It’s been a rough couple of years for the music industry. 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 2016 and 2017 will be through crowdfunding. However, crowdfunding will not work unless you actually have a devoted crowd who is willing to fund. This is why authentic communication and meticulous plans 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 that they like and trust.
New studies are coming out showing that people – especially in the music industry – only part with their money, when they feel that the artist has “earned it” through social media engagement.
As an artist, you are a brand. In order to make money as a brand, you need to have a product line. A crowdfunding campaign is a fabulous place to launch said product line because it dictates creating multiple levels that people can invest in.
The 7 C’s to making money in 2016:
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 Twitter, Instagram & 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 such a large number, you ask? Because only roughly 10% will even open your emails.
What is your product line?
Do you only sell CDs/vinyl/tapes and MP3s, or have assorted merchandise?
Do you have a fan club with 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?
Do you know your Spotify Analytics?
Are your monthly newsletters well designed, consistent and trackable?
Be sure to send your newsletter through a reliable service that tracks how many people open it. Regular and consistent communication is key.
Have you asked your fans what they want to buy?
Ask your fans what they want from you. For all you know, you’re attempting to sell coffee mugs when your fans want shirts!
For Newsletters or Online: Survey Monkey & Pop Survey
For Twitter & Facebook: Twtpoll
Do you have another talent that your fans don’t know about?
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.
You can pre-order my book ‘Crowdstart,’ to help you plan out your campaign by clicking here.
Here’s the fun part – Counting the money!
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 onto your 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!
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