Your fans come to shows and follow you on social media because they like you, they enjoy your music, something about what you’re doing speaks to them. Foster that enthusiasm by giving them an opportunity to get to know you better!
There are literally thousands of ideas out there for different experiences you can offer your fans. Check out a few of your favorite bands and see what they’re doing! In the meantime, here are a few basic ideas:
- backstage meet and greets
- front-row seats
- skype guitar lessons
- custom-written songs for fans
- house concerts
- cover song requests
- shout outs on social media
The best thing about experiences is that they’re a relatively easy thing for you to give to fans – AND they can be really fun! It’s invigorating to meet and interact with people who are really psyched about your music.
We want to reinforce the idea that unique and exclusive merchandise offers can bring in a lot of revenue.
- exclusive downloads
- merchandise packages
- hand-drawn album artwork
- so many other things!
REMEMBER – you can now sell your merch through Spotify!
Subscriptions and Crowdfunding
While it is now wildly easy to get music for free, that doesn’t mean that a lot of your fans wouldn’t want to support you financially – you just have to give them the opportunity! Subscription services and crowdfunding can help you make a sustainable living.
There are several different sites now that allow musicians to connect with financial “patrons” – just like artists did in the old days. While each site is slightly different, the concept is similar – “help fund our music, and we’ll give you awesome perks (in the form of exclusive content, experiences, etc.)”.
Bandcamp just introduced a new subscription service where fans pay you a monthly fee in exchange for exclusive access to your new content, free streams of your back catalog… whatever you want, really.
YouTube recently added an optional crowdfunding feature to channels, which is basically a tip jar for your videos.
Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and RocketHub are incredibly popular with musicians, helping you raise a large amount of money over a set period of time. Many bands use these crowdfunding websites to fund albums or tours.
Patreon and Pledge Music take a more long-term approach, encouraging fans to become a larger part of the creative process and help their favorite artists create music and videos in a sustainable way. This is similar to – though more in-depth than – the Bandcamp subscription service.
Whether you’re recording an album, making a music video, planning a tour, creating merchandise, or just trying to pay the bills, creating a crowdfunding campaign not only allows you to sustain a career as an independent musician – it gives your fans the opportunity to take part in a unique experience. Give them the chance to support you, and they will! Plus, you’ll probably get some more exposure along the way – and new fans never hurt!
In the end, if you offer your fans things that they really want, they will pay a lot of money to get them. In this day and age, what fans want the most is the chance to make personal connections with the musicians they love. Give them that chance, and you’ll be amazed what happens.