Basic Marketing Principles For Artists – Part 3 of 3: Increase the Amount of Money That You Charge

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Welcome to the final segment of a 3 part series that was inspired by a mastermind program I participated in with Ali Brown who is my mentor in the world of online marketing.

Here’s the recap of what we’ve gone over thus far…

There are three ways to increase your income:

Part 1. Increase your number of clients (fans).

Part 2. Increase the frequency of purchase, how often your fans buy from you. (and you’d better have more than just music to sell).

Part 3. Increase the amount of money that you charge…

Increasing the amount of money you charge poses a problem if all you have to sell is music because music is now widely available for free, and people have proven that they are not willing to pay a premium for music.

However, fans will pay plenty of money for experiences, like a great concert or a chance to be a contribution to an artist, a special memento, or wonderful merchandise that really resonates with your fans.

An Example…

Jeff Krantz created a BIG payday in one fell swoop.

Jeff Krantz & The $10,000 Song
http://jeffkrantzmusic.com

Recently I was hanging out with past Cyber PR client who had a fabulous tale to tell. Jeff launched his singer-songwriter career in Second Life where he has managed to build a wonderful fan base.

Through networking online, he met a man who fell in love with his songwriting and became a fan. This man called up my artist and told him that he was having a big anniversary coming up and he wanted a special song written just for his wife. He asked if he would be up for writing and recording a custom song for her.

Realizing that this was a huge opportunity told his fan that he would present him with some options he began to THINK BIG. So he created 3 packages that this man could choose from with three separate prices (depending on how much he wanted to spend / how involved it would be silver, gold and platinum)

Here’s what Jeff wrote about how it worked:

As part of the Gold package that the client chose, I agreed to write 3 different songs (first verse and chorus) for the client to chose from. Once the client selected the song, I spent 1 week writing 2 full lyrical options for the client to chose from. Once they had decided on the song, Jeff went into his studio and recorded the song, bringing in musicians to fill out the arrangement. He then sent it to a top studio to be mixed and mastered and 2 weeks later he sent the client the finished song (with the masters). “It took about 60 hours in total but it was so much fun and I made almost 10 grand for the effort!”

The point is because he leveraged just ONE relationship with just one fan he managed to make over $10,000 on ONE song.

Had he not been working on increasing his fanbase by networking online, he never would have had this opportunity present itself to him.

Fan Funding

A newer option that has become a widely available option for indepdent musicians to take advantage of is fan funding. Fan funding sites (often called ‘Crowdfunding’) have become an incredible resource for musicians to employ this very strategy.

Here are a few options available:

Be it your album creation process, setting up a tour, creating merchandise, or any other important aspect of being an independent musician, creating a fan funding campaign not only helps you to raise the funds, but it will allow you to give your fans the opportunity to take part in a unique experience.

Your fans will be paying more because they will be buying into more than just a pre-sale for a project, they are paying for the opportunity to join your journey to get there.

How Have You Added Value?

I would love to hear how you have managed to add value and get more profit. Please share!

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3 Helpful Social Media Infographics for Musicians

Happy Friday, everyone!

Marissa from Team CyberPR here.

Ah, infographics…somehow they’re much more fun to read than just plain type. Most people tend to like and remember information much better when it’s presented visually, which is probably one reason why the popularity of infographics exploded in 2011 (they also tend to do well in Google searches).

And since an infographic presents information in a compact format, people like sharing them. I’m in a sharing kind of mood today, so here are 3 helpful social media infographics I’d like to share with you!
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Basic Marketing Principles For Artists – Part 2: Increasing the Frequency of Purchases

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The first piece in this series focused on increasing the amount of fans and how this is a necessary step towards success.

Part 2 of the basic three principles is increasing the frequency of purchases.
The cornerstone of this is simple: You can not only sell music.

In order to get the frequency of purchases up you must provide something that actually gets your fans to buy more frequently.

If you are only selling one album or one set of MP3s, it’s pretty near impossible to get this step accomplished because your core fans will only have one thing to buy (therefore making frequency non-existent)

Thousands of record stores have closed in the US in the past decade. This points out to one very clear conclusion: People are buying fewer CDs (of course we already knew this) but think about it – are you only selling music?

I sadly see this all too often. Artists only think about putting out one CD, but to survive and thrive in this industry where music — like it or not — is now widely distributed for free all over the Internet, fans are no longer buying music like they once did.

So, you must create additional products and offerings to sell. At the same time you must be building a two-way conversation with engaged fans.

Remember not to put the cart before the horse here, But if you don’t have a fan base to sell these things to, there’s no reason to build a series of products.

