Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
Music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for independent songwriters, musicians and bands.
Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog
Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros
June 22, 2009
Fringe Fans: They're Really Not That Into You
You get an email from someone you've never heard of or heard from before. He writes:
"I've sampled a bunch of your free downloads online, and honestly, I haven't heard one song I really like. So I'm not sure I want to spring for your new album. Tell you what ... give me the entire album for free, and if I find a few songs I enjoy, I'll pay you for it. Deal?"
How would you respond? (Once you stopped cursing, that is.)
I ask because I got an email just like this a few days ago. Only this guy wasn't asking about my music; he was referring to my articles, blog posts, and books.
He said he hadn't found anything of value in the stuff he's found of mine online. Then he asked if I would give him some full ebooks for free. If he found something that "worked" in the books, he would gladly pay me.
How do you think I responded?
Thanks, but no thanks!
Why? Don't I have confidence in my own material? Wouldn't he be rushing to compensate me if he were only exposed to the awesomeness of my best ideas?
YES, I have confidence in my material. But NO, I doubt very much he'd ever be willing to pay for anything I publish, regardless of the cost or the arrangements.
The point being ... this guy is a "fringe fan." He is not my ideal customer. And while I welcome suggestions and respect a diversity of ideas, I won't lose any sleep over what this guy thinks.
Do you feel the same way about your fringe fans?
The reason I ask: Artists like to please people. We love a kind word and a pat on the back. Therefore, I bet you often let music consumers of all stripes steer the way you run your career.
So you give everything away, or you beg people to attend your shows, or you water down your identity so you don't offend anyone.
And guess what? That's a sure recipe for failure!
Don't get me wrong. You must be aware of the response you're getting from people. Your radar must be up at all times monitoring which songs get the most positive response and what types of people are attracted to your music the most. That's good.
But at some point you must draw a line between how you serve your "ideal fans" and how you react to everyone else.
For me, I know my ideal fans are proactive indie artists who understand the value of lifelong education and feeding their minds with fresh ideas on how to promote and sustain a music career. Those types of musicians are a small subset of the planet's entire musician population.
So when it comes to the cynical "prove it to me" music crowd ... I wish them well, but I don't expend energy in trying to please them. They are not a part of my core "tribe," as Seth Godin says. They are on the outskirts of it.
I suggest you not be distracted by the people on the fringe of YOUR tribe. Don't insult them (unless that's a part of your brand identity), but don't cower to them either.
Focus on the people who matter the most: your ideal fans!
Get your FREE copy of my Music Marketing Secrets special report. It shows you how to get more exposure, attract more fans, and sell more music! Go here to grab your copy now ... Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.
Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.
Connect with Bob on Google+
June 16, 2009
The Future of Digital Music for Indie Artists
MySpace just laid off 30% of its workforce. Twitter and Facebook are on a steady rise -- for now. Streaming remote music sites like Spotify (currently available only in Europe) are gaining a lot of traction. And Richard Branson's Virgin Media just launched a new music download subscription service.
It's enough to make your iPhone spin out of control and careen into your Amazon Kindle :-)
People are confused. Musicians want answers. Self-promoters need to know the best way to invest their limited time and money. Industry veterans plead for the roller coaster ride to just stop already!
Here's the truth ...
There are no answers!
There are no rules, no strict guidelines, no risk-free road maps to widespread fame.
That sucks, doesn't it? Well, it can. But you have another choice:
Have some fun with it!
Experiment. Try stuff. For instance, be the first artist to [do something outrageous] using [the latest hot social site or app]. Fill in the brackets with different combinations till you find a winner.
Let your imagination wander and ask lots of "What if ..." questions. Then get busy creating your own little mad scientist music marketing laboratory.
While the technology and tools change constantly, some things remain important no matter what:
- Understanding who you are as an artist
- Knowing the type of person most likely to enjoy your music and identity
- Communicating who you are and what you play clearly and quickly
- Putting yourself in a position to be discovered by your ideal fans
- Being accessible to fans and having a direct conversation with them
- Building relationships with people over time
- Making enticing offers to purchase your for-sale music products and services
So let go of your need for certainty. Don't be so tight-assed about needing to know all the answers.
