5 (Mostly Free) Tools You Should Be Using To Build A Fanbase That You Probably Missed

Earbits – Earbits is an online radio service that doesn’t play any Top 40 music. Instead, it’s a place where listeners go to hear who is making new and exciting music. Not only is it free to get your music there (if it’s accepted) you can gain Twitter follows, Facebook likes and email addresses from those who like your music on the service. You can also have your music shared by fans on Twitter and Facebook. In fact, in order for listeners to keep listening to music on the service, they need to do these actions to earn points that allow them to keep listening for free. This means if your music is on the service, you are bound to get more fans from it. The service is free, but they also offer a marketing platform where you can pay to get played more often if you pay to do so.

Dropify - Many bands ask me how they can trade song downloads for Facebook likes. Dropify allows you to do just that, for $9 a month. You can embed their widget on your free music page, blogs who post about you, etc. to get more likes on Facebook. You can also link to a Dropify page from your YouTube or SoundCloud descriptions–a great idea to get more than just subscribers on these services. I find this service is best employed as giving fans the option to use Dropify, Pay with a Tweet or get their email address. We use these  three options to great effect on the page where you can download a free excerpt of our new book and have seen great results from giving fans the option to download in exchange for what they choose.

Free Music Archive – WFMU’s Free Music Archive allows free music that has a Creative Commons license to be downloaded, played and promoted. This gets your music to highly influential radio stations like WFMU who are non-profit and cannot afford to operate if they pay conventional royalty fees when they are doing you a favor by promoting your music on their airwaves which will net you tons of new fans. This also allows podcasts to promote your music (while telling their listeners who you are), your music to get in the Vimeo Music Store and other outlets to easily share your music in exchange for free promotion. There are countless ways having your music in this archive can help spread your music and lead you to gain more fans.

BandPage Experiences – Most musicians use crowdfunding services like Kickstarter to sell fans experiences. Experiences like hanging out, doing a cover song of their choice or giving a music lesson get sold to fans on these services every day. But what if you aren’t fundraising a special project and just want to sell fans some cool experiences or services you offer? BandPage Experiences is a perfect way to do just that. Especially for those with a skill you do outside of your music–whether it’s lessons, haircuts, remixes of a fan’s song–you can keep these services on sale permanently using this great service. We wrote about the service in much greater detail here. 

Mention – You may have heard that Google Reader will be gone in a few days. If you rely on Google Alerts to know when someone writes about you, what will you do? Never fear, Mention is here. This fantastic service allows you to track whenever your name is mentioned around the web as well as social networks like Twitter. Unlike Google Alerts, Mention learns the results you do and don’t want, so you sort through less and less junk. The service is free if you only want to track three search terms per month and is extremely valuable for keeping track of who is talking about you on the web. It would be a shame to miss a blog mentioning you and not get the chance to build on that relationship.

Bonus! YouTube Annotation Links – For a long time YouTube wouldn’t allow you to link outside of their service using annotations. That has changed! You can now link to where to buy, download for free or whatever you would like inside annotations. This is especially helpful if you’re embedding your video on blogs and fans aren’t seeing the information in the description. Get creative!

Extra BonusMTV Now Allows You To Submit For Airplay Through Artists.MTV


Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.

  • Earbits

    Hi Jesse, thanks for including us in this post and for the kind words.

    Team Earbits.

  • Laura

    Thanks for the BandPage mention! It’s been great to see the new Experiences added every week.