Reward Your Fans on YouTube…and Dramatically Get Even More Fans. 20


Thank You

Inspired by Thorny Bleeder’s vlog about using YouTube to reward your fans, I decided to experiment with Shiplosion and received excellent results!

Have you ever tried blasting to all your friends to add your band’s fan page? How’d that work for ya? Probably not as well as you wanted.

Have you been spammed to add someone else’s band? Did you really care? Probably not.

What if you could have fun, and by doing so, both reward current fans and drive new sign-ups to your Facebook Fan Page? If my experiment is any indication, using YouTube to personally thank your fans does just this. Here’s what I did to get a 50% increase in my fan count.

Post a “Thank You” song

After a songwriting session with my band’s guitarist, we quickly jotted down silly lyrics for the first four people on our Facebook Fan Page. Then we wrote a few cheesy, generic chords and just hit record on a camera.

That’s it. It took under a half hour.

Then, what took the longest, I edited the lyrics into the video to make sure everyone could read what we were saying about them. I used Windows Live Movie Maker, a free and easy video editor.

Atrocious sound quality, lyric reading screw ups, and missed harmonies aside: people loved it.

The Results

We gained 8 new fans. Since I’m only starting with 15 fans, that’s a 50% increase. What’s special to note here is these were people that already knew about my Shiplosion project and opted not to join this page previously. They ignored my spam.

Here’s a couple of reactions:

“This is the best thing I have ever seen. Ever, in my life.”

“HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!!! ♥ you, Seth! Hahahahaa!”

“Flattery will get you into my pants…”

Does It Scale?

Bathroom scale
A couple of questions I got about what I was doing, “This is fine now that you have only a few fans. But what are you going to do when you start getting a lot of fans?

My response: “I don’t know, but I’d LOVE to have that problem!

The question really cracks me up. We go through all this effort to gain more fans, but then comes a fun and easy way to do it, and people start worrying about the extra work. How many hours are spent on rehearsal, gigging, and song writing? How many hours for booking, social media, and website upkeep?

More importantly, how many hours do we spend on things that DON’T work? I spent hours, daily, for months, trying to book a 10 day tour. After 10 days of touring, we only received a handful of new fans to sign up for anything.

Even local shows, I’ve played my ass off to a crowd for half an hour or more, only to get 2 or 3 new fan signups.

Looking at the techniques you currently use for your band to drive new fans, how well do they scale?

Taking it a step further…

Email email email
“Okay, that’s fine and fun for Facebook,” you say. “But what about e-mail? Y’know…the stuff you keep going on about that should be treated like money?”

Aha! Here’s my plan for e-mail that I will kick off soon. Since I consider e-mail more valuable than a Facebook Fan Page signup, I’m going to write a whole song for each person who signs up for my e-mail list.

Talk about not scaling!

But here’s the thing. I can crank out these silly songs FAST. Recording quality is secondary to having fun and engaging the person. And isn’t one potentially die-hard fan, that could be buying from you for years to come, worth investing an hour of your time?

More on using YouTube

I swear us bloggers are sometimes on some telepathic wavelength. Jon Ostrow of MicControl just posted a great article on the many uses of YouTube for your band. Read, enjoy, and CREATE!

Is this too much for your band?

235/365 Hair pulling stress
My video is silly. Damn silly. Purposely so. But what if you’re a super-serious band or highly sensitive solo artist pretending to be a hobo? Do you think something like this could still work for you?

And now for the video…


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20 thoughts on “Reward Your Fans on YouTube…and Dramatically Get Even More Fans.

  • Bridge Hanson

    When I saw that video uploaded on youtube, I was bummed; I had no idea you guys had a facebook yet! :(

    But I liked your page. And I signed up for your mailing list a few weeks ago. I’m excitedly waiting for my personal song :P

    • Chris "Seth" Jackson Post author

      That’s because I’m a dummy and haven’t put my contact info properly on my band’s site. Duh! I need to do a major site overhaul starting with the “About” and “Contact” sections.

      And THANK YOU! You will definitely be getting your personal songs! Also, thank you for following this blog and adding your comments. I really appreciate that.

      • Bridge Hanson

        It’s no problem at all. Your blog has been very helpful in preparing me (especially now that my band is starting off) and your band seems like a lot of fun. Your videos all cracked me up, lol.

        I’ve been recommending your band to my friends as well. Spread the word and all that ;)

        • Chris "Seth" Jackson Post author

          Awesome! Thank you very much for spreading the word! Hopefully we’ll get some music going soon. Probably drum machine at first until we get a drummer.

          Let me know how my advice works out. I really don’t want to be throwing out bullshit that doesn’t work.

          And let me know when you got music! I’ve been thinking of running something here. Have a band that either uses some cool marketing technique that works and can show results. Or a band that has good advice in general. Or a band that did something that completely blew up in their face.

          Whatever that is, have that band do a brief guest post and then feature their music. Regardless of how good, bad, or mediocre.

          I figure getting advice from bands out there doing it would be extremely helpful to everyone.

          • Bridge Hanson

            That would be a cool idea. A band spotlight article or something. I know we’re going to use your daily video posting idea to create content for our web pages. We’re thinking of doing a weekly vlog to give people sneak peeks at songs and keep them updated on our progress.

