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Anyone can join the discussion and contribute relevant articles to Music Think Tank.  Begin by signing up and then logging in to publish your posts directly to MTT Open. Please make sure that your posts are in the proper format before posting (see previous posts) and that there are minimal errors such as grammar or spelling. Popular articles are occasionally moved to the front of the site. Contributors own and operate this blog (more info).

Entries in fans (35)

Monday
Mar282011

10 Pieces of Essential Content For Your Band's Website

If you’re a musician or in a band that’s trying to get your music out to the world, your website is a valuable marketing tool. Your website helps your fans, bloggers, and journalists find out who you are, what you sound like, and where you’re playing. It’s important that your website contains content for all types of visitors, from fans - current and potential - to booking agents and media outlets. Below are ten essential elements that every band’s website should have.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar232011

3 Essential Elements of Music Marketability

While artists may wish the capital M in this industry belonged to music, the truth is there is many other elements which have to be in place to successfully launch and nurture a career.

The record execs and publicists would have you believe that the M stands for marketing. They love to take credit for how they masterminded the strategy that broke the band.

In reality when it comes to successful acts, the dominating M is not music, or marketing, but marketability, and that ultimately lies in the hands of the artist themselves. The most successful acts in both the mainstream and the more niche genres, understand this as the key to growth and sustainability.

So many artists fall down because they put too many eggs in one basket. They woefully neglect other key ingredients, which, unless firmly in place, will lead to missed opportunities and ultimately, failed careers.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar142011

How Can You Drive Your Fans From Offline to Online?

To get someone to visit your band’s website, they need to have the intent to do so – put in other words, they need to get something out of it for it to be worth their time, which is why “check out our website” is about as effective as saying “we don’t have a website” as there really is no incentive offered for them to do so.

However, assuming you’ve got that one covered (ie. you have some free downloads,  or some awesome photos of your crowd from last nights gig, or maybe even some exclusive videos etc.) here are some techniques to get them to view that content from offline.

Here I’ve suggested five effective methods to take your fans from the real world to the virtual world of the net. Please chip in with your best tips on driving fans online from offline in the comments beneath this article!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb212011

6 Case Studies on Successful Online Music Marketing 

Connecting with fans is imperative in today’s music industry. It’s that connection that can give them a reason to buy and support your music. Utilizing social media and having a strong online presence makes connecting with fans much more achievable. Below are some good case studies of bands that found success through an online campaign. I encourage musicians to review these examples and pay attention to the elements that made them successful. Then think about how to implement those strategies into your own marketing plans.

1) Arcade Fire – Interactive Music Video Using Google Street View

Arcade Fire utilized HTML5 to create an interactive music video for “We Used to Wait.” Users are prompted to enter the address of their childhood home at the start of the video. While watching the video, scenes from your old neighborhood are pulled in using Google street view.  The elements of new technology, interactivity, nostalgia, experimentation, and personalization all aided in making this video a huge hit. Think about those factors for your next campaign.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb022011

Are You Wishing Your Fans A Happy Birthday?

I love this tip so much… Marcio Teixeira made a very simple suggestion for my 2000 Things article that fit perfectly with something else I was working on, wish your fans a Happy Birthday. How many are doing this? I have to say not many.

I don’t remember getting a birthday greeting from any band recently.

We all love it when someone recognizes our birthday. I am also always impressed when every year Southwest Airlines sends me a birthday card. No other business does that. A very simple action that always makes me think just how much I like Southwest Airlines. You need to do the same with every one of your fans. I already hear the comments… how!

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb012011

Why I Think Video LPs Are A Good Idea

Yesterday I uploaded what I’m calling a “Video LP” for my album Erase This to YouTube. [watch it here] The Video LP consists of eleven different videos (one for each song on the album, and a personal introduction from myself), tied together by a YouTube playlist that will automatically roll through all eleven videos, in order, with the click of one button.

For Fans

For music listeners and fans, the Video LP (LP referring to “long playing”, the name given to 12” vinyl records in the 40s) is a great format for sampling an entire album before making a purchasing decision. It’s similar to streaming the entire album on my website, but better. The Video LP format allows for on screen lyrics and all of the liner note artwork typically associated with CD and record sleeves. You won’t find that on most streaming mp3 players.

Additionally, because each song is its own YouTube video, songs can be favorited, commented on, embedded and shared easily, in a format that listeners/viewers are already familiar and comfortable with.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan262011

10 Key To Do’s For A Successful CD Release Party

You just left the studio and recorded the final notes for your album.  There’s the mixing and mastering process for your producer to take care of and the artwork for your album and any merchandise to do—but the real deal is when all of this comes together and you officially release your album at a CD release party.  A lot goes into making a CD release party a successful one and it rests entirely on how well you prepare.

There are many key areas that make it successful that I will discuss below, but to keep it short and sweet I would say the most important things are: be in tip-top shape and form musically when you perform, give lots of lead time to get it ready, have your album ready in CD and digital form on the day of your show, and ask for help when you need it.

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Friday
Jan212011

Give Your Fans The Experience They Crave

There is no doubt about it; social media has taken the sweet and innocent fan, and has created a monster.

A transparency-seeking, interactivity-craving, empowerment-hungry monster.

Ok so maybe fans aren’t these terrible things that goes bump in the night, but the point remains the same. Today’s fans desire something more than just music and the occasional Facebook or Twitter update.