Survey Your Fans

Expert Internet marketers never release products without testing the demand first. Maybe you think you know what your fans want but they might surprise you.

Understanding who they are and what they like/ want becomes critical.

Internet Marketers always ask their core fan group what it is they would like and then they create the products based on their answers.

I have said this may times – that music is a feeling and it’s not like a typical Internet marketing product and its hard to get fans to tell you how they feel about new music that you may be writing but its EASY to get them to tell you what they like.

  • Is it girlie T’s
  • Yoga mats
  • Special non-leaching water bottles
  • Limited edition hoodies

If you don’t ask them they wont tell you…

Online Surveys

Using Your Mailing List

Set up a survey online and use your email newsletter list or Facebook page to get fans to tell you what they may buy from you in the future. Survey Monkey will allow you to create a free survey that you send out to your fans to ask them specifically what they might like to buy from you and how much they might be willing to pay.

Using Twitter

If you do not have a large enough mailing list to get a response, you can survey your fans using this great Twitter app – http://twtpoll.com/

Using Facebook

Or you can survey right on your Facebook page using the Survey Monekey for Facebook app or http://www.facebook.com/simple.surveys

Then make it and they will!

Merchandise That Works for Artists

Here are some great merch ideas to get you inspired.

Family Force 5 created a limited edition T-shirt of the month club. They offered their fans a new T-shirt every single month and it generated thousands of extra dollars for themselves and their fans loved the limited edition shirts.

http://www.myspace.com/familyforce5

John Taglieri, who I talk about often has a marvelous new series of EPs and books called Lives. This new project will consist of four 6-song EP’s, books & graphic novels, as well as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and blogger accounts for the two main characters.

http://thelivesproject.com/

Will Deynes made a Valentine’s Day song, and he would custom record the name of people’s beloveds right into the song. He sold dozens of them to his fan base at Valentine’s Day.

http://www.myspace.com/wildeynes

I met Shelter with Thieves, from Halifax, NS and they gave me an awesome USB drive full of music and special bonuses like artwork and videos, and its wonderful because fans can use the USB drive for school projects or at work.

http://www.shelterwiththieves.com/

Jen Chapin, being environmentally conscious and clear that her fans are too like purchased a few cases of SIGG Water bottles and had them customized. She sent an e-mail to her entire list that she had wonderful, non-leaching, water bottles for sale and she ended up selling many of them

http://www.jenchapin.com/

Carla Lynne Hall is organizing a Bowling Tweetup at The Harlem Lanes near her home just to hang out with friends and fans and bond. She is not selling merch yet but you can be sure that when it comes time for her to sell that extra time she took to make friends with her fans will pay off. Studies show that people purchase from those they like and trust and Carla is building trust.

http://rockstarlifelessons.com/

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Musician’s Arsenal: Killer Apps, Tools & Sites – Presskit.to


Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend, but now it’s back to the grind. To kick off the return of the grind, I have a brand new tool I’m excited to share with you – Presskit.to. Presskit.to (powered by Indie Ambassador) is an easy to use, very slick looking digital press kit that ships optimized for mobile. Presskit.to is currently in private beta, which means you need an invite to sign up, but CEO and co-founder Ben Maitland-Lewis has kindly offered me a limited number of invites to give out to our readers. If you like what you see here and want in on the action, hit me up on Twitter (@jloom718) and I’ll get you set up.

So what’s makes Presskit.to so awesome? Let’s take a look at 7 key features and why they’re cool.





1. Design – First and foremost, the design of Presskit.to is extremely clean, which is important for a digital press kit. It cuts straight to the point with one photo, band name, location, genre, links and tag line. The whole press kit is contained in one page, which means the user never has to click through pages to find what they want.
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How to Write Engaging Newsletters – Ariel’s Greeting, Guts, & Getting!

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Are you still not sending out newsletters to your fans? Studies prove you should be… Boston based research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey has completed a study that all musicians should know about.

Here are the important highlights:

Three-quarters of web users are likely to share content with friends and family, and nearly half do so at least once a week. But while much social networking content is built around such shared items, most people still prefer to use email to pass along items of interest.

The study goes on to say:

Overall, 86% of survey respondents said they used email to share content, while just 49% said they used Facebook. Broken down by age, the preference for email is more pronounced, as users get older. And only the youngest group polled, those ages 18 to 24, reverses the trend, with 76% sharing via Facebook, compared with 70% via email.

So, if your audience is older than 24 you better be thinking about your newsletter strategy now!

In conclusion the study says:

“Rather than focusing on sharing content they thought the recipients would find helpful or relevant (58%), most respondents cared more about what they thought was interesting or amusing (72%).

