The key to building a highly engaged music community

Have you been feeling lost lately by the hundreds of marketing advise columns thrown at you each day?

I feel your pain!

Let’s just take it all down a notch and try to reverse engineer your marketing strategy.
I’m advising artists every day and in all these years the very first strategy that we ever used in music marketing is still the BEST one..

I’m not going to try to convince you that this one strategy of mine will work for everyone because some of you are not going to be great at this but with a little tweeking, we can figure it out.
If your mailing list never grows and your social media posts are dead and getting very little engagement then you will benefit BIG TIME from figuring out a way to make this happen.

The key to a highly engaged and supportive music community is in the value you offer rather than the quantity of music you make.


Let’s think this through…
If you were browsing around social media looking for something both entertaining and interesting and you came across a post that caught your attention, what would that be like?
Most of my more viral content has actually come right from my website in the form of a blog post. Very early on in my career, I discovered that people responded better to my stories posted on my website than to anything else I did.


Further, the content on my website tends to be shared more often to all kinds of social media pages, has magical SEO abilities and is more likely to be subscribed to than a fleeting social media post.


The reason is…

  1. When someone is on your website you have their undivided attention
  2. When someone new discovers your website, they will subscribe to make sure they don’t forget you.
     
  3. You have more real estate on your website to provide a more robust and engaging experience
     
  4. A website can serve as many things. It can sell your merchandise, tell your story, start a viral share and become a common meeting place for you to consistently engage with your people.
     
  5. Everything looks better on a website and it’s a one stop entertainment venue for your work.

Further when you use a blog to communicate with your audience, they get trained to come back to your place first.

But how do you make sure that your website is filling the needs of your current fans and connecting with new ones?

That’s where the quality and value come into play.

When your trying to get people to support your work, you have to think realistically.
People are NOT going to just follow you just because you make music.

That’s NOT what they are following when you see some musicians collecting amazingly engaged and enormous fan communities.

They are actually building communities based on value. It might not be obvious now but somewhere along they established relationships with people who jumped on bored and helped that person get to where they are today.

I always go back to Taylor Swift in examples like these because she has built the largest fan base anyone has ever seen.

How did she do it?

It doesn’t always have to be about your music.  Actually the music is a major bonus on top of so much more.  The reason that people like Taylor Swift have proven success over and over again is because they bring an exceptional amount of value to every experience.

When you show up at a Taylor Swift concert or event, it’s a world of entertainment that isn’t just a concert, it’s an amazing experience.

That all starts with the first moment you meet her until long after she hits the stage of your first concert.

Taylor fans are offered keys to an exciting world where they can share her journey both personally as a swift fan online and off line. There are Fan leaders who operate as engaged community builders dedicating their time and energy to community.

They are discovered through fan pages and by colorful poster board and face painting at concerts. Taylor makes sure they are acknowledged and given every opportunity to be treated as special guests of the queen.

If you allow fans to get to know you in a more intimate way, (not just your music side) you are more likely to connect with your audience on common ground.

Sharing an experience together by describing and picturing the thought, the event or what ever is happening is the BEST and simplest way to connect and leave a lasting impression.

Take out a sheet of paper and start writing down what your day was like. I’ll bet it was very similar to most of us. That struggle, laughter, movie you just saw.. The unexpected hurdle came across in the studio today or that conflict your having with your sister is all great stuff to write about. Those memorable moment actually sell music and turn you into an amazing story teller.

I don’t expect you to be amazing at this right away but eventually you’ll see a clear path through it. Just be patient and diligent.

People will start to engage with the stories that are most relatable and that could become the winning content for your social media pages and next songs.

Further, you can start shaping your music videos around the topics that your audience designates most with.

That’s the real energy behind building a brand and that’s the real secret that no one tells you.
It’s YOUR story that’s most valuable.

Offering a free song to a new audience just isn’t special enough to gain a supporter and even if they take the free goodies, they will probably unsubscribe because you really haven’t significantly changed their life yet.

