Musicians and artists are in the marketing business, and almost everything that applies to marketing a product applies to how musicians sell their brand. Here’s some of the common mistakes that marketers make when engaging with fans:
1. They don’t let customers choose how much info they receive.
Fans are most interested in what you make and who you are. Product announcements, releases, new shows, and much more are great ways to connect with fans, but too many “news” email, blogs, or announcements will start to turn into white noise for all but the most hard core fan. Give your fans options for how much they want to be contacted, and you’ll see higher engagement rates and less unsubscribes.
2. They change the nature of the fan relationship without getting permission.
If your fans are used to receiving everything for free, and you suddenly switch to a “you pay me and then you get the product” model mid stream, many fans will disengage. Pick a model early on and stick with it, and you’ll be amazed how much more likely you are to get better conversion rates.
3. They ask for too much too early.
It takes trust for fans/customers to invest in your music/business. Be patient, offer small opportunities for customers to purchase from you, and then slowly offer higher stakes (i.e. higher price/more value) products over time. Whatever you do, don’t make people go all in or nothing right off the bat. You wouldn’t ask for someone to marry you on the first date, and you probably don’t want to ask potential fans to drop thousands of dollars on your product in your first contact.
4. They treat their customers as a group, not as individuals.
Because most businesses and artists have hundreds or even millions of fans, it’s tempting to want to treat them as a faceless group that should all be treated the same way. In fan engagement, good marketers run a meritocracy. Spend most of your time interacting with the most die hard fans, and less time on the casual ones.
5. They don’t follow up with a thank you.
Bad marketers see customers as checkboxes: once they’ve purchased a product, they’re “checked” off the list and quickly forgotten. Great marketers are masters of developing genuine (if arguably one dimensional) relationships with customers, which includes an ongoing dialogue before, during, and after the sale. Following up with a thank you and an offer of after-sale care goes so far, and can win you a lifelong fan.