Tag Archive for 'FanBridge'

Survival Guide for Engaging Fans and Building a Career in Music [Infographic]

Careers in music are built on fans that are engaged with the music and feel connected to the artist. Fortunately there are dozens of services and tools to help artists. Yet if you’re an artist, where do you start? Do you need more than one service? If so, what’s the right combination for you? How do you make sense of it all?

With artists struggling to figure out what they need to do, we’ve developed a “Survival Guide for Engaging Fans and Building a Career in Music” to put shape around this increasingly confusing landscape. It illustrates the ‘tools-for-musicians’ ecosystem, some (but of course, not all) of the key players, their relationship to the whole, and how mobile plays into all of this.

Here’s how it works:

First, do whatever needs to be done to get discovered. This doesn’t mean getting discovered by millions of people, but rather, a core initial group of fans that you will build on.

Next, engage this core initial group of fans in an interactive and authentic way in order to convert them from casual fans into loyal fans. By doing so, fans will be much more likely to support you financially and spread the word.

Once a deep connection has been made, offer fans many ways to support you financially and make it easy for them to do so. This includes selling music and creative bundles directly from your website, offering unique merch, and giving fans the opportunity to invest in you through one of the many crowdfunding platforms out there, like PledgeMusic. Get creative and don’t assume the only way to get paid is to sell music in iTunes!

Finally, carefully analyze what has worked and what hasn’t, and adjust things accordingly. Then, repeat, repeat, repeat… and don’t forget about mobile!

Iration Interview

Iration is a Southern Californian based band that formed in 2006 when the members attended UCSB. All coming from Hawaii, the band has created a powerful sound that fuses reggae, rock and pop. They released their “Fresh Grounds” EP in February and have been touring all year, most recently as part of the Winter Greens Tour with Rebelution. I had a chance to sit down with Iration’s bassist, Adam Taylor, and ask him about how Iration came to be, their influences, marketing strategies and their next tour.

TC: You guys are all from Hawaii but met in Isla Vista, California. How did Iration form?

AT: Iration formed while we attended UCSB. It started as a hobby and then developed into our career.

TC: Do you pull a majority of your influence from Hawaii or where you live currently? How is that influence brought out in your music?

AT: Initially from Hawaii, but these days I feel like we’re influenced by our surroundings here in Santa Barbara and while on tour. It comes out in the way we approach creating songs and the way we perform live.

TC: You released your “Fresh Grounds” EP in February and are setting out on tour. What are you looking at to accomplish with this next tour? How will this tour be different than other tours you have been on?

AT: We want to bring out all our fans as well as gain some new ones. We want to play well and give the audience a really fun and memorable experience. We’ll be playing new material off our new CD as well as two covers that are really fun to play. We’ll also be experimenting with some acoustic stuff on this tour.

TC: Who would your dream tour lineup consist of?

AT: The Police, The Beatles, Black Uhuru, and Iration!

TC: You guys have played at many colleges, especially in California. Which college town has given you the best fan response? Why did you choose to play colleges as opposed to regular venues?

AT: Calpoly in San Luis Obispo is great and so is Northern Arizona University. We play colleges because you typically get a large built-in crowd and often times students that have never heard of you get exposed to your music.

TC: What is one of the craziest things you have had happen on tour?

AT: My amp had a power overload and caught on fire on the past tour. That was pretty crazy!

TC: What is your best fan memory?

AT: Hanging out with Kelly Slater on stage!

TC: Your band’s website is set up like a blog on the homepage. Did you design it this way in order to connect more with your fans?

AT: Yes. Social networking and having a strong viral presence is really important to us and it’s a great way to connect with fans.

TC: What are some of your favorite ways to reach out to your fanbase?

AT: We like using Fantourage and Fanbridge. Fans can ask us questions and post videos and photos from the shows.

TC: Do you have an online marketing strategy in place?

