Indie Marketing Training Series - The Importance of the LIST
First off, I want to again thank every one of you who are following this series, you guys and gals rock! I get a sense that I am helping at least in some capacity to drive your artistry abilities further and nothing makes me more proud!
Leave a comment if you have followed along so I can get a better sense of who is watching!
Also, here is a link if you are an indie artist and want to join our discord group I finally made a link that never expires!
Incase you missed them, here are links to the other modules in this series to help you catch up...
Module 1 - Market What??
Module 2 - Gaining Fans
Extraaaa - Song Release Checklist
Module 3 - Give Your Music Away For Free??
Module 4 - Market Yourself!
Let's begin this new module......
I've taken part in many marketing webinars and courses over the past couple years and the same principal pretty much runs through every single one of them, and that is, to create a list!
A list in internet lingo is a subscribed group of potential customers who you have culminated and gathered their email address using a system like MailChimp or Aweber etc.
These services are database driven setups where you log into your account to manage your subscriber lists. From the control panels, you can get buttons which are used to place on websites etc so people can register to your subscription list, and the database holds all of their info. From the account you can also derive emailarketing campaigns where you create the email, and send it out to your subscribers but it is masked using your own email address as the sender. So if you own a website host, you can have your emails sent to all your fans but it shows as coming from [email protected]____.com. The list services also track how many of your subscribers open the emails and/or click to go wherever you wanted them to in the email whether it is to view your music or go to your website to buy a product etc.
Creating this subscriber list is the absolute success factor in internetarleting and selling anything online, in our case, our music and merch.
I'm sure you are already a part ofany companies lists as I am, and receive their updates and communications via your personal email. These type of promotional content are all controlled by and sent out from one of these services.
Now, as your list grows, each service has a cutoff limit of how many they will hold in your account before you start to pay for the service. I believe with MailChimp, you can collect up to 2000 subscribers before paying for the service.
So how do you create a list??
First you need to sign up for a free account with one of the list building services. I personally use MailChimp, but Aweber, infusionsoft, autopilot, getresponse and a few others are also viable options. Go to one of these sites by Google searching them and open an account.
The next step requires you to generate an ad on social media like Instagram or Facebook, which can direct the viewers to your website that contains the button to subscribe. Use the previous modules in this series to help you in determining the type of audience you should target and other tips on creating ads.
This is the most important step. You need to enticethe people who are served your ad to get them to click. This usually involves giving something away for free like a free track download, or some kind of experience online. Usually the "learn more" buttons in ads tend to work best to get people clicking so try to tailor your offering around that idea.
Much research has been done on the psychologic components of executing the list building techniques described here, and research states that the less fields you require a person to fill in on a form, the more likely they will do it. So on top of providing something to them free, you want to keep the actual signup process as simple as possible. This means when you create your subscription form inailchimp or other, just ask for a general name and email for the member.
This process of creating a list takes time, you may wait a few days before you even see a single subscription, but with the right targeting and having good enough content that a viewer will become your fan and want to stay connected, you can build it over time.
Once you have a lidtade, you'll want to start sending emails out to them. Again, with the psychology thing, theore personable you are the better. You want your emails to seem like you are a friend just talking to a new friend. Each point below should be a separate email sent only once or twice per week to avoid bothering the subscribers. Remember, there are anti-apartheid laws at play with these lists and the mail services have that unsubscribe link built into every single email you send through it, so don't be your own detriment!
introduce yourself as an artist and thank the new subscriber for joining your subscription
offer them even more content (ongoing)
tell them about yourself and your artistry
share things that you find interesting AND RELATE to you as an artist and the connection that your subscribers share with you
update them on upcoming events and what you are doing
The whole key to the process is to provide value to your subscribers. The more you give, the more likely when you finally make an email that offers your subscribers the opportunity to support you by purchasing your music or merch, the more likely they will!
Once you start gaining a solid fanbase list that you can email regularly, you can bring them through the sales process using what's called a "click funnel" where they click a link in your email, go to your website, choose something to buy, and then during checkout they are upsold other items.
This is another way just like giving your music away for free to make more money as an artist over time.
This process can work for more than just music and it does for just about every online reseller of anything you've ever bought online.
You can gather all kinds of analytics on your subscribers even about what they viewed on your website etc. To later target them again via your list building email campaigns. This means say, your fan subscribes to your email list during a checkout stage where you originally served them an ad on facebook. You gave them a free copy (just pay shipping) of your music, they went to your site, got their free music order in and gave their email. Maybe they put some other merch product in a cart but did not complete the sale.
You can have your email list interface contact them and ask if they still want it! I'm sure you've seen it before if you've ever done this. You go to a site, add something to a cart even if it's just to check shipping costs or whatever, and forget about it and close the browser. Next thing you know you are receiving an email from that company saying "you left items in your cart" or something similar.
This can all be done using a list building service as described above.
These are the "secret tools" of the internetarleting age that use our own online habits against us to sell us stuff and you can impose them on your fanbase toake a viable living as an indie artist without any outside help!
Very powerful stuff.
One final thing, I know you just read to limit the form to name and email, I have seen a couple artists ask for location (general) as well, and then if/when they play live in any city, they send out an email to the people who live nearby and are fans. It helps sell more tickets and connect personally with your fans!
I hope you found this information useful and can put it to work for you to turn a profit as an artist!