How can we use some of the same advertising, marketing, and promotion tricks that have existed for decades to expand our personal brand and sell our products? Always aim for high quality in exchange for very little. This is how you build trust and gain fans for life.
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
As an artist, your vision in life is probably to engage with people…. Spark conversations, nurture growth, hope for change, etc… But we have to be able to think as marketers and businesses in order to support ourselves so that we can continue giving back to our audiences. And with the right mindset, this business side is not a far departure from why you create art in the first place. You don’t want to just let people come and go, keep them, involve them! This will help you make a connection with them, which leads to creating a loyal base of followers and potential customers.
Whatever makes YOU want to click, buy, or share… whatever it looks like and makes you stop and want to engage… that same strategy will work on the majority of your fans. People are following you and buying from you because they like your voice as an artist. Because something that you have to say resonates with them. Which means you share some similar beliefs at a core level. They want to share that experience with you because it helps them get in touch with themselves better. You provide a voice for something they haven’t been able to express for themselves. If you never forget that and you always fall back on that, you will make fans for life (ie. customers) effortlessly.
Trust-Building will be the easiest, though most drawn out, process of all of these examples. This is something you want to always do, despite any other strategies you have going on. People are following you to get to know you. To hear what you have to say. So have the courage (and decency) to have honest conversations. Do be aware that you are now a brand so anything you say will define your brand and, thus, the audience who is drawn to you, but after that just be honest and say whatever you want.
- Then, occasionally, drop in some links for subscribing to your newsletter or your new single hot off the presses. Don’t expect a lot of return from this because it’s mostly random but you might catch a few of your most loyal fans to lead to some sales and, even if not, the goal of this is continue to build your relationships knowing that this time will lead to more potential sales down the line. Building trust is the groundwork and it has to be in full swing at all times.
- REMEMBER: If you ever feel sleazy or guilty about a campaign that you’re putting out or by something that you’re asking of someone else, it’s probably because it is not bringing value to your fans’ lives and somewhere deep down you know it. Either the product you’re offering isn’t good enough or what you’re asking is too much. If you are truly offering something of great value and for very little in return, you’ll feel like shouting it off the rooftops because you’ll want to share it with the world. So always aim for high quality in exchange for very little. This is how you build trust and gain fans for life.
- Contests: These might prove to be a better strategy for those who already have a larger or more established following because it really relies on engagement from your fans. This is the truest definition of contests as we have to come know them because the winner or winners will be determined based off of what content THEY can contribute to the contest. It won’t be random, it will be determined by you based off of whatever criteria you set forth. For example:
- Let’s say your next album is called “Shady Spot.” You put out a call to arms to your followers asking for pictures of their favorite Shady Spot and say that the winner will be selected as the album art for your CD and they will receive a Free Signed Copy as well as a thank in the album notes. They submit either through your website or on social media so you know how to get in touch with the winner. Heck, you can make it even simpler and ask your fans to name your album. Or to pick your new logo. Offer some nice prizes and get ready to look over a lot of responses.
- REMEMBER: Failure will happen. Marketing and promotion is a series of experiments and should never be seen as a final solution for anything. Each time you try something, you’ll learn something and that’s great. But there will not be a flick of a switch campaign that you put into action and everything falls into place magically. So accept failure, learn what you can, and keep experimenting.
- Digital Coupons: Coupons are universally understood so the trick is to find the times when it would be beneficial to offer a coupon rather than a free download. OR as a combo to better guarantee sales even after you’ve given away something for free. For example, someone enters their email on your site for a free download. Immediately, they get to listen to your track and say “Oh, hey, this is pretty sweet. I like this.” Then they get an email notification from you saying “Hey, thanks for the song download, I hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a coupon for 20% off the album if you want to check it out. Im really proud of this one. That coupon code will work at www.blahblahblah” Make it really easy for them to follow your journey. They hear the song, they get intrigued, and they automatically have a link and coupon code waiting for them when they check their email. This strategy would kick butt.\
- Sweepstakes: This is like any other kind of contest except there is not a reward for every entrant. Your fans are entering their information in hope of being selected, like the lottery. So this is when the prize needs to be super valuable or else most people aren’t going to put their information in.
- Check out Amazon GiveAway. Basically, you can find any physical object that Amazon carries and use it to incentivize a contest. Ideally, your CD or book or artwork is for sale on Amazon and then you can give rewards with your own products but, if not, find something that is cheap but very valuable to your audience’s way of life.
- Here’s the only catch right now. To enter the contest, the person either has to “Follow” you on Twitter to enter or they have to watch a YouTube video that you send them to. So the perks are not huge. I anticipate there will be more ways to enter later on including signing up for a newsletter or involving more social media options. But for now, it’s a very cool service if you can find a way to harness its power.
- Gamification: This is a deeper term that basically turns acquiring new customers and engagement between customers into a game, quite literally. If you’re not a large corporation, turn mouths into megaphones and let your fans market for you! As I said earlier, they share some core beliefs with you and would love the opportunity to share you with their friends and family as a way of expressing themselves. So give them the ammunition to help promote you in a way that you can control. Here are two tools I love:
- Newsletters. If you don’t already have one, I hope you’ll start one after this conversation. Send a short little caption that says, “Hey, would you mind helping me get the word out about my new album? Just copy and paste the text below into Facebook or send your own message and please tag me. I’d really appreciate it!” Then have something pre-written such as “I can’t stop listening to @JWoodsRobinson’s new album, Crazy and Back. It’s so good!” with a link. Keep it neutral enough that it could come from anyone while still speaking highly of your product. This way, your follower can simply copy the text into their social media or they can write their own. Either way, they get the idea and will be empowered to help spread the word.
- Also check out the free WordPress Plugin, Click To Tweet. It does exactly what was explained above except in a beautiful button on your web page that people simply click and it does all the work for them. Check out the examples on this page to see it in action.
- Giveaways: Offer a free product in exchange for signing up for your newsletter. Someone puts in their email address and immediately gets an email with a download link. Or, better yet, there are many plugins out there such as Bloom by Elegant Themes that offers Protected Content. This means the person never even has to leave your website to download their product. They see a box on your site that asks them for an email address, and then it disappears and reveals a download button. You want to keep people on your site for as long as possible so definitely look into the option of having protected content on your website.
- If you don’t have a newsletter OR you’re looking for an alternative, there are some services that offer your customers the opportunity to “pay” by sharing a post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, etc, and get a free download in exchange. PayWithATweet.com is one service, another is Twitter-Payment.com. Twitter Payment is completely free and allows for either Twitter or Facebook posts.
- As a final idea, ask for fans to leave a review on iTunes or Etsy or Amazon or wherever you consider to be your main selling platform in exchange for a free download or product. If its all digital, have them take a screen shot of the review with your product in the picture and send that to you on social media. Maybe have them include a specific hashtag as well. Then you can send them a link or a private message or whatever you want for them to get their download. This way, you’re getting a review up, you’re getting something blasted on social media, and you’re engaging with a fan who is showing their loyalty and you get to show your appreciation in return.
Bloom by Elegant Themes
Twitter Payment (free)
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