How would you like to wake up to a couple extra hundred bucks in your bank account every month? Maybe even a few thousand?
And what about if at the same time, you could also be building deeper relationships with your fans, providing them extra support and love to show them how much they mean to you? Every musician I know would jump on that opportunity in a heartbeat.
While membership style services aren't new to the world—Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, Amazon Prime, your local gym, etc.—they are fairly new to the music industry; which means, not nearly enough artists have jumped onto this (incredibly lucrative) train.
Lucky for you, Bandzoogle’s commission-free fan subscription option, which is customized to the needs of musicians specifically, offers you the opportunity to do everything I mentioned above.
I run a membership-based community myself, and I can tell you that the consistent revenue and consistent opportunity to truly connect with people on an exclusive level has been a game changer—I’ll never go back! Now let’s talk about how to get your fans to become paid monthly subscribers.
Show them what they’re missing
One of the best ways to drum up interest for your membership is to simply begin to make it a regular part of your content in calls to action (or CTAs). Now, you could hard-sell it, or you can try to build that language into your musical activities more organically so it doesn’t feel salesy.
When done right, your fans will start to come forward asking “how do I get involved in that?!”
Start by simply mentioning your new subscription casually during other conversations, in an Instagram story or in your casual social media posts. Move on to mention an exclusive community that gets special treatment, for example: “...And we did a private concert for five of our super fans, that was amazing, we even played them one of our unreleased songs.”
If you start creating content exclusively for members, talking about the content and the membership casually before making a hard sell CTA will make it feel familiar for fans—as if they’ve always known about it. Then your CTA, “Subscribe to my members only community for monthly content and exclusive offers,” will convert better and feel less sudden.
Create a community
One of the most overlooked tactics in building your fanbase is simply making it feel like a community. There are a few different ways to do this, from creating an actual community (like a Facebook group or Slack channel) they can hang out in, to subscribing them to a special mailing list, or giving them a pet name (kind of like Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters”).
I know that last one might feel silly, but if you can come up with something quippy and easily identifiable, it’s going to make referring to your subscribers sound a lot more enticing than saying “my subscribers” and more importantly, it’s going to make them feel a part of something.
Make your reward tiers worth subscribing to
Most fans won’t subscribe to a tier if it features things they can get for free if they just wait long enough. In other words, letting people hear a song a month before it’s released is only so valuable. Therefore, try to make sure you’re producing high-quality content that only exists at various reward tiers.
This is really about creating a unique, impossible to replicate, kind of experience. Ultimately you know your fanbase best, so when you’re brainstorming these ideas think about what they’d most enjoy. If you’re feeling stuck, a few ideas for inspiration might be:
- Online concerts
- Once-a-year private concert just for top-subscribers
- VIP virtual hangs
- Access to unreleased music (weeks ahead of time, or totally exclusive)
- Behind the scenes content
- Letting a fan take over your Instagram account for a day
- Coupons to pick anything in the store for free
- A surprise goodie pack
- Rare/old merch (autographed)
- Free postcards and stickers
- First access to workshops and video lessons on something you can teach. This could either be guitar or voice lessons, or something totally unrelated like baking lessons.
- VIP pre-show experiences with the band
Think about what your audience tends to ask for the most, and combine that with your natural talent for branding to come up with unique and irresistible tiers.
Learn more: 71 ways to reward your music fan subscribers
Run targeted ads
Facebook ads, when used correctly, are magic. They can target like-minded communities like nobody’s business, and when you’re trying to convert fans to loyal subscribers, that’s a handy tool to have.
Learn more: How to advertise your music on facebook
Even if you’ve never used Facebook Ad Manager before, this can be a great way to target existing fans and show up in their feeds with a quick video explaining all the reasons you’d be stoked to have them as a subscriber. A/B test different language to see which works best, and link directly to your subscription landing page.
Sell music, merch, and tickets, take direct donations, pledges for crowdfunding, and create monthly fan subscriptions from your website, all commission-free. Try Bandzoogle free for 30 days to build a website for your music.
Create a social media strategy
You knew this one was coming, didn’t you?
Here’s the deal: social media is now, more than ever, the most powerful tool when it comes to getting in front of your audience. We both know that you’ve been putting a lot of time into scrolling Instagram these days—you might as well make it work for you! Try not to constantly spam your followers with that hard sell CTA, just remember to casually mention it every week or so (among other non-sales posts of course).
It’s totally okay to make a post that’s super straightforward and says: “here’s what I’m doing, here’s why it’s awesome, come join me.” But you might also want to include more than that.
Consider something like a free giveaway for fans to get them signed up to your email list and lead them to the offer to be a member. You want to nurture them, not just shove the offer in their face. For instance, if one of your reward tiers is a monthly workshop, you can do a free, public 30-minute workshop to give folks a taste of what you have to offer if they join up.
Without a doubt, this has been my most effective way of getting sign ups in the early days of my own membership service. So I want you to think outside the box. Step outside your comfort zone and try things that you’ve never tried before to entice people towards your subscribe button.
One thing I tried, which was effective but came with a ton of hustle, was to slide into people’s DMs and send audio messages about why I thought they should join, and how much I’d love for them to be part of the community I was building. It can take some hard work, but having those personal conversations (and doing it through audio or video messages to make it even more intimate) can be a powerful tool.
No idea what to post on social media? Join me for my free video series How to Get Your Next 1,000. Fans
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placements on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, Spotify and more. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.
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