Last-Minute Gift Ideas For Giving Back To Your Fans! [Video]

The fan support of artists throughout this truly unprecedented year has been extraordinary, and for bands and musicians looking for some last-minute ways to give back, we have a few suggestions.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

It’s not too late to give a gift to the fans who spent 2020 supporting you despite a global pandemic and unprecedented levels of economic struggle.

2020 is a year we will all discuss for the rest of our lives. Where we were, what we experienced, and who we lost will be topics of conversation for as long as we have air in our lungs. In many ways, this awful year has brought us together in a way that no other can. We’re surviving something together, which is why it’s important that this year — more than any other — end with each of us giving thanks to those that have given us their support.

Let’s face it: Nobody had the mental or emotional capacity to endure 2020 alone. We’ve gone through the various stages of grief several times over by this point, and we’ll continue mourning the things that never happened, at least until some ‘normalcy’ returns. People are leaning on one another a lot, and that includes musicians. We all know an artist is nothing without fans, but that was proven undeniable this year, as a lack of live performances cratered musicians’ earning potential everywhere. The performers who continue to create now do so because their audience has given them an unprecedented amount of support, and today, we’re going to help you give back.

You probably cannot afford to send every fan a gift, but that’s okay. Fans don’t need nicely wrapped presents from their favorite musicians to feel specials. All any fan really wants is to know the musicians they love know they exist and that they appreciate their support. Christmas is a time to show this kind of recognition and appreciation, which is why we’re giving you four last-minute gift ideas in our latest Music Biz 101 update:

First and foremost, everyone loves free stuff, and your fans would go crazy for new music. If you have the time, record your take on a holiday classic and offer it to listeners. You can also share b-sides, demo recordings, or alternate versions of previously released material. Got a live recording? That works too! Give your fans something new without asking for anything in return, and your appreciation will be clear.

Don’t have any rare or unreleased music to share? No problem! Most or possibly all of your fans have not seen you live this year. Your audience craves face to face interaction, and one way to do that in the age of COVID is through sharing a video update. Tell your fans about your life amid the pandemic. What have you been up to? Are you recordings, or are you focusing on your families? Did you fall in love, have a child, or start a side hustle? Let your fans into your lives, and that will help maintain their connection to your work.

Third, and somewhat similar to the second option, is to host a digital hangout with fans. You can do that through Zoom and Google Hangouts, among other services. You can use these events to do anything you want, from talking with fans to performing new music. No matter what you choose to do, these digital events provide an opportunity for your fan community to come together, strengthening the bond between fans and between listeners and your music.

Finally, if none of those options work, consider giving your fans a discount. Use coupon codes to offer fans a final chance to pick up some merch before the year ends. 

More ideas can be found in the video above. If we missed anything, let us know! Suggestions can be sent to james@haulix.com.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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