Internet Era

Today more than 3.440 billion people are actively using the internet.

That’s almost half of the global population. Also, there are more than 2.307 billion social media users out there. In this Internet Era, those 2.307 billion people are more accessible than ever.

So, start using this huge potential today!

If you know how to do this right, you have a future. (P.S. these numbers are growing every day)

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The Fan Machine (funnel)

If you want to play this game right, you have to build the fan attraction machine.

The journey begins with the right target. You should target your potential audience by the music genre they like and other bands they listen to.

Later, some of them might become your listeners. They’ll find your find your videos on YouTube, songs on iTunes or Spotify etc. If they like what they see or hear, they might become your fans, so they start following you on Facebook, Instagram etc.

After that, they become your fans. This creates a window of opportunity where you can convince them to become truly engaged Super Fans.

Your main goal should be to get a growing number of the Super Fans because they’re the ones that’ll go to your gigs and will buy your music.

The best thing about the Super Fans is that they will care so much about what you do and what you create – that they’ll tell their friends about it!

 

Value and attention

To attract your fans and convince them to become truly engaged you have to deliver them something interesting and valuable. Unfortunately, this window where fans are open to becoming Super Fans doesn’t last forever.

To get their attention, you have to give them your best stuff in a short amount of time to get their attention. Today, it’s all about capturing people’s attention.

To keep your audience (Super Fans) warm (engaged), you should follow these three steps:

  • Release BRILLIANT music and video content
  • Actively engage with fans and followers, respond to their comments and messages
  • Give them interesting, relevant and valuable content on different social media platforms

 

Social media

Today, it’s all about capturing people’s attention. If you want exposure, you don’t have to buy billboard space or advertising time on television, nobody is paying attention there. Today more than 2.307 billion people are scrolling their Facebook and Instagram feeds. If You want to get attention, you might start playing the real social media game.

Statistic: Leading social networks worldwide as of April 2016, ranked by number of active users (in millions) | Statista

Beyond the traditional artist info (press release, bio, picture, music), social media gives you the opportunity to brand yourself and communicate who you are.  You can share behind the scenes activities and post photos and videos from your private life. It’s an instrument that helps to build the trust!

 

Tell a story

The best way to communicate is by sharing your own story and show what you really are. Give your fans a chance to see what kind of person you are, share your voice, give them a feeling that they are inside into your life.

Remember to show not just what you’ve done, but who you are and how your everyday life looks like.

You can get inspiration from other artists from the same genre. Just pay attention how they communicate with their fans, what kind of stories they tell and how often they appear on social media feed.

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Content

When talking about the content, you should stick with the 70-20-10 rule.

What does it mean?

70% of your content is brand related.

20% is the information that you share from others (e.g. other artists, music industry news).

10% should be a self-promotion.

 

70% of your social media content should be centered on your story and brand. You have to show what kind of music you play and what kind of personality (or personalities) you are. Also, it should be fun to read. A few examples are:

  • Posting a video from a tour bus, how are you preparing for a gig
  • Writing a thank you note to your fans
  • Sharing a selfie from your bandmates birthday party
  • Posting a photo from a studio session

 

20% of the content should be shared from and for other artists, also some music industry news might be interesting to your followers. You will always tour and play shows together with other bands, so it’s nice to say some good words about other artists. This might help to build better relationships and create a network with other fans too. Great examples are:

  • Share a new song from a band you toured together
  • Maybe there is some interesting news in industry related to your genre
  • One of your band members has a side project, which could be interesting for your followers too

 

10% percent – self-promotion

You probably want to put your own music in 70% place, right?

You see, social media is not only about you, it’s about your followers.

You have to put content that’s interesting for your fans and for their friends too. Everybody can find your music and video everywhere else. There are platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes etc., they do their job very well. You only post about your newest release and that’s it? Do other stuff, show something else to your followers, give them something that they can’t find anywhere else. Something exclusive!

To stick with your content strategy, I recommend making a social media plan for every two weeks. I’ve tried Google Docs but ended up with MS Excel. List there all the social media platforms you use and schedule the content. It’ll be much easier for you to see the bigger picture of your strategy and sticking with a plan will save you a lot of time and energy.

 

Consistency

The secret word to the social media success is consistency. If you grow your followers day by day, you just have to be patient and results will come. By putting your content out regularly you get both your fans attention and new followers.

