Meaning and connection are what count today. As Modern Content Creators that means that you’re now in control. You have the power to discover, shape, design, and drive your unique message and purpose anywhere you want to take it, with virtually nothing more than you already have in this moment.
You also understand that you need to be focusing on building true fans and particularly on new fan acquisition.
But how do you do this?
Sure there are an endless array of new tools and technologies available, but do you confidently feel you know how to use them?
Do you have a followup system in place for attracting new fans and developing the relationship with them over time?
For converting new fans into true fans, and true fans into super fans?
We need to start with a fundamental level of mastery of the modern tools and technologies that we have now.
One of the fundamental reasons I see why so many Artists and Creators are puzzled with figuring out how to take their careers to the next level in the Modern Music Business is because they simply do not understand the tangible elements, the practical components, the fundamental tools at the core of their career.
They don’t have or understand the Modern Music Marketing Process.
This Career Growth Mistake results in not mastering the tools, technology and resources they have available to step their game up, be more productive, to create their ideal lifestyle and career.
Get more out of what you ALREADY HAVE!
Modern Musicians become proficient and fluid with the tools for modern content production and distribution. They do this by learning how to use the modern toolset to attract, connect, over-deliver and convert new potentials into new fans, convert new fans into repeat true fans, and convert true fans into loyal super fans using the arsenal of communication formats and distribution channels available to us all.
There is no right or wrong way to do this, of course, but understanding the various formats you have at your disposal, and then ultimately being able to choose which one and why to best deliver a specific type of content will give you a flexibility and highly developed expressive palette of options to choose from.
I know it may seem like… Well, Jamie, I just make music! And, sometimes I blog or post up some pictures on instagram from my gigs…
And that’s great! That’s certainly a start!
But even though it may seem like a daunting endeavor, my intention is to get you thinking outside the box about the multimedia options available to say what you have to say. To tell the stories you have to tell.
Remember, creativity is the boss!
The primary purpose is to make you aware of the options right now, and for you to understand the positive effects that consciously being aware of exploring and choosing the way you are going to present a message can have on expanding your effectiveness in delivering that content.
Think of new ways to tell the story, repurpose that song, make that video, shoot and edit that behind the scenes footage. Use more visuals and graphics, make handmade collages, use print and direct mail, my goal is just to get your noodle spinning at this point, and to excite you about the wonderful tools you have at your disposal!
Modern Music Marketing
You are not just an Artist, you are also running a Content Business. Today we can dream and create in 3D.
..TShirts and cool Merch ideas are about as easy to create as a new song or blog post. New music, collaborations, promotional opportunities or creative ideas are ready to be packaged and sold in whatever form and through whatever distribution channel you choose.
3D. Total control.
It’s exciting times for Artists. Perhaps the most exciting in history.
All Artists have access to the tools and resources, and the capability of developing the entrepreneurial skill-set. But we have to do the best with what we already have. The differentiator is going to be your creativity and resourcefulness.
Our Job is to create valuable content and then to communicate that to build a loyal fanbase and a profitable brand that allows us the freedom and fulfillment doing what we love.
Modern Music Marketing is the process for how we do that in the modern music industry. Direct to fan is the name of the game. It is a living breathing, ever evolving journey of both your content/artistry, and the relationship with your fans. Your job is to create and share your content in order to engage and enjoy the journey with your audience as you both learn and grow.
But again, It’s more than just music from here on out, it’s every kind of content, across many many channels… Thus a more appropriate name would probably be modern content marketing.
Modern content/music marketing, in any case, is how you grow your fanbase without spending money on ads or paid promotions. It’s the organic way to build your following in the modern world, using that unique thing only you have… Your content.
Modern Music Marketing = Multi-media, Multi-channel Content Marketing
We are communicating through more than just our music. In the Modern Music Industry we connect via all forms of media, contact and interaction.
Modern Content/Music Marketing is simply the two way dialog between you and your audience. It’s a new video, podcast or blog post, a conversation with a fan on twitter, a discussion or poll with your audience on facebook… It is the active process of putting out content through your platform and sparking the conversation between you and them.
