10 ways to support artists when you’re broke

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support-local-music[This article was written by guest contributor Praverb, and it originally appeared on MikeTrampeTV.com.]

Are you struggling to support artists that you love? Do you find yourself using the same response every time someone tries to sell you their music?

The truth is we all have moments when we can’t support artists financially. Maybe something unexpected happened. Maybe you are waiting for your next paycheck. Maybe you bought a new toy for your child. Maybe you wanted to show your romantic side by buying roses for your significant other. In this article, I will share with you 10 ways to support artists when you are broke.

1. Leave a comment

Leaving a comment is one of the easiest ways to show support. Take the time out of your busy schedule and leave a comment for your favorite artists. You can leave comments on blogs, iTunes, SoundCloud, YouTube, etc.

2. Video testimonial

Leaving a video testimonial is another way to show support. Recording a video testimonial or review is very simple given the technology that we possess. Record a video talking about the music. Keep it short and share it with the artist or your loved ones.

3. Like or Share

Like the artist’s web content. Actually I want to take it a step further and say share the content. Share, retweet, repost, etc. Get the content in front of people. It’s free.

4. Change your Avi

If the artist has a new album or single out you can show support by changing your Avatar. Changing your Avi is a simple process. All you have to do is find the artwork (Google search), save it and upload it. Bam!

5. Promote

Promoting an artist is easier than you think. All you have to do is track down the link and share it via your Social Media platforms. Add a creative blurb to your link or it might look like spam.

6. Word of Mouth

Remember that your word is valuable. People make decisions based on what their friends and family have to say about a product, service, or — in this case — music. Share the music that you love with those that are close to you.

7. Post content on Reddit, Stumbleupon, etc.

You can post the content on Reddit or Stumbleupon and help the artist receive an uptick in views or plays. Make sure your follow the guidelines of the site though or risk getting banned.

8. Post content on message boards

Post the content on message boards and help spread the word. In order to do this you usually need to register with the site. If this is too much work, try looking for a Facebook group that you can contribute to.

9. Use a Hashtag

Use an established hashtag on Social Media. All you have to do is find the hashtag that the artist is using and use it whenever you talk about their music.

10. Blog About It

One of the best ways to share your thoughts about a single or album is to blog about it. This form of support is very beneficial. It has SEO benefits, Social Media benefits and personal benefits. Share your honest thoughts about the music, and then press Publish. When you are finished you can even contact the artist to notify them of your work.

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Now it’s your turn to add to the conversation. How do you support artists when you are financially strapped? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Thank you so much for reposting this. It means a lot.

  • Thanks for letting us repost it.

    @ChrisRobley

  • C Bret Campbell

    11. Get involved with (or start) a “street team”
    12. Attend the live shows and Tip the band, or at least buy them a beer.
    13. Volunteer to hang flyers when they come to town.
    14. Participate in their live Hangouts on Air (or host one for them)
    15. Invite them to do a House Concert in your home, or at your bonfire party.
    16. Comment on their social posts (comments are seen on the Facebook “ticker” Plus1’s are shown in the Google stream)
    17. Request their music on the local indie stations, both net and terra.
    18. Suggest them as good material for review on the blogs you read.
    19. When you see they are going to a town where you know other musicians, promoters, venues, or bloggers make an introduction.
    20. Paint their logo on the over-pass, train, or anything else you can get away with
    21. Record a cover of one of their songs and link to the original in your posts.
    22. Be selective about whom you share with and send personal messages to specific friends that would enjoy the music.
    23. Play their music in the car with the windows down while “cruising” on the weekend (make it Loud)
    24. Contact their management and ask for a promo kit, and what you can do to help.
    25. Contact venues they play at and ask how you can help promote the shows.
    26. Get their label to send a promo kit and try to get your local record shop to carry the albums.
    27. If you have kids, get Them into the music, they will almost always share the Good stuff with their friends.

    Give me a bit, I’ll think of some more.

