Ever Wanted To Go Viral?
As we know, being a musician can be tough these days. With the boom of the internet, there has never before been a time when the competition is so fierce. So the question is, how do people stand out from the crowd when so many people are doing the same thing?
Well apart from creating amazing content, the way to stand out in recent times is to gain as much exposure as possible. Once you have a professional image and great material you'll need to get your social media assets in order. Once everything is ready you will need to use targeted promotion to spread the word and gather as many new fans as possible.
Why Bother With Social Media?
Most serious musicians understand the potential benefits of effective social media use (i.e. reaching new ears, connecting with fans on a deeper level and selling more music). However, some musicians feel that social media wastes time that could be spent improving a lyric, tweaking a melody or otherwise becoming engulfed in the euphoric blur that is the creative process.
As a lover of music and social media, I find myself with one foot in each of these camps. I understand the importance of protecting music-creation as an artist’s paramount focus. That’s a given. Without it, no amount of amazing marketing or networking will make much difference anyway. I also understand that music fans don’t seek out, listen to or buy digital tunes the way they did in the past.
For musicians to reach their exposure potential, technology and social tools can’t be ignored.
3 Mistakes That You Could Be Making!
1. Not making money at live shows.
When you're an up and coming, independent musician it's very easy not to make the most of playing live financially. Falling into the trap of playing for free is an easy thing to do. While you should aim to get paid directly from live shows, this isn’t always possible when you’re a new act. Having said that, there is still money to be made from your performances. If you’ve gained the crowd’s interest, a few people will want to buy merch. Make sure to mention from stage that you’ll be going around after your set to sell CDs.
A second way to make money from your shows is via royalties collection. While this won’t be huge amounts per show– it can add up. Many musicians don’t claim their performance royalties and essentially leave money on the table. For more information on collecting royalties for public performances, check out BMI Live in the US or PRS in the UK.
2. Worrying too much about record deals.
So many new musicians worry too much about getting a record deal without focusing on what is most important, the music. The most important things you should be doing is making the best music possible and building up a loyal and growing fan base. Once you have reach a time that you feel is suitable to reach out to record labels, continue to do so but until that time comes you should focus on you and your product.
3. Not treating your music like a business.
So sure music should be fun, but you should still treat it like a business even if you’re not making a full-time living from it at this moment in time. If you want to make it past the ‘bedroom’ musician stage, you need to realise that this is your career. You need to keep relationships professional, network to set schedules, keep paperwork of what’s been happening, push yourself even when you don’t want to, and strategically invest time and money with the aim of making more back in the long run.
What Are Music Fans Willing To Pay For?
In an era where paying for music is optional, how do musicians make money? For somebody who is aiming to become a professional musician or singer, this is incredible important in order to drive towards a successful career.
1. The music.
This might come as suprise to you but it is still the case that your fans will still buy your music online. This may be because it's easier for them to listening to it over itunes or so on. This is also more likely if you have a close connection with your fans, who will pay out in order to support you.
2. Physical CDs and merchandise.
It is often the case that many of your fans would be interesting in having something physical to associate you with. If you're selling CDs at your shows, new fans maybe want to buy your CDs in order to listen to them on the way home etc. Many fans will also buy your mechandise because they know that all the money is going directly to you and not some online retailer.
3. An experience.
So in many cases fans will pay out in order to gain an experience with you. An easy example of this would be putting on a gig for say £5. There is however room to be creative with this, why not for example advertise a house gig specifically for a group of fans for a set fee? Loyal fans will get involved with this in order to support you but also gain a rare experience.
4. Something unique and limited in edition.
So your fans are likely to spend money on something that is unique to them or limited in it's quantity. Why not sell some limited edition signed copies of your latest release or why not offer to write a song for a fan at a price? In order to make money from music it's all about the connection with your fans, never take them for granted because these are the people that will help you in every possible way.
5 Important Reasons To Use a Mailing List.
So ask yourselves this... Do you use a mailing list to keep in contact with fans? If you aren't, why not? Mailing lists are a extremely powerful tool to keep track of your fan base and let everyone know what's going on in your career! If you're struggling to keep hold of new fans and you're not sure why, this might be of interest to you.
1. You Own The List.
So you may well have a large number of followers or likes on Facebook or any other social media platform but what you need to really think about is who owns the data? Well it's not you... This is the number one reason why you need to use a mailing list because it is very easy to lose fans on social media and there's nothing you could do about it when they are gone. People may unfollow you or unlike you online for very minor reasons. Not everybody will see every tweet or every status update and as a result they might lose track of what you are doing. More people will see your emails and take notice as a result because it is sent directly to them, they won't have to find it for themselves.
