4 Bands With Killer Facebook Timelines

A few days ago, we asked artists on Twitter and Facebook to send us links to their bands’ Facebook Pages on Timeline featuring the new ReverbNation apps. We received an overwhelming number of responses (over 300!), but here are 4 of our favorites:

Great idea! Alessio made use of his cover photo to direct fans to the apps. https://www.facebook.com/alessiobuscemimusic

In one click, Helen's fans can play music, watch videos or sign up for mailing list. https://www.facebook.com/helenaustinmusic

REYN installed the apps that matter the most to his fans. https://www.facebook.com/Reynforever

Creative idea! The Black Hats changed app's image and name to match the band's personality. https://www.facebook.com/blackhatshome

Did you notice how they made their Pages look awesome by using unique and eye-catching cover photos? The cover photo is very likely the first thing your fans will see so make good use of it!  Make it compelling, fun, authentic, and most importantly, make it representative of your musical personality and style. Consider changing it often to keep fans coming back. NOTE: Read Facebook’s guidelines before choosing your cover photo: https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=276329115767498

REMEMBER: If you haven’t switched your Page to Timeline yet, Facebook lets you get the new design by turning on your preview now, or you can wait until all Pages automically get upgraded on March 30, 2012.

There were many, many more Timelines and we wish we can put them all here! Since we have a limited space (#damnyouwordpress), here are other cool Timelines you can check out:

Did you get your ReverbNation apps yet?

And just because we can, watch Don Draper (Mad Men) presenting Facebook Timeline better than anyone, even Zuckerberg: http://youtu.be/wAcyJhsamcQ
Sam4 Bands With Killer Facebook Timelines
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Re-Post: The 4 Reasons Fans Buy Your Merch

We’re re-posting this 2010 blog entry from Jed Carlson, Co-Founder of ReverbNation, because it was incredibly well-received by readers — and it contains timeless advice for artists from all walks of life. Enjoy!

I was on a recent panel in Memphis, TN, for The Recording Academy called “Grammy GPS: A Roadmap for Today’s Music Business.” The topic of my panel was Direct-to-Fan (DTF) commerce. In preparation, I pored over data (anecdotal and empirical) from the last 3+ years of working with Artists, Labels and Managers, including recent data from our online DTF product Reverb Store that launched in January of this year.

The first thing that dawned on me was how much DTF commerce is already taking place, offline, in the form of the ubiquitous merch table at virtually every concert on the planet. The Artist Revenue Survey we conducted in 2008 revealed that more than 50% of our Artists total revenue came from playing live shows and selling merch and music at those shows.

It seems logical that we should consider the principals behind the merch table (offline DTF) if we’re going to be properly equipped to maximize DTF online. Core to that is understanding why fans buy products.

The following illustration is an attempt to visualize four types of fans that buy for different reasons. Any given Artist may have fans in any or all of the buckets, depending on where they are at in their career. You’ll notice that I added a ‘value’ arrow that increases as you go up the illustration. This value arrow is based on a combination of the price each type of fan is willing to pay multiplied by the number of potential fans in each group. Your biggest supporters are willing to pay more than some of the other groups, but there will likely be fewer of them, especially as you tour farther from home:


ShellyRe-Post: The 4 Reasons Fans Buy Your Merch
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The 4 Reasons Fans Buy Your Merch

I was on a recent panel in Memphis, TN, for The Recording Academy called “Grammy GPS:  A Roadmap for Today’s Music Business.” The topic of my panel was Direct-to-Fan (DTF) commerce.  In preparation, I pored over data (anecdotal and empirical) from the last 3+ years of working with Artists, Labels and Managers, including recent data from our online DTF product Reverb Store that launched in January of this year.

The first thing that dawned on me was how much DTF commerce is already taking place, offline, in the form of the ubiquitous merch table at virtually every concert on the planet.  The Artist Revenue Survey we conducted in 2008 revealed that more than 50% of our Artists total revenue came from playing live shows and selling merch and music at those shows.

It seems logical that we should consider the principals behind the merch table (offline DTF) if we’re going to be properly equipped to maximize DTF online.  Core to that is understanding why fans buy products.

