Crowdfunding Bible Book Cover Crowdfunding Bible Book Cover

Should You Crowdfund Your Next Video Or Album?

Professional keynote speaker Scott Steinberg is a leading expert on leveraging new technology trends to enhance business strategy and family life. A noted industry consultant and bestselling author, the following is excerpted from his new book The Crowdfunding Bible is 100% free to download at CrowdFundingGuides.com, or in eBook form on Apple, Nook and Sony Reader devices.

The practice of crowdfunding, or posting pitches online in hopes of soliciting public donations via the Internet, has been all over the news lately thanks to the exploding popularity of websites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo. Recent success stories such as the Pebble E-Paper Watch ($10 million for an Internet-ready watch) and Double Fine Adventure ($3.3 million for an old-school adventure game) are just the tip of the iceberg, however.

Thanks to the rise of crowdfunding services from RocketHub to Peerbackers and Ulule, entertainers of all stripes – bands, actors, directors, filmmakers, aspiring TV producers, etc. – are also successfully turning to the practice to launch new movies, music videos and more. Considering adopting a crowd funded business model as a way to raise money for your next concert, event, CD single or album? Consider the following before kick-starting any campaign.

Crowdfunding Pros

You control everything, including costs, timing, delivery, creative vision and execution, marketing and customer interactions.

You keep your equity: Projects and businesses remain 100% yours.

You get to test and prove out the popularity of your model, using as little as a prototype or preproduction materials.

You may also be able to test elements of your product’s marketing approach and how well individual promotional aspects or overarching campaigns resonate with target consumers.

You can sometimes make much more than you ever intended, or asked for. Under traditional investment scenarios, entrepreneurs must typically supply detailed business plans and budgets that justify their funding requests, negotiate the transfer of ownership stakes, and haggle over the actual value of their enterprise. Some companies and projects may require multiple rounds of funding, each of which demands additional negotiations and compromises, with the added risk (and stress) of having to prove the validity and worth of your project at each step. With crowdfunding, if your product resonates strongly with your audience, you may well exceed your funding target. Successful campaigns have raised as much as 4x or even 8x their original funding goals.

Lucky or well-run crowdfunding projects can begin sourcing contributions with as little as a polished pitch – and may exceed funding goals many times over, without having to justify each additional dollar contributed. (Caveat: Such scenarios are not necessarily the norm, but happen often enough to take into consideration when debating which investment channels to use.) Unlike traditional investment ventures, which adhere closely to predefined game plans and budgets, some projects may even grow in feature set, scope and/or ambition with the extra money generated. One point to be aware of, however: As the market for pre-retailing your product develops, the bar will be raised as to what customers expect in terms of “sales materials” for crowdfunding efforts. You should always benchmark your project materials against those of similar campaigns in your chosen field or genre.

If at first you don’t succeed… Should you fail to meet your goal, you lose nothing (other than time and the occasional dent to your public image) and can try again, with an improved plan and presentation. Generally, if you fail to impress investors, you can consider yourself very lucky if they’ll give you a second chance. Bear in mind when considering rebooting campaigns, though: If you are targeting the same customers or audience, they may well remember your earlier campaign, and its failure may have negative consequences.

You can pre-sell your product or service, and depending on the costs associated with it, you may be able to get more than the actual retail value from backers who believe in your project. You’re also mitigating risk and earning capital that can be directly applied towards production and marketing costs at the same time.

An unexpected benefit of crowdfunding campaigns is that you will often receive very useful advice – and even tangible offers of assistance – from backers, who, after all, want you to succeed and will do everything they can to help you get there.

Your backers become your built-in marketing team and crew of brand evangelists, helping to promote your project to all their friends and contacts.

Crowdfunding Cons

It’s stressful. Talk to almost anyone who has run a crowdfunding project, and they’ll tell you that running a campaign isn’t easy, and that it’s usually filled with unexpected ups and downs – even when successful. On the emotional roller coaster scale, think Space Mountain… not the kiddie rides.

Plotting successful crowdfunding ventures demands a different kind of preparation than traditional product pitches. You’re reaching out to end consumers, not professional investors – a completely different and far more diverse audience. This may require knowledge of consumer marketing, social networks and social marketing techniques in order to converse with these customers, as well as some familiarity with customer acquisition and conversion as well.

It puts you and your ideas out directly in front of the public – and, potentially, the line of fire. Crowdfunding isn’t for the faint of heart or the terminally bashful. There’s also no opportunity to operate in stealth mode, meaning that competitors may be able to capitalize on public knowledge of your company or product.

Success requires investing tireless effort into ongoing social marketing campaigns, and constant self-promotion, throughout the entire duration of the fundraising campaign. If you’re shy, guarded or soft-spoken by nature, you’ll have to get over these tendencies to run a successful crowdfunding campaign – or find someone else to serve as a project spokesperson.

