Thriving artists help build thriving communities. The more we can support musicians, the more they will keep making music, which is an essential thing in this day and age. Creating a system of support within your art community is so important.
To celebrate 18 years of Bandzoogle creating tools for musicians to build their websites and manage direct-to-fan marketing and sales, we thought we'd put together a list of some of the ways that we’ve seen fans give their time, effort, and support to indie artists.
Wondering how to support your favorite artists? Whether you want to show your support on a small scale, or are able to put some money behind your dedication, here are 18 ideas for you!
1. Follow on social media
If you love a band, or even if you’re mildly curious about their music, throw them a like on Facebook or Instagram, or follow them on YouTube. These numbers might mean something to promoters, talent buyers, and showcase curators.
2. Join their mailing list
An artist’s mailing list costs you nothing to join, and it allows them to keep you in the loop. Then when they’re dropping new music or merch, you'll be able to show your support. Many artists also offer exclusive sneak peeks or discounts to their mailing list subscribers.
3. Share the music
If you’re loving their new track, give it a shout out online! You could post the url to their artist website on your social networks, encouraging your followers to check them out.
4. Tune in to live streams
Whether an artist is trying to reach fans across the world, or is playing a streamed show between tour stops - if you can’t attend in person, watch online. Musicians love to have some sort of audience, and engaging in the comments with fellows fans can be a rewarding online experience.
5. Put money in the tip jar
Many artists are performing live stream shows to fill in the gaps, and sending a small tip can go a long way in making them feel like their music is reaching people.
6. Purchase merch
A great way to put money in the pocket of your favorite band is to buy their merch. They likely have different options with something for everyone, whether or not they’re releasing music right now.
7. Buy tickets to shows
There is truly nothing like the live experience - supporting your favourite artists by turning up at their shows makes everyone feel good.
8. Wear the merch - and show it off!
In the age of social media, sharing selfies in your favourite band’s merch goes a long way toward name recognition, and getting people to check out their music. Be a walking billboard for your favourite artists. Buy their merch, share it widely, and make sure you tag them!
Look for an open-ended donate button on your favourite artist website to give what you can, when you can. A direct donation goes straight to the artist and will make them feel appreciated.
10. Give the gift of music
If you really want to support a musician, buy and share their music! Sending a digital copy of an album to a friend for their birthday, or purchasing a shiny vinyl for a holiday gift is a great way to get their music heard by more people.
11. Create videos with their music
If you’re an avid TikTok user, or post Instagram Reels regularly, add your favourite bands’ music in the background. The more it gets heard, the more people will recognize it, especially if your video happens to go viral.
12. Playlist their music
If there’s a song you love, add it to a playlist on Spotify. This will help it become more discoverable by more people.
13. Become a fan subscriber
If a musician that you love has set up a fan subscription service, consider paying a small monthly fee in exchange for regular perks and updates. You’ll be offering continued support while also getting access to early releases, Q & A sessions, or discounts on store products.
14. Take music lessons
Many musicians also offer lessons, mini-courses, or workshops to help fellow aspiring musicians hone their craft. This could be a one-time download, or education on an on-going basis. You could also gift a music lesson to someone.
15. Buy the music
If you want to support an artist directly and also make them feel good, buy their music. Look for their artist website and buy from there so you know they’re getting the most money possible. If you’re consistently streaming their music, support your favourite artists by purchasing their album directly. This includes pre-orders, digital, or physical music.
16. Hire them for a private event
Need live music for an event? Reach out to local musicians to see if they’re available. If you're not doing the hiring, people regularly ask for recommendations. If a friend is looking for a wedding band, be sure to mention and tag your favorite artists to be sure that they’re getting the recognition they deserve. Some of your favourite local artists love doing intimate events like house parties or bush bashes. Make it a party to remember.
17. Commission their music
Create a one-of-a-kind gift for a friend by getting a musician you love to write a song for them. Or, if you’re working on songs yourself, consider asking if they do session work.
18. Donate to crowdfunding campaigns
Many artists will raise money to complete an upcoming project, like a new album. Be part of that process by contributing to their crowdfunding campaign, and receive a perk in return. It’s truly a win-win way to help them reach their goal while getting a limited edition CD or one of a kind experience.
Some of the best things you can do to support your local artist don’t even involve spending, but giving them a little piece of yourself back. Where were you when you listened to your favourite track? What songs are the soundtrack to your life?
For fans, music is weaved into the tapestry of your most cherished experiences. For the indie artist, hearing about the impact of their music on your life is like a warm hug. Support your local artists by retelling your stories. Whether it’s in an email, face to face, or posted to your friend list with the artists tagged, feedback is encouragement to keep going, it’s confidence building, and it’s validation.
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