Sarah Donner knows how to engage her audience (on the stage and off). Last Fall she began handing out socks at her concerts. Tube socks, dress socks, blue socks, red socks . . .  The idea was to get her fans to create sock puppets that would eventually appear in her new music video.

Sarah explains:

“Attached was a slip of paper with directions and my address. I also made a ‘how to’ music video (very meta indeed) which I posted on puppet blogs, craft blogs, whatever. ”

Sarah had no idea if her audience would respond or not. But, sure enough, sock puppets began showing up in the mail:

“Not only were fans becoming involved, but so were professional puppeteers, costume designers, and art directors. Between the crafty fans and the crew of puppeteers in the video, I had over 100 people invested in making this video. It was a great way to get everyone excited for the release. We even made teasers with puppet interviews! And now it’s out and being spread far and wide.”

Check out Sarah’s video for her song ‘Going Under.’

Sarah involved her audience in such a way that they felt ownership in the project. They were literally a part of the creative process and therefore they were far more likely to share and promote Sarah’s video. (It’s also well done and cute, which helps!)

Sarah advises:

“If you can find a way to get loads of people invested in your music video, whether its providing a location, bringing the pizza for the crew, being a puppeteer, moving scenery, being an extra, making the geisha puppet, or holding rubber ducks on sticks, the video will go a lot further via word of mouth!”

Have you ever tried involving your fans in this way? How did it go?

Chris Bolton