Find Followers

Find Followers: Using Bicycle Wheel Marketing

Building an audience is one of the hardest things to do as a musician.  This technique is a tried and true way to profit and promote yourself as a musician, or band.

Bicycle Wheel Marketing

What is this Bicycle Wheel Business?

Let’s start with the basics first.  You are a musician how do you sell your tickets, music, or even merchandise?  Well, if you are in the 21st century the best way is through your website.  Your website is the best way to succeed in the music business today.  I am not going to cover how to make a website because there are enough tutorials online just search in Google [How to make a website].  What I will tell you is how to promote your website and use it to gain followers, sell out shows fast, make sales on your albums the day they release, and profit from merchandise.

Overview

Imagine a bicycle wheel.  There is a hub, which is the center.  Then you have spokes that extend out to the rim. Your website is the hub.  The rest of the internet is the rim and the spokes are the connections of your website to the rest of the internet.  Your goal is to have connections (spokes) that bring people to your website (the hub).  Your website should be a destination and not just another place for people to find out about you.

This will make more sense as you read further, I will teach you about how to get people to your site.  In the next chapter, I will go over more detail of each traffic channel.

Let’s start with the website first:

Your website is a communication tool.  You will want to have a store so you can sell tickets, music, and merchandise.  The second goal of your website is communication with current fans and prospective fans.  You want to make your website a hub for your music and information that is relevant to your target audience.  (Remember the list you created in chapter 1)

How does this work?

We’ll, besides from having your music you might want to have live recordings of shows.  This will help you start to form the foundation of trust with your potential fans.  By giving away free information people will start to trust you and give your band authority.  Taking the hub even further you could post music and interviews that you have done with other bands in your genre.  This way you will be getting in front of fans from another band helping to rapidly build your audience even bigger!!

So, what kind of stuff do you want to post on your website?

Many marketers have preached that “content is king”.  This sounds good, but what does it mean?  Content is information that you create to connect with an audience.  The most important piece of content that you can create is one that speaks to your target audience.  So, how do you do this?  Well first off most people coming to your website are looking for information about your band such as post music, music videos, and articles about your band.  Create story’s that are about how your fans help you. Tell your fans how important they are to you.  Use your media to connect with your fans.  Here are some ideas below of how to progress:

 

 

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Youtube IconVideo – This is a great way to show your band in action.  A music video helps people feel like they are there watching you.  Create an interview that shows the “behind the scenes”; what it’s like to get ready for a show.  Connect with fans.   Be creative but the best thing you can do is show yourself as you really are.   An interview will help fans connect with you on a deeper personal level.

 

Sound Cloud ImageAudio – This not only includes your music this can be a podcast of your favorite songs.  It can also be an interview with your band members.  The point of this media is to make people feel connected to you.

 

 

 

Written IconWritten – Use a blog to post articles about your band.  Tell a story speaking to your fans telling them how much they mean to you.  You can get really creative, telling fans to send in articles of how the show went for them.  You can post the best article on your site. Get creative and tell a story about your band and the fans.

 

 

Infographic iconInfographic – An infographic is a style of media that uses clipart and pictures with information to communicate an idea.  This type of content is very effective in communicating an idea.  The trick is to be selective in what you want to communicate.

 

 

Comment IconComments – This highly overlooked activity is one of the most important techniques.  Whenever your fans comment on a blog, respond to each comment.  This takes time but it shows you care about your followers.

 

 

Use your content to tell your unique story. Don’t just post and pray. Calculate and think about what you are posting and what effect it will have on your communication with your following. In today’s competitive music industry, you will want to get people to follow your band. This means telling a story that shows your authenticity and connects to the emotions of your audience in order to create raving fans. Now, you should have a good foundation of your marketing foundation.  The website is your hub.  Continue to the next chapter to learn about getting people to your site.

 

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Concert Promotion networking

How To Network In The Music Industry And Get Famous

Networking is one of those things that scares people in the beginning, but this is the guaranteed method to get you more screaming fans quickly.

