking to run a successful Kickstarter Campaign, here are a few pointers:

  • Build your mailing list by giving them fan stuff, unreleased stuff, you know…insider stuff.
  • Interact with your fans on Twitter (see: http://owlcitymusic.com/home). Answer their tweets or have a social media manager interact with them, available for as low as $4 in some places to keep the conversation going.
  • Fans are people. And, at the base level, they just want to feel valued. How do you accomplish that on Facebook? I’m sure you can think of something (like saying thank you, regularly, like giving fans a reason to return to your Facebook page regularly — why did they decided to follow what you are doing in the first place?
  • Pay attention to your super fans, you know, the ones that will volunteer to be a part of the “street team.” You’ll know who they are because they will act like they know you on Twitter, send you emails periodically to your booking email address, make fan art or covers of your songs…because you want to offer them the opportunity to organize themselves and help make your projects happen. They will. It’s fun. It’s a joy for them. And, possibly more rewarding for them than you can imagine.


How do I know this?


I am a superfan.

I love, serve and protect artists who I find worthwhile.  And, I’ve made some ridiculous fan art in the past, and spent a lot of time in fan communities working to further the cause: the cause of letting everyone in the world know how awesome George Sampson, Owl City, David Bowden or Orlando Bloom is…(hmmm, do I like any female artists???)


You can then organize your fans around a common purpose because you will have their attention. For this particular project I thought about where David Bowden’s fans might be hiding. So, I did a short video promotion through YouTube, I did a number of promotions on Christian Facebook Fan Pages, and I bought some retweets.

I noticed that the number one place where his fans were sharing their excitement was on Twitter, so had I been a social media manager for this campaign, I would have organized all of the fans on Twitter to take unified action. I observed this phenomenon (creating trending Twitter news through unified tweeting) recently with iCarly Star, Jennette McCurdy’s “…” campaign. I also noticed that Adam Young of Owl City is doing a similar push to a million Twitter followers while riding on the fame of his latest hit single “Good Time”.

I used to be a Mashable.com addict because I’m a little obsessed with new media and promotions. But, now I just stick to studying live campaigns. I’m still wowed by the first Obama Campaign, Scot Stratten’s Tweet-a-thon and many multi-million dollar Kickstarter campaigns that get funded because they are extremely connected.

This is wisdom of the Obama Campaign: “Show them the power they have. Then, show them the power they have together (to make something they believe in *an abstract idea* happen.”

This is some wisdom from Scott Stratten’s Tweet-a-thon: “Build social currency first through paying attention to people and promoting their projects.”

This is some wisdom from the multi-million dollar Kickstarter Campaigns: “Hire or consult experts. Plan out each phase; have a few update videos shot beforehand for milestones. Give frequent updates on the campaign. Dig deep into the fan base that loves to do grassroots stuff.”

A basic marketing principle applies here. Be specific (like step by step specific) when mobilizing your fans to spread the news about your project, and even with a small fan base, you can have amazing results!

P.S. I thought that I had got an nice video interview, but after it was rendered, I noticed there was only an audio feed recorded from his side, so we have this nice video placeholder. I, for one, do not want to stare at more than a few minutes of myself talking. So, without David Bodwen being in the video, I chose to scrap the entire video feed.

P.P.S: Here is the Kickstarter Project Page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1972989096/12-the-film


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