2. Use your data to get more fans at your shows.
The list of contacts you have gained in your mailing list can be really powerful in terms of encouraging more fans to come to your shows. Services such as our Email Blast allow you to see who clicked on your emails the most which will help you to contact them directly to highlight an upcoming show you are playing close to them.
3. Fans give you permission.
Once a fan gives you their email address, they are giving you permission to send you information about upcoming releases, tour dates and so on. By giving you their email they are telling that they want to hear from you so consistently send them updates about your activities.
4. You can sell more merchandise.
When it comes to selling merchandise, reaching out using your mailing list is an effective way to make more sales. It has been consistently shown within the music industry that the most sales are gained using a mailing list. With this in mind and the thoughts shared in point 3 about how fans want to hear from you, if you send fans emails with clear links to buy your products it is likely that more will.
5. Keep in touch with fans long term.
Does anybody remember the social media site 'Bebo'? How many of you used it everyday but now you are not on it at all? Social media websites can come and go and fall out of popularity over time but it's unlikely that your fans will change their email address often. So keep in touch with fans no matter what by using your mailing list.
How To Book Your Own Shows!
So if you didn't know already, playing live is without a doubt the best way to gain attention and make more money as a musician. Sometimes however it is much easier said that done. Here are a few tips to gaining some much needed performance time:
1. Find The Right Venues.
The first and most important thing that you need to do is research. You need to make sure that the venues that you are hoping to play at suit your music and will help you reach the right target audience. For example, if your fan base is mostly made up of teens, do not book gigs at clubs or pubs where there may be age restrictions. Make sure the venues suit your genre and your fan base.
2. Make Connections.
Making personal connections with other local bands and industry professionals could help you book bigger shows. Promoters are looking to constantly minimise risk, they want to fill the venue and know that the act they have chosen to work with will put on a good performance. By collaborating with other bands in putting on shows, it may help you reach a bigger audience and allow you to book larger venues.
If you've had the chance to play at a venue, it is best to contact them in person. The same could be said for promoters or any other bands you might be working with. If you can't meet in person and you are forced to use email, make sure that your emails are short, sweet and straight to the point.
4. Make A Promotional Plan.
If you're playing local gigs it is very likely that you will be doing your own promotion for the show. Make sure you let the venue owners know how you are going to promote the event because they may be able to help you along the way. There are many ways to promote your shows but the very best ways lie within the use of your mailing list and social media platforms.
The last thing to remember is to be professional at all times. Always be on time, never let anybody down and most of all make sure your set list is well rehearsed.
How To Write A Song If You're Aiming For The Charts!
So many of you have been making music for a while and so most of you will probably know how to write a song. But here's the question, will the songs you have now help you achieve your goals for your musical career? If you're aiming for the charts and you're not sure whether your songs are going in the right direction, here are 4 points to help you become more commercially successful.
1. The chorus needs to be catchy.
This is probably the biggest and most important factor in whether your song is commercially viable or not. A great chorus can set a song aside from the others and as a result you will need to write a chorus that is extremely memorable. The chorus acts as the selling point for the song, even if people aren't necessarily paying attention whilst listening to your song for the first time, having a catchy chorus will help them remember it. The aim here is to write a chorus that will continuously go through peoples head all day in order for them to fall in love with the song.
2. Write some sing-along parts in the verses.
As well as writing a powerful, memorable chorus, it would within your interests to do similarly within the verses. This is because by making the verses memorable you are allow your audience to sing along with the song the whole way through. One of the best ways to make a line or two of yours more memorable is by making it stand out from the rest of your lyrics. So you may have written your lyrics to all be at a similar speed, then suddenly slow it down or change it up in some way so people’s ears instantly pick up when that part comes on.
3. Write songs that people can relate to.
When writing a song that you aim to be commercially successful, you need to write a song that people will relate to. These songs usually fall into two topics, you should be writing songs that either your target market will relate to or will aspire to. When it comes to writing songs your audience relate to, you’ll want to write lyrics which talk about things which people can relate to. This could be because they have been through similar things themselves, or could imagine themselves feeling the same if they were in a similar situation.
