Get The Help You Need – Ask Your Fans For It!

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For years artists have relied on their fans to buy CDs, shirts, and other merch for money. Artists have needed their fans to buy tickets to see them perform to raise money. Generally it’s through a trade of money for product that we ask our fans to support us. But now with social media sites like Facebook and fundraising platforms like Kickstarter, we can ask our fans for their support in more ways than before. Fans are the lifeblood of any artist, and by asking your fans directly for their help you tend to get more life from them.

Ask Your Fans For Their Financial Support

This is what artists have been doing for years by selling concert tickets and merchandise to their fans. But now with Kickstarter and other fundraising platforms, artists can extend what they offer or even just ask their fans to show their appreciation for what the artist does. As an artist, you can ask your fans to simply donate to support your efforts to produce a new album or finance a tour. With a “pay what you want” model, you can also allow your more supportive fans to show their enthusiasm by opting to pay a higher price for your products. Who says you “have” to sell your album for $0.99 per track? Why not let your fans decide what they think it is worth?

Ask Your Fans For Their Promotional Support

Street teams are a valuable resource for artists to have and utilize. And what is a street team but a group of eager fans ready to help spread the word about your music that they enjoy so much. Take advantage of the eagerness of your fans to market your music to potential new fans. Have a new single you are about to release? Release it for free using methods such as Tweet For A Track. Let your fans have the music for free simply because they took a few seconds to share your music to their social networks. Playing a show in a new city? Make a social media post asking your fans living in that area to help spread the word about it. Offer them some free swag if they print out and put up posters and flyers. Let your fans help you generate new fans.

Ask Your Fans For Their Creative Opinions

Creating a post on Facebook asking for your fans opinions is easy. Creating a survey for fans to fill out is easy too. Why not use methods like these to get your fans’ creative input. See what they think the title for the new album should be. Ask them what kind of music video would they like for a certain song. Give your fans a chance to influence your efforts and watch them become even more loyal and supportive.

Don’t Expect Too Much Though

While you should not be afraid of asking your fans for their help, you should always do so in good taste. By this I mean don’t ask for anything unreasonable or anything that makes you appear self-centered or greedy. Take for example Amanda Palmer’s request for musicians to join and play with her during performances on tour for free. If she had been touring with very little financial support it would have been no issue, but her request came immediately after her massively successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $1 million US. Many people were left thinking why she would not pay the musicians when she raised more than 10 times the amount of money she had asked for. Before you ask your fans for something substantial, consider how it may reflect on you with those fans.

James Higgins (295 Posts)

Professional guitarist and instructor based in Alabama; performance, songwriting, and recording. Atlanta Institute of Music graduate. Part-time blogger.

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