Building a fanbase for musicians
Building a fanbase is the most important part of a Musician’s / Band’s Job . Unfortunately Most artists do not do this and then wonder why no one is interested in their material or them. Music is a business and like all business it needs customers. In a traditional Business you would have footfall where people would pop into a store that is ideally positioned. The customer would purchase whatever the store or business offers and depending on the customer’s experience, They decide whether they will come back or not .
For Musician this is a whole lot harder. You are positioned at home and all you have is the Gig and your laptop. You have to position yourself in the right place and then provide the customer with the right experience so they will be interested in you. As you are freelance and gigging in many different places, it is your business to collect up customers wherever you go. The only way to do this is by getting their email so that contact is saved and a relationship is created .
Over the past ten years I have being advising Artists about the importance of collecting up emails. Emails are different from social Media and more personal. Artists think that sending people to their social media is the way to go but social media for artists is a very small part of the overall marketing process. You must have personal contact and Email is exactly that .
From my own personal experience, I open all of my emails and check them every day. I have signed up to dozens of bands over the years and I am very disappointed with how little I receive from them. I can count on one hand the emails I received last year from artists I have subscribed too..This is a shocking miscalculation of the power of the email from the Artist .Like any customer, artists need to be in constant contact with them on a regular basis. If not the Customer will go somewhere else and loose interest..
Your email doesn’t have to be long as people’s attention span has become very short these days. This is due to all the click bait out there. We are programed to be baited in by very clever Marketing strategies from major companies. People love freebies too and will sign up just to get these. Once you sign up you get hounded with constant emails from them trying to upsell you. The artists method is different. You need to build a relationship. An email a month is enough for an artist. The sharing of your Journey is all that is required and a few little pressies for your loyal customers. A free download , tickets to a show , a happy birthday, xmas , new year. All of these are you building a relationship with your fan .
If you can do all this then the fan will be loyal to you and the chances of them coming to your gigs are very high. The chances of them purchasing your CD at launch time is also very high. They will give back to you after you have treated them so well and have made them a part of your act. Remember they are part of your act. Without them, you would have no business so treat them very well .
Email marketing has become very easy recently. You have so many different email platforms that can send your message , download etc at just one push of a button. Once you have the customer’s first name and email address you can put them on your list on the platform. You simply write your post and that post will be sent to each customer individually and with their name at the heading. You can actually see who opened their email and what activity happened after that. I use mailchimp myself but there are so many more out there. I like the mailchimp one as it allows me 2000 email addresses for free . That’s right no cost whatsoever. I can do all my emailing for free .
So there you have it Guys . If you are an artist scratching your head wondering why no one is interested then start doing this immediately. Yes, post on facebook and all the others but concentrate on building your email list. That’s where the real magic happens and you can see the results .
I have also written a piece a few years ago about how to set up gigs. It will show you the workings of the venue and what you should do to start out . It sits nicely with this particular article and will be very useful to you going forward . You can find it HERE
Anyway I hope this helps you and please comment of you need anymore information . Thanks
PS. There is just one other thing i want to share. Many years ago , I interviewed a very successful Music Manager from the US and we were talking on the subject of building an email Fanbase. He told me that having one fan on an email list was worth more than a 1000 followers of any social media . He explained that there was no real relationship on any of the Social media platforms. That they were classed as simply a billboard type of marketing format and that people would be bombarded with all types of rubbish down the line Well he was correct as that’s what happening today. He also said the Labels do not take any social media followers into consideration when signing an artist. What is critical is the Email list as this is where they see the real fan and a real relationship with the Artist. “This is where the gold is” he said . I tend to agree with him and would encourage every artist to consider this quite seriously.