 

The biggest mistake people make when they are networking is not selling themselves.  The sad reality is people are always looking to get noticed, but nobody wants to give back.  Let me tell you a story to illustrate this point.

You have two people named Charlie and Sarah.  Charlie is a good musician with plenty of talent.  He knows he is good and just wants to be recognized for his talent and skill.  Sarah is also a musician.  Let’s say they are both guitarists.

Charlie has been asked to play with other bands; but really he knows he is a great musician and people should want to play with him, or at least invite his band to open for another band.  The biggest frustration is Charlie has great talent and sees other musicians around getting more popular.  Charlie has the skills but what is going wrong?

Sarah, on the other hand, has talent, but she also isn’t stuck up about how good she is. She wants to be even better, so how does she go about this.  Sarah calls other bands that she has become friends with.  She asks them if they need any help or would want to collaborate.  Sarah is continually searching for musicians that she aspires to be like and tries to figure out how to work with them.  This helps her grow as a musician, but she is secretly building a network.

Over time, Charlie has become jaded and resentful.  He knows he should be playing with other bands, but wonders when the phone is going to ring for his chance.  His life has not changed and he continues to do what he has always done; playing gigs when they pop up and doesn’t seem to be gaining any ground.FieldCultivation.jpg

Sarah, on the other hand, has cultivated a network.  When a friend is playing a show, they are now asking if her band wants to open.  Sarah continues to water the seeds of these friendships.  Finally, she starts to book some shows of her own.  As here yelling fan base continues to swell, she is now asking bands to open for her.

What this story illustrates is that you get out what you put in.  The music industry is competitive.  What helps are connections and networks.  These connections don’t show up overnight, they get cultivated.  So, below is a technique written by Shaun Letang from Musicthinktank.com (By the way, awesome technique Shaun).

 

 

The Ladder Method.

BlowUpLadder Method – Collaboration.

Your goal is to create a network of musicians that will provide a launching point for musical success.

 

  1. Start out by making a list of other musicians in your genre that you would have access to.
  2. Rank these artists on how popular they are. You can make a list that has artists on multiple levels, creating a tiered system. Typically the top of the list will be very busy and not have time for any new up and coming talent.  But, this is where the secret sauce is.  Pick the tier that you rank on.  Now, look at the level above you and these are the musicians that you want to get to know and play with.
  3. This is the fun part.  Go around, check out their shows, find out where they hang out or try to get a hold of them through email or social media.  On the first contact, don’t approach them and ask, “Hey, can I play with you?”  This rarely works.  The key is to use some simple psychology to get them excited to help you.

 

Simple psychology?!  What does that mean?

 

On your first encounter, get to know them.  You want to strike up a conversation about them.  This gets people excited and thinking “Hey, this persons really cool.”  The first trick is to show genuine interest in who they are.  Ask them questions that normal fans would not ask.  This is called the trench technique.  You want to start off by asking surface questions.  Then, you will slowly ask deeper and more meaningful questions.  Check out the below example:

 

You:  Hey, you really rocked up there. That was awesome. Good job!

Rocker:  Thanks!

You:  This might sound crazy, but can I ask you a question? (Get permission to ask a question. This will prevent them from getting upset at you for asking a question because they agreed to it).

Rocker:  Umm sure? (They might be confused, but don’t worry. Just keep rolling with it).

You:  I like your [pick a song you just heard them play]. That was really great when you [describe a specific part of the song in musician terminology], I totally enjoyed it.  Did you write it?

Rocker:  [They might give you a funny look, but you just gave yourself credibility asking a question that requires more thought than the average question].  Yes, I did. Can’t believe you knew what I was going for.

You:  No problem.  How did you come up with it?

Rocker:  Well… [blah blah blah]

 

Congratulations!  You just got someone to like you.  The keys: No matter what they say, always try and direct the conversation back toward them talking about themselves.  If they ask you a question, that is fine, but answer it as quickly as possible and continue to get them speaking about themselves.  This will work wonders and show that you are truly interested in them.