AT: We basically like to keep up a strong presence online and be in constant communication with our fans. It just comes down to us enjoying what we do, and we love to write back to fans and hear what they have to say online.

TC: How does your MobBase mobile app fit in to this strategy? What has the response been from fans?

AT: Fans love it. Its a great tool for finding out where a show is or listening to music. Its free on iTunes and the Android Market, so pick it up!

TC: If Iration owned a coffee company, what would be the name of your special blend and most popular pastry?

AT: Our drummer does own a coffee company on the big island of Hawaii, called Kona Homestead Coffee! If the others owned one, we’d call our special blend ‘Kona Gold’ and our pastry would be the Butternut.

Iration is currently on tour around California their next dates are:

FanBridge: Fan List Management

We’ve talked ad nauseum about the importance of interacting with your fans via the many social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, via your very own iPhone app, and also via a newsletter. As you fanbase grows, however, you’ll need a way to manage this process. Enter FanBridge. What FanBridge does “is very, very simple: help musical acts email and text their fans.

FanBridge, which is all about “powering valuable fan relationships,” will help you not only get more fans, but also keep them engaged, and track your analytics so you can see what’s working and what’s getting them excited. After all, that’s what you’re working toward isn’t it — getting (and keeping) your fans excited? Let’s examine their 3 steps: 1) get more fans, 2) excite your fans, and 3) keep your fans engaged.

Get More Fans

Let’s say you’re somewhat organized and established and you already have a list. It’s super easy to add said list to your account. They’ll even do it for you for free if you want. Once you’ve got a list going in FanBridge, then you’re ready to start growing it.

Fans that come to your website/blog/myspace etc. need a place to type in their email address so you can add them to your list. FanBridge will whip up the code you need for these forms which, of course, are totally customizable in look and feel. They even have downloadable signup forms for live shows/events that’ll work without an internet connection.

If you are offering a fan incentive, like a free download with signup, they handle everything. You just upload the incentive. Easy.

Excite Your Fans

FanBridge makes converting browsers into buyers easy with simple tools that take visitors to the point of sale for whatever it is you’re selling (i.e. tickets, merch etc.) Whatever actions your fans take are tracked and converted into data that help you understand which of your campaigns are most effective, who is clicking on what, and what you need to do to reach out to your most active fans.

Another important feature is the tour calendar. Your calendar can be part of your newsletter and is also posted on your fan “action page.” Fans can even set reminders about your shows.

FanBridge understands how valuable your fans’ friends are, and gives your fans the tools they need to share your music with them. Viral marketing tools like contests, prizes, “share this” links, etc. are automatically integrated into the system. Remember, the easier it is for your fans to share your music with others, the more likely they are to do it!

Keep Fans Engaged

Artist-fan interaction has become the norm. Finally. It takes a LOT of work to stay on top of all the various ways you are interacting with your fans, though, and you can’t afford to waste your valuable time toggling between twitter clients, facebook pages, and everything else. FanBridge solves this problem by allowing you to communicate with fans across many networks all from a single location.

Email newsletters (which are super important) are a breeze to send out, because FanBridge handles all the backend stuff for you. You simply need to come up with the irresistible content that goes in them.

Another brilliant feature is their mobile text messaging platform. Imagine sending last minute text messages to your fans to remind them about your upcoming show or sending updates from backstage! You can schedule them to send later, too, so you don’t have to worry about doing it live all the time.

This service is priced insanely low for all the cool stuff you get. Seriously. Really cheap.

In case you’re still not convinced you need FanBridge, they’ve come up with 5 simple reasons why you need them: 1) you get superior client service from real, live people, 2) their only priority is making your fan list more valuable, 3) they automate the fan-getting process so it’s working for you 24/7, 4) they do all the analysis so you don’t have to, and 5) you can communicate with all your fans in one place.

Be sure to check out these handy FanBridge resources too:

Tips on Sending Effective Fan Newsletters

3 Fan List Basics for Musicians

How Do I Get More Emails at Live Shows/Events?