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Acquiring new fans is not always easy, especially when time is wasted in approaching people in the wrong places and/or at the wrong time. In order to grow your fan base, it’s extremely important you are able to select WHERE and HOW it is actually productive to try to get new fans. This will allow you to fully exploit your opportunities through the use of appropriate strategies.

This Week’s Guests:

David Hooper (Music Marketing [dot] com), Scott Stephens (Liquid Blue), Mike Hagler (CTK Management), Aimee Berger (Primary Wave Music)

What we asked:

Fan Acquisition: What are the 3 best places and/or ways to get more fans onto your email list & what is the best incentive to give them to join?

__________________________________________________________________________

David Hooper

David is the founder of Music Marketing [dot] comand the host of the syndicated radio show, Music Business Radio.

Best three places are the live show, the live show, and the live show. If people are having a good time, which you better make sure they are, help them to remember it by taking photos.  To drive the memory home, record the show.

Act like you never do this.  Tell them to make a lot of noise, so they can hear themselves on your next album.

Take this content and use it as exclusive content for people who sign up for your list.  Make an announcement after playing your most popular song like, “We’ve got photographers in the audience tonight and they’re taking pictures of YOU.  If you want to see yourself and that hot chick you’re with tonight, sign up for our list.  And since we’re recording this show and you liked that last one so much, we’ll send you an mp3 of that too…tomorrow, before we release it anywhere else!”

Scott Stephens

Liquid Blue is the world’s most traveled band and has performed in more than 100 countries winning numerous awards along the way. Their CD, Supernova, was named “Pop Album of the Year” at the LA Music Awards in 2009. They are one of the first bands to be certifed “Green”.

No magic bullet here. Consistent, focused effort is the key. In the past decade with Liquid Blue, we’ve refined our approach through trial and error. The best place to pick up new fans is still at shows. Offer fans a discount on merch or other incentives if they join your mailing list. Another way is through your website. Be sure to include a simple sign up area on your contact page or home page. Don’t include too many required fields. It’s important to get city, state or zip code so you can target these fans when you have a show in their town. Try not to require a last name. This may dissuade some people from signing up. Social Media sites are an important piece of the equation, so be sure to have sign-up links on your Facebook, MySpace and other Social Media sites.

Mike Hagler

He is the Director of Digital Strategy for CTK Management, in Nashville, TN.  He is responsible for promotions and strategic planning for social media, digital distributions and content creation.  CTK Management’s clients include Dolly Parton and recently signed artists, Spin Silhouette and Eva Ricci.

I’ve found that the best places to grab fans for our email list comes from twitter, our iPhone app and partnering with other websites on promotions. But, they need to have a reason to join the list in the first place. At CTK Management, we do this with interesting promotions and oftentimes, giveaways that are only made known through the email list. This keeps our list large and in charge for when we need to do a bit of shameless self-promotion.

We’ve had great success when running cross-promotional sweeps. Our most successful cross-promotional sweeps have included items such as a trip to see “9 to 5: The Musical” on Broadway, a phone call with Dolly and even custom made Dolly iPods. If I can, I always make sure that the company we are doing a promotion with will give entrants a choice to join our list. We’ve received thousands of emails this way. It has greatly expanded our artist’s reach.

Aimee Berger

In August of 2008, Aimee Berger brought two entities (her management and concert tour company) in house to Primary Wave Music.  Her management clients include artists Michael and Marisa and songwriter/producers Russ Desalvo and Ric Robbins.

The best way I can answer this question below is from the things as a manager and tour promoter I require of my bands and of myself.

1. When my artists perform on the road – now that everyone carries a digital camera or a phone with video capabilities or a FLIP, my artists from the stage will encourage the fans to film any parts of the show, upload it to a dedicated landing page on the artists website and each show we pick a winner who shot the best “FAN” video.   By running these contests, we have new fans sending in video, we are collecting new email addresses, we respond to these fans, we use their video content as guest videographers and we encourage those to post video content by offering a generous prize (i.e. Ipod shuffle).  This additional content for us is very useful and we love the amateur footage.

2. On my camplified tour this summer, fifteen artists will rotate in and out on the tour during a thirty-one day tour through the Northeast and Midwest.   Every Friday we do a TWITTER contest called FREEBIE FRIDAY.   We give away prizes every Friday via a twitter contest encouraging new fans to follow us on twitter and try and win the prize for one of our sponsors and/or bands. Our bands and sponsors are all linked to our social media pages giving us all the best chance to gain new fans collectively through this type of joint outreach.

3. On tour we have bands doing roadie of the day and roving reporters, fans submit to be the roadie of the day for the artist and/ or a roving reporter where they do a guest blog on their interpretation of the day following the artist around.  Fans sign up to be considered for this opportunity and often we find many new fans joining our page.   Many times these are fans who may have an interest in reporting or journalism and it is their first step in getting a chance to write an article for a band and/or do interviews and practice these techniques.  It is always done in a superbly fun way.

We hope you enjoyed this post and please make sure to share your opinion with us. We are always happy to know what you think!

Want more tips for managing your fan base? Download our free eBook, 3 Keys to Fan List Success for Musicians.


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