By: Mishael Bates
Artists, whether upcoming or well established, have plenty of ways to keep their name circling around the internet. One popular option that many indie artists cater to is “crowdfunding” — the act of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. The main highlight of crowdfunding could be seen as treating your fans as true friends, giving back to them and in return raising money for future projects and fun activities that can involve direct interaction with your listeners. Tyler, The Creator’s annual “Camp Flog Gnaw” is a prime example of this; a giant carnival style concert featuring acres of real amusement park rides and a galore of well known artists in the performance roster. To a less formal approach, artists can also communicate to their fans through artist-to-fan online communities and forums like “PledgeMusic” or even “Reddit” that allow fans to form and pitch in their own ideas together with others for a possible real life outcome; a “majority rules” type thing. Also (on occasion), answering questions brought to you by your followers on social media without giving them too much insight is another form of basic communication that creates attention and generates response you could use for reference. Giving your fans special access to new and application exclusive material and privileges through a monthly subscription is another great way to raise money while bringing in potential new customers. Again as a great example, Tyler’s “Golf Media” app serves just as stated. Holding smaller house concerts locally instead of being booked for bigger gigs is also an innovative way to raise funds and gain new fans. Hypothetically speaking, you could charge $5 per ticket and only 60 people could show up. You’d still rack up $300 that you’d get to pocket completely, seeing as you provided the equipment, and the people; the venue just allowed you to host no charge. Free email list subscriptions are another informal approach to communicate with your fans, updating them with upcoming projects, shows, merchandise and other goodies. Just giving your listeners an update every now and then about what’s going on with your work will have them feeling like they are a part of the experience altogether. There can be some disadvantages through some of these approaches, but it all depends on your consistency with your methods and discretion (you don’t want to become somewhat of a nuisance). You also need to come up with ways that appeal to the majority, but still have room for the minority; crowd pleasing essentially. For example, some people might not check their email so often, and believe it or not some people won’t have even $5 to pay for your monthly subscription service (or there’s a possibility they wouldn’t want to pay for it). As an artist you want to provide ways for all who listen to your music to become potential super fans without causing yourself too much money initially or driving already loyal fans away with your various financial propositions. In my opinion, everything I listed has strong properties in bringing in more bank and fans for any artist out there, with the right discernment.