It’s a tough enough task to be an unsigned musician – gigging relentlessly, as well as updating your website, manning all your social media and crafting new tracks for forthcoming albums. Add on top of that the task of collecting fan data, and it might seem that there aren’t enough hours in the day.
BUT – the importance of having your fans details cannot be underestimated. It’s basically a necessity, as it allows you to understand your fans better and reach out to them for help with putting you on the musical map.
Here are our top five tips to making the most out of getting to know your fans:
Getting fans emails is perhaps one of the most worthwhile things you can do as an artist, other than, of course, making good music. Zimbalam have email grabbers on the players, or there are widgets you can get and embed into your website, that allow fans to enter their email addresses for you to keep. However, fans will see straight through you if you just ask for their emails without offering something in return…
Offering a free download of your song in exchange for a fans email is a great way to encourage people to give you their address. It lets fans see that you do care, and you aren’t just using them to make money. However you get the addresses, be it physically via passing round a clipboard at your gig, or digitally via email grabber, the most important is that you get as many as you can.
NB A good way to get people to come and put their emails in is to get your track heard on blogs. Have a free track on your website with a sharable widget, so people can embed your track into their website (after they’ve entered their email of course). This will drive more traffic to your site, and more traffic means more emails.
3.Once you have the emails
When you start collecting emails, it is important that you put them into a contact list on your email account straight away. Whether you have collected them physically or digitally you need to reach out to fans ASAP after they have given you their address, while you are fresh in their memory. This is especially true if people have given you their emails at a gig, as they are expecting a free download that you promised.
Newsletters about what you have been up to as an artist or band are a good way to market yourself to fans. As well as telling them about what you have been doing (trust us, they do want to know) you can also include calls-to-action – requests for fans to come to your next gigs and buy your new music. The way you order this, however, is very important. The worst way would be to only include notifications about what your fans need to buy next. All this will do is tell them that you only value their wallets, and not their support, which will in turn see them unsubscribe – which you definitely don’t want.
Keep your newsletters regular. A good target is once a month, but if you feel like your doing incredible things that your fans want to hear about you can shorten that to once every two weeks. They really do want to know about how your tour was, and about what’s next for you, so keep in contact.
5. Social Media
Social media is a great way to obtain fans and reach out to them. It is also a fantastic way to collect data about your fans that you can then use to target them specifically. When someone likes your page, you can then see all the analytics you need: their age, hometown and sex. All this information is useful for specific information in newsletters. It’s been proven that after an email blast (newsletter) ticket sales go up, so you can use information about where your fans come to plan where gigs are and target fans nearby.
In conclusion – do not underestimate the use of fan data. Understanding your fans and what they want is top priority. It is equally important, however, to give your fans something back, like a free download. You can also use your newsletter to give them exclusives once in a while, whether that be special merch or half price gig tickets – keep the fans engaged and rewarded.