What do you get a musician who has everything? A Spotify Premium subscription won’t cut it, they already have that… Headphones? They definitely have that… Not to worry, we’ve come up with some options that are sure to impress this holiday season. Here’s the rundown…
15 Unique Gifts for Musicians
Orba Handheld Multi-Instrument
The Orba Handheld Multi-Instrument is a handheld synth, looper, and MIDI controller that lets you loop Drum, Bass, Chord, and Lead parts to create songs on the go, no matter where you are. Whether you want to use the built-in speaker or hook it up to your favorite headphones, anyone can create on the go with this badass, mini music maker. // Available on Amazon right here. 🎁
Pocket DJ Mixer
Got a DJ in your life who wishes they could bring the party wherever they go? No problem. With this Pocket DJ Mixer, they can turn their phone into a powerful, portable, party-making machine anytime, anywhere. // Available on uncommongoods.com 🎁
Vertical Vinyl Record Player (with Bluetooth)
For those who collect records with cool artwork, I know you wish you could showcase those amazing designs a little more often. With this vertical record player, your favorite records are on full display. Not to mention this is way cooler than your traditional record player. And how does it sound? “Amazing, because a precision Audio Technica needle delivers the warm bass and rich ranges that made you love vinyl in the first place.” states the product description. When you want to stream music instead of spin it, you can also utilize its modern Bluetooth feature with ease. // Buy it right here. 🎁
Lightbulbs That Change With Music
Sure, they probably already have their home decorated to the nines with cool music decor… but do they have lightbulbs that change color with the beat of the music? This one is pretty common, but if they don’t already have these you’ll blow their minds with these lights. // Available on Amazon here. 🎁
An Otamatone is a synthesizer that’s shaped like an eighth note (it also somewhat resembles a tadpole, or a ladle (otamajakushi being Japanese for tadpole and ladle), with sound emerging from the “mouth”. All you have to do is squeeze the head and control the pitch by the stem piece. (Higher up on the stem equals lower sound, and vice versa.) It may not help the musician in your life create any amazing songs to top charts with, but it sure is fun to play with. // Buy it on Amazon right here. 🎁
Customized Spinning Record Shot Tray
This is an up cycled shot glass holder that spins… Need I say more? You can even personalize the label with your own record title, subtitle, and five songs of your choice. For any musicians in your life turning 21 (or just your fun rocker uncle who likes to drink), this is a fun gift that never gets old. // Available on uncommongoods.com 🎁
Turntable Cheese Board
Pay homage to vinyl with this turntable-inspired cheese board featuring a slate platter and hidden slicer. This gift bound to make every jaw drop at the holiday party. If you don’t buy it, I definitely will… // Available on uncommon goods.com 🎁
Masterclass is an amazing subscription for any creative in your life. From artists to musicians and everyone in-between, Masterclass offers classes from the best teachers in the world. A-list celebrities, some of the greatest musicians of all time, and artists from all over the world come together to teach personalized classes on a wide variety of topics.
On it, you can learn about producing and beat making from Timbaland. Deadmau5 teaches electronic music production. Ringo Starr teaches drumming and creative collaboration. You can even dive into the soul of guitar with Carlos Santana. And that’s just a few of the people they have to offer… // Check it out on Masterclass.com. (Thank me later.) 🎁
Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
If you’re stubborn like me, you’ve been in denial about the damage loud music has been doing to your ears for years. Now, there’s really no excuse with earplugs like these. They filter out the damaging sound waves and leave you still able to hear, not only the music, but even conversations with your neighbor, just fine. // Get them on Amazon here. 🎁
Most of us already have a bluetooth speaker that we love and cherish. Musicians baby our speakers like a newborn, so we’re probably not taking it into the shower with us. (No matter how bad we want to…) No problem! This speaker is made for those shower singalongs. Not only is it waterproof, but it has a suction cup on the back for easy suction to the wall of your shower. // Available on Amazon right here. 🎁
Guitar Pick Hole Punch
Give a guitar player a pick, and they’ll play for a day. Give them a guitar pick hole punch, and well… you get it. Give the gift of infinite guitar picks made from whatever their heart desires with this Guitar Pick Hole Punch. // Available on Amazon here. 🎁
“This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession”
This one’s a no brainer… Give the gift of knowledge with this masterful work of art written by Daniel J. Levitin. “This Is Your Brain On Music” is a groundbreaking union of art and science. Rocker-turned-neuroscientist, Daniel J. Levitin, explores the connection between music—its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it—and the human brain. // Available on Amazon.com… 🎁
Vinyl Record Coasters
Protect your table from rings and your drinks from slipping with these trendy vinyl coasters. These are the perfect gift for any music lover in need not some simple yet practical home decor. // Available on Amazon.com…. 🎁
DIY Synth Kit
Perfect for the DIY DJ in your life, this kit lets you construct three different mini-synths, adding awesome dimension to electronic music! // Available on uncommongoods.com 🎁
Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator (PO-33 K.O!)
