Mar 13 2018
I would love to be in that top donor category for a theatre company, or to hold an independent cinema membership at the top tier. I would love to fund scholarships and residencies, to be an Angel.
In the meantime, in addition to the dollars I can donate, I set out to find ways to support artists for free. By talking to artists in different fields, I was surprised to learn ways to help that are so simple, but not always obvious.
Why not try one of these today?
By clicking the follow button, you make it more likely that their music will be considered for major playlists. I didn’t even know this was a thing you could do, but it’s a solid statistic that only takes a click.
This raises their ‘StarMeter’ which could give them a boost with future casting opportunities. After going to the theatre or watching a web series, this is a great excuse for an IMDb-based cyberstalk that benefits the actors as well as my curiosity.
All those likes, follows, and comments matter, boosting the artist’s status as an influencer, and being a part of their community.
“Photographing and posting images any of the items you have bought from them previously on your social media as these kinds of customer images are invaluable and it’s really inspiring to see how people are adding their personal touches/styling your work.”
See if your favourite artists have newsletters. You’ll be the first to hear about their new projects, and that’s often where they will point you to specific ways you can support them.
This is valuable information for the venue, as well as for the author! The more requests, the more likely an author’s work will be stocked.
If you’re going to buy the book anyway, pre-ordering gives an extra nudge, telling bookstores and the publisher that this book is in demand.
In the UK, Public Lending Right UK gives authors the right to receive payment for the loans of their book at public libraries.
After you pledge to support an artist’s Kickstarter, leave a comment. This helps boost their page in the Kickstarter algorithm!
Think of how many times you have scanned reviews before investing your time or money on something. A positive review for someone’s work you love can go a LONG way. Places to leave reviews:
• Trip Advisor
• On your blog
• Offer to write a testimonial for a workshop or course
Most of us get recommendations through word of mouth. Even a retweet goes a long way.
If you’re going to a show, an opening, or a reading you’re really excited about, invite people to come along with you. I love dragging my friends to my favourite Fringe shows, and forcing New Yorkers to meet me at Sleep No More.
The more listeners a guest brings in, the most likely they will be asked back, or invited on other shows.
“If there’s a podcast you like or a publication you read that you think should be aware of the artist, shoot them a suggestion on their contact form/on social media. Lots of outlets are looking for guests that overlap with and extend their existing listener/reader base.”
“I find that it’s easy to share or voice support but we rarely take the time to interact with the work ourselves and say what it is we like or appreciate about it. I think that makes a huge difference and it’s something I try to do because I become an actual audience member of the person’s work AND my comments essentially become a review and give other people a reason to engage.”
“I can name three book series off the top of my head that I bought/read because of the amazing fanart.”
“One woman came up to me at the Boston International Film Festival and asked to take a picture with me. She told me that she followed me on social media and that she was so happy to meet me because I was her inspiration. Comments like THAT support artists and create emotional support that helps buffer out some of the unkindnesses of the industry.”
It can be daunting for an artist to put a price tag on what they do (says Xandra, from personal experience). Telling an artist that they should ask for payment, or that you would pay for their work can boost confidence and normalise the idea that art is worth paying for.
“I believe it’s important to not do work for free for the industry as a whole. If one person does something for free, then everyone else loses out and in reality no one in the industry will have gained anything.”
“Making art costs money and paying rent also costs money, so if you are able, the best way to support your favourite artists is to give them cold hard cash. You could use Ko-Fi, to digitally buy someone a coffee, or participate in an artist’s Patreon scheme. For example, Glaswegian music site Gold Flake Paint will send you a special playlist every month, for just a few pounds. A bargain! ”
Most likely there is something simple and concrete you can do that will go a long way. Just ask!
Speaking of which… Do you have a tip on how to support artists for free that isn’t on this list? Leave a comment and link to your work! I’ll be updating this.
P.S. So… if you were counting, that’s actually more than 15. ;)
P.P.S. My ebook, Own Your Story, is being retired at the end of the month. This is your last chance to get your copy.
P.P.S. Leave a comment linking to an artist we should know about!
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