I’m always surprised when someone comes to me with hundreds of thousands, even millions of online views, but they have no idea how to generate income. On the flip side I’m very pleasantly surprised when an artist has a less than established social media presence but has found a way to effectively monetise their talent. Crunching numbers isn’t just for accountants. To market your music effectively you need to not only generate popularity, but convert that popularity into hard cash.
Conversion rates are the percentage of followers, likes, or views that convert to a required action. So why are so few artists able to do this? Well, in the first instance they haven’t thought beyond clocking up numbers or how those numbers can be used for greater leverage. This however, is something you can start doing immediately by capturing data when asking fans to join a mailing list, download free music, or most important of all – buy something. Online popularity has become one of chasing numbers, but what do the numbers mean? If you don’t know your conversion rates the numbers have little to no meaning.
Having as few as one thousand true fans, as first mentioned by Kevin Kelly, can generate a steady stream of income. A true fan is someone who loves everything you do. They buy everything you sell – because you are selling it. And they tell everyone about you. Engaging your fans and establishing a longstanding relationship with them allows you to analyse your interactions for deeper meaning. Creating something for fans to participate in is crucial for your success as an independent artist. A strategy for activity across a number of platforms, and the ability to convert those numbers, gives you complete control over your income. Gathering key information from interactions with your fans saves wasting time in less effective areas, helping you to have more targeted campaigns. Knowing the impact of each action when promoting your music will free you from guess work and increase the focus of your activity. Remember, if you don’t sell, you’re not being creative enough.
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Deb McKoy is the Founder and Consultant at Peppergrain Ltd, London, UK. She began her career as a recording artist, achieving success in the UK national charts before going on to help businesses and individuals maximise their brand.