One of the first goals of any new artist is to have his/her own personal website and get his/her name, songs and videos on social media platforms. Once this is done, what’s next?  What exactly does an artist want to achieve from all this work? In this article we examine a few nuggets that can help an artist to maximize the efforts form both website and social media.

First, determine what this great looking website and fancy social media platform can add to your “portfolio”.  Here are four top-of the-line goals that they can help you achieve:

  • They can help you to increase your fan-base.
  • They can enable engagement with followers (fans), thus allowing you to nurture your “potential market”.
  • They can provide opportunities to convert followers into paid customers.
  • They can help to fulfill your end goal – increasing your revenue from the activities of your fan-base.

Fan-base is increased via live performances, partnership with influencers, working the media – doing interviews, meeting radio DJs and having music played on both digital and legacy radio, and of course, posting on social media and digital channels such as Youtube and Vimeo, etc. The more the artist does, the better result he/she usually gets – resulting in significant increase in popularity. Now that the fan-based is growing and you have their attention, the next task is to convert them into a “community” – much like the core audience of a radio station or the loyal members of a political party. This is usually done through engagement. 

Responding to fans and engaging with them on-line is absolute. In fact, whenever an artist is unable to do this personally, a member of his/her team should be given this assignment. The artist is now a brand. It requires multiple engagements with such a brand in order to build enough trust that can enable seamless transactions. The ultimate goal is “gaining loyalty” because as young folks like to say “that’s your bank”. Engagement also provide the opportunity to pull in and convert causal fans into the core following. 

Always remember that the ultimate goal is to turn followers into paying customers. Social media and your website are great connection tools. Just be mindful that it should not seem like your sole reason for growing a fan-base is to sell to them. Move step by step. 

Branding guru Greg Wilnau – Founder of Music Monster website provides a true step-by step tool he calls the Music Marketing Funnel to do this. Wilnau describes this as one of the “most effective and traditional marketing strategies – using free or low-cost items to attract people into the fan-base and then start selling to them”. The example he gives takes a single song from a full length CD (album) and gives it away for free at a concert – in exchange for an email address. (Note that this is done via the artist’s website).  Fans are directed to the artist’s website where submission of an email address automatically triggers an immediate response and subsequent periodic emails from an auto-responder. The responses will range from simple thanking the fan to a later invitation to purchase the remainder of the songs from the CD. From here on, the artist and his/her marketing team has the opportunity offer special invitations to shows, offer priority pre-sale of tickets in advance (at a higher price) and offer VIP ticket sales or paid invite to events such as album release parties. This proven method enables the artist to convert followers or fans in to a true “money machine”.

Much like public media and other organizations that depend on retention for viability, this method has the same challenges. Retention is the key. The longer an artist is able to retain a fan, the more that fan will contribute to his/her “bottom line”. The key to retention are speed of delivery, quality customer service, a diversified product offering and most important – value for money. The golden rule of customer service applies here…”it is more important to super-serve existing customer than expanding service to fringe customers.” 

The bottom line is this – building a webpage and going on social media platforms just to wing it is wasting time and resources. The artist should have a plan with specific goals for each cannel. That will determine the kinds of activities on each platform. The artist and his/her team’s responsibility is to make sure that this “ride’ is always pleasant for the fan. Always remember that a pleased fan is “money in the bank”.

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