•Even the best musicians in the world need to build and maintain a fan base. In the old days, before the internet, there were few options available. Musicians could tour, release recordings, and do interviews – and that was pretty much it.
In today’s world of online marketing, the process of building a fan base is both easier and more complicated than it was before. It’s easier because there are literally thousands of outlets you can use. It’s harder because you might potentially have to spend more time managing the outlets you choose and keeping up with the demands of self-promotion.
One of the most effective ways to build a fan base is to use a fan magnet – a free giveaway that you use to entice people to subscribe to your list or follow you on social media. Here’s how to do it.
Step #1: Create an Irresistible Fan Magnet
The first step, of course, is to create a fan magnet that your fans will be unable to resist – and that may also appeal to people in your target audience. Here are some suggestions:
1. A free download of a new track or (even better) a bonus track that’s only available to people who subscribe to your list.
2. Access to a video of a band rehearsal or some other behind-the-scenes footage that they won’t be able to see anywhere else.
3. A free piece of band merchandise, such as a tee shirt, hat, or bumper sticker.
Those are just a few suggestions, but you get the idea. You want to provide people with something they can’t get anywhere else to entice them to take the next step, whether that means subscribing to your list, following you on social media, or some other goal that you define.
Step #2: Create a Landing Page for Your Fan Magnet
The next thing you need is a killer landing page for your fan magnet. A landing page is simply the page where people will land after they click on your ad or social media post.
The page needs to be great-looking and compelling. It should have all of the following components:
1. An enticing headline to make people want to keep reading once they land on the page
2. Intriguing sales copy to convince people that your fan magnet is one-of-a-kind, the must-have item that they can’t live without
3. Video or images to break up the text and to represent you and your music
4. A ton of white space to make it easy to read
5. Subheadings, bullet points, or numbered lists to help break up the text
6. A strong call to action that makes to clear both what people need to do (e.g. subscribe to your list) and what they’ll be getting in return (a free download).
The best calls to action are positive and specific. In other words, don’t go with “Subscribe” or “Click Here.” Be more specific. Try something like, “Send Me My Free Download!”
Step #3: Attract Traffic to Your Landing Page
The third and final step is to attract traffic to your landing page. Your best bet here is to do a paid promotion on social media. Facebook advertising is inexpensive and effective.
To create your ad, you’ll need all of the following:
1. A headline that jumps out and describes, in some way, the fan magnet you are offering to people who click the ad. Some effective headline techniques involves asking questions, using numbers, or teasing a secret.
2. Brief, effective ad copy that lets people know what they can expect if they click your ad.
3. A compelling image that will catch the eye of your target audience as they scroll down their Facebook feeds. You can find Facebook’s image requirements here.
4. A concrete goal for your ad. In this case, you want people to visit your website. It’s important to choose the right goal since Facebook charges by engagement.
Once you set up the visual elements of the ad, you’ll have to decide two additional things: First, who will your ad target; and second, how much do you want to spend?
You can choose to create a lookalike audience, and that’s something that makes a lot of sense for musicians. After all, people who share many things in common with your current fans are likely to enjoy your music. Alternatively, you can target by choosing a popular musician with a sound that’s similar to yours.
In terms of budget, Facebook allows you to set a per-day budget as low as a dollar so you can afford to do it even if you don’t have much money to spend on self-promotion.
Creating and promoting a fan magnet is a very good way to build a fan base – and ultimately, to attract a music manager to help you with your career.