1. Personal Communication
FACT: Social Media is a great “Keep In Touch” tool. With social networking sites like Twitter, Myspace and Facebook now giving fans 100% access to artists, many aren’t sure what to say or how to keep their fans actually engaged and coming back. The key to this is understanding how to personally communicate with your fans. Ariel Hyatt wrote a great article that breaks down easy ways to create that emotional connection with your fans. (http://musicsuccessinnineweeks.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-i-learned-about-marketing-from-new.html)
2. Mix It Up – Try Variations of Content
Event blast, and promo tweets are not the end-all answer to everything. Try mixing your content up a bit!
A few options are:
Create themed newsletters – One artist I worked with had a song named “Chocolate”, a great idea she came up with was to do a newsletter centered all on chocolate. She gave away her favorite recipe to Chocolate Fondue, and asked fans to send back their favorite chocolate inspired recipes.
Get your fans involved! Have the fans create the content for you. A unique way to accomplish this is hosting a video contest with fans doing covers of one of your songs and posting it on YouTube.
Create your own podcast. With podcasting now as easy as downloading an application and a buying a mic you can become the social media maker and churn out your own music or talk podcasts content (of course with your music sprinkled through). I visit an artist site weekly just for their monthly music podcasts. Don’t be afraid to be creative!
3. Touch Your Prospects Regularly
Always keep nurturing your email list with a constant stream of information – without overdoing it. Think of it from a bloggers perspective. For them to retain traffic they must always have available fresh content on their site, or they will lose their audience. People always gravitate more to the site that is updated on time every day. Being consistent with sending out your newsletters, and keeping your social networking sites updated will bring a return instantly.
4. Pause to Listen
When was the last time you surveyed your email list to find out what they want? Learn from your fans by listening to their needs. Maybe your fans are willing to buy t-shirts from you, ask them what they would like from you and what they are willing to pay. This article is a great resource to follow when surveying your list : http://arielpublicity.com/2007/12/13/gearing-up-to-make-money-in-2008/
5. Don’t Drop the Ball
Once you begin to create engaging/interactive newsletters, you will see a gain in replies to your newsletter emails. This is the perfect time to make sure you stay on top of things. I know the last thing we need in life is more email or more things to put on our to do list, but your follow up process is what will make an email turn into a sale!
Bonus. Forget the HARD Sell The HARD sell is even harder in a down economy. Working to become a trusted “Friend” in a fans eye is what will minimize opt outs and maximize your $$$