FanBridge Blog

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Team FanBridge

You understand the importance of treating your fans right. But how do you make a person who joins your list or follows you on a social network feel truly special?

One word: Exclusivity!

Everyone loves to be the first to hear about something new or have early access to hot commodities.  And this can be the key to establishing a valuable relationship with your new fans.

To gain more insight into effectively building a strategy based on exclusivity, we decided to ask our industry experts the following question:

How can I convey a sense of EXCLUSIVITY to the fans receiving mynewsletter and interacting with me on social media?

Our guest authors:

Joy Ike (Grassrootsy), Brian John (, Isha Edwards (EPiC Measures)

Joy Ike

Joy Ike is a full-time singer-songwriter whose music earned her a spot on last year’s Lilith Fair tour. She is also the founder of Grassrootsy, a music marketing blog for independent artist. She believes the greatest tragedy in the world is having a talent and keeping it to yourself.

It’s really important to set a standard with your fans from the very beginning. As soon as they sign up for your newsletter, send them a welcome message that essentially tells them they’re in the “in crowd” – that they’ll get new information before anyone else does. In many cases building exclusivity has more to do with the “outsiders” than the “insiders”.  Make the outsiders jealous. Sounds cruel, huh? But really, make them wish they were on the inside.

I would argue that between Facebook, Twitter, and your official newsletter, the newsletter is the only truly exclusive form of communication. So use your social media platforms as bait for your newsletter. Post simple, subtle, and suggestive status updates like, “Newsletter subscribers, the monthly download is now available for FREE! Go get it!” If you make posts like this on a regular basis, you are sure to make the outsiders jealous and even convert a few!

Brian John

Brian John is a Student Advisor at, the Berklee College of Music’s online continuing education school. He is a Boston area musician with training in classical piano and composition, and enjoys learning about the latest music business trends and social media marketing.

Exclusivity is, essentially, the act of limitation. Something can be limited in quantity, accessibility, or frequency – all these lead to a sense of exclusivity. It is a two-way street: social media allows fans access to content provided by artists that are exclusive to whatever media is being utilized. In exchange, artists are provided with direct access to fans. The easiest way to utilize these tools, and create a sense of exclusivity, is to market your limited goods through your newsletter and social media. By targeting your fans in this way, the people who have allowed you access to their inboxes and media feeds are rewarded with information they value.

Also, if you are fortunate, word spreads and others realize they are missing out – it becomes not only a revenue generator, but also a fan generator. Also, many providers offer geo-targeting, which gives rise to a whole new level of exclusivity. The implications are huge – artists are now able to deliver content not only tailored to their fans, but also tailored to their fans’ locations. How much more likely would you be to open a newsletter that names your specific region in the title? What about sending an offer to all fans within 30 miles of your next show?

In the past, social media was limited by being unlimited – with geo-targeting, you can create a sense of exclusivity by customizing your content so that it is relevant to specific fan groups.

Isha Edwards

Idea catalyst and brand marketing expert, Isha Edwards has worked with music professionals since 2005. The Urban Network’s Music Entertainment & Marketing Summit in Los Angeles, performing rights organization, SESAC (Atlanta), and The Recording Academy’s Grammy University Network (Atlanta) are among the many platforms where Isha provides practical business insight.

Exclusivity cannot be realized via a newsletter let alone social media especially since both are considered “all access” media platforms. The thought is a bit of an oxymoron. To be exclusive, artists would have to provide user name and password account access and only post information that is privy to fans that opt in. Going at exclusivity this way however, would instantly limit the type of information that is posted via FaceBook, for example. It may also limit fan response time (responses to social media feeds are much faster than information acquired via protected accounts).

To increase exclusivity, recording artists may provide fans with more in-person access at events; VIP admission; special seating; photo ops, and yes, even discounted concert tickets! For a real sense of exclusivity, consider Oprah’s all expenses sponsored trip to Australia for ultimate viewers.

Even if you cannot pay for 300 of your No. #1 fans to travel with you for a week, the notion speaks volumes with regards to exclusivity. Like O, you owe a measure of your success to the people who literally finance your livelihood or help maintain your brand value. What better way to say thank you and mean it than by tangibly investing in them?

Have you been able to convey a sense of exclusivity to your fans? Email danielaatfanbridgedotcom and let us know about it. You could be featured in one of our case studies.

Share your point of view and personal experiences about this topic. We are always looking to hear from our readers, and will tweet interesting comments (make sure to include your Twitter name!).

Want more tips for managing your fan base? Download our free eBook, 3 Keys to Fan List Success for Musicians.


  • Adam

    I run a small independent record label based in the UK.

    We've been using Damn The Radio recently to try and develop our facebook community.

    We already use Soundcloud as a part of our promo process, using a secret link (downloads not enabled) to send to DJs for listening purposes with a separate zip file link for those that want a download.

    With DTR we can add those locked tracks to our facebook page as they are being put out on promo but locked down so only facebook fans can listen.

    We then upload artwork, tagging the band and relevant people in the release and word quickly spreads bringing a lot of traffic to the DTR page on facebook and increasing 'like's significantly.

    We put on over 100 fans in 48 hours doing this recently – that was only our first attempt, but a big increase for us.

    It's great as fans get even more upfront access to our music than before – in line with the 'taste-makers' on our promo list.

  • Jain

    Work it Adam!

  • FanBridge

    Great job Adam! Thanks for sharing this and keep up the good work!