Direct to Fan: Creating an Effective Offer Page and Fan Acquisition Techniques

By Mike King

Mike King teaches online music business courses for, Berklee College of Music’s online school. He is also the author of the book Music Marketing: Press Promotion, Distribution, and Retail, out now on Berklee Press.

Anyone that has been following music business trends for the past few years is likely familiar with the high profile direct to fan campaigns (campaigns that focus on the monetization of an artist’s fan base directly) that Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Imogen Heap, and others have been involved with recently. As Mike Masnick put it in his 2009 NARM Keynote, the recipe for effective direct to fan campaigns can be boiled down to: Connecting with Fans (CwF) + Providing a Reason to Buy (RtB) = $$$. Makes sense, right?

The difficulties arise when you consider that there are 5 million bands on MySpace, all of which are vying for the consumer’s attention. It’s easy for NIN and Radiohead to connect with fans, the skeptics’ note, as they have had years of major label support and hundreds of thousands of existing followers to work with. How can a developing artist in this climate differentiate themselves from all the other bands out there?

The answer can be slightly more nuanced than Masnick’s formula above, and to me, is based on a four key elements: 1) setting up an effective offer page on your site that is tailored to your marketing goals and where you are in your marketing cycle, 2) expanding your digital touch points through creative fan acquisition techniques, 3) integrating your online and offline marketing towards the same goal, and lastly, 4) once you’ve created your groundswell of support and fans, integrating effective 3rd party digital and physical marketing, sales, and distribution (such as Tunecore) outlets into the mix. Let’s illustrate these elements with two examples.

Read Mike’s entire post here:

Posted by Dexter Bryant Jr. [d.BRYJ]
Powered by DbryJ Music Media Group.

Related articles:

Direct-to-fan Strategy is the Answer

Music Business 2.0 Success Formula



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  2. Deborah · February 22, 2010

    Loved your article. You made some really great points. Indie artists have to reset their goals and either become marketers themselves or get help. Wish you much success with your blog and biz.

    • d.BRYJ Music · February 23, 2010

      Thanks Deborah. I wish you success as well 🙂

  3. Peter Wells · February 22, 2010

    It’s even more than that, Mike! You’ll always get a full report on your sales activity from TuneCore, so once you’re up and running, you can use the data to refine your marketing, guide how/when/where you tour, even use it to prove to labels you’re a solid bet, if your goal is to get signed. 🙂

    Thanks, good stuff!


    • d.BRYJ Music · February 23, 2010

      Awesome! Thanks for letting us know Peter 🙂 I’m a TuneCore advocate even though I have yet to use it. I’ve done the research and what you offer is above and beyond the value of most aggregators.

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