Want to increase your bottom line as a musician?
[This article was written by guest contributor — and longtime friend of CD Baby — Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR.]
It’s the new year, and the current news surrounding the music business is still bad. At this stage of the game, CD sales are barely part of the conversation and 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 in 2014 will be through crowd funding. However, crowd funding will not work unless you actually have a crowd who is willing to fund. This is why authentic communication and a plan are vital.
The first step towards building a crowd is building true rapport with your fans and friends on social media.
I have seen it thousands of times – 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 95% of artists 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 whom they like and trust.
New studies are coming out showing that people only part with their money, especially in the music world, when they feel that the artist has “earned it” through social media engagement.
You as an artist are a brand and if you want to make money you must have a product line. A crowd funding campaign is a fabulous place to launch a product line because it dictates that you create multiple levels that people can invest in.
That’s right… a crowd funding campaign actually helps you create a product line – TA DAH!
The 7 C’s to making money in 2014
Do you have fan base to sell to?
A) An Email List
B) An Active Facebook Community
C) Twitter Followers
D) Blog Readers (and your blog cross-posted on Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Twitter & Facebook)
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 – 10,000 is a great goal number to work towards for a list. Why BECAUSE ONLY 10% will open your emails!! (on average).
What is your product line?
Do you only sell CDs and MP3s?
Do you have assorted merchandise?
A fan club / monthly offerings?
Do you do something unique and special aside from music you can offer?
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?
Are your monthly newsletters well designed, consistent and trackable?
If not, you should switch to a service that helps you create an effective newsletter and tracks how many people open it. And communicating regularly and consistently is key.
Have you asked your fans what they want to buy?
Interview them and ask!
Your fans may want coffee mugs or yoga mats and unless you ask you will never know.
For Newsletters or Online: Survey Monkey & Pop Survey
For Twitter: Twtpoll
For Facebook: Poll Daddy
Do you have another talent that your fans don’t know about?
Do you paint?
Do you write?
Is there another way you make money that your fans may want to know about?
6. CROWD FUND
Do NOT Dive into a Campaign without a PLAN
Know which platforms to use and understand how to run a smooth effective campaign.
Here’s the fun part – Count De Monay
So to 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 ontoyour email list – Every day think about whom you can add to your list.
3. Communicate regularly and consistently using trackable html 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. Create – products, events fan clubs and house concerts to satisfy your fans!
6. Crowd Fund – Know what to do before you launch – a wing and a prayer does NOT equal a plan!
7. Count your money – $$ Cha Ching!
Here’s to your success in 2014!
For more great tips from Ariel Hyatt, check out the CyberPR blog.