This baby is #1 on my wish list this year. It’s a powerful micro sampler, synthesizer & sequencer, all packed into a small and ultra-portable design. With studio quality sound, play chromatic melodies and drum sounds, sequence it all and add effects on top to create something truly original. // Buy it on their website here. 🎁
After all the blood, sweat and tears it took to finally get your new music out into the world, it’s finally time to get as many people to listen to it as possible! From the technical stuff like registering with PROs to the fun stuff like social media promo, here are some of the most important things every musician should be doing after their release goes live. Let’s dive in…
What To Do After Making Your Music Available Online
Register with a PRO
To make sure you receive the royalties you’re rightfully owed, your songs need to be properly registered with either ASCAP, SESAC or BMI. Sadly, we can’t do this for you. Only you as the writer can affiliate with a PRO.
If your music is being distributed, performed worldwide, and you don’t have a publishing deal, your royalties are sitting in collection societies around the world waiting to be claimed by you. If you don’t register in time to collect your royalties, the collection societies will retain the royalties and you will miss out on that additional revenue. That’s why we created our publishing administration service to help you get through this process as easily as possible.
Register with SoundExchange
SoundExchange has paid out more than $7 BILLION in royalties to date. They are the sole organization designated by the U.S. Congress to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for sound recordings. They’re the ones who collect these digital performance rights from non-interactive music streaming on internet sources like SiriusXM and Pandora.
Sign Up for Lyric Distribution
Some distributors have partnerships for lyrics distribution and submission for example: Apple Music, Musixmatch, and LyricFind. With these partnerships, you’re able to streamline and expedite the submission process for faster turnarounds and less hassle.
Update your ‘Artist Pick’ on Spotify
Artist Pick is a great way to highlight what’s important to you right now, whether it be your latest release, playlist, show announcement, or even a Fan Support link. Check out the video below to learn how to do it…
Promote It On Socials
Social media offers an easy and effective method for promoting your latest track. To do so, start by creating a strategy tailored to your goals and target audience. Next, you can engage with your followers by posting your song in Reels, Stories, TikTok’s, and wherever else your fans frequent. You can also collaborate with fellow artists to expand your reach even further. Remember to utilize relevant hashtags, create visually appealing content, and consider running targeted ads for wider exposure. Lastly, always encourage user-generated content from your fans! Ask them to tag you in their own posts featuring your song, and get permission to re-post it on your own profile.
Pitch for Sync
When we talk about sync licensing in the music business, we’re referring to the act of synchronizing a piece of music with any form of visual media. That means getting your music featured in movies, TV episodes, commercials, video games, etc.
Get Some Press
After releasing new music, it’s always a good idea to send your music to music journalists, bloggers, and magazines for potential reviews and features. You can even share it in Facebook Groups, Reddit threads, or anywhere else where people can see your new song and share it with their communities.
You worked hard on your new track. Don’t let it get lost in the shuffle of thousands of songs trying to break through this crazy industry. Practicing things like consistently hyping yourself up on socials, optimizing your Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, etc. profiles, and everything else we covered above, can make or break the performance of your work.
In the meantime, be proud of all your hard work! Keep going, be consistent, and believe in your talents as an artist.
