By now you’ve probably noticed the purple [Select] badges dotted around Mixcloud. Thousands of creators are now on Select, building their own inner circle of fans who directly support their channel. In this series, we explore how you can use Select to build a meaningful relationship with your listeners and sustainably support yourself, inspired by the very best of the creator community.
It’s an exciting time for content creators. With the internet at our fingertips, every modern creator can access the tools needed to upload, stream and build an audience. From gamers to vloggers to podcasters to DJs, creators who can find an audience of true fans online are also figuring out how to make an income from those fans.
That’s not to say it’s easy– especially in the music world. Modern music creators need to think about making money from multiple revenue streams, both online and offline. Even the biggest superstars aren’t able to make a living from streaming. It’s about having multiple channels and platforms to distribute your content, build your fanbase and earn some income to help sustain your craft.
On Mixcloud, anyone can host their audio content, safely and legally, and get their shows heard. Mixcloud Select enables creators with a dedicated, loyally engaged audience to take it to the next level. For the first time, DJs, radio stations and cultural tastemakers can use Select to enter the online revenue mix and start building a direct fan-to-creator subscription offering.
So you’re a creator on Mixcloud Select– where to begin?
While it’s unlikely you’ll make a living with Select overnight, it is a way to build an inner circle of supporting fans who help sustain the content you put out into the world as a labour of love– in a way that’s fair for everyone involved in making the music.
Beyond the money, Select is about meaningfully growing your creative career or passion project together with your fans.
The difference between getting one or two people to support you vs. building an inner circle of hundreds of supporting fans comes down to what you put into it– you’re in control. Take these golden rules into account so you can hit the ground running:
1. Customize your rewards: give fans something worth subscribing for
To be a fan of something means to be part of a community of people who share a passion or interest in something. Before getting started with Select, ask yourself:
- What is it about the content you put out into the world that’s unique and authentic?
- What do your listeners love most about your shows and what keeps them coming back?
- How can you make your listening fans feel rewarded?
The answers to these questions will be unique to who you are as a creator. Use your Mixcloud Select toolkit to lean into those things and customize your own offering to reward your fans.
This does not need to require much more of your time. With a bit of thought, you can position your Select offering to create extra value for your biggest fans without needing to put more work in.
Your Select page is your shop window. Make sure you customize this page to showcase what you will offer your supporters. Remember, this it’s not about the features themselves– it’s about how you use the features to create emotional value.
You can use Select Exclusives to give your fans early access, extended versions or extended shows, depending on what works best for you.
Or maybe you take loads of time curating your shows each week and your fans truly value your tracklist IDs? Then commit to giving your fans access to you full access to your tracklists before they hit play, like Bill Brewster, who also commits to giving exclusive shows and keeps his fans exclusively updated with Posts.
Once you’ve customized your offering, write your personal blurb to reflect this offering. Use this message to tell your fans what you’re offering in your own voice and tell them why their support matters to you, human to human.
You can also customize which genre categories your content is best classified under. This will help you get discovered when people browse through all Mixcloud Select creators.
2. Get closer: co-create with your fans
Once you’ve tailored your offering and start talking to your fans to get their support, you’ve got the foundations of building your community of supporters.
Select isn’t about getting everyone who hits play on 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 enough to want to see you do more.
The real value both you and your fans will get from Select will come from communicating and creating with your fans, not at them.
You can keep track of who of who has subscribed in your Select dashboard. Start a conversation with your subscribing fans. Engage with them when they subscribe and show you’re reading their comments. Shout them out in your shows or posts. Keep them up to date on what you’re working on next.
Even better, take it a step further and think about how to co-create with your fans in a way that’s a win-win for everyone. You can use Select to get feedback or inspire new content or get focused feedback– or even consider doing Select meet-ups or exclusive merch giveaways.
The self-proclaimed “ambient guy” Low Light Mixes uses Mixcloud Posts to ask his fans for track recommendations, such as for his 2019 Film Score wrap up, and keeps the conversation going in the comments.
The key is to start a two-way conversation with your followers and supporting fans, so they can get to know the person behind the shows and keep feeling rewarded for supporting you.
3. Make it yours: it’s your channel at your tempo
Once you’re offering your supporters something special and interacting with them, the sky’s the limit. This is your project and you’re in control.
Always keep it authentic to what your channel is about and what you’re passionate about as a creator. This way your Select channel can be another tool you use to build your personal brand.
DJ Jamz Supernova and music website XLR8R both base their Select offerings 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.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be all about you, either. Nicole Moudaber dedicates her Select page to a cause bigger than herself, with 100% of her artist’s share going to her own anti-FGM charity project #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 and growing her passion projects.
Finally, set your expectations. Select success isn’t going to happen overnight. However, with a little bit of strategic thought, you can start to grow your own community of people who want to support you to keep creating.
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.