Free Things Your Fans Will Love

Mark Martucci

Mark Martucci

 Ok, so there’s the ongoing debate about whether it helps/hurts to give away free mp3s to people. Read “What’s Your Motive? Making Money or Making Music?” for some good arguments.  And while you’re figuring out what you think,  here are some other options of how you can show appreciation to your fans while still promoting yourself.

Wallpapers and other image downloads
Wallpapers don’t cost anything except recruiting someone with graphic design ability.  Hopefully you or a freind can muster up some minimal photoshop knowledge.  That said, people love wallpapers for their computer desktop. 

Check out Mark Martucci’s page (click ‘DLoads’ link at the bottom right corner) for some great examples. He also offers AIM (aol instant messenger) buddy icons for people to use if they want. That’s a clever idea.  Ari Hest does the same thing.  His free media page is really great and offers, wallpapers, aim icons and banners.  Eric Hutchinson’s got some real killer downloads that he calls “buttons” check em out.  He also offers the code so that fans can embed the buttons on their own myspace.

No matter what types of images and icons you give away, make sure to include your website somewhere in the artwork – its all about promotion.

Who doesn’t like stickers? Stickers are pretty cheap and a fun way to share your music with people.  Ya, you’ll need to put out a little investment for this, but not much. There are tons of sticker companies and you can probably easily find a local printer in your city.  So far the best deal I’ve found is with Contagious Graphics.  They’ll print 250 stickers for $23 (4in x 1.38in). Other sizes and prices vary.  And by the way…if you go with Contagious Graphics, tell them “Joy Ike” referred you. k? thanks!

If you don’t want to simplygive stickers away, use them as incentive. examples:

  • 1.] The first 20 people at this Saturday’s show get a free sticker 
  • 2.] a free sticker when you sign up for the newsletter
  • 3.] 2 free stickers with every CD purchase

Information and Deals
It’s ok to be partial. Offer deals to the people who communicate with you, sign up for your newsletter, and fan club(s).  Here are some ideas.

  • 1.] Create a coupon (via photoshop) that says they can get $1 off the cover charge at your show
  • 2.] Send them special codes they can use to download free tunes.  Joel Rakes has a code on the back of his CDs and he says the concept works very well.


If you have any other ideas based on any of the above topics, please post them in comments. Thanks for reading!

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Explore posts in the same categories: Anyone can do this, Doing Things For Free, Merch, Spending Money

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