When talking about music, this means regularly releasing new songs, singles, videos, albums etc. Unfortunately, the lifespan of music today is shorter than ever.

If you don’t have anything new to release, just post some older tracks but give that message a special reason, for example, “album anniversary” or “we just hit 100k views”.

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Platforms

Facebook

Facebook reaches the most general crowd and is the leading social platform for connecting with fans and advertising.

Facebook is your go-to artist page and the first place you’ll be searched for if someone likes your music on Youtube, Spotify, iTunes etc.

 

Organic vs Paid

There are two ways how you can reach your audience.

Organic reach is for free.

You post a photo or video and your followers will see this message. Unfortunately, only 10 to 30 percent of your page followers will actually your posts. That’s because facebook has its own algorithm and this algorithm regulates what your audience sees on their news feeds.

For example, if you have 2000 Facebook page likes, only 400-600 people will see your post. Every type of content has different reach possibilities. Video content (video uploaded on facebook) and live video are the best ways to reach your fans effectively.

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If you want to reach all your followers (or more followers) there is a possibility to boost your posts.

This is very effective. You can spend 5$ on a post and reach a couple of hundreds of followers more. Facebook lets you boost your posts to different audiencesyour followers, friends of your followers and the audience you create. The audience that you create is based on a targeting you choose – age, gender, location, interests etc., possibilities are endless. One of the most effective ways you can use is to target your audience by other bands and artists they like.

 

Instagram

On Instagram you should put different photos from your gigs, recording session etc.

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This is the best platform for building your visual brand. Instagram has been growing at an absurd speed , reaching 400 million monthly users in 2015.

Instagram is a powerful accessory to complement your social media mix. Most followers will look to follow you once they’ve established a connection with you via your music channels and Facebook.

Instagram introduced with their new algorithm in spring of 2016, but I have to admit that this platform is much friendlier for users when talking about algorithms.

From August 2016 you can use Instagram Stories (platform upgrade that’s similar to Snapchat).

See an example below.

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Snapchat

With more than 100 million active users in 2015, Snapchat is a great tool for telling a story in the form of fun. And it really is!

You don’t have to be serious there, also self-promotion won’t work that good on Snapchat. Behind the scenes photos and videos might be a perfect choice.

In both Snapchat and Instagram stories, your content is visible only for 24 hours. This means that you can truly play a fun game. 

 

Twitter

Twitter is for short messages.

There you should post details about your next gig, short announcements, latest news and YouTube links.

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From time to time I share some stuff on Twitter that I’ve originally posted on Instagram, so I don’t have to post images twice.

 

Give away exclusive free content

In the Internet Era, almost everything except your gigs is digital, also your music.

To make your followers happier give them something exclusive for free.

Free content is trending and all your free stuff can easily go viral.  Now that the barriers for producing quality music are lower than ever, the competition is incredibly small. That emphasizes the need to consistently push out new content, much more than in the early days.

Free content has a low access barrier and is supported by music promoters like blogs and other social media users. A few examples are:

  • Single pre-release – your fans can get your next single for free a few days before actual release
  • Free bonus tracks – everybody who has a link can get your EP or LP bonus material
  • Rough demos or live tracks – our followers have the access to get exclusive tracks.

 

Special gigs

What I found interesting is making special gigs that only your fans can attend.

You can play small gigs or maybe even acoustic gigs for a small group of people that follow you on the social media etc.

If your audience is small, you can do this in your hometown.

I like how Thirty Seconds to Mars set up a Mars Camp for their biggest fans.

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Playing a special gig (you can call this a secret gig) will build better relationships with your fans; also it’ll look really good on your social media. That shows how good it is to be into your inner circle.After that, more and more regular listeners will become your Super Fans

 

How to get started

Now that you understand the framework for getting more fans and followers, it’s time to put this information into practice.

I challenge you to take immediate action with this to-do list:

  • Make sure all your music is on Spotify, YouTube etc.
  • Set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat
  • Develop a marketing strategy and content mix per platform. Choose what kind of story you will tell, choose your audience by interests and music genre. Determine your communication tone
  • Establish your visual style (banners, artworks, logo etc.)
  • Make a Social media plan for first two weeks
  • Make sure that all platforms link back to one another

 

Remember, your music is the most important part in your career. Make sure to write, record and release the best music you can AND do it regularly!