My Life As A Musicpreneur: 3 Questions Answered. (2/3)

BBy Tommy Darker. The essay was originally published in The Musicpreneur on Medium. Lisa Young In, a talented and ambitious artist promoter from Germany, asked me a few things about the Musicpreneur.

I did my best to answer and now I’m sharing the answers with you. This is part 2/3.

My life as a Musicpreneur - 3 questions answered. (1:3)

How should musicians communicate with their fans today? And why has it become so important to implement a real communication strategy?

They should NOT communicate like the past – thinking that they’re invulnerable superstars. Honesty, transparency and humanization are the main characteristics of the digital world – and we’ll only see this phenomenon exaggerating for the next 10-15 years!

Authenticity and openness is what the artist should strive for.

This certainly doesn’t equalize with full disclosure, but every artist has to find the sweet spot between keeping a little mystery and enchantment and being a sociable human that talks with their fans.

As I’ve said before, “maintaining an image that does resonate with the real you is not a sustainable strategy for an independent artist. Only the genuinely interesting ones will survive.” In other words, no “fake it till you make it here”. People know.

What are the positive and negative sides of fan building for bands today?

There’s no negative side when it comes to building a fanbase I reckon! By definition, having a following is something wonderful that most people will never have in their lives! Maybe the question is about the ways musicians approach fanbase building in the digital world.

The upside is simple: everything became easier and faster, because there are no mediators.

If you know where to look for, you can reach out to people that might like your art almost instantly.

The potential is huge and it’s a world of opportunities that artists from other eras would die for.

The downside is simple as well: everything became easier and faster, so the number of “artists” and attention seekers increased exponentially. With zero entry cost, who wouldn’t fulfill their artistic urges? The artist has to overcome a different problem now: stand out of the ocean of other – often similar sounding and conducting – artists.

Another problem is education. Yes, education. Before the options were standard: either you had a label and probably succeeded or you were destined in obscurity. Now the musician has the freedom to untap their fanbase. And freedom means responsibility. Responsibility to educate themselves on what it means and how they can take advantage of it. They’re alone now, nobody will show them how to.

What are the most important points that bands need to pay attention to in regards to modern fan relationship management?

Very good question. There is one very important point that has to be highlighted here: not every fan has to be treated equally. And I don’t mean from a social or individualistic perspective, but rather from a “value-for-the-band” perspective.

Simply put, a Facebook fan has different value from a super-diehard fan that follows a band’s tour in 3 different countries.

Tommy Darker

Tommy Darker

And these fans should be treated differently and receive more *love* from the band. When the band starts, all fans are inevitably all in the same bucket. Later on, things start diversifying – multiple tiers of fan engagement need to be created, so that each level of devotion can be treated differently.

This need – probably ability is the right word – to identify individuals on the web (most easy way to understand this is social media profiles) and directly talk to them came up recently and is a byproduct of the technological advancement.

You can read Part 1 here.

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Download Tommy’s latest whitepaper, “Smart Decisions – What Artists Need To Know”.

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I’m Tommy Darker, the writing alter ego of an imaginative independent musician. I started “Think Beyond The Band” because I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished so far and I like helping other fellow musicians that struggle with the same problems.

I love starting conversations. If you share the same mindset, find me on Facebook and Twitter and let’s talk!