Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


April 30, 2010

Surprising News About Attracting New Fans

You know you need to build a fanbase to be successful with your music. Therefore, the more fans you can acquire, the better. Right?

Well ... maybe. Or maybe not -- according to Tom Hess, a music career mentor and touring guitarist.
Hess just published the results of a study he conducted among his circle of musician friends and clients. He identified six common mistakes that musicians make.

Two of them really caught my eye. First this one:

Mistake #1: Trying to "get one's name out there." The main goal of most new bands and musicians is to get their music heard by as many people as possible. "Although this may seem logical, it is the wrong approach to take," says Hess. "Before trying to be seen and heard by a lot of people, it is often more important to focus on 'converting' the people who hear and see you into becoming actual fans. This conversion is the first key to your promotional success."

Then this one:

Mistake #4: Focusing too much on acquiring more new fans, rather than making the existing fans more loyal. This is particularly true in the beginning of a band's career. "The number of fans a band has is only of secondary importance compared to the number of intensely loyal and fanatical followers. Increasing the number of people in the second group will increase the number of your overall fans through powerful word of mouth," says Hess.

I agree, for the most part. While I wouldn't suggest you turn fans away or water down your fan acquisition efforts, Hess makes a great point about "conversion" and realizing that not all fans are created equal.

Absolutely. All of your public exposure activities should be focused on more than simply getting your name out there. Your goal is to engage people and pull them invitingly into your musical world. Then build an interactive relationship with them.

That means simply asking random visitors to check out your music isn't enough. But you could ask them to listen to a song and get on your mailing list. Or listen to four songs and rate them. Or enter a contest. Or ...

And as I've written about before, you should keep your radar up for those Ideal Fans who are your true early adopters. And give all your fans the tools to help you spread your music to more people.

Those intensely loyal followers are the True Fans who will have the greatest impact on your growth and success.

Yup. Focus on the quality of the fan relationship as well as the overall quantity of fans you have.

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:37 PM   2 comments


April 27, 2010

5 Tweets Every Musician Should Avoid

OK. So you are totally onboard with this whole Twitter and social media thing. You realize that your tweets (and status updates on other sites like Facebook and MySpace) should not be 100% promotional in nature.

You know you need to strike a balance between marketing and revealing the real you -- so much so that you are now fully committed to "keeping it real."

Your life is now an open book, right?

Hold on! Before you go spouting every random thought that pops into that creative brain of yours, consider the following five types of pointless tweets.

My advice: Don't post an update if it falls into one of these dangerous categories:

1) The Jealous Tweet

Just because you're peeved that a less-deserving band got the headlining slot you worked so hard for, that doesn't mean you have to vent about it in public. Cutting down others won't endear you to fans or industry people. Allow yourself to stew about it, then let it go and move on.

2) The Angry Tweet

We all get pissed off from time to time. And in those moments of heightened emotion, we want to let off stream. But think about how those tweets will be perceived by your followers. If your fans look to you to brighten their day, the angry update won't do them (or you) any favors.

3) The Revenge Tweet

Someone slams you on Twitter or Facebook. Or a well-known blogger gives your new album a bad review. You know they're wrong, and you feel like getting even. Open a text file on your computer and start writing. Really give them a piece of your mind. But don't post it. Spare yourself the bad karma.

4) The TMI Tweet

Only you can decide where the line is between being "authentic" and communicating "too much information." It's fine to say you enjoyed a "romantic evening" with your significant other. But you might think twice about revealing the most intimate details of the blissful event. Same thing goes for illnesses and bodily functions.

5) The Inebriated Tweet

This should go without saying. But if you are in any state of altered consciousness, avoid tweeting. Period. You wouldn't want that brilliant line of poetry to be introduced to the world as "Asa man thunketh, soi shal he bewdqk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

This post was inspired by this ASCAP Expo video clip.

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:32 AM   4 comments


April 14, 2010

Don't Cater to Average: Your Fans Will Support You

It's easy to get depressed when you see research numbers like this, as reported by Billboard several weeks ago:

According to data released this week by Nielsen, recorded music has a 3.7% share of U.S. household entertainment expenses.

