In business, the customer is king; for without them there is no business. In music business, your fan is also royalty. Treat him so…
Your fans are like your customers. Hence, your fan is king. Fans do make stars. If there are no fans or lovers of music….well, YOU imagine. Their maximum entertainment and satisfaction should be your major concern. Above all, to please them and get their attention should be your quest –especially if you are a new brand or should I say new in the business.
Well, its ‘show’ business. To whom do you show off to? As an entertainer, who are you entertaining? FANS.
1. Never forget WHO your fan is. Bear it in mind when you write and record your songs. Bear it in mind when you do your music videos. Study your fans at live shows. Study the ones who are singing along word for word and seriously jumping up. What kind of clothing do they wear? Where did they buy it? Where do they eat before or after your gig? (Lol) All this is just to know what kind of people like your music and figuring out how you can get through to them with your music and style. The truth is you might not have all the market but isn’t it better you have a class of people who are crazy about you and seriously ready to expose you to the rest of the world? This is usually how international stars are born.
2. Learn their lifestyle habits…and then use YOUR IMAGINATION to think up a clever co-promotion… Probably with a radio station, radio or TV programme, restaurant, fast food joint, designer…Think! Get creative. There are no limits to music marketing.
3. Let there be a place where they can come to find out more about you
You should have your own website. It’s basically for people to be able to learn more about you. This is where they can get latest developments, see what you look like, and listen to your music. Also, therein should contain every other thing that elevates you and your music. If you can’t afford a website for now, you can try a BlogSpot but then you have to have something to post regularly on the BlogSpot if you’ll stick with it. Also there are a considerable amount of social sites like ‘Facebook’, ‘Reverb nation’, ‘Twitter’ and ‘Isound’ that have provided the platform for music artistes to place on their data for free. You can send the links to your web pages to your fans or whoever is interested in you and your music. At least you can be found on the web. It’s a good step of progress.
4. Let there be an interactive platform
You should have a platform –preferably on line- where you constantly connect with your fans, especially if you want to remain relevant till you get that big break. The internet is a good one. It seems to be indispensable now. A lot of people are – always- on the internet. They are on popular face book, Twitter etc. Choose two or three social network sites and focus on them. This is where you can steer fans to and then keep them logged on, engaging them with music from you and latest developments. You should also build a mailing list of email addresses and phone numbers of fans who are interested in your music so you can send them updates regularly. You can even mail them your song. Don’t bore them though with news about you every now and then. Be smart about it. Make your page /mails interesting. Crack jokes, get creative, respond to mails-it could be anybody.
No promo is a waste. Make good use of social networks. Don’t open your web pages and ignore them afterwards leaving your fans stuck on an inactive page. This is rude. Don’t just chat away on Yahoo, Face book or Twitter. Do business. Promote your music. Promote YOU-your brand.
5. Give them your music
Give them away on your website and your other web pages. Give them your promo CDs when they come to you after a terrific performance at a show. Of course on your CD would be your contact and brief details. Many people worry about their music being stolen. But then how would people know you and your music if you don’t give it away? Life is full of risks.
If you are an independent act and have produced your CDs; Give bonuses and discounts. For example “Offer a free CD for every 3 CDs bought. You can do this at your live sales booth when you do concerts, or on your website…or BOTH! This way your fans can help you get the word out in an inexpensive way, and all fans LOVE to help their favourite band or artist”
6. Involve your fans and reward them
Of course if you are still new and upcoming, your fans will probably majorly be people from a particular neighbourhood, your school, your friends, family and others who just heard your music and automatically love your thing. You can put them to helping you promote your music since you have little or no marketing budget. So put them to work. Fans who get involved in helping you promote your music are often referred to as ‘street teams’. You can find a better way of organizing this online on websites like ‘Reverbnation’.
“Put your fans to work: Street Teams
Street Teams are the way to go when you don’t have a lot of money or time to promote your music. They can be recruited to write articles and reviews about your releases and live shows, and they can be used effectively to get the word out on the street. With your supervision, let them write up press releases, design posters, and get them put up around your city of town. Appreciate and reward them, thank them with free CDs, merchandise, and tickets to your upcoming shows. They will be happy to help you, and feel a real sense of pride in having helped spread the word about your music. Be sure to make all submissions your property if used and gain all appropriate publishing rights.”
7. You can organize a live show in your neighbourhood or somewhere nice and close to your home base to entertain your fans and to promote you and your music. You can contact fans from your mailing list and also print flyers or IVs. You can charge them something or make it an open show. You can arrange to do a special ‘live CD’ if you can afford to. Invest in a CD duplicator and record the show. You can offer attendees a CD of the night’s show which would be ready in a few days or immediately after (depending on the CD duplicator) and sell at a price after the show. “Tell them if they buy a copy of the LIVE CD that night, in advance, you will autograph the CD and remind them that they can hear themselves applaud and whistle on the recording….everybody wants to FEEL SPECIAL.”
Never forget that in business the customer is king. Your fan is your customer; hence is royalty. Treat him so…
Esther Fabunmi is the head of Entertainment Ideaz ( an entertainment social enterprise), and bank manager of Talentz Bank (www.talentzbank.blogspot.com), a music business resource and networking platform dedicated to help entertainers ‘turn from talent to cash’. Facebook/Talentz Bank, Twitter: @talentzbank.