How Musicians Go From 0 To 100,000 Fans In 2023

?Tons of YouTubers make these videos on how 
to go from zero to a hundred thousand fans   but if you watch their videos for a while it 
becomes clear that they are just recycling what   theyve read in books that their research assistant 
wrote down for them. I know this because I wrote   one of those books and I hear them reading 
directly from it. <grin> But I have actually   done this work and worked with tons of groups on 
their ascent to building a huge fanbase and work   on this every single day with DIY, indie and 
major label acts across all sorts of genres.   So in this video I’m going to talk to 
you about the techniques and thoughts   we used when we started out at the ground level 
that led to them building a huge success.

  Hi I'm Jesse Cannon a music marketing 
nerd whos teaching musicians how to   grow their fanbase from zero to 10,000 
fans and this is Musformation.
  Since I don't want to bore my regular viewers if 
you’re sitting here watching this thinking I am   just another one of those YouTube con artists 
selling a course who is just spouting off   with no experience, I encourage you to go to my 
channel page and watch the video on my biography.   But the short of it is – For well over a 
decade I’ve been a marketing strategist   for all sorts of musicians and worked on the 
marketing of a Billboard number one comedy   record and a podcast that has been in the 
Apple top 5 of all podcasts numerous times.   But really what I think is most important is my 
head is in the game I live and breathe marketing   in not just music but comedy, podcasts and 
politics talking to the managers, pr people,   booking agents and A&R of many of the biggest 
artists in the world in tons of different genres,   I'm on the phone every day with 
people who are building a new artist   who have also taken artist to platinum sales and 
I have been taking the information I learn there   and putting it on this channel for the past 
two years.

I stay up on what is working and   post it on my channel every week.
So lets get some quick things out of the   way to make this video more enjoyable. What 
I am going to do here is Layout the topline   strategy to build a fanbase off of. If you think 
something I am saying is interesting and you want   to go deep on it there’s a link for each Chapter 
to a playlist of videos for you to go deeper and   understand this more.

If you’re not interested in 
a certain section there’s chapters for this video   so feel free to skip ahead. OK so let’s talk 
about the first pillar of marketing in 2022.   Which is appealing to algorithms
  Now I know for a lot of us it can be a 
real turn off to appeal to algorithms,   but I have news for you this happens to have a 
happy ending unlike what Facebook is doing to   our society with its algorithm. <side eye> Right 
now the majority of music discovery and how people   build a fanbase is because they use smart strategy 
that appeals to an algorithm. But theres a smarter   way to see this – If you deliver music in the 
way the algorithm likes – which means you don't   have to and nor should you compromise your music 
because the great thing about music today is songs   that are authentic are more rewarded than ever. 
But the delivery method and way you release music   has a defined way to spread as far as 
possible if you follow the rules of the   algorithm.

And if you really feel it compromises 
your art to have to release it in a way that helps   spread it, well you’re in a catch 22. But for 
those of you who just want to do it effectively   lets talk about what that looks like.
Right now what I see the majority of artists   who get a fanbase doing to effectively build a 
fanbase is they release a single every 2 months   while occasionally peppering that with alternate 
versions, covers, remixes and adding a feature   in here and there.

They do this for 12-18 months, 
while doing something eventful every two weeks and   something smaller every week. This only takes 6 
songs per year to fill up an entire calendar year   if you release a single screen YouTube video and 
stream of your song, then two weeks later a lyric   video, then two weeks after than an alternate 
version. When you release a single every week   it makes people feel like its not important 
and you are throwing spaghetti at the wall   to see what sticks. It keeps peoples attention 
spans engaged. People are offered the 60,000 songs   uploaded to Spotify daily so showing them this 
one is exceptional by putting in the effort to   make content around it and continually remind 
people it matters makes them think they should   pay attention to it. This is what Lil Nas X 
did when he rose from being a complete unknown   to the artists with the longest-running number 
one song of all time.

By continually reminding   people that your song is something exceptional you 
convert them to listeners and hopefully build a   relationship with your song if its indeed one that 
makes them feel good when they listen to it.
  Now a lot of people get really bummed out 
when they hear me talk about releasing singles   constantly as they love albums and EPs and you 
know what so do I, I was listening to some while   I wrote this. But you have to see EPs, LPs and 
mixtapes as what builds a deeper relationship   with fans who love you. It makes them think about 
you more and feel close to you and the deeper that   relationship is the more likely they are to come 
see you live, buy your merch and engage with you   on socials and most of all never shut up about 
you to their friends till they annoy that friend   into listening to you.