I recommend that you tell them about a story to go along with the music and offer a journey or something they can look forward to.

A walk behind the scenes with you as you created the music or set out to record the next one.

Perhaps you could invite them to join you in a challenge. I have one going on right now that uses my hashtag #Jaxdaily to test my photography skills as I set out to take some amazing pictures with a ZTE Pro 13 mg camera.

Care to join me? Details are here: www.JacquelineJax.com

Do you want to know what life changing content looks like?

1. A VIDEO
A video teaching something that your great at or telling a compelling story about an experience.
This doesn’t even need to be long. It can be a 10 minute live stream that you create on facebook and link within your blog. Or just grab your phone and record it to post to youtube. Grab the embed code and slide it onto a blog post with a cool title and personal comment.
Your video doesn’t need to be perfect at first. Just start somewhere and get better as you go.
Eventually you’ll be graduating into better equipment, adding pro-audio and developing a series that has the potential of crowdfunding your projects before they are ever released.

2. Something you love
Every day we experience something emotional. It can be a product or something you have created. You may even tell a story about a movie you just saw and how it’s inspiring some lyrics. Take about how the subject connects to you and why. You will surely find common ground in there somewhere with your core audience. Those people who comment on it, those will be your best buds and supporters. It’s just that simple. Share the post on your social media pages to start attracting like minded people.

3. Picture
What better way to connect with your audience than bonding over a great photo. Let your audience get to know you by sharing a photo that you took of something special. You can tell the story about how it came about or explain what’s going on.

On social media you could ask people to caption the photo for you and share a link where people can see what’s really happening by reading the back story.

Then on your website that photo could be coupled with your favorite music playlist or even a quick video from the day.

The most important thing is to keep it as simple as you need to be. When you get great at this, you can add layers through video or audio.

At the end of the day, it’s about being real and sharing your life with the people who you want support from. Your story IS your Brand.. And your brand message is equal to your life and the rules you live by.

So what do you stand for?

Strength.. Honesty…Empathy… Pride… Honor.. Are you looking to fight for a cause?

Are you trying to encourage a movement?

Which ever position you choose, your a musician first and that’s the story you tell. We just need to know how it came about and how you make the wheel turn each day.
Let us get to know you and those who connect with your life will be there every day that you make an effort.


Have an amazing day.

Jacqueline Jax
Creator of Music marketing Insider
Host of A.V.A Live Radio

 

HOW IMAGES BRING HUGE RETURNS TO YOUR BRAND, BUSINESS AND INFLUENCE

HOW IMAGES BRING HUGE RETURNS TO YOUR BRAND, BUSINESS AND INFLUENCE

If you have been trying to market your music or entertainment brand on social media, you’ve probably already seen the difference that quality photography can make. Images make a huge difference in all areas of your career. I want to emphasize that if you are not producing professional grade photo’s at least 3 times a year, you are not going to do as well as an artist who is.

Making an Impact with your Music in a Profound Way

I believe every artists dream is to make an impact on their audience. It's even more important if you can move people in a profound way. In my artistic journey as a story teller I have met many people who are making an impact with their creativity and message. Certainly one of the most profound is an artist who introduced herself to me through a kickstarter campaign. 

I should note that with 2 million artists all campaigning for a piece of the influencer pie, this creator stood out to me particularly because of her video and message. And based on her success rate, I would have to say that message was impactful to 30,000 others as well. 

 

Here's the story: 

 

Definitely one of the coolest Kickstarter music projects I've seen that are wildly successful is from Amanda Palmer at a wopping $1,192,793 from 24,883 backers.  

The campaign features exclusive unique products like Vinyl, Surprise crafts, CD with Artwork inserts and a really cool Art Book of song inspired album art. 

This artist has proven that FASCINATING is a huge incentive for a massively successful kickstarter. 

