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 resonates 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:

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

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