Excerpts of this post originally appeared in Episode 25 of The Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast.
On more than one occasion, a musician has asked at a music conference, “How do I get enough followers so that a label will listen to me?” Have you ever wondered the same?
All too often, we get a number in our head, such as, “I need 500,000 followers in order to grab the attention of a label,” and we focus so hard on that number that we lose track of what matters: the music and the fans who love and support the music.
Data can be a very powerful thing. We can gather almost any information we need from the data we are able to get from most analytic tools at our disposal. Data can tell us who our core fanbase is, what posts are most engaging, and even which songs are played all the way through.
Data enables us to make informed decisions about where we spend our ad money, where we book shows, and how often we post on social media and when.
However, when we put all of our focus on the numbers, especially on the wrong ones, we lose out on the human component and fail to build relationships that matter and ones that will build our career.
Numbers don't lie, but they don't tell the whole truth either. It’s how you analyze them that counts.
Getting too wrapped up in the wrong numbers can distract you from learning what’s going on with your fans and what’s interesting to them in order to know how to best connect with them in your future content.
Labels are no longer the gate-keepers, your fans are, and fans are more than numbers. Instead of thinking Likes & Follows, think people & relationships.
It’s okay to want to be signed, but you must understand that those high numbers they’re looking for are based around engagement. They want to know people are talking about you and actively supporting you and there’s no silver bullet to get there overnight.
Sonicbids understands this, which is why your Sonicbids’ EPK not only displays your likes and follows but also provides data on how many people are engaging with you online, since that is what labels, booking agencies, and venues want to see.
How to use this data to achieve your goals
First, decide what information will serve you best right now and then list out the metrics that can tell you that information.
If you’re working on building your email list, you’ll want to know how many people subscribed, but, more importantly, you’ll want to know how many of those subscribers actually opened your latest email.
It’s not the number of subscribers you have that matters, but rather how engaged those subscribers are with what you’re sending them. Ten thousand subscribers on a list means nothing if only 200 open your emails. Rather than an open rate of 2%, you want to aim to maintain an open rate of 20-30%.
If you’re launching a new song and you’ve set up Facebook ads you’ll want to focus on Click Through Rates (CTR) or conversion rates, as well as Costs Per Lead. You’ll want to know how much you spent for every ticket you sold or subscriber you obtained.
If your goal is to get more comments on your posts, your action steps might be to first do some research on what prompts people to comment on posts and then to practice improving your captions.
A great place to start improving is to include a call to action in all of your captions, such as, “Comment below with your favorite guilty pleasure song.” You may also want to make your calls to action or your questions binary, as in yes or no options. For example, posting an image and saying, “Could you see this as my new album cover? Type yes or no in the comments below!”
Create a routine once a week around analyzing specific metrics from your content. Challenge yourself not to get caught up in the vanity numbers (likes, follows). Don’t waste time finding out who unfollowed you or who unsubscribed from your list.
Instead, spend a little time each day engaging with the fans you still have. Comment on a fan’s post. Shout out your new followers. Send an email to someone who’s opened your newsletter every week for the past six weeks, thank them for doing so, and ask what they’d like to see more of in future newsletters.
Set boundaries on which data you’ll look at and which steps you will take each week to grow healthy and strong relationships within your fanbase. After all, it’s a who-you-know, not how-many-you-know, business.
Let go of the pressure to get hundreds of thousands of followers and focus on making each of your fans feel like one in a million rather than one of a million.
Suzanne Paulinski is a mindset coach and founder of The Rock/Star Advocate. She helps music industry professionals gain confidence and clarity in their goals with a healthy work/life balance. Her book,The Rock/Star Life Planner is now available on Amazon.