Amanda Palmer has put up a post on her site that’s a must read for musicians trying to make a dime from their music in today’s inverted music world.
Here’s the juicy bits:
From: Amanda Palmer
Subject: twitter power, or “how an indie musician can make $19,000 in 10 hours using twitter”
this story has just been blowing people’s minds so i figures i should write it down.
1. FRIDAY NIGHT LOSERS T-SHIRT, $11,000
about a month ago, i was at home on a friday night (loser that i often am when i’m not touring, i almost never go out) and was, of course, on my mac, shifting between emails, links and occasionally doing some dishes and packing for a trip the next day. just a usual friday-night-rock-star-multi-tasking extravaganza.
i twitter whenever i’m online, i love the way it gives me a direct line of communication with my fans and friends.
so there i am, alone on friday night and i make a joke on twitter (which goes out to whichever of my 30,000 followers are online):
“i hereby call THE LOSERS OF FRIDAY NIGHT ON THEIR COMPUTERS to ORDER, motherfucker.”
9:15 PM May 15th from web
one thing led to another, and the next thing you know there were thousands of us and we’d become the #1 topic trend on twitter.
zoe keating described it as a “virtual flash mob”.
the way twitter works (if you don’t have it) is that certain topics can include a hashtag (#) and if a gazillion people start making posts that include that hashtag, the topic will zoom up the charts of what people are currently discussing. it’s a cool feature.
so anyway, there we were, virtually hanging out on twitter on a friday night. very pleased with ourselves for being such a large group, and cracking jokes.
how do you “hang out” on the internet? well, we collectively came up with a list of things that the government should do for us (free government-issued sweatpants, pizza and ponies, no tax on coffee), AND created a t-shirt.
thank god my web guy sean was awake and being a loser with me on friday night because he throw up the webpage WHILE we were having our twitter party and people started ordering the shirts – that i designed in SHARPIE in realtime) and a slogan that someone suggested: “DON’T STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT, STAY IN FOR WHAT’S WRONG”.
neil gaiman and wil wheaton joined our party. the fdnas felt super-special.
by the end of the night, we’d sold 200 shirts off the quickie site (paypal only) that sean had set up.
i blogged the whole story the next day and in total, in the matter of a few days, we sold over 400 shirts, for $25/ea.
we ended up grossing OVER $11,000 on the shirts.
my assistant beth had the shirts printed up ASAP and mailed them from her apartment.
total made on twitter in two hours = $11,000.
total made from my huge-ass ben-folds produced-major-label solo album this year = $0
She goes on to talk about how she used Twitter to generate another $7,800 in revenue with a web auction and a Twitter donation-only gig.
Twitter isn’t going to be a get-rich-quick solution for musicians, but it is a useful tool for communicating directly with your audience. And Amanda Palmer is proving that keeping in touch with your audience and giving them what they want can be very profitable.