Your fans show their love and support by interacting on socials, sharing your music with their friends, going to shows, buying merch and so much more. Don’t you think all this effort deserves a little something extra? With exclusive content for only your most dedicated fans, you can not only thank them for their past support, but also give everyone else a good reason to get more involved. Here are 6 ideas for exclusive content any artist can try right now…
6 Types of Exclusive Content For Fan Engagement
One of the OG methods for exclusive content in the music industry is to offer early access to upcoming tracks, music videos, merch, and even ticket sales. That being said, one of the easiest ways to do this is through email. Get your fans to sign up for your email list in exchange for this exclusive content. For music videos, you can send a private YouTube link (which also then leads them to your YouTube profile with all your other juicy content while they’re at it). For merch, you can link items right in the email. For new music, private links work too. You can even create a private Instagram or Facebook group chat to share everything in.
However you decide to share it, getting early access to your favorite artist’s latest creation is one of the best feelings there is as a fan.
Private Fan Community Access
Platforms like Patreon and Discord give you the opportunity to create a close-knit community where everyone can chat, share and connect on a deeper level in a private, online space. Not only can they chat it up with you, but they can also connect with each other and create meaningful connections as a community, all through the power and love of music.
If you want to offer different levels of personal content, consider offering different membership tiers with varying levels of access and benefits. For example, you could have a basic tier with offers access to the community and a higher tier that includes additional perks like behind-the-scenes content and merch discounts.
Another great option you can offer is a discount on new merch or tickets to your next show. An easy way to do this is to run a social media contest and create a discount code you can share exclusively to the winners through DM’s on Instagram, email, Discord, or wherever you like to send personal messages.
Lyric Sheets and Personal Song Notes
This is one of my favorites, which I have personally received from one of my childhood favorite artists’ at the time. The band sent me a handwritten note from the lead singer with song lyrics from an unreleased song and personal thoughts about the lyrics. (He even threw in an expected, used guitar pick into the envelope. This was over 10 years ago, and I still have that letter in a scrapbook somewhere. That just shows how meaningful something so simple to you can be to your fans.
From personalized shoutouts and quick birthday messages to even a simple heartfelt DM, something personal goes a long way with your fans. There are a lot of avenues you can go down with this one, too. Consider things like custom songs, personal thank you videos, personalized art/merch, exclusive demos with commentary, and so much more. You can even ask your fans directly on socials what they want from you for more ideas.
When it comes to exclusive events you can do, live Q&A sessions are a great option but not the only one! You can also organize exclusive listening parties where you play your new album or unreleased tracks for your subscribers, and discuss the songs or share insights during the event. You can host online songwriting workshops or masterclasses for your subscribers where you teach them about your songwriting process and help them develop their own skills.
If you want to get more interactive with it, take requests to do covers of your fans favorite songs or have fans ask you questions about your latest album, inspirations, or even your career as a whole. TikTok Live is a great place to do this, because viewers can pay to send you Gifts which translate into real rewards for you (similarly to donating bits on Twitch).
To wrap things up…
Offering exclusive content may help you grow your community and connect with your fans, but it does so much more for you as an artist. With it, you can earn additional income, give yourself more creative freedom, run free promo, test upcoming projects, and foster long-term support that will stick with you throughout your career. At the end of the day, this industry thrives on community. Take care of yours, and it will take care of you.
So your fans are streaming your music and jamming away… Great! But what if you want more? Super fans will support you through thick and thin. Fostering deeper connections with your audience is a smart way to create a stronger fan base you can lean on throughout your career. Whether it be with a paid newsletter, exclusive merch, or a VIP subscription service, here’s how to convert casual fans into paying subscribers.
How to Convert Fans Into Paying Subscribers
Offer Something Worth Paying for
You have to think about what other artists in your genre are offering. For example, lots of artists offer early access to a new song, but if the song is going live to the public a couple weeks later, it’s not necessarily worth paying for in advance. Offer something uniquely exclusive, because everyone likes to feel special.
For example, you could start by simply mentioning your new subscription in an Instagram story. Mention an exclusive community that gets special treatment, for example: “… And we did a private concert for five of our fans, it was amazing… We even played them one of our unreleased songs.” Or offer other things like:
- Online concerts
- VIP virtual hangs
- Features on social media (Instagram Live, Twitter shoutouts, etc.)
- Access to unreleased music
- Behind the scenes content
- Autographed merch
Exclusive shit sells. Get creative with it! Think about things you’d want from your favorite artist and go from there.
Run Targeted Ads
Great advertising is a magical thing. Running targeted ads towards your current fanbase is a great way to reel in those who are already the most interested in your work.
