Select Success: 3 golden rules for building a community of supporting fans

In this article, we explore the three key elements of every successful Select channel. Select isn’t just a special feature on your account – it’s the beginning of a whole new relationship to your fans, and a whole new revenue stream. For more information on Select click here.

Creators have never been so empowered to connect directly with their supporters. The fan-to-creator subscription model doesn’t just provide a new and reliable revenue stream, it’s a whole new way of relating to the people who love what you do.

With Mixcloud Select, you’re in control. It’s a tool – use it to build a community of supporters around your audio to free you to create on your own terms. Select success isn’t as easy as flicking a switch – but it’s not rocket science either. After all, you know your content and your fan base best. 

Who are your fans? What makes your shows unique? Use Select to expand on what you’re already doing and create a subscription experience that not only provides exciting content, but brings you closer to your fans.

Select has only been live for a year, and we’ve already got channels grossing £/$/€10s of thousands in revenue per year. Looking at the top Select channels, we’ve found three key elements necessary for success. Building your Select community will take time, but with this strong foundation, you’ll give yourself the best shot at success. 

3 Pillars of successfully building your subscription business

1. Give your fans something worth subscribing for – and tell them about it!

We find there are three main reasons why fans are subscribing:

  1. To get access to more content, perks and experiences
  2. To feel part of an exclusive inner circle
  3. To feel like they are supporting a creator they love

To find Select success, you need to give them one, all or a mixture of these things. 

Figure out which motivations are most authentic to you and relevant to your fans. Ask them what they want more of, what experience they’d want if they support you on Select.

When you set up your Select page, you can customise your offering. This can include exclusive shows, upfront tracklists and early access to your content. Extra content gives your followers a clear reward for subscribing – more of what they love – and it doesn’t take loads more work to achieve. Read our article on exclusives to learn more.

Once you’ve tailored your offering, how you communicate to your subscribers inside and outside your shows is what will make them feel like part of your inner circle. We encourage you to read this article on how to inspire your fans’ support.

2. Co-create with your fans

Building your Select community isn’t about getting everyone who listens to your shows to subscribe. It’s about deepening your connection with your superfans and loyal listeners, the people who care about what you’re doing and want to see you do more. Lean into that and create with them.

Interact with your subscribers! Talk with them in the comments, keep them up to date with exclusive posts. Take it one step further. Mr Scruff has subscribers pick which unreleased sets he should upload next in his exclusive ‘Mix Selector’ series, while Kono Vidovic shouts out new subscribers at the beginning of his shows.

Use Mixcloud posts to encourage fans engagement. Self-proclaimed “ambient guy” Low Light Mixes ask his followers for track recommendations and keeps the conversation going in the comments – check out his 2019 Film Score wrap up post

Get fan input to inspire new content, shout out your subscribers, get focused feedback – even throw subscriber-only events! The key is to start a conversation with your supporters. Be authentic and human – help them feel closer to the creator they’ve chosen to support.

Mr Scruff uploads live sets that his subscribers request
Low Light Mixes interacts with fans using Posts

3. Make it yours

Once you’re offering your supporters an exclusive experience and interacting with them to build a community around your work, the sky’s the limit. This is your project. Tailor Select to what you’re passionate about and build its aesthetic around your personal brand. Here’s some food for thought on how top creators have made Select their own:

DJ Jamz Supernova and music website XLR8R both base their Select offering around their passion for supporting the creator communities they’re part of. Subscribing to them on Select isn’t just about supporting what they do and getting great content – it’s part of a wider mission to support grassroots music scenes worldwide.

XLR8R has been supporting music and culture for 26 years, curating and presenting exciting emerging and established music across a wide range of styles. Our Mixcloud Select channel will feature exclusive mixes available nowhere else, and added bonuses such as access to our podcasts days before their public release. By subscribing, you’ll be supporting the artists and DJs in the scene, the producers making the tunes you’re listening to—they will get paid with every listen—and XLR8R, allowing us to continue to be a forward-thinking music company supporting independent music and journalism.

Nicole Moudaber dedicates her Select page to a cause bigger than herself, with 100% of her artist’s share going to the anti-FGM charity #ELEVEN. By doing this, she’s not only giving her followers the opportunity to support a creator they love, but working alongside her fans to be a force for good.

Nicole Moudaber here: If you subscribe via Mixcloud Select, you’ll be able to skip around each mix, listen offline, and view full tracklists of my sets. You will be allowing me to continue providing a platform to spread amazing music worldwide, and supporting all of the artists whose music is played on the show. Additionally, for the first year, 100% of my artist share will be donated to my charity campaign #ELEVEN, which fights to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Thank you so much for supporting me in doing what I love. Come on a journey with me and get “In The Mood.”

Finally, set your expectations. Select success isn’t going to happen overnight, but it doesn’t need to take all your time and energy. By thinking about how you position yourself and your offering – working smarter not harder – you’ll begin to build something that can support your creativity and which will continue to grow. Even now, a year on from launching Select, we continue to see our top creators’ subscriber numbers continuously increase, and the world of audio is only set to expand in the coming years. Unlocking a reliable, recurring revenue stream and a closer creative relationship to your fans will be more than worth the effort you put in now. Play the long game. You’re building something meaningful.

Mixcloud Select is a way for DJs, radio stations, curators, podcasters and audio creators of all kinds to get closer to their fans and offer them more. To join Mixcloud Select as a creator, register your interest here.

As we continue to grow Select, our mission is to get more fans directly supporting their favourite creators, emotionally and financially. We’re doing this by learning from and listening to our creator community. Do you have ideas or feedback on how we can make Mixcloud Select better? We’re listening.