Musicians, and all self-branded artists, are just like small businesses or startups. You have a passion, a dream, and the talent and experience to make a living. And, just like small businesses and startups, you’re facing a new set of challenges. The music industry has completely changed in the last 20 years and many are still trying to figure out how to make a living in the digital world.
Most musicians won’t want to hear this, but the only way for them to make money is to embrace the marketing tactics of a startup. Whether you like it or not, you and your band are a business and you need to start acting like one, which means developing social media marketing strategies that will grow your fan base.
How to Make a Living as a Musician
In the old days, making money as a musician revolved around performing shows and getting your songs played on the radio to drive sales of your record. But in 2015, CD sales totaled only $1.5 billion, down from $9.4 billion as recently as 2006.
For the past three years, digital downloads are falling as well. Fewer people are buying music because of streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and YouTube. That’s great for the consumer, but bad for the artists.
Now, the best way for musicians to make money is to embrace the digital world and create a subscription service.
To build a profitable subscription service you need a loyal following, and to gain a loyal following, you need to leverage the benefits of social media engagement. According to Nielson, more than 50% of most active music listeners would buy exclusive content from a favorite band recording a new album. (Source: http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/1551730/nielsen-study-music-industry-could-add-450-million-to)
What to Offer Subscribers:
- Exclusive Songs
- Live Streaming Shows
- Video Journal/ Blog
- Scenes from the Recording Studio
- Pre-release Access to Songs
How to Build a Loyal Following Through Social Media
- Leverage Social Media
- Social Media Engagement and Interactions
- Tell Your Story
- Connect with Fans
- Showcase Other Bands
How to Use Social Media to Build Subscription Service
The social media experience is all about being social. Connect with people through engagement, not simply call-to-actions. This builds relationships and loyal followers. Your social media strategy should focus on:
If you have a million followers and none of them buy anything, you’ve made no money. Exposure and brand awareness are good short-term goals, but eventually you need to turn your focus to converting followers into customers.
Social media strategies for musicians are focused on sharing your band’s unique story. You can’t share that unless you’re active on social media, engaging with your listeners. Social media management tools, such as a Unified Social Inbox, make it easier for you to quickly track all notifications and messages across all your social media platforms.
There is very little benefit to only sharing self-promoting posts on social media. A more successful social media strategy is to use 70% of your posts to build your brand, whether photos, videos, songs, or even memes and GIFs.
The next 20% of your posts should be about artists that inspire you. This doesn’t just have to be musicians either. What books are you reading? What art show did you attend? This 20% is just as important in building your brand, as the first 70% because it develops a connection with your followers. Maybe they’ve never heard your band, but listen to similar music as you do. They’re more than likely going to listen to a couple of your songs out of curiousity.
Finally, the last 10% should be self-promotion. While this strategy may seem counter-productive, it changes the focus of your social media strategy from you to your followers.
- Maximize Different Platforms
Don’t post the same content on Twitter as you do on Facebook and on Pinterest. You need to learn the different social media platforms, the strengths of each, and use them to maximize your following. That’s why having a social media management tool is so important. With the right tool, you can have all of your social media accounts on one page, making it easier for you and your band to stay up to date across all platforms.
- Learn Marketing
Marketing, especially in the digital world, is all about staying up to date on the latest trends and finding the strategy that works for you. The best way to do this is to follow as many other bands as possible so you can see which are successful with their social media strategies. You can also learn just as much, if not more, from those who aren’t using it properly.
Worse than having no social media strategy, is having an inconsistent one. Inconsistency, especially when attempting to launch a subscription service, will be a sign to your followers that they will not receive everything you’re promising for their $5-10 a month subscription.
Use the tools that are available to you to maximize your social media strategy. This includes an Auto Post feature, which automatically posts based on your schedule and queue, so they can be shared without you having to go to each separate social media account. With social media automation, you can maximize the return on your social media strategy without having to make it a full-time job.
Social Media Strategies for Musicians
The world has drastically changed over the last 20 years. For musicians, it started to change ten years ago and hasn’t stopped. It’s time musicians embrace the digital world and learn how to make money by offering a subscription service. The best way to grow your fan base, and your income, is a well-planned social media strategy that focuses on sharing your story and engaging with your followers.
Continue reading to learn more about the Only Social Media Management List You’ll Ever Need (Backlink to: ) and all about the Features of eClincher’s Social Media Management Tool.