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Amanda Palmer: The Art of Asking, Dealing with Insecurity & Successful Crowdfunding

Joining us this week is musician and bestselling author Amanda Palmer. Amanda is the lead singer, pianist, and lyricist of the duo The Dresden Dolls, and has released numerous solo records to critical acclaim. In 2012 she became the first artist to raise over $1m on Kickstarter, with the resulting album, “Theatre Is Evil” charting in the US top 10.

Her TED talk on The Art of Asking went viral and was quickly followed by a book expanding on the subject which became a New York Times Bestseller. Hugely respected in the independent music industry, Amanda has a ton of advice to share. In this interview, we hear more about how artists can ask for the support of their audience, dealing with insecurity as an artist, and how artists can use crowdfunding effectively.

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Highlights: 

  • Amanda shares how artists don’t like asking for money, and how there is a stigma around crowdfunding
  • “I’d like to think now there’s less shame around crowdfunding” – Amanda Palmer
  • We share how we think Amanda has played a huge part in changing the perception around artists asking for support
  • “Are we really convinced that we’re better off not helping each other?” – Amanda Palmer
  • “You can’t think of asking for something as taking something from someone else – it’s a relationship” – Amanda Palmer
  • Anyone who has something to offer is asking for the structure to create something that matters to others
  • “There’s a real pleasure and honour in supporting artists to make the important work in society that needs to happen somehow” – Amanda Palmer
  • “We want music, and need it. How do we make sure those who create it are taken care of?” – Amanda Palmer
  • “You can’t put an exact value on a song or piece of journalism, but you know it’s important” – Amanda Palmer
  • When you ask someone in a way that gives them freedom to say no, they’re more likely to want to help you
  • We hear how Amanda feels insecure when comparing herself to other artists, and it’s something we can all relate to
  • “I find the best way of dealing with feelings of insecurity is to share them” – Amanda Palmer
  • “The best part of the job is when you put yourself on the line and create a connection” – Amanda Palmer

Advice: 

  • Part of your job as an artist is to hone the skill of asking for what you need
  • The ninja skillset is to be able to ask someone for support in a non-demanding way
  • “When you’re asking, make the other person feel totally comfortable saying no” – Amanda Palmer
  • Crowdfunding doesn’t supply you with an audience – you have to bring your own audience

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