Its here! A whole new Decade :)
Paying attention to this article could be the difference between you making a little money off of your music in the New Year vs. making A LOT of money!
All of the current news surrounding the music business is still bad news.
But I think that this is a very exciting time to come up with some alternatives and some offerings for your core fanbase that could make you a lot more money.
The first step towards this is building rapport with your email list.
Which comes down to communicating regularly and consistently with your fanbase and then asking them for money only after you have built trust and rapport (when the time is right).
I have seen it thousands of times – artists that misuse their email lists and ONLY reach out to their fans when they have something to SELL them (a show, a new release etc.) but they never reach out to their fans for other reasons: to bond, share a funny story, or invite everyone out to the local bowling alley on a Tuesday night for a hang (I’m serious).
Every study on sales has proven one thing: People hate to be sold to, however people love to buy, and people always love to buy from people whom they like and who they feel they trust.
That’s how great sales people sell - they create relationships with their customers and then they know how to stay in their customers hearts and minds till the customer is ready to buy.
My dear friend and Cyber PR artist Amelia Gerwirtz of Amelia’s Dream sells real estate. Throughout each year she sends me thoughtful gifts that I look forward to receiving. In the summer she sends me a list of fun free outdoor concerts and activities around New York. At Christmas she sends me a Zagat Guide with her name printed on the cover. I know MANY real estate agents, but guess whom I recommend when anyone calls me asking for a recommendation? That’s right: Amelia!
Now you may be freaking out here a bit - your Fans are NOT customers in your mind. Your fans don’t “buy” from you and you do not consider them in that light – I totally understand this but I am asking you to take off your artist hat for a minute and put on your business hat.
You (your music and your art) are a brand and if you want to make money you should consider yourself a product line. Your fans are your customers. They give you money to support your creative livelihood.
So there are many things to consider here based on looking at it in this light:
First: Do you have fan base to sell to?
A) An email list
B) An active Facebook community
C) Twitter Followers
D) Blog readers (and your blog cross posted on MySpace, Last.fm, Facebook)
I consider a real fan base a MINIMUM of between all sites with a minimum of 1,000 on your email list but 5,000 - 10,000 is a great goal number to work towards across all sites.
Second: What is your product line?
Do you only sell CDs and MP3s?
Do you have assorted merchandise?
A fan club / monthly offerings?
Do you tell your mailing list you are available to play private events and parties or weddings or BBQs?
Third: Are your monthly newsletters well designed, consistent and trackable?
If not you should switch to a service helps you create them and tracks how many people open them. I love Reverb Nation (use their AWESOME Exclusive Downloads Widget) http://www.tinyurl.com/reverbfreebribe
If you can’t stand the idea of designing and managing the html use Bandletter.com – for a monthly fee they will do it all for you!
Fourth: Have you asked your fans what they want to buy?
Interview them and ask!
Your fans may want coffee mugs or yoga mats and unless you ask you will never know.
For Newsletters: Survey Monkey
Use http://www.surveymonkey.com/ to run a survey on your newsletter list
For Twitter: Twtpoll
Use http://twtpoll.com to send a survey via Twitter
For Facebook: Poll Daddy Poll
Use http://bit.ly/5RCBTY to send a poll to your Facebook or Facebook Fan Page!
Sixth: Do you have another talent that your fans don’t know about?
Remember the story about Amelia who sells real estate?
Do you paint?
Do you write?
Is there another way you make money that your fans may want to know about?
Seventh: Can you create some sort of monthly continuum program that your fans might pay a monthly premium for?
How about a live track of the month club or a special new song you are working on? Would your fans pay $2 a month for that? (If you think so that’s $24 per fan and that adds up.
Read all about how artist Matthew Ebel acheived this here!
So To Recap:
1. Build your email list!! Every day think about who you can get on your list.
2 . Communicate regularly and consistently using html emails.
3. Ask when your list gets to be at least 1,000 strong ASK them what they may like from you and how much they will pay.
4. Create products and fan clubs and house concerts to satisfy your fans!
5. Count your money $$ Cha Ching!
Here is to your success in 2010!