In the entertainment business, think of yourself as a spider. Your web is your life. It shelters you. If you have a poorly constructed web, when the rain comes, you will be washed out. It feeds you.
A spider with no web, catches no flies and thus, will starve to death. Spiders weave their webs with purpose to attain certain goals for themselves. They do not build webs for other spiders.
Think of your web as the network you build.
A strong web has strong anchor points. The professional contacts that you make, and relationships you forge with them, are your anchor points. Strong anchor points are developed by conducting yourself and your business as professionally as you can at all times.
The intersecting strands of your web represent your fan base. These strands are equally as important as the anchor points. With a larger fan base comes bigger and better opportunities with greater frequency, which allows you to continue to grow your network.
Spiders never stop maintaining and building their webs. Don’t make the mistake of trying to cheat or shortcut in this area though. By purchasing likes, follows, views, etc. for your social media pages you are only tarnishing your credibility. It’s not difficult for those anchor points, that you are working so hard to gain, to figure out. It only takes a few clicks of the mouse.
A good example is a Facebook page with 10,000 likes and a corresponding YouTube channel with minimal views, or a Twitter account with 25,000 followers and a Spotify profile with minimal plays.
Your REAL credibility lies in your ability to put REAL bodies in REAL venues on a consistent basis. In short, it’s better to have 1000 real fans than 10,000 fakes. After all, you can’t market your music or your merchandise to fake fans.
And, while it may look good to a few venues when you are starting out, word will quickly spread among talent buyers and other industry professionals (Yes they do talk to each other, they call that networking) that you are the artist with the bogus fan base, who can’t draw a stick figure.
Guess who is not getting invited back?
What you need is a fan base comprised of legitimate and highly targeted real people. Furthermore, you can’t just try to sell to these people constantly. You must interact with them and get to know them first. Be easily accessible, open a line of communication, and treat them like friends.
You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
You should be using your social channels to attract and entertain people, and to direct them to your website. Why?…
Because your website should be geared at getting them to sign up for your email list, which you should also be pitching at your shows, on all of your social channels, and even on your videos. Yes, the age old email list is still one of the most effective marketing tools that you have at your disposal.
Think about it, your email list is your direct link, that only you control, to engage and market to your targeted audience on a personal level.
Also, consider this, if someone is interested enough in you (and or) your music to grant you access to their inbox, the potential for future sales to that person is considerably higher than say the average person scrolling through their news feed. They are essentially giving you permission to directly contact and market to them.
The key lies in building relationships and trust from your subscribers and your ability to consistently deliver the relative content they want to consume. Ask questions in your emails and when people respond, follow up. Make your correspondence as personal as possible. Make them feel like they are included in your journey and not just being sold to. It will go a long way in developing trust and interest in your BRAND, if the people on your list feel like they are a part of your life, your family; As opposed to cattle being funneled into the barn for milking.
All of the social media platforms are constantly changing the rules on who sees what you post, when, and how often. You spend countless hours, days, weeks, even years building an audience for your page. Then, in order to reach all of that audience, the platform wants you to pay to advertise to your own following. You may own the page or account, but THEY own the network and THEY make the rules.
This is why it is so important to build your own network. One where YOU make the rules. If you’re a spider, the people on your email list are your flies. Ultimately, the spiders who weave the tightest webs with the strongest anchors catch the most flies.
Nope, that’s not a typo… Branding is a topic I’ll cover in a later article.