I often cite this MTV 
study on the screen now which showed this. But   we need to see it this way – The singles are 
what lures people in much like that sample of   chicken the Chinese food stall gives out free 
in the mall, they hope to lure you over to the   counter to buy a pound of it and keep coming 
back to doing that each day when you need it.   We have to see albums and singles as two different 
things, singles offer the opportunity to bring   in enough people that they are going through your 
album or back catalog and getting to know you and   developing a relationship with your music, but if 
you arent?? releasing as many singles as possible   to bring people back to that album you are 
basically derelict in sending out the samples   that will intrigue people and this is because 
singles are how people first taste music and   decide if they want more and right now algorithims 
and peoples attention spans work in the way   that the more singles you release of quality 
material the more chance people will want to   take in your album and back catalog.

What Appeals To Algorithms   Appeals To Humans Attention
Ok so lets go over this the top 2 ways   people discover music are Spotify and YouTube. 
When it comes to DSPs and listening without video   if you open the majority of artists analytics of 
where their listens come from if we bar YouTube   its usually 80-85% Spotify and 15-20% Apple 
and all the other DSPs. So like it or not   Spotify is a really where you need to focus 
your energy and they give artists tons of   tools to promote themselves whereas all the 
other DSPs except Pandora give virtually none.   Because Spotify only lets you submit one song at 
a time to its editorial playlist submission tool   and they recommend you submit 4 weeks in advance 
this means releasing anything more is a wasted   opportunity as your single greatest chance to 
have your music get discovered by a lot of people   if you are not appealing to the chances 
of that you are failing yourself.   And while editorial playlists are 
the biggest ones, we have to remember   Spotify puts the artists who get on User 
playlists on their editorial playlists   so its important that after your song is 
released you then pitch to other playlists   as well as using Hyperfollow/pre save tools that 
encourage fans to follow you on Spotify.

  But the other platform we have to consider 
is YouTube which not only helps with music   discovery it is also where you can build 
relationships with fans since we all know   a great music video can be what tips you to 
be so blown away by what your listening to   you send it to a friend. But YouTube rewards those 
who are uploading weekly or bi weekly so putting   up Behind the scenes videos, playthroughs, vlogs, 
lyric videos and single screen videos of your song   helps their algorithm favor you and serve you 
to more fans while feeding the attention span of   fans who are starting to grow a relationship with 
you. So maintaining Consistent sustained promotion   by posting to YouTube and then reminding your 
audience on socials that ??you're doing so not   only helps you algorithmically it make your 
audience see you are regularly feeding them   and you are an eventful person who they should 
be paying attention to.

And when you regularly   entertain people and stay on top of their minds 
fans inherently tell their friends about you and   talk about you on social media since by nature 
humans seek out commonality in others and want   to bond over what they enjoy. Doing this not only 
appeals to the algorithm, it reminds fans to grow   relationships with you so they are thinking about 
you more and want to go deeper with you.
  But I know a lot of you are thinking —- 
Great but no one is paying attention to me yet,   how does this matter if I don't get put on 
any playlists—- So the greatest thing right   now about algorithms is instead of some 
gatekeeper choosing you if you use smart   strategy you can draw connections between you 
and other artists algorithmically and have the   platforms push you to one another.

I recently 
made a video on how collaborations, remixes,   features and split releases are the greatest 
marketing opportunity in the history of music.   These not only introduce you to another artists 
fanbase but they live on another artists page   and are tied to you for years to come. But 
there’s an added algorithmic benefit, you end   up in the release radar and discover weekly of 
that artists and I have talked to the managers   of some larger artists who say this can help 
them more than getting on the biggest playlists   especially those artists who are regularly 
doing collabs.

But the benefits of this   doesn't stop at Spotify and YouTube. One of 
the things musicians seem to forget is that   the way Instagram and TikTok algorithms learn 
to recommend you is the algorithm looks at when   two at tags are mentioned together and when 
it happens regularly like when you play a show   or do a song with another artist the algorithm 
ranks how often this happens and then recommends   you to one anothers audience. This aside from 
some music genome methods the streaming services   have st the only way an algorithm knows to 
link you to other artists. Spotify radio is   just playing the artists most people who listen 
to that artist also listen to. And this is why   not being an island to yourself and regularly 
tagging and doing things with other artists helps   you grow.

So what does this mean practically
Doing features, collabs, and remixes as well as   split releases and making sure you tag properly 
on spotify and YouTube will link you there to   get you on Spotify radio playlists as well as 
Discover weekly and release radar playlists.
  Doing Music Plus Talk DJ sets or Radio shows 
and tagging the artists on Instagram and Twitter   can help those sites spread you. As well 
@messaging other artists and socializing on   Twitter can get you seen by their fans as Twitters 
welcome screen shows off the people they follow   and the most liked interactions. Now before you 
get any big ideas the key with these algorithms   is they work at a scale so messaging Drake 
and tagging him isn't going to tie you to him   but this right here is why knowing your community 
and doing this with artists who are just a bit   above you and are growing is key.

