In Defense of 1,000 True Fans – Part XII - How Kat Parsons Has Built Her Mailing List to Over 10,000 Strong
I met Kat Parsons through a mutual friend and she hired us to write a full marketing plan for her. After working closely with her, I thought she would be the perfect addition to the 1000 True Fans series! By putting a strong focus on building her mailing list and genuine engagement through social media, Kat has been able to take the big leap into becoming a full-time musician. Her understanding of building long-lasting relationships with her fans has helped her to build a sustainable career in the music industry, and it is one worth discussing, so enjoy!
Ariel Hyatt: How do you make the 1,000 True Fans theory work for you?
Kat Parsons: I’m big into authenticity and connection and think that is key to engaging and developing a community around music… I think community is also one of the keys to happiness.
AH: Can you give us a breakdown percentage wise of the following:
CD sales? / Download sales? 10%
Subscription site? 0
Live shows? 10%
Film & TV 10%
House Concerts / Private Shows 70%
Bundles of products / Special Offers
Other (please specify)
AH: How many die hard fans would you say you have - fans that will buy everything and anything from you?
KP: I would probably base this on my Kickstarter campaign – there were 181 people who pledged through Kickstarter and another 30 who pledged privately directly to me. My mailing list is far greater than that and many of the people on there will buy my new upcoming recordings. I just moved servers but before I moved servers, my mailing list was 10,000.
AH: How do you go about attracting and connecting with “true fans?”
KP: I love FB…I love interacting with people on FB, but most of my connection comes through live shows. I do A LOT of house concerts in crazy places I never imagined visiting! Through those shows I meet new fans who invite me to their homes whose friends then invite me to their homes and….
AH: What is your favorite social media site and why? What advice would you give to an artist just starting on that site?
KP: Facebook. Sometimes I am verbose and I like the space…I don’t think in tweets! I also like how I can go to one place to see everyone’s responses and comment on everyone’s reply in one place.
AH: Which analytics platforms (if any) do you use? How do those metrics help you manage your music career?
KP: I am about to start using googleanalytics and getclicky.com….I am working on a new internet marketing strategy that will rely on new traffic…so I will be experimenting with ways of bringing people into the community and intend to used the analytics to tell me which ways work best.
AH: Can you describe how you accumulated so many email addresses and persuaded your fans to fund your album, “No Will Power?”
KP: I’ve played a lot of concerts and I really enjoy connecting with people. For better or worse, I am very warm and accessible at my shows (no matter how hard I try, I cannot be mysterious!!!). I used to walk around with my mailing list and meet everyone.
AH: How do you get invited to play at house concerts?
KP: Most of my house concerts are invitations through guests of a house concert. I think what is unique about the way I do it, is that I really don’t think anything is outside the realm of possibility. If someone says, we’d love to have you come play in Singapore, I say “Ok” and we set about finding a way to make that happen, which often times meaning booking several shows in the same area to cover overhead and my fee.
AH: How do you pursue house concert opportunities?
KP: When someone expresses interest, I follow up with them regularly and we never give up until we’ve got a date on the books!
AH: How do you build on the relationships made from the house concerts, both the relationship with the host and the patrons?
KP: I make sure to express my gratitude to my hosts and the guests….it is such an honor to be invited into someone’s home and for them to want to share my music with their friends…I try to always be aware of that and make the concert tons of fun!
AH: What items do you sell the most of at house concerts?
KP: Cds. That is all the merch I currently have.
AH: If you had $1,000 to spend on marketing and promotion, how would you spend that money?
KP: Internet Marketing – getting traffic and then bonding with my audience and making special pffers for being a part of this!
AH: What was your initial vision for connecting to fans and how did Social Media change that?
KP: It’s always been in person, but as time goes on, I am getting so much enjoyment out of connecting through Facebook, in particular. Sometimes it can be really overwhelming….it feels like you are supposed to have a profile that you update every day on 15 social media sites. I have found that for me, it is more important to focus on one and make the relationship rewarding then spread myself thin on everything. I like that FB allows a deeper relationship and bonding with fans that they can opt into,.
Kat Parson’s new album ‘Talk To Me’ is now available! Go to KatParsonsMusic.com for a free download!