Now, before the conversation is over, ask them for one last thing.  Explain that you are really interested in them and think they are in a successful musical place that you would like to attain someday [-this appeals to their ego-].  Then ask them if they would be willing to help you. Talk quickly about your musical background and say, “I would really appreciate an opportunity to jam with you sometime.” [Now, don’t say a word. Wait and let them speak. Your heart will be pounding, you might feel sweat on your palms – it’s okay, Just make sure they either give you a yes or no.]  If it’s a yes, you know it’s worth pursuing.  If it’s a no, don’t worry about it and move to the next person on your list.

Once you have played a show with several of these musicians, it’s time to move to the next tier of musicians.  Remember this can take time but it is totally worth it.  The major key is to keep at it and don’t let a “No” get you down.  Once you play with one musician your efforts will combine for a snowball effect.

 

Next, find out how to use Bicycle Marketing to build an audience and build a swell of fans.

 

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Advanced Music Promotion: Ultimate Music Marketing Guide

Seven stuffed chapters, teaching you the latest music marketing techniques!

Chapter – 1 : Identifying Your Target Audience

 

With all the talk in the music industry today about “making it big,” getting signed, or becoming a rock star, it’s easy to forget a little thing that happens to be the foundation of any band; Your Fans.

 

Seriously, without fan recognition there is no such thing as “your music”.  Music marketing is the ultimate way to gain followers, but with all the information on the internet, it is hard to find a starting point for success.  Well today all of that changes. We have put together this guide to make life a little easier.

Ready…  Set…  Lets Rock!

 

 

Before we get all excited about finding our fans and getting paid, we need to identify our target audience.

Target Audience:  Where 95% of Musicians Fail.

Target Audience Bullseye Gigmor GuideAs I mentioned earlier, this will set you up to be more successful in your marketing efforts than 95% of musicians out there.

So what is a target audience?  This is a simple way to determine who your customer is; the people that come to your shows and the people that pay for your music and merchandise.

What if I don’t have an audience yet?  Don’t worry.  Continue reading we will build a persona profile together.

 

 

Exercise

We will be creating a buyer’s persona, this is a term used in the world of marketing.  This persona uses detailed information about your customer, to create marketing guidelines for your marketing efforts.  The following are examples of what are included in a buyer’s persona’s.

  • Demographic
  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Marital or family status

It is best to create multiple persona’s for each buyer.  Now get a piece of paper ready, because you will be taking notes on your target market.  Write down and answer the following questions.

  1. What kind of music do you play? Rock, indie, progressive, jazz, Hip-hop, you get the picture.
  2. Who is your competition?  Name some other bands like you or that you want to be like? [Start with local competition]
  3. What is the most prominent gender that goes to your shows?
  4. Are there interests that are similar among your fans?
  5. What location is the Group in?
  6. Is your fanbase younger and unmarried, or older and have kids?

Answer in as much detail as possible.  Once you have one written you can write another one for a smaller subset group, that you might notice also attends your shows.

In my experience, it is best laid out on a piece of paper so you have enough room for notes. Below is an example of the Toronto based band, the Greys:

 

Example:

Identify your buyer's persona

Tips And Tricks For Identifying Your Buyer’s Persona

 

If you’re having trouble here is an awesome list of resources to help you.

Wikipedia – If you look up your band or another similar one, take a look at the contents, there is a list with a bunch of great things that are related to that subject.

Boardreader – This is a search engine for forums.  Once again look up your bands name, or genre of music.  You will be shown a bunch of listings.  Click on any of the forum listings and explore what there is out there.  Look at comments.  Also take a look at the category pages or topics of discussion.  These usually hold golden nuggets of topics your fans are interested in.

Google –  Search google.com for relevant topics that have to do with your target audiences interests.  You will find things you didn’t even think related.

Concert – Go to a competitors show and write down the type of person that attends [trust me, you will notice].  There is an overwhelming amount of [blank] people here (fill in the blank).  Write down traits from the list above of things that you notice.  You are looking for an overview and larger generalizations  like the items above.

 

Terrific!  You are off to an incredible start.  Continue to put in the work and you will find a clear direction starting to reveal itself.

Time to jump into chapter two to get the low down on networking and how it can accelerate all of your efforts.

 

 

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