Free Your Content And Connect With Fans
Connecting with fans can be done through anything: content, relationships, ideas, inspiration, you name it. Giving a reason to buy is as simple as understanding what it is your audience is actually interested in (t-shirts, paid content, a special version of a product) building the necessary trust and providing an easy purchasing mechanism.
Not restricting copyright is a wonderful way to succeed in connecting with fans, who in a digital society are interested in sharing, remixing and overall having fun with the artists they enjoy. A perfect example of this is how PSY released Gangnam Style.
As TechCrunch notes:
PSY’s lack of stance on copyrights has led greatly to the video’s success but it doesn’t bring in the cash. That comes from PSY’s commercial deals, YouTube ads, and iTunes says. The AP reported in early December that PSY is said to make $8.1 million this year alone. Not a bad haul for a video that’s only 6 months old.
A major reason for PSY’s success is the lack of playing copyright police, and freeing fans to do as they please with his content. Abundance is rewarded and because of this, PSY is able to make significant revenue, smartly, by using popularity for revenue-generating outcomes.
It’s actually not so different for businesses to make revenue from social. I’ll give you a personal example to illustrate. In 2008 while I was a consultant, I helped a start-up brand generate massive amounts of endorsements on the social web by allowing users to creatively share / remix their products online. We then used much of the positive endorsement generated from the ideas as part of a sales initiative to help the brand gain shelf-space at a major retailer. It worked, as social proofing is quite effective, and ultimately won them a new channel to generate significant, sustained revenue.
If you’re an artist or a business, free your content and use it as a way to connect with fans. It is far easier to monetize popularity than it is to rise from obscurity.