Debra Recommends ifanz
ifanz is a very cool resource originally developed for musicians, but really applicable for creative professionals in all walks of life who are building their career by building their relationship with their fans. More than just a database and newsletter management tool, it also offers one-stop shopping for many of the needs of the small business owner!
As I teach in Multiple Streams of Art Income, Step 7 is “Strengthen Relationship”, communicating to your fans is critical for this step and ifanz can help. This one-stop-shop can also help with steps 4 and 6.
From the ifanz.com website:
Invented by Musicians – For Musicians
Ruth McCartney, our CEO, grew up in Liverpool, England in the 60’s. She heard her step-brother Paul and his partner John Lennon lamenting the business side of the Beatles and grew up knowing that “the suits” as John affectionately called them were basically accountants who cared little for the future of music.
When the awesome task of sorting literally tens of thousands of pieces of fan mail fell to her Mother Angie, she made her pocket money by helping to catalog and answer some of the mail. She soon learned that a relationship with the fans is the second most important thing a musician can have – apart from great song material that is!
With the advent of the internet in 1995, Ruth and husband / business partner Martin Nethercutt decided to build a system to collect names and send out newsletters. Today, nearly 10 years later, iFanz now allows thousands of folks just like you to:
Collect names >> develop a relationship and a dialog >> get guidance from your peers >> blast out gig calendars >> download your data to see where your Fanz are geographically >> send a personalized automated birthday greeting to each fan on their big day>> send newsletters by State or Zip >> and much much more.
In addition to communication and database management, iFanz also offers NetShop, a turnkey online store that comes complete with credit card processing and order fulfillment. We offer CD burns on demand and over 30 items of merchandise all available with your custom imagery. One fan, one order, one royalty check. Never again worry about creating huge inventories that might not sell. NetShop products (100% cotton t-shirts, mousepads, mugs, caps, totes and more) are made to order using your design (or we can create one for you) so there’s never any over-stock. And never any upfront costs to you.
The bottom line: if your Fanz have a relationship with you, they are much less likely to steal your music. Who knows, 3 years from know you might be selling them cookbooks, paintings, photography or guitars. iFanz. Because your fanz ARE your future.