Here’s the entire study if you want to read it (with lots of pretty graphs too): http://bit.ly/b4dfcI

So, ask yourself:

Are you including content in your newsletters that is interesting and amusing.

If you are just talking about your next show and or your next release then you may be missing the mark.

Long story short, in the online world, email is still king when it comes to generating revenue. You make relationships with fans on your social networks, and turn them into customers with your newsletter.

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In Defense of 1,000 True Fans – Part XII – How Kat Parsons Has Built Her Mailing List to Over 10,000 Strong

I met Kat Parsons through a mutual friend and she hired us to write a full marketing plan for her. After working closely with her, I thought she would be the perfect addition to the 1000 True Fans series! By putting a strong focus on building her mailing list and genuine engagement through social media, Kat has been able to take the big leap into becoming a full-time musician. Her understanding of building long-lasting relationships with her fans has helped her to build a sustainable career in the music industry, and it is one worth discussing, so enjoy!

Ariel Hyatt: How do you make the 1,000 True Fans theory work for you?

Kat Parsons: I’m big into authenticity and connection and think that is key to engaging and developing a community around music… I think community is also one of the keys to happiness.

AH: Can you give us a breakdown percentage wise of the following:

KP:

House Concerts / Private Shows 70%
Live shows? 10%
CD sales? / Download sales? 10%
Film & TV 10%

AH: How many die hard fans would you say you have – fans that will buy everything and anything from you?

KP: I would probably base this on my Kickstarter campaign – there were 181 people who pledged through Kickstarter and another 30 who pledged privately directly to me. My mailing list is far greater than that and many of the people on there will buy my new upcoming recordings. I just moved servers but before I moved servers, my mailing list was 10,000.

AH: How do you go about attracting and connecting with “true fans?”

KP: I love FB…I love interacting with people on FB, but most of my connection comes through live shows. I do A LOT of house concerts in crazy places I never imagined visiting! Through those shows I meet new fans who invite me to their homes whose friends then invite me to their homes and….

AH: What is your favorite social media site and why? What advice would you give to an artist just starting on that site?

KP: Facebook. Sometimes I am verbose and I like the space…I don’t think in tweets! I also like how I can go to one place to see everyone’s responses and comment on everyone’s reply in one place.

AH: Which analytics platforms (if any) do you use? How do those metrics help you manage your music career?

KP: I am about to start using googleanalytics and getclicky.com….I am working on a new internet marketing strategy that will rely on new traffic…so I will be experimenting with ways of bringing people into the community and intend to used the analytics to tell me which ways work best.

AH: Can you describe how you accumulated so many email addresses and persuaded your fans to fund your album, “No Will Power?”

KP: I’ve played a lot of concerts and I really enjoy connecting with people. For better or worse, I am very warm and accessible at my shows (no matter how hard I try, I cannot be mysterious!!!). I used to walk around with my mailing list and meet everyone.

AH:  How do you get invited to play at house concerts?

KP: Most of my house concerts are invitations through guests of a house concert. I think what is unique about the way I do it, is that I really don’t think anything is outside the realm of possibility. If someone says, we’d love to have you come play in Singapore, I say “Ok” and we set about finding a way to make that happen, which often times meaning booking several shows in the same area to cover overhead and my fee.

AH:  How do you pursue house concert opportunities?

KP: When someone expresses interest, I follow up with them regularly and we never give up until we’ve got a date on the books!

AH:  How do you build on the relationships made from the house concerts, both the relationship with the host and the patrons?

KP: I make sure to express my gratitude to my hosts and the guests….it is such an honor to be invited into someone’s home and for them to want to share my music with their friends…I try to always be aware of that and make the concert tons of fun!

AH: What items do you sell the most of at house concerts?

KP: Cds. That is all the merch I currently have.

AH: If you had $1,000 to spend on marketing and promotion, how would you spend that money?

KP: Internet Marketing – getting traffic and then bonding with my audience and making special pffers for being a part of this!

AH: What was your initial vision for connecting to fans and how did Social Media change that?

KP: It’s always been in person, but as time goes on, I am getting so much enjoyment out of connecting through Facebook, in particular. Sometimes it can be really overwhelming….it feels like you are supposed to have a profile that you update every day on 15 social media sites. I have found that for me, it is more important to focus on one and make the relationship rewarding then spread myself thin on everything. I like that FB allows a deeper relationship and bonding with fans that they can opt into,.

Kat Parson’s new album ‘Talk To Me’ is now available! Go to KatParsonsMusic.com for a free download!

Follow Kat on Twitter at @KatParsonsSings

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