Lots Of DING Without The BLING

Posted on October 19, 2010

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Fans love you! They come to your shows, scrawl all the dirty things they want to do to you on the bathroom wall at Burger King and they even tell their mom that one day they are going to marry you. Sometimes she even says, “Stan, stop dreaming and get back in the closet.” Still, that is your biggest fan.

Have you shown those crazed fans the attention THEY deserve? Here are a few ideas of how you can do that, both easily (DING) and for very little pay out of your pocket (BLING).

Give out some copies of your latest songs! You can even burn them onto the Costco bundle of 50 CDRs for just an hour or two worth of work. See someone you know and say, “Hey man, thanks for always asking how the band is. Here’s a copy of what we’ve been up to. It means a lot that you always ask, I hope you enjoy hearing it.”

DING! Fan for life.

How about those fans you don’t see face to face. They still want to talk and tell you how much they love that magical artistry you record. Give them a forum on your website. Let them have the chance to parade the pictures they took of you on tour in front of all your other fans. They deserve a little time to shine – let ‘em shine!

DING! Fans who return for life! Especially if the forum works on an iPhone.

Wait – here’s a minor BLING ALERT! Give out a few bumper stickers or t-shirts. Just give them away! You’re going to sell some anyway, hand some stuff off to the dudes and dudettes who fought there way through the mosh-pit to get up close and personal. You might not be able to stop and talk to them, but leaning over and handing them a free thingy while mouthing the words “THANK YOU” over the music will lead to: DING! Fan for life.

Do your fans send you emails from the heart? Respond from the heart, provided you’ve got one. I know, some people don’t, and some people have receptionists, hell, some people have aids – but you can still send back an email with a couple of lines saying, “Hey Stan, this is really me. Don’t stuff your girlfriend in the trunk of the car and drive off the bridge. I’m here, have some M+M’s and thank you for being a fan.”

DING! Fan for life! Maybe a creepy fan, but a fan none-the-less.

Back in the club days of the mid to late 80’s we used to sneak out a couple backstage passes to adoring and sleazy fans. That might not be the tone of the backstage door these says, but we had fans for life … some for the night, some just until the penicillin kicked in and we could stop thinking about them every time we itched our crotches, but a lot of those fans bought us groceries at the loft when we didn’t have food – so DING!!! Fans, one way or another.

On a lighter note – do you do open interviews on radio, Internet radio and Internet magazines? If you send a couple CDs to the online rags, they’ll gladly do an interview with you for the readers. Sometimes it’s by email, but if you don’t respond like a dick, chances are you’ll amuse a few fans that read some of the details they might not have known. Those things connect you with the reader, the listener and the fans. At a later date they’ll even remind you of what you said in the interview and you can look back at them and think to yourself … “What the hell is Stan talking about?”
DING? Yeah, sure, it’s a no BLING ding.
Ahhh, the best for last. Get your gear into the truck and park it where security can see it so no one breaks a window and steals your guitar. Go back into the club and grab a drink. Make yourself visible and when fans come over to talk to you, don’t ignore them for the brunette with the hooters. Take the time to thank each and every one of them in person. Hear what they have to say and maybe you’ll pick up a few things you hadn’t considered, like what song is a fan favorite, or what song they can’t stand. Ask where they drove from or where they would pay to see you play if you come to their town. Keep an open ear.

Now for the brunette. If you paid attention to what I told you above, when you are done with the fans, you can thank the brunette any way you want. Which reminds me – WEAR A GOD DAMNED RUBBER! There’s a lot of THING you can’t cure on the DING with your BLING, so play hard but please play safe!
This public service message brought to you by your friends at Guitar Video Channel who would like to see you alive the next time we see you.

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