Again ... Experiment. Try stuff. And pay attention to the results you get from your efforts. Then simply do more of what works and less of what doesn't.
Here's the conclusion reached in a music industry report published last year called "Meet the Millennials":
In summary: technological advancement will promote further diversification in the music industry, in terms of business models, content and mechanisms for artist/fan interaction.
No single approach is 'the next big thing,' and experimentation is strongly encouraged. No one can afford to wait for proof of concept when the next big innovation is always just around the corner.
Millennials [young people who have grown up in the digital age] are constantly experimenting with and evaluating their experience as consumers. We suggest the music business does the same.
Sounds like great advice to me!
What do you think?
If you don't own it yet, check out Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, the classic guide to indie music promotion. Revised and updated, with four new chapters on Internet and Web 2.0 music marketing. Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.
Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.
Connect with Bob on Google+
FREE Music Tips Ezine
- Get Bob's Free Music Marketing Tips by Email. Find out more.
What About Bob?
Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
Guerrilla Music Marketing Online
129 Free & Low-Cost Ways to Promote & Sell Your Music on the Internet
Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook:
201 Self-Promotion Ideas for Song-
writers, Musicians and Bands on a Budget
- Killer Music Press Kits
- Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition
- Killer Music Web Sites
- DIY Music Marketing for the Serious Musician
- How to Tap Into NACA and the Lucrative College Music Market
- Online Music PR Hot List
- How to Use Video to Promote Your Music Online
- 55 Ways to Promote & Sell Your Book on the Internet
- How to Publish Your Own Indie Book
- Unleash the Artist Within
Connect with Bob on
- 5 Best Podcasting Tutorials - Promote Your Music w...
- How to Respond to Tragedy as a Musician
- Don't Make THIS Music Publicity Blunder
- Music Marketing 101 + Lessons from Amy of Karmin
- Music Marketing on Facebook & Twitter, What & When...
- How to Make Your Music Video Go Viral
- Music Marketing Case Study: Getting Exposure by Go...
- 100 True Fans? Is Small Really the New Big?
- Create Quick, Easy Music Videos for Free
- Best Music Marketing Blog Posts of 2012
- October 2004
- November 2004
- December 2004
- January 2005
- February 2005
- March 2005
- April 2005
- May 2005
- June 2005
- July 2005
- August 2005
- September 2005
- October 2005
- November 2005
- December 2005
- January 2006
- February 2006
- March 2006
- April 2006
- May 2006
- June 2006
- July 2006
- August 2006
- September 2006
- October 2006
- November 2006
- December 2006
- January 2007
- February 2007
- March 2007
- April 2007
- May 2007
- June 2007
- July 2007
- August 2007
- September 2007
- October 2007
- November 2007
- December 2007
- January 2008
- February 2008
- March 2008
- April 2008
- May 2008
- June 2008
- July 2008
- August 2008
- September 2008
- October 2008
- November 2008
- December 2008
- January 2009
- February 2009
- March 2009
- April 2009
- May 2009
- June 2009
- July 2009
- August 2009
- September 2009
- October 2009
- November 2009
- December 2009
- January 2010
- February 2010
- March 2010
- April 2010
- May 2010
- June 2010
- August 2010
- September 2010
- October 2010
- November 2010
- December 2010
- January 2011
- February 2011
- March 2011
- April 2011
- May 2011
- June 2011
- July 2011
- August 2011
- September 2011
- October 2011
- November 2011
- December 2011
- January 2012
- February 2012
- March 2012
- April 2012
- May 2012
- June 2012
- July 2012
- August 2012
- September 2012
- October 2012
- November 2012
- December 2012
- January 2013
- February 2013
- March 2013
- April 2013
- Current Posts
Favorite Music Blogs
- DIY Musician
- Music Think Tank
- David Hooper
- Ariel Hyatt
- Derek Sivers
- Brian Thompson
- Michael Brandvold
- Artists House Music
- Bob Lefsetz
Copyright 2004-2013 Bob Baker