Modern Content Marketing is useful for building up your online fan base in particular, reaching a larger audience obviously, and for finding out what your fans love and what particularly they love about it. This way you can learn more about them, include them in the conversation, and bring more people into your world to join your community. To choose the level of engagement that is right for them.
Everyone starts at the ground level which is the Modern Content Marketing process. It’s free, it’s how you gain awareness and show up on people’s radar, and then how you deliver value to them, build a relationship, and convert them as they travel up your Fan Engagement Elevator. From possible fanto potential fan, then to new fan, then to true fan, and then eventually to super fan.
Modern Music Marketing = Direct to Fan
From pre or post gig hang outs, to social media communication, to recruiting fans for your street team, there are so many ways to build relationships with the people who like your music. This can grow organically, to find you seeking fan input on things like what kind of merch you should offer or soliciting t-shirt and album designs. Including fans in an upcoming video, providing online remix contests, and organizing post gig house concerts-are other creative ways to get fans engaged. The more engaged your fans are, the more likely they’ll be to turn other friends on to your music.
But what does marketing in the modern world actually entail?
The New Game is about more than just music. It’s about multimedia content. It’s about utilizing all the communication formats and connecting with your fans across multiple channels. It’s about designing and delivering authentic, fan experience pathways that offer fans and supporters sequential ways to go deeper with you, get closer to you, buy more of your stuff.
What does it look like?
You engaging with your audience via your blog, through your social channels, at your live shows, and any other distribution channel where you can make that initial connection with possible fansand then elevate the relationship to the next level.
Once you’ve got your Core Music Marketing System installed, your focus should be on the fan engagement cycle, and New Fan Acquisition.
One of the core skills in entrepreneurial skill-set is modern content marketing, which is done with the modern toolset…
This core set of tools when combined with your content, skills, and progressive mastery over your 5 functions culminate to equip you with the mission essential equipment and the ability to achieve everything you want, live the lifestyle you want, and master the G-Code.
Total freedom and fulfillment doing what you love, on your own terms.
It’s not some fancy new app or technology you need…. It’s Better LEVERAGING the tools and resources you already have to multiply your results.
The Modern Toolset: The Tools of the Modern Artist
The communication formats: Presenting the message and material you are trying to communicate.
The Distribution Channels: These are supported, delivered, and distributed methods and network of generating traffic and exposure to your work.
Traffic Generation: The Traffic Avenues
All together there are 3 categories of traffic. Earned, owned, and paid media, or Content, Relationship or Paid… I’ve broken these down into 6 channels as you’ll see below.
Create: Content Marketing/SEO Traffic – Relate: Relationship/Social Traffic – Pay: Paid Traffic
1) Your Channels: Your Platform Home base The first is the one you control, and your primary marketing & distribution channel, it includes all properties and the database that you control directly (email list) or indirectly (twitter following). it also includes your music hubs and aggregators and profiles.
2) Niche Channels:Niche Partners/Market Segment/Network Distribution This is everyone in your global “neighborhood.” The other relevant organizations, influencers, blogs, and platforms that serve overlapping audiences.
3) Global Search Channels The search engines.
4) Social Channels All social channels such as social networks, social bookmarking sites, and
the larger ecosystem of social web 2 properties.
5) Traditional Media Channels PR, publicity, news, radio, tv, magazine
6) Directories Blog, RSS, Niche, Directories etc.
As Artists and Creators our job is to develop our skills and resourcefulness with this palette of tools to create and leverage our content to connect and communicate with a loyal fanbase that supports and values the multimedia stories we have to share.
How To Get More Fans and Sell More Music: Attract Instead of Promote
So what does modern music marketing in the modern music business look like?
It’s not getting greater exposure, it’s making greater connection. It’s not new tools we need, it’s learning how to use the tools we already havebetter. The opportunity isn’t going from the top down, getting massive exposure and a trickle stream of interest and sales from some random group of unknown fans… It’s building from the bottom up, starting where you are, with what you have now. It’s going out and building your first 10 True fans… and then your next ten. and then your first 100.
