10 ways to nurture your fans 💌
This post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam, episode 237 10 ways to nurture your fans
As D.I.Y. Rock Stars, folks who have decided that we’re “their folks” are some of our most valuable assets. This episode piggybacks on our 3 Summer Music Promo Tips (https://bit.ly/232summerpromoblog ) with some additional ways to nurture those folks who’ve already shown interest in you and your music. This episode was Inspired by the Other Record Labels podcast, episode 188, “How to Surprise Your Fans.”
3 Summer Music Promo Tips https://bit.ly/232summerpromoblog
1. Learn Their Birthday…
Find a way to gather and store that valuable nugget of information, so that you can acknowledge folks directly. The podcast mentioned that adults don’t usually have people make a big deal about them on that day, so when someone DOES remember it, it makes folks feel good (which helps deepen your relationship).
Play for free? https://bit.ly/214playfreeblog
2. As the Artist, Reach Out!
The podcast mentions that you can pretty easily figure out which folks engage with you most or buy the most stuff from your email provider or from Bandcamp—depending on where you collect your data. He suggestion that you should collect that data early on—likely when you collect their email address—and use that to send special communications and updates regularly. In our case, we send a monthly newsletter out to our blog subscribers, but now also a monthly email to our new Bourgeoisie Paper Jam Street Team members. It is our way of keeping the lines of communication open. –In fact, we welcome the folks who read it to reply directly to it, so that we can hear what’s happening with them. According to the podcast episode, this is an easy way to show that you care about those folks who have said that they care about you and your art.
Live performances? https://bit.ly/219betterliveblog
3. Send a Thank You Note!
The next suggestion he offered in the podcast was to send out “Thank You” notes from time to time. Whether they are fans who have purchased music from you to even those who continue to follow you, it is a great idea to express your gratitude for their continued interest in what you’re doing. This is low-hanging fruit, doesn’t take much effort, and makes those that receive it know that their attention hasn’t gone unnoticed. The communication can be virtual or via snail mail; whichever way works out best for you. In our case, the closing message in almost EVERY single newsletter thanks folks for making it that far in the email and for their continued support.
Better band photos? http://bit.ly/betterbandphotos
4. Include Bonus Items
In the edge of Etsy purchases, most of us have grown accustomed to receiving something a little “extra” when we order from an indie enterprise, so it goes without saying that stuffing a few extra stickers, candy, or magnets is a nice way to delightfully reward those folks who are spending money on your music or merch. –We’ve mentioned this before, but we get stay ready to take advantage of Sticker Mule’s weekly deals* to keep our stickers stocked. They often offer a REALLY great deal on a limited run of stickers for a fraction of what we’d pay if we order them outside of this window. We do this, so that in ANY snail mail communication, we can add a few band stickers in the package. –Additionally, we print each sticker with a QR Code embedded as part of the design, so that, if folks display our sticker, more info. about the band is easy to obtain. –As you can see, sending additional items can be an easy and an effective way to nurture your supporters.
Plan better? http://bit.ly/getspitdoneblog
5. Give Fans Early Access
Another easy way to reward your ardent followers is to “leak” information about upcoming releases through a private Facebook group or through your Patreon. Things like this kind of early access to superfans will keep them feeling warm and fuzzy for you; which is JUST the kind of fire you’ll need when you decide to put out your next major release!
More than one social media platform? https://bit.ly/Ep141moresocmedblog
6. Mail Them Something
Even though growing your followers on social media is the PRIMARY conduit, there’s STILL nothing like receiving something in the mail. In fact, as we mentioned in #4, this is not only a chance to shower your people with bonus items, it is ALSO just a great way to distinguish yourself from other artists. THAT’S precisely why we lean into this method of reaching our people during the Christmas season—with a custom-printed Christmas card—and during Record Store Day—when we send a growing list of mom and pop record shops with a special “Thank You” mailing. We’ve been doing this for three years now and have developed a few key relationships with great folks. We KNOW we stand out, because NO ONE is doing it much anymore.
How can I tell if it’s a hit? https://bit.ly/233isasongahitblog
7. Host a Special Event
Whether virtual or IRL, hosting some sort of get together for your people helps show them how special they are to you. The podcast recommends giving folks behind-the-scenes access to your record label, that you conduct a Q&A, or just hang out. We’ve gone as far as to visit a fan who had supported our music for over a decade, when we visited London (in 2018). It was something that we will never forget and now we feel as if he is not JUST a fan, but a friend. A visit, up close and in person, lead to a much deeper connection between us.
Basic legal documents? https://bit.ly/226legalblog
8. Give Them A Unique Code
In most online shops, it is relatively easy to generate a custom coupon code for each of your superfans. For instance, in Bandcamp and on our Wix store, we can create a custom coupon code using their names (like “James10”) that would give 10% off for a specified period of time on a future purchase. For your tier of top fans, this would be a special way to show that you notice their support. It also encourages them to purchase more.
How to collaborate better? https://bit.ly/Ep163collaborateblog
9. Ask their Advice
This is suggestion that was made by this podcast, but also by our artist mentoring coaches (https://bit.ly/217artistmentorrevealblog ). Asking for advice from your people helps them become involved in decision-making, which deepens your connection to them. This podcast mentions that you can create a poll on Instagram, a more involved survey on Google Forms, or by creating a “committee” of advisors that you tap for feedback on upcoming projects. We’ve done this a few times and it can be both enlightening for the artist—we asked which type of merch we should make next—and rewarding for the fan—many are happy to be asked to share their thoughts on designs, songs, etc.
Artist mentoring program revealed? https://bit.ly/217artistmentorrevealblog
10. Give Them A Job
This dude on his podcast said that “Street Teams” don’t really exist anymore, but THAT is EXACTLY what our artist mentoring program set up for us! (Here’s more on this process; https://bit.ly/217artistmentorrevealblog ) He said that in “the old days, record labels would send a select group of fans a box of free posters, swag, CD singles, and stickers with the responsibility to spread the word of whatever upcoming release the label was promoting.” We do this virtually and add those folks to our Facebook group and email list, so that we can continue to nurture them (by using many of the methods talked about herein). We also give them a free gift, which has been pretty popular with our people.
As we head into the next “season” of our artist growth journey, we are continually looking for ways to not only grow our fanbase, but to also deepen the relationship with them. THAT is what THESE tips are intended to do. We hope that if you have similar goals, these might work for you.
What do you think?
Is there an idea that you plan to implement from this list? Or are there additional methods that we missed? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Here’s what we’re into now:
· Tom Ray’s Art Podcast: https://bit.ly/tomrayspodcast2june2022
· “Sugar Fit” on Darkest Corners of the World Podcast S2 E3 http://bit.ly/sugarfitdarkestpod
· “Flying High” (from “Sugar Fit” album) on Toes in the Sand Playlist http://bit.ly/toesplaylist
· “Sugar Fit” on his Spotify “Indie: Undiscovered But Brilliant: Vol. 3” http://bit.ly/SugarFitonPlaylist2
· “Sugar Fit” on No Sugar Radio http://bit.ly/nosugarradiosugarfit
*Though this is a non-sponsored post, if you use this link to order, you will receive a discount on your order and we receive a small discount on our next order. Thank you in advance.
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