The A Little Bit Weird Blog

How to connect with your fans effectively

Written by Nick on

It doesn’t make sense to give away your music to people without a way to stay in touch with them. A Little Bit Weird lets you exchange your music for Facebook fans and information about them.

Stay Up to Date - With Updates!

When someone Likes you on Facebook, they’ll see your updates in their newsfeed, including your latest news, new music, tour dates, and all of those glamorous selfies! With tons of new music coming out left and right these days, it’s no secret that holding your fans’ attention is key to success.

Know Your Audience

You also get your fans’ email addresses and location information. With this information, you can start a newsletter. On the “Get Fan Data” page, your fans’ locations are represented on a map. This makes it easy to book shows and plan tours based on where your fans are. And since you have your fans’ email addresses organized by location, you can even send out targeted emails to let particular fans know you’re coming to their area!

Facebook Integration

70% of Facebook consumer follow links posted by family and friends

In addition, Facebook makes it very easy for fans to tell you about themselves without having to fill out a form. It’s also quick and easy for information to spread throughout networks within Facebook, such as groups of friends, local music scenes, families, and pretty much any other group you can think of.

And thanks to our Facebook integration, listeners can download your music in only 30 seconds: after logging in with Facebook, they just Like your Facebook page and Share your Artist Page!

Learn more about how you can use Facebook to your advantage in our next post, Amplify Your Reach


Amplify your reach

Written by Nick on

Naturally, you’re always trying to reach more listeners. At first, these people might just be your family and friends. But in order to continue growing, you’ll have to be able to reach more than just the people you know. You’ll want to find new listeners, and you’ll dream that they’ll someday become super fans. Super fans will buy all your merch and tell all their friends about you. Hell, they’ll love you more than their own mother!

superfans

But first you have to reach them!

To help you reach more listeners, we’ve given you the option to add a “Share” step to the download process on your Artist Page. This additional step will require your fans to Share your page on Facebook in order to download your music. With each additional Share, your music shows up in more newsfeeds and is displayed higher up in those newsfeeds. By requiring listeners to Share your download page, you’ll guarantee that many other people on Facebook will see and hear your music.

If you don’t have many fans yet...

then you might want to start by giving away singles to anyone who Likes your page, and hold off on requiring a Share. This way you can build up a large fanbase of listeners who have already completed the “Like” step. So when you release your full album, if you require the “Share’”step, most of your fans will only have to Share to download.

If you already have a lot of fans...

and you’re just trying to get people talking about your new music, then you might consider requiring the “Share” step from the get-go. Try making the free download time-sensitive by only offering 100 or 200 downloads, first-come, first-served! Your most intense fans will jump at the chance to get your music for free, and by the time all 200 downloads are complete, thousands of people will have seen the download link in their newsfeeds. Many of them might even download it themselves!

These are just a few ways to use A Little Bit Weird, and there are sure to be many more that we haven’t thought of yet. Got a good idea? Let us know in the comments, or shoot us a message on the contact page!


Any time, anywhere

Written by Nick on

It’s important to make your music as easily accessible as possible. This means placing your music where your fans are.

78% of US Facebook users use the mobile Facebook app daily.

This means means that your fans will probably be checking out your A Little Bit Weird Artist Page on their phones.

We spent a lot of time making sure that A Little Bit Weird looks and feels great on all devices. Whether your fans are on the go with their iPhones or if on the couch with a laptop, your page will work exactly the same. No matter where they are, listeners will be able to download your music quickly and easily

responsive design

Because there’s a huge chance that listeners will be on their phones when they see your download link, mobile downloading needs to be very easy. Android users will be able to download your music directly to their phone. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for iPhones and Windows Phones. So, instead, these fans will receive an email with a link to download your music later.

”Free Download” Cards

free download cards

Handing out demos has never been easier. Our artists have had a lot of success with using business cards to promote their Artist Pages. This is an affordable and powerful tool for increasing your reach and getting more downloads: just put your A Little Bit Weird URL and your album art on it, and hand it out to people in the crowd after your shows. Leave them in coffee shops. Give stacks to friends and fans. Tell them that your Artist Page is mobile-friendly, so they can download your album right then and there if they want to. You can even print a photo of yourself on the other side, so people who take the card home will remember who you are when they pull it out of their pockets a few days later!

We’ve even this amazing template for you so you can easily customize and order your own download cards! Download Template Button

We’ve also got a sweet discount for you! Use the link below to get 48% off business cards if you order through OvernightPrints.com. We’ve tried a lot of different companies, and we like them the most - their standard card stock is the sturdiest, and they have great customer support.


Music Distribution, made social

Written by Nick on

A Little Bit Weird is a brand new, social distribution platform for music. It lets artists like you trade your music for word-of-mouth promotion and a better understanding of your audience.

When you sign up for our free service, you get a beautiful, mobile-ready Artist Page where listeners can download your music for free in two easy steps. First, they Like your Facebook page, which gives you their name, email, and location, so you can build a mailing list. Next, they Share the link to download your music, so that their friends will be exposed to your music - and will hopefully download it as well! It’s music distribution, made social.

A Little Bit Weird Artist Page

Like we said, this project has been in the works for a very long time. It started off as an experiment for the release of my own album, and it turned into something much bigger: a music platform that will seriously benefit thousands of musicians all over the world. We spent a lot of time at the drawing board, revising and editing every element of the website to ensure that we deliver exactly what artists need. The result is the most powerful, effective, and simple solution for marketing your music online.

