You Have Not, Because You Ask Not

“…You do not have, because you do not ask…” James 4:2

The name of this website is “Protégé on Display.” As a student and pupil, I’ve ask mentors over and over again. “Do you have any tips for a successful career in the music industry?” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard  network, network, network, then I’d have enough money to buy all the business relationships I need.

However cliché, it still remains true. There are some things in life that can’t be bought. For example, “True fans.” Sure, you’ll find hundreds of websites selling followers, but purchasing click farm  fans is selling yourself short. And FYI, yes we can tell they’re fake.

The message I feel my mentors were trying to reinforce is the importance of truly connecting with people around you. Amanda Palmer is a woman who has mastered her people connection skills. She successfully raised nearly $1.2 million dollars on her Kickstarter.

Amanda Palmer Kickstarter.png

Yes, Amanda Palmer, this IS the future of music. In the previous blog, there is a brief mention of Kevin Kelly’s article “1,000 True Fans,” which makes the argument that a record label deal is not a prerequisite to success as an artist. Perhaps 1,000 TRUE fans, who are willing to spend $100 a year on an artist, is all anyone needs. In the bottom right corner of the photo above, it shows that Amanda Palmer only needed 24,883 True Fans to raise nearly $1.2 Million. How does she do that? This brings us to our next Myth buster.

Myth #2

You need to charge your fans to make a living as an artist.

The secret is revealed in her TEDTalks presentation below.


The title of her presentation is “The Art of Asking.” There was such a demand for more on this topic that Palmer is releasing a book, titled after the aforementioned presentation. Buy the book.

The Art of Asking (Hardcover)

Palmer is such a bold presence, that you’ll find reviews like “Amanda Palmer: Visionary or Egotist” or “The Most Hated Woman on the Internet.” But asking  fans for help is not a new concept. Mike Masnick was the keynote speaker at the 2009 Leadership Music Digital Summit. His thesis was the the formula CwF + RtB = $$$. Connecting with Fans + Reason to Buy = Money.


Throughout his presentation, Masnick gives examples of artists who don’t charge their fans, but instead they ask their fans. Masnick argued that artists shouldn’t freak out because music is being downloaded for free. The sky isn’t falling. The Sky is Rising. 

There is a new found comfort in the fact that we don’t have to ask a major record label’s permission for funding our projects as artists. Consequentially, we don’t have to ask a major record label if we kiss their feet enough, then will they pretty please make us successful? The major labels control a lot of different things, but whether or not you are successful is not one of them.

Pursue strategies that build a deeper connection with fans. The crowdfunding potential is worth the investment of your time and resources.

Tune in next time when we address the issue “I’ve hit a wall in my social media presence.”



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