When you hear or see the phrase support your independent artist, the first thought that may come to mind to many fans is having to buy the music or donate, something requiring money. There are many, very important ways to support your independent artists that don’t require money. Or they can be bands or simply call themselves musicians. But why support them? They should be providing something for you, some form of entertainment, satisfaction or pleasure, a product or service that gives you reason to want to support them. Perhaps there are artists you like, but aren’t sure of how to support them, or realize how important it is.
The first thing you can do is actually listen to the music, or if they create something else also , like videos, watch the videos, and listen to the whole song. Several of them. Giving them a chance to share what they worked so hard for is the single most important thing to an artist. For many it stops there. Sometimes an artist makes a variety of music and one song is not enough to taste the whole meal so to speak. Other artists music may be unfamiliar at first but grow on you if you give it a chance. This takes little time and costs nothing.
Comments are very important to an artist. They are the pat on the back for work well done. Sometimes an artist has a website that doesn’t allow comments, usually because of the proliferation of spammers, but they may have a blog, on which you can read and comment, which is another way to relate to the artist. Or they may have a social site they share their music on. Likes are great, but comments are encouraging and inspiring, giving the artist valuable feedback and showing you care.
Sharing is probably the single most important thing a fan can do for free. It never costs to share, and the artist benefits tremendously by the exposure. It is expensive for the artist to commercially spread their music, and by sharing you have helped the artist reach more fans. Most artists have made their music easily sharable, by either the players or you can share the page the content is on.
Not all artists can or choose to play live, some are merely recording artists, but attending shows is rewarding for fan and band. It’s the most engaging activity for both parties and the healthiest way for an artist to grow. An artist not playing live does not lesson the fact that the music has value. If the artists you like have shows, attending them is a wonderful thing and not enough can be said here.
Buying music is not required, however it is the most flattering thing you can do for the artist. It tells them than you not only like their music, but value it enough to spend money on it. Some artists depend on the money, but the most of the independent musicians I am talking about need the money for expenses to help make more music. Most musicians and bands, generally speaking, are not rich, and never will be. Sure there are famous stars that make millions, but to stereotype independent artists into that category is a harmful mistake. For some independent artists rely on making money, but not most, and the first steps of listening, commenting and sharing comes first before any sales, simply because of the volume of people that have to listen to the music, before they are willing to buy it.
Some musicians, bands, or artists, sell merchandise. This is another win win situation. You get a nice shirt or other gift and they get some compensation. Often this amounts more than the sell of a song by itself. If they have a website, they may run ads, or do a combination of all these things. Anything you do to interact with the artist helps, as it is a relationship between artist and fan.
Finally, a word on donations. Many artists do not want to sell their music. They may or may not offer a way to donate. They either don’t want to seem selfish, or most likely are completely satisfied if a fan listens to and likes their song. They are, as all of us that make music, wanting to express themselves. and entertain the listener. It does not have to be a one way street, and I have listed many ways you can express yourself to the band or musician and help support the independent artist.
the bird is the word