It’s understanding what and why these people support you and your content. It’s about digging deep, connecting, sharing your stories and resonating with those meant to hear them.
I want you to start or refresh your approach to building your fan base as ONE connection at a time.
Everything you are doing, regardless of platform, from here on out except for the initial planning stages, is to stop thinking from the top down…. and start thinking from the BOTTOM UP.
For example… You are not trying to spam a bunch of people on twitter to maybe get 100 visitors that quickly exit your website. You are trying to go and make 5-10 REAL LIFE connections with people who may like your music and support you.
Make ONE real meaningful connection with one person at a time. Stop trying to attract random people in massive anonymous numbers! And if you are in fact talking to a massive audience, then try to talk to them like they are already a great friend of yours and whom you have much care and respect for. Listen to them. Always try to cultivate and develop the habit of making those authentic and personal connections with people.
Try Calling up a Linkedin connection, host a Tweetup with your fans, better yet, host a local Meetup.. Be creative. Get on a google hangout or call a new facebook friend on skype. Try to build 10 SUPERfans, instead of 1,000 reciprocal (#followback) twitter followers…
INSPIRE and you’ll BE inspired with what you find! Bottoms Up Folks.
Traffic is never the problem
Often times people think they have a traffic problem. But i want you to remember that traffic is never the problem. There is an abundance of it, and it can be turned on at any time…
In fact, I got off the phone with an artist just this afternoon who was asking for advice on how to grow his fan base… He mentioned that he had a guy with a similar audience on facebook who had a bunch of likes and that he was going to pay the guy to promote his recorded song.
I said that is all well and good, you’ll probably get some likes, but don’t expect to make much money or residual profits from it, and realize that you have to have your home base system setup and working first, before you’ll see the kind of action and results you want from any external promotional campaign.
I encouraged him towards focusing his goals on reaching a narrow group of possible fans first, I.E in his locale, so that he could first start by building a core fan base, which he had yet to build at this point.
You see, timing and preparation matters. Before you run a campaign you have to make sure you have a systemized fan experience pathway setup, at least the first one in your Music Marketing System that will do something with that traffic and leverage technology to both develop new content and new fans.
The sales and marketing misperception
Traditional Music marketing and advertising often became about catering to a lowest common denominator. Most artists and musicians still have a distinct distaste for their perception of what marketing and sales means to them. Indeed there are still obnoxious sales and marketing messages coursing across our connected screens at a growing rate. But people are waking up to the fact that people aren’t interested in being sold something.
Education and connection and experience are what people truly valueand pull out their wallets foraside from daily living supplies and groceries.
In the new economy, more than anything, marketing is just communication. Good marketing = good communication. And good communication = sales.
Not understanding this results in ineffective communication. And a lack of sales.
What else can you create to attract people and present them with enticing offers at different price points, and then what’s the next step with each one of these offerings? For instance, a typical front end offer starts with something at a lower price point like an EP or LP or DVD for somewhere between $550 or so. This is a relatively small investment for a lot of people-so it’s attractive and also gives them a low level of entry to really get to know you better. Then what’s the next level of engagement with you?
This is how modern musicians think and grow their businesses more effectively and more profitably than anyone else.
We Go from the bottom to the top!
Again, the only time you should be thinking top down is when you are planning. You plan from the end, back to the beginning. Begin with the end in mind. (As the Late Steven Covey wrote in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.) But you work and you build from the bottom up.
When you’re ready, I can help you find the right tools, leverage those tools, and then begin to master creating and sharing your content with your audience across any communication format and distribution channel.
Mission Essential Services & software:
To roundup a baseline set of tools, these are the core services, and pretty much the basic suite of tools you’ll need. Many of which are pretty much the gold standard. All of which, I use personally.
● Fantastico deluxe
● Google Doc’s
● Domain registrar
● Hosting service
● Email Service Provider
● Project/Task/File management System
● Shopping cart/paygate/merchant account
● Writing software
● Music library
● Backup system
Let me hand the Microphone back over to you:
Anything you’d like to add, tell me i’m wrong about, or insight you’d like to share?
Add your voice to the conversation below!