    Always remember, do all of these things with taste and tact. You never want to seem like a spam-bot. So always include more than just a link or player. Give people some information. Tell them why you like the band, or share an amusing anecdote from the last show, or something, ya know…

    There is no end to the list of ways we can show love and support and it’s that support that the big labels are looking to see before they sign a group to a contract. The Beatles did not just waltz into Abbey Road and get signed, they built a huge following over a period of several years before ever getting the industry attention. That didn’t change just because we have the internet.

    • Great tips. Thanks for adding to the list!

      @ChrisRobley

      • C Bret Campbell

        Thanks for running a great resource for the indie industry and for featuring extra writers such as @Praverb:disqus.

    • Excellent tips right here…salute @cbretcampbell:disqus

    • Krypt Kreeper

      Someone give this guy a job at the site. Great add on!

  • C Bret Campbell

    It means a lot to the music community that someone would take the time to write about these things. Props, sir.

  • Very critical post…people often think that money is the be all and end all, but popularity is a much more valuable currency for musicians, as it welcomes more money after the fact. There’s plenty you can do for a band that is MORE valuable than buying their $10 product and calling it quits.

    • Thank you @indiemusicpromo:disqus you rock…

  • Slim T • TripCity

    i gotta say this is a great site for artistes like myself. lovely post, something new to enlighten my fans in nigeria

  • Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for reading!

    @ChrisRobley

  • maggie crehan

    Review their material on amazon or cd baby or other places. If you have seen them in person but not bought the album you can say so.

  • FLUFFY THE PITBULL

    All good ideas except #20. Ask yourself If you’d like somebody to come along and spray paint something, that you didn’t ask for, on your car, house, bike, whatever. I’m guessing the answer would be, “No.”

  • Raulistic

    If you don’t have money yourself, you can help pass the tip jar around at your friends’ shows and encourage other people to give.

    Also, you can volunteer to help gather names for your friends’ email lists at shows.

  • Shay Leonia

    I find a lot of times that someone sharing my content means way more than them even buying my merch or attending a show, because if they’re sharing my music then it means they cosign what I’m creating. They’re literally putting their personal taste on the line out for everyone and saying, “Hey, she’s dope… check out her stuff!” which will get me more fans anyway, and it costs $0. Great article, Praverb!

    • Thank you for taking the time to read it. It really means a lot to me and countless other starving artists.

  • There are many shades of broke. I recommend becoming a patron of an artist you love using my favorite platform patreon. You can sign up for as little as $1 per month and become a part of the artists inner circle community. Having patrons has changed my life in so many ways :). My page is here if you want to see how I’m doing it 🙂 http://patreon.com/natemaingard

  • Great platform. Glad it’s working well for you. Thanks for sharing too.

    @ChrisRobley

    • My pleasure, thank YOU for writing a lovely informative post 🙂

  • Justin ‘Mcpacthes’ Jordan

    Support the local internet radio shows who play these bands and support them get the word out let them know they play bands tunes so they band gets more exposure

  • Good post and some really good ideas. I´d also add helping your artist with PR / local PR support. Maybe you can show the local radio guys the new record or spread the word with local newspaper journalists. If the “story” and music is good, chances are that you´ll help your artists being reviewed in the local press.

    Of course, as a Music PR Company I have to say this 😉 But you can try it also without hiring someone if you actually don´t have the budget. Write down a professional PR text with a strong and interesting story and ask your local newspaper and radio stations if they are interested.

    If you want to learn more about PR for musicians, I´d be glad to see you on my blog post on that. You find it here: http://www.music-promotion.net/blog/how-to-promote-your-music-the-right-way

    Also, I think CD Baby offers many tools for Artists, where they can involve fans to help them promote their music. Right?

    • Absolutely. Our CD Baby Music player lets artists create playlists (and stores/players) that are embeddable by fans. And another great way to get fans involved is to encourage them to make YouTube videos that use your music (for which you’ll be paid through our YouTube Monetization program).

      @ChrisRobley

  • Sounds like you’ve embraced the “artists are in the business of selling t-shirts” mentality. And good for you for supporting other artists by purchasing their other products. Thanks for sharing.

    @ChrisRobley