Let me introduce myself: My name is Corie Kellman. I am a music lover, working at Cyber PR® as the Director of New Artist Relations. I review artists project submissions and work to connect them to the Cyber PR® services that are right for them, getting them one step closer to their goals. However; first and foremost, I am a fan and I understand the value we bring to the success of an artist. Musicians would be nothing without their fans. Fans are just as important (if not more) than the artists’ teams. There are moments in my life that I remember that give me warm fuzzies and your fans should have these moments, too. Each month, I plan to post a top five list of fan engagement efforts that see while I am out and about, at shows, reading my newsletters, and surfing social media. I’ll start this month with my top five personal moments of all time that made me feel valued as a fan: 5. Earlier this year, I pre-ordered Fun. tickets to see them at the Ryman Auditorium. When our tickets were delivered in the mail, so was a care package full of stickers and keepsakes. Included was a letter from the band thanking me for my support on the Some Nights Tour. Those tickets could have been thrown in an envelope with a receipt, but just a little extra effort on the part of Team Fun. made us feel like the thirty-something dollars was well spent before we even got to the show.
3. As I was leaving the Kills show at Third Man Records last Rocktober, I passed by Brendan Benson (an artist I have worked with in the past.) I greeted him with a hug and said I was headed out. He asked what my plans were — as our usual conversations end, I answered, “probably just headed home.” He asked if I wanted to come backstage for a little bit, and I declined since I was with my friends and didn’t want to leave them behind. He was kind enough to extend the offer to all three of us. It was a genuinely nice gesture, treating us as them. I kept my distance from the band, keeping conversations to familiar faces— I am a huge Alison Mosshart fan, and even with all the artists I have worked with or met, I still didn’t trust that I wouldn’t trip over my own sentences.
2. I was in line for the salad bar at Whole Foods and the person in front of me turns around with an apology for taking so long - to my surprise, it was Taylor York of Paramore. I replied (a little embarrassingly,) “No worries, I’m a big fan, take your time.” He proceeded to stick his hand, initiating a shake, asked me my name and where I worked. You could tell he was thankful I was a fan and I was thankful he was thankful.
1. Ten years ago, I skipped my college calculus class to stand in the first floor lobby of 96.3 WDVD/93.1 WDRQ radio in Detroit waiting to say “hi” to Stephen Jenkins of Third Eye Blind. He signed my CD in the lobby and in great bravery, I asked if I could come up to the studio with him. Twenty minutes later, during his on-air interview, he was asked which songs resonate the most with fans at live shows. Stephen pulled me to the mic and had me answer, saying it was people like me who are the true fans that come to the shows and know best.
I encourage you to check back in each month with more real-life examples of artists making a fan’s day. As a fan, I would like you to start to work true engagement efforts into your strategy - even a little bit goes a long way with your followers. Your fans won’t soon forget you when you treat them like your friend.