            I also want to try a contest once we have at least a three-digit number amount of fans where fans can send us lyrics they wrote that they’d like to be made into a song; the winning person will have their lyrics made into a song that will appear on our first recording (likely an EP) as well as a free limited edition copy of the recording when it’s released. I think getting people personally involved in the writing of our music will keep them coming back to hear it as well.

            The limited edition EP is an idea I’m going to try too. Once we record our first EP, I’m going to hire an artist to make two versions of the album art for me (based on a sketch I’ve already drawn up). The original sketch/album art is going to be more cartoon-y in its art style, but I want a version of the same album art to be drawn up realistically, which will be used for a small handful of limited edition copies of the EP. Probably just like, ten or so. One will be given to the lyrics contest winner, and I’d like to hold a second contest for a second one (maybe a signed copy of the EP or something). The other eight will be given to the first eight people who
            pre-order the album.

            So yes, once we’re doing all these things I’ll keep you updated on how they work out ;)

          • Chris "Seth" Jackson Post author

            Why wait for 3 digit fans before doing that contest? Sounds like something fun to do immediately!

            Limited Edition: There’s a friend of mine that told me how a band of his sold out of CDs. Their throwaway tracks that didn’t make it to their album, they just put on an EP and only printed a limited amount. They called from the stage during their tour, no more will be printed. Sold out.

  • Music Promotion Chris

    Chris you crack me up…your music marketing is going to be dangerous!

    Most people are trying to get 1000’s of fans at once, but if you are nice to just one person a day they will stick with you like glue.

    Look forward to more of your tests mate!

    – Chris

    • Chris "Seth" Jackson Post author

      Thanks, Chris! Your advice is helping me to become dangerous!

      Musicians in general think in the macro of getting thousands of fans. It’s ironic that concentrating on just a handful will achieve that result.

      I’ve been thinking about this for an upcoming show I have for a band I’m filling in on bass for. Instead of yelling to hundreds of people to come to my show, I was thinking it would be more productive if I narrow my focus to 10 to 20 people that I know, for sure, would attend. Small is the new big, I guess.

  • Jon Ostrow - MicControl

    Chris glad to see that you made a detailed post out of this idea since we had just been talking about it. This could really be a killer idea – and like I had said earlier, you may find it difficult to keep up with that many videos for every 4 fans that like your page… but that would be a pretty nice problem to have huh??

    Thanks for the shout out too!

    Jon
    miccontrol.com
    @miccontrol

    • Chris "Seth" Jackson Post author

      Yeah, your words were echoing in my head last night. My guitarist and I recorded the second round, and it wasn’t coming out as quickly.

      Of course, I was having a few beers. It did result in great outtakes, though!

      A band that is starting with 100+ fans might not find this useful, though. Too much of a backlog. However, a variation using contests might prove more beneficial.

      I was also thinking of doing reverse interviews YouTube postings. The band interviews the fan!

  • Kevin

    I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now (I actually stumbled upon it from your bout with David at MW’s), and I must say that I applaud you. It is interesting to read your journeys into creating a band from the ground up, all of the experiements, and, ultimately, some of the failures you might encounter on your way.

    This is an inspiring blog. After reading your posts, it gets the gears turning in my own head to think of fun and unique ways to promote my projects. I must say, thanks for all of the entertainment of your approach to marketing, and the inspiration you undoublty will give to your readers. Keep up the good work and experiments!

  • David Peterson

    You can take this a step further. Take a photo of the crowd from onstage. Have each person write their name and where they were sitting (seat and row or third table from the back, etc.) Write a song for the people who came. Include their names in the song. Video yourself performing the song and have the photo of the crowd as part of the video. Edit the video so that every time you mention a name in the crowd, have text on the video and an arrow or some sort of pointer point the person out in the photo. People enjoy being thanked personally and to be part of the show. Cut back and forth to your band performing the song in the video. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You could just be sitting around casually. Or if you are more inclined, you could get a little fancy with video shoot. Make sure to intro the song with a thank you for being our fans and we appreciate you. You could use the same song for each performance and just change the names and edit the video with the new photo and names. People enjoy seeing their name in lights and to be recognized. They will share the video with all of their friends and hopefully through networking this way we will gain a lot of new fans and reach a whole new audience. I am going to try this at one of our upcoming performances to see how many facebook, myspace and email signups we get.

    • David Peterson

      an additional thought, preshow when you are mingling and meeting the crowd you can tell them that you are making a special video for the people who came tonight and will need their name. You can visit the venue pre-show and make a “map” of the seating to pass around and fill in with names. Preparation is everything. You want to be sure you get the right name with the right face.

      • Chris "Seth" Jackson Post author

        An excellent idea, David! A lot of work though, but, I’m sure, well worth it!

        I wonder if ThingLink could help with this? Take the photos of the crowd and tell people to come visit afterwards. Use ThingLink to mark the people and their name in the crowd so you have the map. Now you’d have the photo to share online with links to the people you’re thanking, and also a link to your video after you make it.

        This sounds like a really fun idea! Let me know how it works out and what the conversion is. IT sounds like a great installment of Bands in the Trenches! :)