I've been producing music professionally since the mid 90's. Working with around 1000 different clients since has allowed me to learn a few things about how the music business works (and any business really).
Honestly though, success or failure in music boils down to basically one thing. If you can get this one thing right you will succeed. Sure there are specific strategies all major record companies and music managers
use to see a CD and build customers. Yeah, I know we call them "fans" but essentially they are customers, or at least we hope. I will share the marketing plan that they use in an upcoming post so be sure to subscribe to my blog, it's free!
Today's article is about the ONE THING you are not doing right that is causing you to fail.
Michael Jackson did it. Stevie Wonder does it. Elvis Presley did it. Prince did it too.
Ten years from now you may not remember pop artist Ariana Grande or hip hop star Future but EVERYBODY knows Michael, Prince and Elvis. People still purchase their music every single day. Artists are still inspired by the music they gave us every single day.
They do this ONE THING. Do you?
The ONE THING? Attracting REAL, LOYAL FANS.
You can choose to argue that you are attracting real fans because you "have fans that come to almost every gig you do and follow you one all of your social media"
. I say THAT'S GREAT! But, do you feel successful? Is your music career where you want it to be? Hey, if so you can stop reading this right now and you should write your own blog telling as many people as you can how to do it like you! But if you're like most people I know and you'd like to see your career grow and improve then keep reading. I'm about to give you some valuable tips/tricks/strategies to create real fans. I will do a follow up article soon with the exact music marketing strategies/plans that pros use but today's post is the most important step. It's the foundation. It's what most, even major label mega huge artists, are not doing nowadays. Skipping this step is why we won't know who they are in ten or twenty years. You MUST build REAL, LOYAL Fans to succeed over the long term.
The Internet is hurting your music career.
Well, the internet isn't hurting your chances of success all by itself. You are definitely helping. I have had many conversations with artists I have worked with who have massive potential and have great music but are still failing at growing their music career. One thing I noticed that many of these artists have in common is that they use the internet semi-passively. Sure they have a website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Yes, they have a Soundcloud. They tell me how they "post their shows" and "links to where people can buy their album" regularlly. How's that working out for ya? I think it is super important to post your shows and album ads. However, the way you do it is the most important thing.
There was no internet when Michael, Elvis and Prince were selling gozillions and everybody on the planet was talking about them. It has to be more than just posting your gigs and links to your music. GREAT MUSIC is number one but I will just assume your music is great and move on to building real fans.
What I am talking about here is Social Media Engagement. How you interact with people and how easily they can interact with you. When you post a show date, do you just say "everybody come on out"? If so you are missing a huge opportunity to attract fans. Try posting that show date and adding a bit of personal touch, your personality, your life.
An example would be: "Hey guys, come to my show at Billy Bob's Burnt Burgers Friday night at 8pm. Last time we played there I gained 20lbs I ate so many fries. So, come get fat with me"!
Another: "I'll be playing a BRAND NEW SONG that nobody else has heard this Friday night at Big Berthas Boogie Barn. I start at 8pm. This new song comes from a very personal place. Come let me know if you can relate"!
The next career killer is constantly posting about your music or links for your CD. It gets incredibly annoying and never works. The reason Instagram and Facebook are so immessurably popular is that people are engaging with people. Even though it's your Music Page you should still be posting mostly personalish stuff. A pic of you and your cat, you and your child and of course behind the scenes in the recording studio or at a gig work great. Post things with nothing to sell but something to offer. Offer fans the real you. Many will like it and the ones that don't probably wouldn't be around in a few months anyway. Take Beiber, Ariana and Kim Kardasian as examples. Today's fans will turn on you in a heartbeat. Post one unflattering photo of your fat thighs and 100,000 less Instagram followers suddenly. AND THAT'S OK. Why would I say it's ok to lose fans? Because they are not REAL, LOYAL Fans like Michael, Prince and The Beatles has. Fly by night fans don't buy your music. They don't tell their friends good things about you. They download bootleg copies of your CD and gossip about you to their friends. You don't need them. You need to be real so that the fans you attract are attracted to the real you. Don't be afraid of rejection because you will get rejected more than you get accepted. It's the name oif the game, every game. Offer the best thing you have to offer, yourself. It's the single most valuable thing you have to offer people. There are trillions of musicians, singers and artists but only ONE YOU.
Maybe today was a rough day for you or a great one? If you can, relate it to one of your songs and post a story about your day with a link to the song telling people how it relates. Showcase yourself. Poeple don't buy music as much as they buy the artist. I know that I can like a song but care nothing about the artist singing it. Then there are artists that I follow online and even search out info on what they are up to on a regular basis. I guess I am their "Fan". Pretty cool huh?
What ways do you use your social media to engage with fans? What works for you? What doesn't?
Just a reminder to subscribe to my blog to be notified when my upcomming post is up with the MUSIC MARKETING STRATEGIES THE BIG BOYS USE.