The following illustration is an attempt to visualize four types of fans that buy for different reasons. Any given Artist may have fans in any or all of the buckets, depending on where they are at in their career. You’ll notice that I added a ‘value’ arrow that increases as you go up the illustration. This value arrow is based on a combination of the price each type of fan is willing to pay multiplied by the number of potential fans in each group. Your biggest supporters are willing to pay more than some of the other groups, but there will likely be fewer of them, especially as you tour farther from home:


ShellyThe 4 Reasons Fans Buy Your Merch
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Top 5 Ways to Sell More Music and Merchandise

It’s been only three weeks since the public launch of the Reverb Store, but more than 30,000 Artists have already activated this FREE, powerful and customizable storefront that allows them to sell directly to their fans on ReverbNation, their homepage, blog, Facebook, MySpace and virtually anywhere else online.

The quick adoption suggests that Artists intuitively understand WHY selling direct-to-fan is an important piece of their revenue puzzle.  But we’ve been receiving a lot of questions from Artists about HOW to sell more music and merchandise.

So we’ve pulled in some best practices from our partner, Audiolife, listened to some creative suggestions from our users, and even looked at some of the early data from the Reverb Store to come up with some key concepts and a Top 5 list.

Key Concept:  Items that sell the best are…

  • Relevant (speaks to a particular segment of your fans)
  • Exclusive (gives fans a sense of ‘rarity’ around the product)
  • Limited (gives the fan a reason to buy it now)

Think about these attributes when creating a product. Is it something my fans can relate to? Is it something that will be special to them? Be creative.

Top 5 ways to sell more music and merch (with the Reverb Store):

  1. Create a different t-shirt for each gig you play on a tour, customized with each location on the tour.

    Promote each T-shirt using our FanReach email system (or whichever one you use) to target fans in the area surrounding each show. You can pre-sell the T-shirts before the show or sell the shirts afterwards to these fans, but put something special or memorable from each gig — such as what that drunk guy in the back yelled right before he passed out (or maybe just the date of the show). Either way, everyone who went to the show will have something special to remember the night by and a cool story to tell each time they wear the shirt. People buy t-shirts often as memorabilia to commemorate a special night they had with their friends. Tap into that. Location-based promotions tap into the relevance factor and will help you sell more.

  2. Re-activate your back catalog of CDs and T-shirts.

    There is no reason not to offer your out-of-print CDs and T-shirt designs through the Reverb Store (it costs nothing to set them up). If fans have worn out their favorite out-of-stock T-shirt, they can get another copy, and you don’t have to pay to have more T-shirts made. You can also sell older, sold-out albums through the Reverb Store without paying for 1,000 more CDs, or just sell them as digital downloads. New fans might want a chance to buy the older stuff too!

  3. Test out different art concepts and see which ones sell the best.

    You can create as many album or merch (T-shirts, hats, etc) art concepts as you want at no cost with the Reverb Store. Create multiple versions of your album artwork or T-shirts and let the fans decide which CDs and T-shirts they want! This is a great way to do market research without having ANY out-of-pocket costs, and could keep you from ending up with boxes of T-shirts laying around because fans didn’t like the artwork. Fans also get the chance to feel involved with the band, and makes them more likely to buy the T-shirt that they got to help pick out. Once you know what sells, stock up using our bulk buy option, which lets you buy your own CDs and merch at the lowest prices available and bring them to your shows with confidence that they will sell.

  4. Sell recordings of your live performances.

    If you get a copy of each live performance, this can be a source of additional income for you.  Consider creating concert CDs or digital downloads and selling them to the fans from that locality after the show.  Use our FanReach e-mail service to easily segment out the fans that live near the show you performed and send them an offer to buy the live performance CD from that show.

  5. Create custom t-shirts for members of your Street Team.

    If you have rabid fans, or even an organized Street Team, give them a special T-shirt or hat that they can buy to pledge their allegiance to the band and show off what they stand for. Fans like to feel included in the band, and making exclusive merch for them can often be a great way to give them an outlet to proclaim it. It costs nothing to create a special line of merch with the Reverb Store, so why not?

  6. Bonus idea:  Create CDs, Downloads, and merch to support a cause.

    Many Artists use their music as a way to raise money for a charity or cause. But often, friction is created when it comes to who will pay the up-front costs to make the products whose profits will be donated to the charity. With the Reverb Store, you can make items for a cause at no cost and send all of the profits to the charity. This opens up a whole new world of local charities you can afford to support!

We hope this gives you some great ideas, but we know that you will come up with more.  Let us know if ANY of these worked for you, or if you have any other great ideas from the Reverb Store, by sending an email to blog@reverbation.com, and we’ll post our favorite new ideas in the coming weeks.

Cheers,

Rachael (blog maven for ReverbNation.com)

reverb_administratorTop 5 Ways to Sell More Music and Merchandise
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