"Since i'm now without a giant label to front the gazillions of dollars that it always takes to manufacture and promote a record this big, i'm coming to you to gather funds so that i have the capital to put it out with a huge fucking bang. i think kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms like this are the BEST way to put out music right now - no label, no rules, no fuss, no muss. just us, the music, and the art. i'm also making sure EVERY PRODUCT sold through this kickstarter is unique to this campaign, to reward all of you who KNEW ME WHEN and were willing to support me from Day One."

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/amandapalmer/amanda-palmer-the-new-record-art-book-and-tour?ref=category_most_funded

 

SUCCESS FACTOR:

One of the most important factors that Amanda captured in her campaign and supplimental promotions after the launch was in NOT feeling ashamed to ask for support. 

She understood the value that her art brought to those who supported her. She understood that creativity is free but still has a huge value to every person who enjoys it. The value is in being inspired by following the process, taking pride in supporting another creative soul, becoming a part of someones future and history. It's a connection that occures between the artist and their fan.

People who appreciate and understand the creative process know that contributing to a crowdfund isn't about giving money as much as the importance of being a part of someones life in a more meaningful way. 

Amanda understands how to connect with people in person and on social media, harnessing the power of email and media tools to make her pursuit of creation a part of everyones life. 


Think about how you can be more impactful with your process and what kind of value you can bring to your audience. 

How to Film Professional Videos with a Smartphone

Shooting video with your cell phone is easy.

You don't need a fancy camera to shoot videos for youtube, facebook, instagram or twitter. Everyone has a smartphone and honestly most of them have amazing camera that are perfectly fine for making quality videos.

In fact, I shoot all of my videos and do live feed with my phone.

To give you some pointers to improving your quality, I'm sharing some great tips from friends who do this every day. I think they did a great job explaining how to use your cell phone to create awesome videos.


Finding Interests of Your Facebook Followers

 

Sometimes it's very difficult to understand what your followers are interested in. Often with inconsistent reach on facebook, it becomes a mystery as to what can get peoples attention.

Today I have something really easy you can do that will help you gain detailed insights into what your facebook follows interests are.

 

Why do we need to know this? 
The reason why this is beneficial is because it's really important that you understand who your followers are if your going to have a chance at connecting to them.


If you know what your follows like, then you can create a list of topic ideas to discuss and post about on your page that will get reaction more quickly.

 

Goal: 
Your goal should be to find a balance between what people want to see and who you are both as a music brand and individual.

Reaction = engagement and engagement = more time in the news feed for your posts without having to pay to be there.

 

TIP:
1. Open up your facebook page
2. Type In the search bar:  "
Favorite interests of (yourname's) followers" hit enter.

Facebook will then populate a favorites list in order of popularity by the majority of your followers. 

 

 

What to do with this: 
Now that you have this list think about which of these topics appeal to you so when you post about them you will have an authentic and definite point of view.



Example:  I post often about music, creative topics, life quotes and success strategy but at the time that I sampled I discovered from my personal list that my followers like specific artists like Van Morrison and Pink Floyd. Two of my favorites as well so I'll be starting my day off with 2 posts about why I like them and ask a question so my followers can participate. Come see (www.facebook.com/JacquelineJax )



Bonus tip:
Unless you want to loose some followers and start a war on your page, stay away from religion and politics. They can be facebook suicide. Yes they are high on engagement but stay neutral if you do open up a discussion and get ready for the attacks to begin. Just respect everyones opinion always and you'll manage fine.

 

I also find that doing a search from time to time here let's me know if the interests of my followers are in line with mine or if I need to start targeting different followers so they will connect more with my message. It's a great way to see if your on track. 


Most common mistakes and best practice guidelines for Facebook

With more than 1.86 Billion active users on facebook, why isn’t your facebook page booming?


Perhaps you need to think about your approach and the way your using the website. Many times when people have asked me to review their pages, I see more mistakes that seem so obvious but may just be an over sight. 

