Getting Started With Direct-to-Fan

blake-shelton-at-fort-meade-flickrThe heart of crowdfunding and other forms of fan funding is a direct relationship between musicians and fans. You may have other sources of support but your relationship to your fans is key.

Keep in mind that crowdfunding campaigns that take on a life of their own, get lots of media attention and attract perfect strangers usually involve some form of celebrity or some really cool looking gadget. As a musician, your support will come from the community you serve.

Here are a few resources for understanding what direct-to-fan is all about.

Connect Directly – Topspin for the New Music Business Guidebook:

“At its simplest, direct-to-fan (or D2F) is a model for connecting artists and fans directly for marketing, sales, and distribution purposes. But exactly HOW that’s done has no simple answer, as it’s constantly evolving.”

Think In Shorter Cycles – Topspin CEO Ian Rogers at the Americana Music Conference:

“I’d like to encourage you and your acts to focus on growing your Direct-to-Fan business by thinking in shorter cycles. My guess is right now you think about the album and touring cycles. You’re thinking about that album that comes out in early 2013 and the touring you’ll be doing over the next year.”

“Those are important, tent-pole events, but what have you done this week to communicate with your fans? What are you focusing your fan base on this month? My simple, practical advice is to keep a calendar and focus your team on one small thing a week and one big thing each month.”

Make it a two-way conversation – Tips from the PledgeMusic Team

“Ask for your fans’ direct feedback through surveys and calls to action. For instance, you could share multiple options of artwork and ask fans to vote on the final cover, ask them to help order the track list, or source artwork directly from your fans for a unique video.”

[Thumbnail image: “Blake Shelton connects with Fort Meade community” courtesy Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office.]