Have you been dreaming of a huge email list? The kind of list that with one click of the "send" button hordes of fans mobilize to come to see your shows, or play your new track at garageband.com? If not, then shame on you.
A well maintained and growing email list is a mighty tool. Why? Because it provides a quick and easy way to keep in front of your adoring fans, and it is absolutely free.
The sad thing is most artists drop the ball on building this marketing powerhouse. So, in an effort to stop this atrocity, I decided to give you four simple and effective tactics to build that list.
You're standing on stage, maybe the beach balls are floating atop the crowd, or the mosh pit has attracted the state police, or maybe the fans are singing so loud you can't hear your stage monitors. Whatever your situation, the fact of the matter is that you have human beings sitting right in front of you, hanging off of your every word, wanting to become your fans.
Do you realize the power of this moment? Right now your audience is focused on one thing - you. And as hard as it may be to believe, at this very moment, more than anything else, they want more of you. How do you give them what they want? Speak up and offer to get connected.
Tell your audience in your own genuine words that your email list is the way you stay connected to your fans. It is how you pass on latest news and how you notify of your upcoming gigs.
Simple and effective. Do not let one gig pass without asking your fans to get connected.
Ok, you know the value of seizing the moment while you're at the microphone, now lets make signing up a little more enticing.
Do you like free stuff? Who doesn't? We are suckers for trinkets and giveaways. Now just imagine if you were to offer your fans an opportunity to get something more valuable than a mere trinket. What if you offered them the opportunity to win one of your T-shirts or autographed CDs, or [wait for it...] Both! Oh my, the pandemonium, the crowd goes nuts.
How would this work? Simply hold a contest where the entry form is a piece of paper that asks for your fan's first name and email address. It's that simple. You exchange the chance to win one CD (your cost under $2) and a T-shirt (your cost around $5) in exchange for the email address of the members of your audience. If the cost of giving away a few pieces of much merch bothers you, just think of the value of only one new fan dragging a friend to your next show, shelling out two covers charges, selling a t-shirt to the friend and both of them telling others at work about their experience... Lets move on.
Ask yourself what the real objective of the contest mentioned above is? Let me tell you plainly, the objective is to mutually exchange something of value. You offer something of value to your fans in exchange for something of value to you. A surprisingly high value item to your fans is a simple old-fashioned newsletter. You know, the thing with silly facts and stories about you? Offer this gem in exchange for something of value to you - your fan's email address. This is an easy sell because you need their email address to send the newsletter right? It is a natural win-win situation so use it.
Now were at the end of the show and people are flocking to your merch table. Your latest self-titled CD is flying off the shelf. Your fans are even picking up that illegible sticker that was designed by your crazy cousin Fred. Are you going to just let them walk away without offering them the chance to stay connected to the band that they just layed down their hard earned cash to buy a recording of?
You have a perfect opportunity while you are counting out their change to "ask them" to sign your concert connection and stay connected to the band. What's the worse they can do, say no?
There you go four tactics you can use tonight to pack fans into your mighty email list. That should get you going. Remember it is the simple and effective tactics performed flawlessly over and over that make you successful. Don't miss a beat and watch that email list grow.
Sean Farrington is a band coach and studio mix engineer from California. He has been a full time music industry professional for over 12 years. During this time he has worked with hundreds of bands and artists in various capacities from the studio to the stage.
He authored the book "Band:Profit" which is designed to help independent bands, solo artists, and performers take their passion for music and turn it into profit.