 

Here are some common mistakes and best practice guidelines that should help you do much better.

 

Common Mistakes:

  1. Repetitive images posted consecutively.
  2. No pinned post at the top of your page that allows people to hear your music on first glance.
  3. No interesting bio and links for your website and subscription list.
  4. If your music is shared, you've shared the same song over and over.
  5. You only have videos shared from youtube and no video hosted natively on the website.
  6. You aren't using the Live Video feature
  7. You haven't updated your status in decades.
  8. There are no personal photo's of you doing what you love, no banner at the top and no logo thumbnail identified image.
  9. There is no conversation or personal posts talking to your followers.
  10. Your page timeline is stale and uninteresting and you haven't made it an active communicator of your brand message. 


 

Here are some best practices that fit in with the facebook guidelines and help you maximize your public page.

 

 



1. Cover Photo:
The cover photo is the largest element on your facebook page that represents your music brand and identity. It’s the first things people see when they land on your page. That photo should be very clear, high definition, fun, exciting and engaging to keep users on your page long enough to convince them to “Like” the page. Adding text really helps to get your message across in that first 8 seconds when people are making a decision. The Cover photo gives you room to add a headline that informs new visitors about you and can really encourage a successful “Call to action”. https://www.canva.com/ is a free website that helps you create great banners on the fly.

 

 

2. Logo:
Consider how your thumbnail looks from a little phone screen. If you have a band logo that stands out better than a picture that isn't defined, be sure to use it on all your social media thumbnails so people can recognize you when they search.

 



3. About section: 
Keep your “about” section short and expressive but don’t brag. Try to show your brands personality in the description to make this as human as possible. This section used to display at the top of the page, but now your followers must click through to read it. There are options for a short summary and a long summary to add more details. Add keywords that identify your brand, industry, and/or product offerings in your summary to give users a better picture of your company, and always add a link back to your website.

I love this example that Taylor swift uses to entice people to signup for her website. By working from her website first and making it subscriber based, she can stay in direct contact with her fans any time she likes. (see below)

 



4. Regular Content: 
You should always set up a schedule of regular content that gets posted each week to your page. This can be once a day or twice a day. The regular content posts should be image friendly without a ton of text on the photo’s, story telling text only posts, recycled content and music updates such as links to your blog posts, music or videos. This will stand as the base of your page content structure. Then add things on the fly as you feel inspired like quotes, live feeds, extra photo’s, etc. Keep a journal of ideas for your timeline. Remember, don’t repeat anything within the same 15 posts in your timeline, people want to see excitement, informative, interesting posts and something worth talking about. Try to stay away from anything vague or boring like a link without a sentence that offers value to go along with it.
 


5. Instagram: 
Now that facebook owns instagram integrate your instagram posts by auto sharing them to your page. The great thing about this is that you can share them directly from the Instagram app by clicking “Share” and choosing Facebook from the menu on a particular photo. It even borrows your caption, so no need to write a new one! (This is only if you have no time to create unique content for both pages.) 

 

6. Likable Content: 
Getting “likes” is very important and getting “comments” is even more important to your posts showing up in the public newsfeed. On facebook, people like to emotionally connect with content from musicians and creators. If your continually posting repeats, no one will care about your page and you’ll surely see no reaction but when you read your crowd right and hit a concept in good timing, it will make a huge difference in your engagement numbers. This also needs to be weighed with how you connect with people once they do respond. Do you keep the conversation going or just “Like” their comment and drop your end of the conversation. Try to answer your audiences need for entertainment and fill their boredom and you’ll gain traction over time.  

 

7. ANSWER EVERY COMMENT WITH MORE
Try to keep your conversations going. Look at the chart above to see how special a comment actually is. When people take a moment to comment, you should not only take a moment to reply but use that as a chance to interact. Ask a question, go look at their timeline, get to know then. Share some music they may enjoy. Don't be pushy but show up and be active.