It requires that you be very creative about drumming up interest in your project, and it means you will be constantly looking for new ways to publicize, promote and otherwise call attention to your campaigns and surrounding efforts.

It doesn’t always work. That’s not to say that you should be discouraged about the chances of successfully crowdfunding a project, but you do have to be realistic, and prepare yourself for potential failure. This often means having to have a Plan B – and C, D, etc.

Crowdfunding requires that your project – whatever its theme, scope or contents – be something that interests a sufficient number of people strongly enough to motivate them to part with hard-earned cash. Part of the process of evaluating whether to undertake a crowdfunding effort is to take a careful, critical look at your project and assess the size of the potential audience to whom it will appeal, as well as the perceived value it will bring them. When you are executing the campaign, you’ll have to target this market specifically, and you’ll need to strategize how to engage them where they consume media, news, opinions and insights on a regular, running basis – no small task.

With crowdfunding, you assume responsibility for dealing with an often larger and potentially more diverse set of backers than under traditional investment scenarios – all of whom may have differing expectations and demands. Likewise, few examples exist thus far that illustrate the ramifications of crowdfunded products that have not been released, or where a product was pitched and funded, but a wildly different product was ultimately released. Consider the potential impact to your projects, livelihood and business.

Finally, no matter how interesting your project is, know that you will be competing against other projects – many of which may be vying for the same target audience, share of voice and pool of disposable income. And, as crowdfunding grows in popularity and notoriety, the commercial landscape will become even more competitive.

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2019 Academy Awards: 'Black Panther,' Spike Lee, Regina King Among The Nominees

The 2019 Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday (Jan. 22), and some of our favorites are up for some big awards. The highly-coveted nominations were announced by Tracee Ellis Ross and Kumail Nanjiani.

Black Panther is up for seven awards, including Best Picture. It will be up against the likes of BlacKkKlansman for the night's biggest honor. The Spike Lee-joint is up for six awards including Best Director, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Adam Driver), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score. Barry Jenkins garnered a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for If Beale Street Could Talk.

As for acting awards, Regina King was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her part in If Beale Street Could Talk. The role won her a Golden Globe Award earlier this month. Mahershala Ali is also up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Green Book. If he wins, this will be his second Academy Award.

Hip-hop also got a some love from the Academy. Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s collaboration “All The Stars” from the film Black Panther was nominated for “Best Original Song.” This means the song’s writers K. Dot, SZA, Al Shux, Sounwave, and Anthony ‘Top Dawg’ Tiffith could all go home with a statuette at the end of the night. Ludwig Goransson also may receive a win for his work on Black Panther's Original Score.

The Oscars have been under a microscope as of late, due to controversy surrounding the initial host for the event, Kevin Hart, and his nearly-decade old homophobic tweets. After stepping down from his role amidst scrutiny, the event will not have a host.

The 91 Annual Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 24 at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater. Take a look at the full list of nominees below.

Best Picture BlacKkKlansman Black Panther Bohemian Rhapsody The Favourite Green Book Roma A Star Is Born Vice

Best Director Alfonso Cuaron (Roma) Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) Adam McKay (Vice) Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)

Best Actress Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) Glenn Close (The Wife) Olivia Colman (The Favourite) Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Best Actor Christian Bale (Vice) Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born) Willem Dafoe (At Eternity's Gate) Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role Amy Adams (Vice) Marina de Tavira (Roma) Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) Emma Stone (The Favourite) Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role Mahershala Ali (Green Book) Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman) Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born) Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) Sam Rockwell (Vice)

Best Costume Design The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Mary Zophres) Black Panther (Ruth E. Carter) The Favourite (Sandy Powell) Mary Poppins Returns (Sandy Powell) Mary Queen of Scots (Alexandra Byrne)

Best Sound Editing Black Panther Bohemian Rhapsody First Man A Quiet Place Roma

Best Sound Mixing Black Panther Bohemian Rhapsody First Man Roma A Star Is Born

Best Animated Short Animal Behaviour Bao Late Afternoon One Small Step Weekends

Best Live-Action Short Detainment Fauve Marguerite Mother Skin

Best Film Editing BlacKkKlansman (Barry Alexander Brown) Bohemian Rhapsody (John Ottman) The Favourite (Yorgos Mavropsaridis) Green Book (Patrick J. Don Vito) Vice (Hank Corwin)

Best Original Score Black Panther (Ludwig Grandson) BlacKkKlansman (Terence Blanchard) If Beale Street Could Talk (Nicholas Britell) Isle of Dogs (Alexandre Desplat) Mary Poppins Returns (Marc Shaiman)

Best Documentary Feature Free Solo Hale County This Morning, This Evening Minding the Gap Of Fathers and Sons RBG

Best Documentary Short Subject Black Sheep End Game Lifeboat A Night at the Garden Period. End of Sentence.