Still have some questions? Eager to learn more?

Or are you ready to get started? Sign up and reach more fans today!


Let’s go 4 years back in time

Written by Nick on

It was the summer before my senior year of college. Like many other independent musicians, I was sitting on a pile of music with no idea what to do next. Of course, I had a Facebook page and a SoundCloud account. After all, if you build it, they will come… right?

Wrong.

empty bleachers

So I began toying with the idea of giving my music away for free. If I printed CDs, sure, my friends and family would buy them to put in their cars. And I might even sell as many as 50 of these right off the bat. But then what? Set up an online store? Not many of my 125 Facebook followers would be likely to whip out their credit card and actually buy music.

The free option started to look promising.

If gave away my music for free online, I might not make those first 50 sales, but at least I’d reach a bunch of people...right? But who were they? Where were they from? Would they tell their friends? Would I ever see or hear from them again?

Then it hit me.

idea lightbulb

It’s so simple! Right now, music is hard to sell; and you need to be lucky and a genius to benefit from no strings attached-free. Meanwhile, what you really want is promotion from your fans, connectivity with your fans, and information about your fans. So why not let fans download your music in exchange for these things?

3 simple steps.

So, I contacted a programmer friend of mine. We built a simple web page, with my name, album art, and a player so people could listen to the whole album as many times as they wanted. No barriers to entry like some of those super annoying Facebook apps (“Like my page, then hear my music!”). After all, nobody wants to Like an artist they haven’t even heard yet! On my page, not only was listening unrestricted, but if you liked what you heard, you could even download it for free by following three easy steps. First, I asked listeners to log in with Facebook, which automatically gave me their name, email address, and location. Then, I asked them to Like my Facebook page so they could stay up to date on my new music. The third, and final, step required these new fans to enter the email address of a friend, who would then receive a personalized recommendation to check out my music and download it for free!

The results were astounding.

When I released my album on December 3rd, 2011, I posted the download link on my Facebook page. On the first day, over 100 people had downloaded my album, Liked my page, and Shared it with a friend. The next day, 300. Then, on December 5th, I posted the link to reddit.

reddit alien

Before I knew it, my fan base had grown to 2,000. In 72 hours.

This Like-and-Share system had worked just as planned. It created what I now call “a social media splash” - a virtual, viral wave that permeated the Facebook community. And over the next few months, that wave continued to grow.

Suddenly I had a real fanbase.

But how could I be sure that they were true fans? I decided to take down the website and try my hand at distributing my album to my new fans through traditional avenues: iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify - and, yes, even physical CDs. To my surprise, hundreds of these new fans (fans who already got my album for free!) purchased it at full price anyways. I sold tons of CDs, made it to the top 3 folk artists on Amazon, and even got some media attention.

This could seriously help a lot of musicians,

Independent or otherwise. Music isn’t selling like it used to. Giving your music away for free risks no returns. This concept could help level the playing field.

With musicians wants and needs in mind, I set out to design a simple and powerful platform for musicians, entirely based around this hugely successful system.

Learn more about the redesign process in our next post, Back to the Drawing Board.


Back to the drawing board

Written by Nick on

It all started with [a simple experiment gone extremely right], but soon I realized the potential for helping other musicians around the world. So I got a talented team together, and we began redesigning our system as a service for musicians.

einstein chalkboard

First, we rethought the three step process. Many users of my first prototype were wary of giving away their friend’s email in step 3, and I got a ton of phony email addresses (PooOnYou@aol.com). We also realized that this wasn’t a very effective promotion tactic: these emails often just sat in the inbox for weeks or months before actually being opened, and even then, only one person would see the message. Instead, we made Step 3 require fans to Share the download link, so that every time someone downloads your album, all their Facebook friends see it.

As more and more fans download and Share the link, Facebook pushes it to the top of the newsfeed, which means that exponentially more people will see the post.

With great power comes great...simplicity!

So now we have a powerful tool. But the internet is full of powerful tools for musicians.

We had to determine what things musicians really needed from our service, what they already had covered by other services, and how to make our system as easy to use as possible.

  • Simple Music Uploading: As musicians ourselves, we thought it was annoying to have to reupload and reorganize and rename your music for yet another service. So we simplified the process! To upload music, you just sign in with SoundCloud and select a pre-existing Playlist. Boom. Done.

  • Simple Page Customization: It’s also annoying to have to fiddle with color schemes and upload perfectly-sized images to make a half decent looking page. So we simplified that too! All you have to do is upload either your album art or some picture with a nice color scheme, and we’ll auto-blur it and make it your background. Beautiful and clean, without distracting from the purpose of the page: your music.

  • Simple Mobile Experience: Let’s face it: everybody’s always on their phone. It’s a huge pain when you visit a site on your phone, only to find that it’s completely different and totally impossible to figure out. Our Artist Pages are mobile-ready from the get-go, and function exactly the same way as the regular site. And for all your fans who aren’t Android users (ie. who can’t download music directly to their phones), they’ll receive an email with a download link.

We worked really hard to ensure that A Little Bit Weird is as simple and useful as possible. And we’ve got plenty more features cooking! If you have any suggestions for future features, feel free to drop us a line at our contact page!.