Ignoring Your Fans: The Quickest Way To Fail As a Musician

SSeveral weeks ago, I attended the wonderful Pivot Conference. It mostly talked about how corporate social media works and showcased its innovations. The most fascinating few minutes for me came from a study presented by Alison Hillhouse from MTV.

This study, in my opinion defines the transformation of the music industry.

It was about Millennials (that’s fans between the ages 18 and 29), how they approach music, how they think and what they want from you. Before you turn away thinking my fans are not millennials they don’t fall into this age group I’m here to tell you: This is not just Millennials who behave like this. I’ve already seen it hundreds of times with all age groups. The average client I work with is not looking for such a young audience but the same is definitely holding true:

Don't Ignore This

Don’t Ignore This

Ignore fans and they will not reward you.

Here are the bulleted highlights of the presentation:

• Discovery is a very important part of Millennials experience (they want to discover new things that are interesting to them)

• They discover all music through friends on social media so if the friends ain’t talking about you there you won’t go “viral”

• Jenny was a part of this study, now a 22 yr. old, was 10 when Napster hit… She has ALWAYS KNOWN FREE MUSIC (therefore she will never be convinced it’s wrong not to pay for it)

• It’s all about coming up with your own personal brand identity and that is influenced by the artists you love

• 85% of all music lovers say they have eclectic taste – with technology you can find out about Etta James and Dave Matthews and Drake and Aerosmith and they all mix together in your seamless playlists

• 76% feel a stronger connection to musician who shares on social media

• They are demanding total interaction from artists

• More is EXCEPTED from the artists now

• Buying the music is SYMBOLIC PATRONAGE – you must have earned it has nothing to do with ethics (i.ee I am only paying money out of respect, because this artists use of social media deserves my respect)

1. DISCOVERY – The starting place for most music discoverers it STARTS on Social Media then they will check it out on Spotify and the last step is an iTunes purchase and this only happens:

  • If they LOVE IT
  • If you have EARNED IT

2. AFFINITY – They expect to feel connected. This means the artist needs to be on Social Media creating affinity towards fans

3. ADVOCACY – This is their final step – They become your mini PR team – They then spread the word about you to others.

The reality is they want a piece of you and if you do not give it to them they WON’T BUY.

Here Are The 3 Takeaways

  1. Fans will work hard for you but they ask: When are you gonna pay me back?
  2. Fans are your branding machine and viral marketers online
  3. It goes BOTH WAYS, you must also be theirs

This means getting social right is more relevant than ever. Burying your head in the sand, buying fake likes, hiring radio promotion companies that are not connecting the dots to social media, and spending your time scheming on how you can get “discovered,” and skipping all the legitimate connections you should be fostering will not make you successful.

Rolling up your sleeves will.

Ariel Hyatt‘s 9 week social media mastery course that launches at the end of January will help you get completely in control. She is currently pre-selling limited seats. If a 9 week commitment is too much you can also buy her brand-new book. Click here to discover how you can get your own PR machine spinning in 2013.