Maintaining a dedicated fan base is one of the most daunting tasks faced by musicians. We all know the importance of social networking, working the press, and promoting shows. If only there was a way to incorporate all of your promotional efforts into one source that could be easily distributed to your target audience. Well guess what? There is! It’s called a newsletter. Newsletters are a simple and effective way to build a “community” around your music, while keeping in touch with your fans on a regular basis. This week we discuss the three reasons why every musician should have a newsletter.
1) Build a real fan base
Want to know the secret to developing a solid fan base (after you write good songs)? Offer valuable content to your fans. David in Portland is probably not going to visit your site just because you sent him a comment about your new song. Now, what if you told David that by signing up for your newsletter he would receive a free download of an exclusive song that you wrote while touring in Portland. I’d bet your odds of a response would be looking much better.
There are many great ways to build your fan base by offering valuable content through a newsletter, but first you will have to develop your mailing list. Incorporating a news letter sign up box on all of your web sites is a great way to start. Offering free content for newsletter members is an effective way to encourage potential fans to sign up.
Unlike a social networking site, where members can join your page with a simple click, your fans will have to share their email address in order to join. Due to the endless amount of spam email’s generated on the web, most people are not likely to give out this information unless they are going to receive valuable content in return. Therefore, an email newsletter gives you the opportunity to connect with fans that have a genuine interest in your music.
2) Stay in touch with your fans
Most artists have a wide variety of viral outlets for their music. There’s myspace, facebook, twitter, youtube, reverb nation, last fm, band camp, just to name a few. If you have spent any time promoting your music on the web, I’m sure you have noticed that it can be difficult to keep your fans interested in all of your pages. Most fans just don’t have the time to browse through every page. With all of the artists out there fighting for attention, it can be difficult to stand out amongst the crowd. One of the greatest advantages of an email newsletter is the ability to share all of your sites and content in one place.
Your newsletter can also be a great way to interact with your fans through fun contests and promotions.Through offering exclusive promotions for newsletter members, you can maintain interest in your music and establish value within your content. You can also build relationships with your fans through incorporating a fan of the week, answering questions from fans, or encouraging them to vote on a poll related to your music. There are endless possibilities for creative fan participation within a newsletter.
Promoting upcoming shows is another effective aspect of an email newsletter. It’s great to post events online and throw up flyers around town to promote a gig. However, with your newsletter you can communicate directly with your core fan base. If you are planning on touring, you can organize your mailing list by region and send out invites to fans in the surrounding areas. With an event posting or flyer, you are limited to the basic details of your show. In a newsletter you have the opportunity to tell your fans more about the performance or offer discounts and giveaways to members who attend.
3) Connect with the press
A newsletter is an excellent way to build rewarding relationships with press and radio. These companies receive countless messages every day from artists who are looking for valuable exposure. If you want a shot at gaining entrance to the gatekeepers of promotion, it is important to offer plenty of valuable content. Mailing a press kit is great, but your banking on the chance that your cd makes it through their endless pile of submissions. If you work on developing a relationship and can make it into the coveted inbox of a writer, you will have the opportunity to maintain their interest with your valuable content.
As we discussed earlier, showcasing valuable content is essential to maintaining your fans interest in your project. This is even more important in connecting with the press. Everybody is releasing new songs and playing shows. The key is to show that what you are doing is notable enough to share with their audience. It is also important to consider how your content could be beneficial to the press. For example, if you are using a product, website, or promotional campaign that has been effective in developing your project you could share your experience and explain how it could benefit their readers.
Once you have received some coverage, you can use your newsletter to share this content with your readers. Through including a link to the article in your newsletter, you can show your appreciation of the press outlet that showcased you project. This method of promotion can go a long way in developing long-term relationships with the press. If you can provide an outlet to draw traffic to a publication, your value to them will greatly improve.
Are you ready to promote your music with a email newsletter? Still wondering if a newsletter is right for you?
We are happy to answer any questions and help you get started in developing your content! Drop us a line…
We work with Constant Contact to create valuable email newsletters for artists and businesses. We are now offering a free trial of the program. Feel free to drop us a line for more information!
As always, we appreciate your feedback!
Feel free to leave us a comment with your thoughts, experiences, suggestions, or anything else you’d like to tell us about!
Want to hear more from The Record Shop? Sign up for our newsletter here…