Today’s fans desire an experience! 

But creating this experience can be a bit tricky. It has to cater directly to the needs and desires of YOUR fans, or else you run the driving them away. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan202011

10 Ways to Trade a Song for an Email Address

I measure my success as a recording artist by the growth of my mailing list. The best way to get someone to subscribe is to offer something in return, and a great song is a powerful incentive. Here are ten techniques to negotiate that delicate exchange:

1. The classic squeeze page. You’ve probably stumbled onto one of these before: a fine-tuned infomercial-style pitch with a clear call to action and no exit links. The sole goal of the site, often just a single page, is to generate conversions. In our case, a conversion means “squeezing” an email address out of a potential fan. Seamus Anthony describes the method here and demonstrates it using his own music here. It may do the trick for first-time visitors, but returning fans have no clear path to explore the rest of your content.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan182011

How to Manage an Effective Street Team In the New Digital Decade

One of my New Years resolutions was to do a bit more blogging and provide the music and marketing communities with some cool tips in navigating the web and managing your street campaigns.

I have been in the marketing field for over 10 years now and running FanManager for 6 years, so I wanted to post some of my observations and let you know what has worked and what hasn’t.

The entry below will cover everything you need to know about online street teaming in this new digital era. Although physical street teams are still important and relevant for many hard touring bands, online street teaming is becoming much more prevalent. 

HERE IS WHY…

1) Ease of Reaching Fans. It has never become so easy to reach tens of thousands of people in just a few minutes. In today’s ADD culture, people want instant bite sized bits of information. People are tuning out billboards and traditional advertising and are much more willing to listen to a recommendation of a new track, video, or concert from a friend.  This is why platforms like Twitter and Facebook are so important today.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan092011

6 Simple Ways to Give Back to Your Fans

Your fans are the lifeblood of your career. Without fans, you don’t have a music career, you only have a music hobby. Fans buy your products, listen to your music, give you feedback, share you with their friends, come to your shows, and wear your t-shirts. They are the people that enable you to become a full-time musician, and live the artist lifestyle. The most loyal of fans will stand by your side through thick and thin, buy all of your swag, and help you in many ways throughout your career.

It’s the end of the year, and showing some appreciation to your fans for all the support they’ve given you can go a long way. They deserve a bit more than music and t-shirts.

1. Don’t give your fans live music. Give them a live experience.

Your fans were awesome enough to pay money to see you perform, so the best way to give back in that regard is to put on an incredible show that fans cannot wait to talk about with their friends afterwards. Do something fun and unique that portrays your personality in a positive manner, and make it memorable. Whatever expectations that your fans held with them at the beginning of the gig should be shattered to pieces by the end. Blow your fans away, and give them more than what they believed they paid for.

The possibilities are really endless, but here are a few simple ideas that you can try out to give your fans a more memorable live experience:

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan062011

My 2011 Project: 2,000 Things to Generate 20,000 Fans

Author David Meerman Scott made a honest and realistic quote, “if you want 20,000 fans you must do 2,000 different things that each generate 10 fans.” This was my favorite quote from 2010 and I am going to take this on as a challenge for 2011 for an ambitious project to give you 2000 different things you can do to generate 20,000 fans.

I am defining generating fans in a few different ways:

  1. A brand new fan who has never followed you before.
  2. Engaging with existing fans to get them to participate.
  3. Engaging with existing fans to get them to convert on an action.

Some of these items will apply better for larger acts, some items will work for any act. Some may work for you, some may not… not yet. Some these can be done with little effort, some will take some web development, some might even require some significant development. Some of these have successfully worked for me over the years.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec212010

How To Use Facebook & Twitter With Your Official Website, Case Study Kissonline.com

A recent headline from KISS on Facebook: ”KISS Facebook Fans Pass 2 Million!”

Congratulations! That is great! Two million fans is a huge achievement and is no easy goal to meet. Then I decided it was time to discuss how to use Facebook and Twitter if you are a band, and sorry, KISS, you are the subject matter. This is not meant to put down the band in any way. I am having discussions weekly with various people about the benefit of Facebook Likes and Twitter followers. They ask what can they do to get more Likes and followers, and then what can they do with them once they have them. I only pick KISS because it is subject I know very well and a Facebook page I visit daily.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec072010

MTT Open: Google Music, Recording Vocals, & Is the Internet Dead?

Hakim Callier writes about the art of recording vocals. He talks about different aspects of recording from the perspectives of an audio engineer and a vocalist. The producer or engineer usually wants the vocalist to be comfortable to get the best recording. Read on for more details on the art of recording.

“This is important because in a musical production, the human voice not only tells the story of the song, by communicating the emotions and sentiment through language and other expressions, but it naturally wants to be heard above all else because of its frequency range.” (Read On)

Google Music Shuts Out Independent Artists

Noe Pacheco posts details about Google’s plans for a music service which outlines ways to help major artists, but doesn’t mention independent artists. The proposed plan is for a cloud-based service where consumers keep their music in a locker for $25 a year and can be streamed or downloaded. Google’s music service poses as an iTunes competitor. However, many major online music retailers are still leaving out indie artists that may be worthy of the service.

“Today, “quality” indie music is being made and is available for purchase. It would just be great for the music to be sold on such a large platform.” (Read On)

Click to read more ...