Thursday, April 14th, 2011

What are IndieCards and How do they Work?

Digital download cards are a great way to promote or sell your music. The product is a physical card, similar to a business or credit card, with your band's artwork on the front, and a website and promo code on the back. Bands can either hand out these cards as promotional items, or sell them in lieu of CDs. When the current or potential fan gets the card, they will follow the link on the back of the card, which will direct them to your own download page, hosted on the BandsonaBudget.com website. They will be asked to enter the promo code on the back of the card, which is essentially a password to unlock material that you've uploaded on this webpage. The content that they can download is entirely up to you, the band. They can download songs, photos, and videos, as well as learn about the band, upcoming shows, your websites, etc; anything that you've made available to them.

Step 1: Decide which IndieCard is right for you, and place the order
There are a few different IndieCards options available at BandsonaBudget.com, so it's just a matter of knowing what your choices are and picking the one that makes the most sense for your band. The first thing to determine is your use. If you're just handing them out for promotion, we recommend using the Static IndieCards. Static means that there is the same code on the back of every card. This is useful in keeping the cost down, and is recommended for bands who don't mind fans sharing the code. Alternatively, if you plan to sell your IndieCards instead of CDs, or if you only want one person to be able to download your music for each card, we suggest ordering a card with variable data, which is a unique code on each card. When you've made the decision about which card type you want to order, as well as the quantity, a sales rep will send you an invoice. When you're ready, you can pay the invoice online and upload your IndieCard artwork in the appropriate template to your user account. Different types of IndieCards, quantities, and pricing can be found on our IndieCards Product Page.

Download IndieCard art templates

Step 2: Determine the information that will go on the back of your card
Before BandsonaBudget can create the IndieCard page for you to upload content onto, you need to decide on a project name for your IndieCard campaign. Your subdomain will be automatically set as your band name, however, if you need to change this, you can. The domain will be as follows: yourbandname.BandsonaBudget.com/Projectname. The project name can be a song/album name, or something as simple as “ep” or “promo”. You can also decide on the promo code that goes on the back; alternatively, BandsonaBudget can just use random letters/numbers if you don't have a preference.

Please note, you do have the option to use a widget on your own website instead of directing fans to Bandsonabudget.com. If you do choose this option, the back of the IndieCard will contain your website address and the promo code to unlock the material. The widget code can be found on your user page, which is explained in Step 3.

Step 3: Upload content to your site 
If your invoice has been paid, your project name/domain has been determined, and your IndieCard artwork has been uploaded, Bands on a Budget will have created a webpage specifically for your IndieCard campaign. To access it, log into your user account (Bandsonabudget.com/login) and click on the link under “IndieCard Campaigns”. This is your control panel for all things IndieCard. From here, you can upload the music, photos, and videos that your fans can download, along with any text you want your fans to read. Feel free to include upcoming shows, your band's website, a bio, etc. You have 24/7 access to this page, so you can update your content at any time. Each IndieCard campaign is allotted 100MB of space. You will also be able to determine a few user settings. If you chose to, you can collect data from the people that go to your website, such as email addresses, age, etc. You can set up the custom questions right on this page, and decide whether you want them to be required or not. If you do chose to collect this data, you will be able to access a spreadsheet with this information at any time from this page.

Step 4: Pass out your cards!
Within 7-10 business days of submitting your print-ready artwork and invoice payment, your IndieCards will be shipped to you. If you've finished uploading all of the content on your IndieCard page, you will now be ready to hand out your IndieCards! Remember, if you run out of physical cards, you can always do a re-order linking the cards back to the same domain that's already set up. If you ever want to switch out the content of your website, you can do so anytime by logging into your user account. Each IndieCard campaign remains active for one year.

If you have any additional questions or would like to place an order, please contact info [at] BandsonaBudget [dot] com or fill out a web form to automatically create your own user account at Bandsonabudget.com/contact.