social media

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

 

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 Find Your Tribe On Social Media

Finding Your Target Audience

In order to build a community that resonates with your brand, you have to make sure you’re talking to the right people.  Your target audience may be missing if you notice slow to non-existent growth and poor engagement on your social media networks.  When your social networks are attracting the right people, you then have a much better chance of building a meaningful community, making an impact, and creating more income.

How exactly do you find the audience that you’re looking for on social media?

If your searching on Twitter or Instagram, you can find your target audience through hashtags.  It's amazingly easy.

A big part of finding your tribe is knowing the pain points and struggles your ideal client or music lover is facing and having a clear understanding of their interests.  Then search the hashtags for people who post there and also people who interact with those posts.

 

BIO:

Before anything, it's really important that you make sure your bio or profile clearly reveals who you are, what you do, and what kind of content/music/journey your audience can expect.

 

Who are your people?

Before you go on a hunt for ideal music lovers, think deeper than just your basic music genre lovers. Try to start with your own interests and narrow it down to the ones that are most cloely related to your music.

For instance: If your latest album has a chill vibe with inspiring lyrics, start writing down possible descriptive words and interests such as: Yoga, Health, Vegan lifestyle, meditation, Inspirational quotes about life, cancer survivor, moms, Millennial mom, women who work, 70's lover, tie die shirts, healthy snacks, hiking, boaters, sunday motivational quotes, tea lovers, golfing...  (You get the picture?)

Try to find around 20-30 hashtags that fit and start exploring those. Following and interacting with users of those tags is a great place to start.

 

 

INSTAGRAM

Use hashtags of moderate popularity for your posts.  A mistake that I see people making all the time is using hashtags with well over a million lifetime posts.  For some reason, people believe that using those immensely popular hashtags will help them grow their following quickly.  The opposite actually happens when you follow that route.  

When you use those mega hashtags, you’re making it much harder for people to find your content, because thousands of people are using those hashtags the same moment you are.

A better way to use hashtags is to seek hashtags between 80-500K lifetime posts.  These are large enough to know that they are being searched/used regularly, but also small enough for your content to stand out and for people to find your posts before they are lost in the feed.  

I recommend dedicating about five of your hashtags for less than 50K lifetime posts.  Especially if you are utilizing my other tips for engagement, you will see that with these smaller hashtags, your post remains in the top posts for longer.  

This gives people more opportunity to find your posts and keeps that engagement flowing in 24 -7.

 

TWITTER:

Like Instagram, Twitter relies on hashtags to determine the visibility of your posts.  Check out the influencers in your niche and study their twitter feeds.  What hashtags are they using?  What hashtags are trending in your niche and interests? 

Twitter chats are a valuable tool to not only find your target audience but also to network and chat with them live.  Twitter chats are usually centered around a certain topic or theme and can put you directly in touch with people who would fit perfectly in your tribe.  Focus on two to three influencers and check their feed for any mention of a twitter chat.

We start twitter chats all the time at

www.twitter.com/JacquelineJax & www.twitter.com/avaliveradio

 

FACEBOOK:

The facebook group pages have really offered our musicians a wealth of free access. But again you need to start interacting inside the right groups. Think about those descriptive words I told you to write down earlier on and find groups that place you into those circles.

It's really important that you learn what the rules of the group are and DON'T break them or you'll get banned and the other members will get upset with you. That's never good.

Remember your there to make friends, share music when you can but mostly attract people to your page and website where you are ready to serve and entertain them..  Just as they are there to attract you to their pages.

Just remember vanity numbers mean nothing to you so don't gain "likes", look to make friends. That's way more valuable to you. Friends share your posts and interact with your content. You need to start there and keep developing your tribe with this thought process.

DO NOT try to be bigger than you really are. I still see many of you complaining that no one sees and interacts with your posts on facebook yet I never see you in groups trying to make new friends. You can't just expect to reach people if you don't let them know you exist.

It's important that you fill your timeline with great things, then go find people who will enjoy your page when you lead them to it.

Also People aren't interested in ego and drama. They want to relate to you in a real way and share in your struggles as well as celebrate your accomplishments. Just as you should be supporting theirs.