Facebook Live videos are getting a lot of attention recently. And with good reason – right now they are at the top of the algorithm in terms of reach and engagement. In other words, Facebook prioritizes live videos in the newsfeed.
There are a ton of articles out there explaining how to use Facebook live, so today I want to dive in a little deeper and discuss how you as an indie musician can sell more music with Facebook Live. Because that’s what we’re all aiming for, right? 🙂
There’s no direct “buy” button that will let you sell through Facebook live videos, BUT you can use Lives as a tool to drive fans to support you financially. Let’s take a look.
Take Donations During Facebook Live Events
One of the most direct ways to make money through a Facebook Live is with a little “tip jar.” This is just a link to some place where fans can donate some amount of money while they’re watching the live video.
So how do you set this up? First you need some way to accept donation payments. This is different from a typical store where fans trade money for some physical or digital product. Instead, fans will be giving you “tips” simply because they want to be able to support you or to show their appreciation for the awesome Live you’re doing.
It’s pretty easy to set up a donate button or link via PayPal. Just head over to your “Tools” tab and select “All Tools” to see your full suite. From there, choose “PayPal Buttons” and pick the “Donate” button option. You’ll be able to customize your button and donation experience and in the end you’ll have code that you can add to your website and a link that will let you send fans straight to the donation page.
That said, there are other services like Ko-Fi that have a similar function.
Donation Best Practices
Of course, having a donate link and actually getting a decent amount of donations are two different things, so let’s go through some best practices that will help you make the most of this virtual tip jar.
- Write up a description of your live video before you start. Ideally this should tell fans what you’re doing or what the live video is all about. Create a shortened link if necessary and place the link to your tip jar right in the description of the Live video. Some people also post the link in the first comment as well.
- If you want to use a virtual tip jar during your Facebook Live sessions, I always suggest keeping the donation open ended (you have this option in PayPal when setting up your button) – in other words you should let your fans decide how much they want to support you. There’s always the chance that a fan may want to put in $10, $20, or even $100 (yes, it’s happened before), and if you limit them to $5, you’re limiting your own earning potential.
- Let fans know the tip jar is there. You don’t need to be obnoxious about it or overly promotional, but something as simple as saying, “Hey if you guys are enjoying the performance you can click the link in the description and give me a tip,” can be very effective. Don’t beg, just call it out a few times during the live.
- Give an incentive for tips. If you don’t feel comfortable asking for tips, do something to give back. Something as simple as thanking fans by name can make everything feel a lot more authentic (set up a notification that will alert you every time someone donates so you can thank them in real time). Other musicians will even do something special for people who donate like taking a song request.
Of course, live videos are just one piece of the social media world. If you want ideas of what to post on social media day to day, check out our free How to Promote Your Music ebook. It includes 3 social media checklists with a TON of post ideas that you can use to promote your music and engage with your fans. Click here to download it for free.
Use Facebook Live Videos to Promote Other Products
Whenever you have something new and cool available, it’s really easy to do a Live video to promote it. In addition to getting more visibility in Facebook’s algorithm (aka: more fans will see it), it also allows you to show fans just how excited you are which can make announcing new products, music, or tours a lot more genuine and authentic. Here are some ideas:
- Do a Live on the day your album drops to play through all the songs. Include a link to your store where fans can buy and download the album. In between songs, take some questions from your fans so you have a chance to tell the stories behind your album.
- Give Facebook Live viewers a special discount. Set up a secret coupon code that you only share during your Live session. That way, fans feel like they’re part of an exclusive and special group. Plus, there’s nothing like a discount to incentivize a purchase. This could be a discount off your album or merch, or even a code that will get them an extra sticker or pin for free.
If you have a large enough following, sponsored live events can be another way to bring in some income. In other words, a company would give you money in exchange for mentions and reviews in your live videos.
You see sponsored content a lot in the YouTube space, but some companies are making the jump to sponsor live videos as well since they get so much visibility.
Attracting sponsors is going to be a combination of building an engaged audience, releasing great content, and networking your way to potential sponsors.
Sponsors are looking for an engaged and targeted audience to put their product or service in front of. So the first step is always building your fanbase.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you use a certain pedal all the time and it’s genuinely something you love. Make some videos and posts about it. Maybe it’s an in-depth video review you post on Facebook. Maybe it’s a tutorial on how to get a certain sound. Or maybe you just share photos of your set up. Tag the company to hopefully get on their radar. Some companies may reach out to you if they see you’re already using and posting about their products, but it’s also something you should be working on the networking side as well. Do you know anyone who knows someone in that company?
Sell More Music with Facebook Live
Hopefully that gave you some ideas of ways you can use Facebook live to promote your music and engage with your audience. While Facebook Live has been around for a little while already, it’s still evolving and new ways to use the platform are popping up everyday. So don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you and your audience!