Loyalty goes a long way. Give back.
Being a part of a community is a feeling like no other. Feeling connected and heard by your favorite artist is worth a subscription any day. When you get a new subscriber, do something special for them to show you care. Give back by promoting your subscribers on socials. Anything to create a personalized and thoughtful experience will do.
- You could try something on social media like, #followbackfridays, where you follow back everyone who subscribes to your service that day. (That doesn’t mean tagging everyone in one post, by the way. There’s nothing personal about that.)
- Record personalized thank you videos for subscribers via Twitter or Instagram.
- Invite a couple fans to join an Instagram Live with you.
It’s important to show your subscribers how thankful you are for their patronage and actually put in the work. Because without them, where would you be?
Have a Social Media Strategy
Promoting your new service on socials is the best way to stay on top of everyone’s minds. Just don’t overdo it. Don’t harass your followers with a million posts a day begging for their interest. Keep it casual but consistent. Be engaging.
Having a great CTA works wonders, but you don’t want to overwhelm your audience. When in doubt, a simple “here’s what I’m doing, here’s why it’s awesome, and here’s why you’ll dig it” should do the trick..
Just be consistent, offer something they can’t wait to get their hands on, and always be yourself. Your fans will see your spark and naturally want a part of it. You got this.
Not only does the holiday season bring in the holiday cheer, they also bring more sales than any other time of the year. From merch sales to music streams and social engagement, it’s time optimize your marketing strategy for the holidays. Want in on some tips and tricks to amp up your holiday marketing game? No problem. Here are some holiday marketing tips for musicians…
Holiday Marketing Tips for Musicians
Send Out Holiday Cards To Your Fans
There’s nothing quite like getting a holiday card from someone. Knowing someone was thinking of you and put in the effort to show they care is a one of a kind feeling. If your weird cousin in Alaska can manage to send you a holiday card every year, you can send your own holiday cards to some well deserving fans.
Take note of the top 50 fans who engage with your social media the most, or go live and take the first people to join into consideration. It’s up to you how you’d like to choose who gets one. — (Note: Consider how much money you’re capable of spending on holiday cards and stamps. That, and how much free time you have, will help you decide how many people you can add to your list.)
Here are some great websites to help you create custom cards for the low:
Share Personal Holiday Memories
The holidays have most of us feeling sentimental. Pull on the heart strings on your fans by sharing your own personal holiday memories from your childhood on socials. Go on Instagram Live and share your funniest holiday memories or post some throwback pics from your childhood on Facebook. Just get personal.
By opening up and sharing some personal tidbits, you’ll steal the hearts of existing fans and gain some new ones in the process.
Holiday Themed Livestreams
Since the beginning of the pandemic, artists have been live-streaming like crazy. With the holidays coming in hot, switch up the vibe and try some holiday themed streaming instead! Get festive, decorate your space, and go live to play some holiday classics.
Want to switch it up? Engage your audience with a holiday themed tutorial.
- Go live and wrap presents with your fans
- Cook a holiday meal
- Go on a decorating spree in your house
Whatever you do, sneak in some of your music in the background and don’t forget to promote yourself every now and then.
Host A Giveaway
What better way to engage your audience on any platform than with a holiday giveaway! All you’ll need to do is create posts on socials encouraging your fans to enter and put together the prize.
Consider giving away things like:
- Limited edition holiday merch
- Early download access to your new EP
- Signed vinyl
- A holiday care package (merch, vinyl, CD’s, a holiday card, candy, etc., all in one)
The holidays are about giving back and showing you care. Let your marketing reflect that!
Offer Holiday Sales On Merch
Want sell more merch? Join the Black Friday craziness and do your own deals. Offer discounts on select merch items and promote the sales on socials.
To hype it up and extend your reach even further, try a collaboration with other artists where you all post pics of yourselves doing holiday themed activities in the merch. Another thing you can do is throw in a free gift on top of your discounts.
- For example, every $75 order could get a signed guitar pick or limited edition print included.
Promote with Style
Whatever you do, do it with style. It doesn’t hurt to get a little festive this holiday season, especially with your marketing. Take advantage of the cozy aesthetic and get your audience in the holiday spirit with holiday themed posts on socials, limited edition holiday merch, or even holiday themed ad campaigns.
The more the merrier! 🎁