When all the numbers and the platform choices start to overwhelm you, take a step back and ask yourself – “If I was a fan, what would I want to see on my page?”
In the grand scheme of things, your pages are not about having the most views, the most likes or even the largest number of email subscribers – it’s about connecting with the ones that care enough about you to do something (Think: recommend your music to a friend… show up to a show… spend time at the merch table… buy something). When the platforms have evolved, changed their rules, or disappeared, those types of fans remain loyal and seek you out. These are the types of fans that are willing to pay for things that the fair-weather fans may not. Establishing good relationships with your fans is an essential step to monetizing your art.
One of my favorite ways artists are connecting with their audience are contests. Contests are great for three important reasons:
1. Contests engage the fans and bring them together – they ask them to participate in your community and bring your fans together in friendly competition.
2. Contests give you new, fan-generated content to feed your page and share.
3. Contests give you a chance to give back – fans are a big reason why you are where you are at right now, and will continue to be a driving force in your career.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few contests (some even I have participated in) to get your brain juices flowing:
Paramore asked their fans to submit a video of their best karaoke attempt to their recent single “Still Into You” – once all submissions were in, they picked their top six and asked their fans to vote to determine the winner. The lucky Paraoke Queen (or king) was up to grab the bicycle from the music video, two tickets to a show, and a merch pack.
Third Eye Blind used instagram to run a contest, which they cross posted to their Facebook page for 20 fans to win a chance to attend a private practice at the rehearsal studio. All the fans had to do was upload their photo entries to Instagram and hashtag their entry #3EBontheroad– winners were chosen daily the entire week – encouraging fans to keep their eyes on the page all week.
A local radio station called out to all Fun. fans, asking them to create the funniest or most outrageous video singing their favorite Fun. song for the chance to win first, second, or third row seats to their show at the Ryman auditorium.
Creative Allies administers amazing fan contests that peak interest of your fellow creatives. ZZ Ward is one of my favorites, but take a peek at their site – they have all kinds of great contests running. For ZZ Ward’s contests, fans are asked to design and submit a poster inspired by her music video “365 Days” to win $500 and a ZZ Ward Prize pack. Her community to vote on designs and share them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – I voted for my favorite and shared on Twitter.
12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.