In How Much Is Your Music Worth?: Part 1 we talked about an issue many independent musicians face: placing a value on their music. In short we determined that music’s value differs among different fan audiences and that these audiences can be categorized into three distinct groups: a) People Who’ve Never Heard of You, b) Casual Fans, and c) Hardcore Fans.
Today we’ll concentrate on how to get people who’ve never heard of you to listen.
Make It Free and Easy: I’m not just talking about money. Make it free from commitment and free of hassle. Upload an .mp3 file to a service like zShare or Supload and make the link available to stream and download. Stream the song on your website. Don’t ask the fans for anything like money or an email address for the privilege to listen/download…just give them access to the music. If they don’t like it, they can go away and be done with it. If they do like it, they’ll want to know how to get more music. This is the point where you’ll direct them to sign up for your email list and/or visit your website. It doesn’t take anything complex. Just a simple message like “Like what you heard? Sign up for my email list for updates on new music and performances at http://……”. The object is to keep the listener engaged and to make getting to know you as easy as possible. Who’s going to pass up a free listen?
Leverage Your Fans: Unless your fan list only consists of hermits and sociopaths, it’s safe to say that all of your fans have friends with similar interests. Of these interests, I’m willing to bet that music is one of the most common shared among them. Connect with your fans and have them spread the word about your music through a resource like Tweet For A Track or Noisetrade, a tool that gives fans free music for telling people about you . Start an affiliate program that rewards your fans for spreading the word about your new music. Start a street team (online or traditional). This way you’re making current fans happy and getting your music into new ears. You want to create VALUE for all parties involved.
Don’t Beg: Don’t beg people to listen to your music. It’s annoying and it makes people skeptical of your talent (Think about it…if you were asking someone on a date and resorted to begging, something’s wrong. Same concept here.).
Don’t Spam People: Email and social networks like Twitter and Facebook make it easy to get your message to the masses. It also makes it easier to get your message to people who could care less what you have to say. Spamming people won’t get you a lot of listens, but it WILL blacklist you from a lot of potentials fans. Instead of sending random messages to people you don’t really know on social networks, leverage your current fans (as described above) and get THEM to spread the word about you.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for our article on catering to the casual fan.
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