4. You'll need high quality music production.
The last point relates to the sort of sound that you will be using as a backing track for the song once you have written it. The main point here is that the track HAS to be high quality. There’s nothing worse than having a song with great lyrics, but a poor quality instrumental. It’s such a let down, and one that will show in terms of your sales figures. If you’ve taken the time to write a high quality song, be sure to also get a beat that will match that song, both in terms of theme and quality. Doing any less will lessen your chances of climbing higher in the charts.
3 Tips For Struggling Musicians!
If you've been selling or making your own music for a while and you're beginning to get a little frustrated, here are three tips that might help you:
1. You have more options than you think.
Music can be a cut-throat business at the best of times but the number one thing that you have to battle is your own mind. When your luck is out it's very easy to put yourself down, lose enthusiasm and ultimately think about throwing in the towel. You need to remember that it's very easy to fail when you don't allow yourself to succeed. Sure things may take awhile to take off but you need to keep working and building until you reach that tipping point. Things very very rarely happen over night so it's important to move forward every day, step by step.
2. There's never too little to do.
The most dangerous thing you can tell yourself is that you've done 'all you can'. In almost all instances there is something you could improve on to reach a higher goal, make your musical ability better or so on. Always strive to be the best but never take for granted what more there is to do. Never feel comfortable in one position and continue to strive forward.
3. Be unique.
It's really really important to stand out. There's nothing worse than being a carbon copy of another successful artist. Why? Because they are already more successful than you and there's no way you will be as successful as them standing in their shadow. You need to be yourself, stand out and be different. An example here would be with regard to boy bands... At the moment One Direction are by far the biggest boy band in the world but how many other, similar boy bands are doing a similar thing? LOTS! None of them however have been as remotely successful as One Direction and that's because the new boy bands are no different to what is already available.
5 Ways To Get More Fans!
It's always been an incredibly interesting process to see a band develop and gain new fans, doubling or even tripling their followers in a short space of time. Very few bands are able to consistently do this over the course of their careers but the question is, in practical terms how do musicians gain more fans?
1. Building engaging video content.
Increasing the rate and quality of the videos that you are producing for upload to YouTube or Vevo can be a ridiculously powerful way to grow your fan base. As the number of high quality videos accumulate on your YouTube, the more people will take notice and become a fan. This is how many 'YouTube celebrities' have started and gained their fame after hitting a tipping point and reaching 100,000s of views.
2. Bigger, better and more frequent gigging.
Despite all the online tools available to you in building your fan base, it has been consistently shown that there is nothing quite like playing live to grow a fan base. The most effective way to do so is to be smart in the sort of gigs you are playing and how they are developing you as an artist. The trick is to stand out from the crowd and gain momentum by playing shows that will consistently increase your fan base. Although at the beginning it might be okay to play at open mic nights, in the long term this isn't going to build your fan base effectively. Ed Sheeran is a good example of this, playing at a range of shows where he stood out including poetry nights, house gigs, busking and so on. By doing this he played to a new audience every night and was usually the only musician to play that night.
3. Gain new fans through your existing fan base.
Another effective way to gain new fans is to use your existing fan base. A simple way to do this is to simply ask your fan base to retweet or share your status updates on social media platforms. As well as this, selling merchandise at your shows is a great way to passively market your band. If a large proportion of your existing fan base wears an item of clothing with your bands logo or information on it, this is a free way to advertise your band to new potential fans.
Despite all the ways we have already discussed to gain new fans, it would be naive to ignore paying for advertising or social media promotion. The potential to reach a large number of new fans with a relative amount of money is immense. We have seen great results where individuals have used social media promotions to gain 1000s of new fans as a result of their campaigns.
Although you might be thinking that we would recommend collaborating with other musicians to reach their audience which would subsequently grow your own, you would be wrong. Although that is a good idea and in some instances it does work well, a better way to grow your fan base would be to collaborate with other businesses.
An example would be the deal between Jay-Z and Samsung. As a result of that deal Jay-Z gained a huge amount of publicity from Samsung's audience as well as gaining $5 million dollars in pre-sales of his upcoming album.
We have experience of using this method ourselves, building a sponsorship deal with a local shopping centre who allowed us to play every single weekend to a passing trade of over 40,000 customers. For a musician that is unsigned it was incredible exposure and it is something that you would be able to do too.
3 Things You Should Avoid When Looking For A Sponsor!
A fantastic way to further your career is to team up with a business who would sponsor you and offer you financial support. Here are some things you should avoid whilst looking for a business to team up with.
