[This article was written by Dave Kusek, founder of the New Artist Model, an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers, and songwriters. He is also the founder of Berklee Online, co-author of The Future of Music book, and a member of the team who brought midi to the market.]
If you don’t take risks and try out new things, you’ll never know how much further you can get.
I recommend that instead of taking a huge leap and trying to do too much at once, take little steps, gradually making small tweaks in your strategy. This is easy, won’t take you very much time, and is a good way to jumpstart your career in 2015.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some little things New Artist Model members have done to boost fan engagement and grow their fanbase. All these examples were shared on our member-only Facebook group. It’s a great resource for learning, networking, and collaboration. Access to this group is included with all New Artist Model courses. We’d love for you to join the community!
1. Update Your Facebook Banner
A Facebook cover may seem purely aesthetic, but you can actually use it to grow your fanbase and drive email subscribers. The Steel Blossoms are a country/folk duo based in Nashville. They updated their Facebook cover to include a call to action — offering fans free songs to drive sign-ups to their email list.
Facebook covers function the same as regular photos you post to your timeline. If you click it, a lightbox will open with space for a description and comments. The Steel Blossoms placed a link in that description area that takes fans straight to their mailing list signup page where they offer 4 free songs in exchange for an email. With this little change, they saw immediate results – 15 signups in 2 hours!
2. Get Fans Involved in Your New Content
As artists, it’s important that you follow your creative intuition and make creative decisions for yourself. However, it can be fun to involve your fans in the process from time to time. That’s not to say you need to put your whole career in the hands of your fans, but little decisions – like what album artwork to use or what song to cover next – are good ways to get your fans involved.
Sammy Hakim was discussing the TV show Supernatural with her fans. She asked them which character they would like to hear a song about. Her fans voted and she ended up writing an original song, “Father” about Castiel. Not only was this a great way to get fans talking on her social channels, it also got them involved in the creative process.
3. Give Email Subscribers Something Special
You’ve been told time and time again how important your email list is. You need to be actively driving subscribers, but you can’t forget to nurture the relationship with the people already subscribed. Just sending promotional email after promotional email is a good way to get unsubscribes. You need to make them feel special and valued by giving them exclusive content and early access.
Jayme Lynn Reed is a country artist currently working on her debut album. She’s experimenting with sending private, unlisted videos to her email subscribers. This means that only people with the link can view the video. As you upload to YouTube, edit the privacy settings from the default – “public” – to “unlisted.” You can also edit videos you have already uploaded. Go into your video manager, click “edit” on the video you’d like to unlist, and change the privacy settings to “unlisted.”
As you can see, there are little things you can try that could make a huge impact on your music career. In the New Artist Model online music business programs you’ll learn how to turn your music into a successful business – a business where you are in control! You’ll create an actionable and personalized plan that will help you achieve a career in music, and you’ll be able to do it all with the resources you have available right now.
You can see a free video mini series here on musician strategies, team building, booking gigs, copyrights and setting up multiple revenue streams.
[Fingers image from Shutterstock.]