Recorded music gets less of a household's entertainment spending than video games, movies, sports and reading material. Each year for the last decade, music spending has dropped as consumers spend less on CDs.

Many artists and music companies respond to this news by slashing prices, giving away even more of their creative output, and catering to the lowest common denominator.

My advice: Remember, these figures are averages. They include people who never spend money on music, people who spend a little, and music enthusiasts who spend thousands of dollars a year on CDs, music downloads, and concert tickets.

If you create a business model that caters only to the average, you're doing a disservice to yourself and your fans!

Sure, there are plenty of music consumers out there looking mainly for freebies and bargain prices. But there are also plenty of people who spend way more than 3.7% of their entertainment budget on music.

There are people who love to support the indie acts they enjoy. There are lots of people who aren't squeamish about spending a good chunk of change on stuff that will add pleasure to their lives.

And I'll bet some of those people are on your mailing list or in your audience right now.

Give them an opportunity to support you! Don't play small by catering to averages.

You're not an average musician, are you? And neither are the people who make up your fanbase.

-Bob

P.S. This rant was inspired by this post from Seth Godin.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:15 AM   3 comments


April 08, 2010

Guerrilla Music Marketing Mastermind Group - Wanna Join Me?

In March, for the first time ever, I offered a four-week Guerrilla Music Marketing Brainstorming and Mastermind Group -- limited to 10 people.

I had never done anything like this before, so I didn't know what to expect. But the response was incredible. All 10 slots sold out in a few days! And it turned out to be an amazing experience for all involved.

Well, I decided to do another one, starting April 21. And this will probably be the last one I do until later in the year.

I just posted a new video about it on the Music Mastermind registration page. Half the spots are already taken, which means only five spots remain.

Please take a look now and see if this inspiring format is for you.

-Bob
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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:52 AM   0 comments


April 07, 2010

5 Great Twitter Music Contest Ideas

Whether you like it or not, or whether you use it much or not, there's no denying that Twitter has proven to be a useful marketing tool for many people -- including musicians.

Lately I've been researching Twitter contests. (Hint: I may do one of my own soon.) And I realized there are two good reasons to do a Twitter contest campaign:

  • It can quickly build your number of Twitter followers. And the more people who follow you, the greater your reach in getting the word out.
  • It can virally spread awareness of a new album or special event -- as long as you make posting messages about you part of the contest.

Therefore, here are five Twitter Music Contest ideas to consider when planning future promotions ...

1) The Retweet Song or Album Giveaway

With this contest, you simply ask your followers to RT a certain tweet. You can give away a song download to everyone who RTs, or choose 1 or 3 or however many winners randomly.

Here's how Mike Turner of @CrashKarma did this:

CD Giveaway / Crash Karma - RT this by 8 AM tomorrow to win a copy!

2) The Concert Ticket Giveaway

Same concept as above, only the winner (or winners) get no-cost access to your live show. See how the band Skillet did this for it's "Awake Tonight Tour" Twitter Contest.

3) The 'Help Us Write a Song' Contest

Last summer the band O.A.R. promoted a Twitter Songwriting Contest. According to a Billboard article, fans could "submit their lyrics, 140 characters at a time, to O.A.R.'s page at twitter.com/ofarevolution. The band will then pick three winning verses, a chorus, and a bridge that will make up the lyrics of the song."

Now that's a very creative use of Twitter.

4) The 'Tell Us Your Favorite Song' Contest

With this one, you post streaming (but not downloadable) links to a collection of your songs. Then ask fans to listen and tweet their favorite tracks. You can send everyone who does (or a limited number of people) the full CD or album download.

5) The 'Help Us Spread the Word" Contest

This could be an effective way to built your Twitter presence quickly. You send an email to your fan list and ask them to A) start following you on Twitter, and B) to post a specific update that you supply, such as

Check out @KushMusicCanada It's feel-good, downtempo music for the mind, body & soul. You'll love it!

Then offer a prize to everyone who follows you and posts the message, or offer something cool to the first 10 people who do.

Ready to present your own Twitter music contest idea? If so, let me know about it in the comments section below.

-Bob

P.S. Also check out my Twitter Music Promotion & Marketing Guide page.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 2:51 PM   6 comments