1. Asking for too much too soon.
When you first write someone, you’ll find that it’s easier to get 15 minutes of their time rather than getting £5,000. Begin by asking for small things where you can also provide them with some kind of value first (marketing ideas, free promotion, etc.). In other words, give them a specific, compelling reason to return your call that can build the relationship so eventually you can both feel comfortable discussing larger proposals.
2. Being too vague and unclear.
One of the most important things you should learn is how to pitch your band. The more specific you are about what you want, the easier it is to get what you want. When you talk about your music, don’t use generic selling points like “unique,” “hard-working,” or “have potential.” Instead, use actual information that proves you are unique, hard-working, or have potential. For example, “we’re an acoustic duo that has done four national tours using only mountain bikes and backpacks for traveling, which has led to a feature on BBC Radio 1".
3. Talking about yourself way too much.
80% of your communications should be about their company, brand, or organization and what you can bring to the partnership. Before you begin pitching ideas, get them to talk about their goals, their audience, and what they want to accomplish. If your ideas are based on their goals, you’ll be much more effective than if you just sent a generic proposal asking for money in exchange for logo placement.
Top Tips To Remember!
Socializing is, by nature, a two-way exchange. Try holding a conversation with someone with your ears plugged. Social media is talking with your audience! There are other tools out there for talking at an audience. Make it a habit to read comments and messages. You’d do the same on your personal accounts, wouldn’t you? By listening to your fans you could also get valuable information like what new song they are digging the most or what they liked about your show last night.
2. Leverage online and offline.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. While some artists, like Alex Day have managed to build their career on one channel, most of us need to find a balance of online and offline. Maybe you leverage Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and some local shows in your area. The key is to think about how you can send fans from online to offline and visa versa. You need to create a flow.
3. Write posts yourself.
Don’t completely outsource Twitter or Facebook to a third party. Fans can tell the difference. Keep it real and learn. If you have a band, have members sign their posts with their name so fans can get to know everyone’s personality.
4. Be conversational.
On Twitter, make your tweets two-way. If you just make a statement, there’s no where for the conversation to go. Think about how you would approach starting a conversation in real life. Instead of saying “We have a gig tonight at this place,” try “We have a gig tonight at this place. What songs do you guys want us to play?”
5. Be genuine.
Talk about your life and what you believe in, as well as your music and career. Open yourself up, so that people can get to know you. It’s amazing how much interaction you can generate by posting a funny picture of your dog.
6. The 80/20 rule.
So exactly what is the balance between personal/interesting content and marketing content? I don’t like putting a formula to something as spontaneous socializing, but a general rule of thumb is that 80% of your content should be personal, funny, interesting, and entertaining, and 20% should be reserved for marketing pushes. Go beyond 20% and people start ignoring you. Keep it social. Keep it fun.
7. Drive interest.
Just like the flow between social media and the offline experience, you should also create a flow between your social media channels and your website. Your website is the hub of your career online. It’s where you make sales and have more detailed information for fans. Link creatively to your website, so that you give people fun and interesting reasons to visit.
8. Pick platforms that are relevant to your image and brand.
If your target fan is a young teenage girl, Twitter and Instagram are your best bets, as these are the platforms where these girls spend the majority of their time. If you are a improvisational jazz band whose target fan is a forty-year-old working man, Facebook and email would probably be your best bet.
9. Make your channels unique. It’s also a good idea to use each social media channel slightly differently. Give your fans a reason to follow you on all platforms. While you can and should push important information out across all your channels, try to give it a different spin. If your announcing a gig try this approach: Take a picture of yourself in front of the venue and push it out to Instagram and use Facebook to drive engagement, asking fans what songs they want you to play. Get creative! Remember, hard work always pays off!
How Can We Help You Rise Above The Competition?
The most effective way to build your fan base online is to use and continuously grow your mailing list along with all of your social media assets.
The next question is how are you going to reach your potential fan base and the answer to this is to use social media in the RIGHT way and gig as much as possible to build your social platforms and mailing list. If you're struggling with reaching fans with social media, we offer an effective social media promotion service that will help you gain 1000s of new, genuine fans each week that will interact with you. The social media tools that we use are tried and tested within the industry (as well as in other business sectors) and is used by individuals such as Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga and Calvin Harris. The fan base that we will build for you is specifically targeted to your meet your needs and to suit your sound.
Contact us directly to find out how we can help: Sales@WeMakeYouViral.Com
Wishing you the very best of luck!!