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Your email list is one of the most powerful online tools that an artist can have, but how do you build one if you’re just starting out or you’ve neglected it for too long? Here are 5 tips from my Social Media Promotion For Musicians book that provide an easy roadmap to a larger list.
“Just like with your social media follows and Likes, building your mailing list takes some work. In general it comes down to the following:
1. A trustworthy site. If your site or social page makes people uncomfortable in any way, chances are they won’t give you their email address.
2. An incentive of some kind. Generally speaking, people don’t want to give their address out unless they’re get something in return. Don’t think about the fact that you’re getting their email address, think of what’s in it for the fan. He only may care about regular communication, but usually access to something free (a song, video, ticket, ebook, article, etc.) gets better results. Be careful if you’re paying to advertise a signup for your list though. Both Google and Facebook have been know to consider this “email scraping,” which could lead to your advertising account being suspended if you trade something for an email.
3. Make it easy by not asking for too much information. The more info you ask from a potential subscriber, the greater the chance that he’ll give up during the signup process. Asking for just an email address gets the greatest response, but adding a first name allows you to include a personal greeting. More than a simple name and email address makes the chances of a successful signup decrease.
4. Cross-promote across social media, business cards, banners, and anywhere else you can think of. Anywhere you get a chance to mention your email list, do so.
5. Reminders in your content. Mention your mailing list in any podcasts, blogs, or videos, because sometimes even if it’s right in front of a viewer or listener, a reminder is still needed.
Your email list is extremely powerful for communicating, interacting, and promoting to your fans. Put sufficient time and effort into it and you’ll be richly rewarded.”
By the way, you can join the email list for this blog on the left.
You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.
Social media marketing is the lifeblood of artists and bands everywhere since, except for live performances, that’s where your audience is. The problem is that it’s easy to fall for a number of misconceptions about what it can do for you, but that soon becomes very apparent after you’ve spent some time actually doing the work involved. If that’s where you’re at, you know that it can be a big job, and you may feel a bit overwhelmed as a result. Here are 7 social media marketing secrets that you probably won’t see anywhere else that hopefully will put your mind at ease when those doubts creep in.
1. Social media has a cost. It’s easy to think that it’s free, and there are thousands of articles online that will tell you that, but the fact is that you’re paying for it with your time. In order to do this well, you need a strategy to carry it out, and that doesn’t just fall out of the trees – it takes some real effort to create. Plus, if you really want to supercharge your marketing, you’ll find that actually paying to promote it gets much better results, which requires yet another level of strategy and effort.
2. There’s more than one way to do it. If you want some help with your social media marketing, there’s plenty of it online, both for free and paid. That said, be aware that there’s no single one way that works for everyone. In fact, you’ll find that what actually works for you is a blend of different strategies that have worked elsewhere in the past. This is especially true when it comes to the music business, which usually isn’t addressed by the many online marketing gurus out there (this is one of them).
3. Your success depends upon the number of followers you have. When it comes to social marketing, volume is everything. It’s pretty difficult to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign, for instance, unless you already have a pretty decent following to market to. Same goes for Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, email lists and just about any other platform of your choosing. Success comes from having followers, and building that list takes time.
4. Social platforms aren’t as effective as your personal platforms. One of the problems with relying on a social platform is that you’re restricted by the terms and conditions of that platform, as well as its layout, format and features. These are things that you can’t change, but can be changed at any time by the platform. Plus, social followings can be deceiving. Facebook, for example, doesn’t even allow you to reach more than 3% of your followers unless you pay for it! The online presence that you can control is your website, which is still the best contact point for people to discover the real meat and potatoes about you and your music. Next is your email list and newsletter, which is still #1 when it comes to fan communication, even though the concept feels dated to many.
5. The social world is constantly changing. Don’t get too comfortable with anything that you’re doing because guaranteed it’s going to change by next year. What’s working great on one platform today is going to be outdated really soon as both the platform and its audience evolves. Maybe your audience loved Facebook 6 months ago, but today it’s on to Instagram, and in 18 months from now, who knows? You have to constantly stay up on the latest as much as you can and adapt your marketing as needed to keep up.
6. You can’t be everywhere. It would be nice to be on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Blab, Periscope, Ning, and any of the other top 50 social platforms, but the fact of the matter is that you need time to do what you do best, which is make music. It’s too easy to get burned out with the full time job that can be social marketing. And the fact that you have to constantly adapt to the various platform changes means that when it comes down to it, you’re better off to select a few where most of your fans hang out, and concentrate on those. Then at least you’ll have a fighting chance of keeping up without burning out in the process.
7. You won’t always get it right. You’ll get really good at one or two platforms, and just float along on any others that use for marketing. Don’t kick yourself – release the regrets, that’s just the way it is. Unless you can employ a team with specialists for each platform, you’re going to lag behind on some of them. Don’t beat yourself up – it’s happens to everyone.
While this post is more about the big picture outlook of social media marketing more than the nuts and bolts, it’s designed to put your mind at ease when you discover that you’re falling behind. Just take a step back and take a deep breath. If you’re doing at least some social marketing every day, you’re doing fine. If you don’t feel at least a little overwhelmed, then it’s time to worry.
If you’re trying to boost your fan base or engagement online, then you’re probably doing at least a little social media marketing whether you like it or not. The problem is that the best practices do change over time as social media and user trends evolve, so in order to get the most out of the time you spend promoting yourself or your music, that means you have to keep up with the latest trends as well.
Here are what’s currently considered to be the45 best social media marketing practices when putting your online strategy together.
1. Use demographics to drive quality traffic – It doesn’t do you much good if most of your social and website traffic comes from people that aren’t particularly interested in what you have to offer. That’s why it’s important that you know your demographic well so you can aim your marketing directly at them. How do you do that? By taking a hard look at your analytics. Even the free analytics that you can get from just about every social network, as well as free services like Google Analytics and Statcounter can be very helpful in this regard. If you know your audience, you can better cater to them.
2. Find out what type of content your audience wants – Over time you get a feel for what your audience likes by looking back at your posting history. Is your audience visual? Do they respond more to pictures or videos? Do they like to read and prefer blog posts? Do they like photos with captions? Whatever it is they like, make sure you give them enough of it, although like anything else, too much of a good thing won’t work either. Try to discover what the proper balance is between different types of content.
3. Remember your brand – If you’re marketing well then you’re creating brand awareness in everything you do, especially online. Be sure that your posts stay in line with your brand philosophy and visual qualities. Don’t know what your brand is? Check out my Brand Your Music Crash Course.
4. Respond to positive and negative feedback – The negative comments are just as important as the positive ones. You can learn what your audience and fan base doesn’t like, and you can also learn what you’re doing wrong in engaging them. Don’t get drawn into an online flame war however, as that can be hugely counterproductive in the end. If you can’t resolve the issue in a comment or two, it’s time to let it go.
The list of best social media marketing practices can easily be twice as long as the above, but following these first 4 takes you along way towards your primary goal, which is growing your fan base and keeping them happy.