Best Foreign-Language Film Capernaum (Lebanon) Cold War (Poland) Never Look Away (Germany) Roma (Mexico) Shoplifters (Japan)

Best Production Design Black Panther (Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart) The Favourite (Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton) First Man (Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas) Mary Poppins Returns (John Myhre and Gordon Sim) Roma (Eugenio Caballero and Barbara Enriquez)

Best Visual Effects Avengers: Infinity War Christopher Robin First Man Ready Player One Solo: A Star Wars Story

Best Cinematography The Favourite (Robbie Ryan) Never Look Away (Caleb Deschanel) Roma (Alfonso Cuaron) A Star Is Born (Matty Libatique) Cold War (Lukasz Zal)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling B order Mary Queen of Scots Vice

Best Animated Feature Incredibles 2 Isle of Dogs Mirai Ralph Breaks the Internet Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Adapted Screenplay A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters and Eric Roth) The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott) If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)

Best Original Screenplay The Favourite (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara) First Reformed (Paul Schrader) Green Book (Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga) Roma (Alfonso Cuaron) Vice (Adam McKay)

Best Original Song "All the Stars" (Black Panther, written by Kendrick Lamar, Al Shux, Sounwave, SZA and Anthony Tiffith) Performed by Kendrick Lamar and SZA

"I'll Fight" (RBG, written by Diane Warren) Performed by Jennifer Hudson

"The Place Where Lost Things Go" (Mary Poppins Returns, written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman) Performed by Emily Blunt

"Shallow" (A Star Is Born, written by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt) Performed by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga

"When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, written by Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch) Performed by Tim Blake Nelson and Willie Watson

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2 Chainz Highlights His Riches And Accomplishments On “Stay Woke Freestyle”

Rightfully so, it’s no secret that 2 Chainz’s levels of bragging can reach astronomical heights. But when he lays it on wax for listeners, it’s more of a motivational tool to get your own piece of the pie than another artist displaying their wealth.

On Monday (Jan. 21), the “Spend It” rapper released “Stay Woke Freestyle” to fanfare. The nearly three-minute song places the Atlanta native in a space of reflection while letting fans know that his season of rap domination is upon us.

He kicks it off: “I got a bag, I’m working/ Her bag, is Birkin/ My past, ain’t perfect/ I brag, on purpose.” Produced by Buddha Bless, the single begins with an interpolation of Ghost Town DJs’ “My Boo” hit and "Swag Surfin" by Fast Life Yungstaz. The flow is also reminiscent of what fans can expect from 2 Chainz, a topic that was recently brought into contention when Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” song and video supposedly took its cue from not only him, but also Soulja Boy.

In early 2018, 2 Chainz announced the forthcoming release of his next studio album, Rap Or Go To The League. Within the announcement, the Pretty Girls Like Trap Music artist said the project will speak to the racial climate of America today.

“With the height of racial tensions in America, felt I should do my part in explaining some of the brain washing formulas used in my community, this next album not only touches on those who did succeed thru entertainment but those who didn’t,” he said.

With the height of racial tensions in America, felt I should do my part in explaining some of the brain washing formulas used in my community , this next album not only touches on those who did succeed thru entertainment but those who didn't ! Welcome to Rap or Go TO THE LEAGUE ! pic.twitter.com/F1BRPL3mRR

— Tity Boi (2 Chainz) (@2chainz) February 17, 2018

Spin the melody below.

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French Authorities Reportedly Investigating Rape Claim Against Chris Brown

French authorities are reportedly investigating Chris Brown after a woman allegedly accused the R&B singer of rape. According to the French tabloid, Closer, a 24-year-old woman claims that Brown raped her in his hotel room.

The unidentified woman alleges that she met Brown at a Parisian night club in rue de Ponthieu, near the Champs-Elysées, on the night of Jan. 15 into Jan. 16, before heading back to his room at the La Mandarin Oriental. The woman also accused Brown’s bodyguard of abuse, Closer reports.

Brown was recently spotted taking in the festivities of Paris Fashion Week, and smooching rumored flame, Ammika Harris. The “Undecided” singer shared video from dance rehearsal in the French city over the weekend. He has not commented on the reported rape allegation.

Brown is currently embroiled in a separate civil lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Brown's friend, Lowell Grissom, during a party at the Grammy winner's home last year. Brown requested that the lawsuit be dismissed.

“For the last 10 years anybody who comes at him should know they're going to meet the full force of my firm,” the Virginia native's lawyer, Mark Geragos, warned in an interview last year.

The woman has since filed court documents on Jan. 7, asking a judge to block Brown’s request that she give up phone and text records citing privacy concerns. According to The Blast, the woman asserts that she already turned over hundreds of documents, including text messages, emails and medical records.

 

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