To get ahead in this business we all know that being flexible and educatable is key. At this stage of the game, CD sales are barely part of the conversation, and as the rise of streaming continues it can feel discouraging and downright depressing if you are trying to earn actual money from making music.
I believe the way a vast majority of artists will make money moving ahead will be through crowdfunding and membership platforms. However, these will not work unless you actually have a devoted crowd who is willing to fund. This is why authentic communication and building your mailing list are vital.
The first step towards building a crowd is building true rapport with your fans and friends on social media and with your email list.
I have seen it way too much. Artists misuse their email lists and socials by ONLY reaching out to their fans when they have something to SELL them (a show, a new release etc.) This is where you will fail.
Every study on sales has proven one thing: People hate to be sold to. However, people LOVE to buy, and people always love to buy from people that they like and trust.
Newer studies are coming out showing that people – especially in the music industry – only part with their money when they feel that the artist has “earned it” through social media engagement.
As an artist, you are a brand. In order to make money as a brand, you need to have a product line.
When you launch a Pledge Music, a Patreon or a crowdfunding campaign it can be the perfect opportunity to launch said product line because it dictates creating multiple levels that people can invest in. YOu will also spend quite a bit of time preparing for the campaign so in effect you are giving your launch extra love and attention – this is the bonus!
The 7 C’s to making money in music
Do you have fan base to sell to?
An Email List
A Text List
Followers on Socials
I suggest you create a system to track your VIPS and top superfans. Feel free to use my Industry and SMM tracker.
Always think about how you can grow your fan base and your list!
I consider a real fan base a MINIMUM of 10,000 (between all sites) and 1,000 on your email list but 5,000 is a great goal number to work towards for a list. Why such a large number, you ask? Because only roughly 10% – 20% will open your emails.
Are your monthly newsletters well designed, consistent and trackable?
Be sure to send your newsletter through a reliable service that tracks how many people open it. Regular and consistent communication is key.
Are you aware of what an email nurture sequence is?
Listen to my Webinar with Cheryl my LAB 4 Teacher to hear all about these critical marketing tools.
Have you asked your fans what they want to buy?
Ask your fans what they want from you. For all you know, you’re attempting to sell coffee mugs when your fans want shirts!
For Twitter & Facebook: Twtpoll http://twtpoll.com
For Instagram – Ask in STORIES!
When you go to create any Do you have another talent that your fans don’t know about?
What is your product line?
Do you only sell music or do you have assorted merchandise?
Do you have a fanbase that would pay for monthly offers?
Do you do something unique and special aside from music you can offer?
Here are some brilliant examples of items used in Pledge campaigns – cake baking, art, jewelry, or a fun tour of the artists’ hometown with a bar crawl:
Do you tell your mailing list you are available to play private events and parties or weddings or BBQs?
Have you ever even mentioned you’d like to play a gig in THEIR homes?
Spend a few hours looking around Pledge, Patreon and on Kickstarter and Indie GoGo for inspiration
Do NOT dive into a campaign or launch a monthly subscription service without a PLAN.
Know which platforms to use and understand how to run a smooth effective campaign.
You can download a free chapter of my book ‘Crowdstart,’ to help you plan out your campaign by clicking here.
Here’s the fun part – Counting the money! What you focus on expands so counting what comes in and setting reasonable goals for this building is part of the counting. Eli Lev, a Cyber PR client, and friend does this and has built his Patreon Page to over 100 monthly subscribers. In his Cyber PR LAB 5 he breaks down exactly how he built this steady income producing fan base (in less than 1 year).
Here’s the recap
1. Calculate – Assess what you have to work with! How many fans are in your communities – socials, newsletter, physical mailing addresses and YES even telephone #’s
2. Capture – people onto your email list – Every day think about whom you can add to your list.
3. Communicate – regularly and consistently using trackable emails and by monitoring your socials to see what is working!
4. Canvass – When your list gets to be at least 1,000 strong ASK them what they may like from you and how much they will pay.
5. Choose – Are you going to go with Pledge, Patreon, Bandcamp Subscriptions or a Crowdfunding Campaign
6. Create – products, events, monthly offerings and house concerts to satisfy your fans!
7. Count – your money – $$ Cha Ching!
Here’s to your success!