Which is why 
you need to really know your community. Which   brings me to
Find Community
  So in my video last week I went really long on 
why and how you find your community and use it   to leverage your fanbase so instead of getting 
into the details of that, I want to instead   show you how it plays with the other pillars of 
this. But let me put this into frame for you. I   just explained who knowing who the smaller artists 
in your community are is important these are the   people you should be doing collabs, remixes, split 
releases and features with, playing shows or even   tours but also putting them in your spotify artist 
playlists since this helps the algorithm think you   belong together as more people listen to you. The 
only way Spotify TikTok or any other algorithm   knows that you are similar is if the algorithm 
sees users who like you like the other artists   so doing as much research on your community 
shows you the artists that you should be creating   a connection map together soi the algorithm 
knows who to serve you to the fans of.

  But community work goes deeper, knowing where 
people in your micro genre, your local scene   etc congregate whether that's clubs, discord chats 
or subreddits is how you meet the people who open   doors for you and connect you to the right people. 
So often artists who get the most engaged people   in these online communities are often tomorrow 
tastemakers, playlisters or A&R at a cool label.   It allows you to know who is the best mixer 
or director in your price range. You need   to be taking time every single day to understand 
your community as it makes you a better artists,   student of the game and most of all 
those who reach out in their community   get propped up and this is how you get your first 
fans. But like I said I just went 20 minutes deep   on this last week and I am about to go 20 minutes 
more on it in the next week or two so just head to   the description and watch that video.

Authentic Story Driven Content
  So the other main pillar of this is how you 
connect with people when you show yourself   on social media, vlogs, interviews etc. The 
majority of musicians I talk to on a daily basis   have made social media far too complicated because 
they don't realize what they are actually seeing.   What appeals to an audience is not someone 
trying to be something they are not. We all   have authenticity radars that give us cringe the 
second we see something inauthentic and yet most   musicians talk to me as if they should be doing 
some performance that is not them. Thats not what   I see blowing up and making fans for artists. 
Here’s what is – Instead of thinking about   branding or imitating other people, think about 
your authentic thoughts and personality and how   you can display them on social media. Devote time 
each day to thinking about your most interesting   thoughts or traits of your personality and how 
you can use them to build relationships with fans.   The honesty and vulnerability you express in your 
music paired with doing that on social media is   what people actually latch on to, want to get 
to know you better and listen to your music.   So many times musicians think something is 
contrived or coached when really over and over   these days its just the musician being themselves 
for better or worse by being in the habit of any   time something interesting comes to mind or is 
happening they find a way to share it.

  The other thing musicians really make a mistake 
about what to do on social mediais they think they   have to be something they are not in order to be 
synergistic with their music which I also find to   be untrue. Phoebe Bridgers make some of the more 
sad and moody music yet her whole social media   personality is jokes. Many musicians who make 
playful music can be passionate about politics.   People want you to be yourself and often the depth 
of yourself not just being the person who makes   the music is the appeal.

Now with that said if 
your mood is a continuation of the music some of   the most powerful marketing can be accentuating 
the mood of your music with your music.   And so that's why what I see working is each day 
thinking how you tell your stories or thoughts in   an authentic way is what works. This even goes 
for what platforms you spend the most time on   as each of them have different forms of expression 
so choosing to go hard on two platforms like   Instagram and Tik Tok, you can go lighter on 
Twitter and Facebook just choose to really   go in on and keep a presence on the others
But note, you also need to remind people regularly   about your music by making those stories involve 
your music.

Just saying your song is out now is   the weakest sell of a song possible. Tell the 
story of how the song makes you feel or makes   others feel and you will see your song streams 
increase and if you are regularly telling people   this with an understanding of community you will 
build relationships with fans and grow their   relationships with them.
The Cheat Code Technique
  OK so the last pillar of how you grow in 2022 
is to understand the cheat code of your genre!   So I can't get super specific with this 
since each genre and even micro genre   has their own cheat code and what I 
mean by this is theres often a trick,   a practice or an aspect of music promotion you 
can focus on that will get you more fans if you   understand it.

Think of it this way – Right now 
hiring a radio campaign if you're a DIY pop artist   you may as well set the money on fire since 
there's no chance you'll ever get played unless   you create momentum and streams behind you first, 
but a moody indie artist doing this for college   rock and sirius can really be a small amount of 
money to spend for the gains you see and a total   cheat code.

If you’re making songs that sound 
like The Beatles and you're buying TikTok ads   one might be reminded that many of the people 
on TikToks parents werent even alive when the   Beatles were together. Each genre has a promotion 
or a marketing tactic specific to it that can lead   to explosive growth. Understand and research the 
cheat code technique of your genre and exploit   it as much as possible since if theres one thing I 
see over and over is I will hear “This artist blew   up from say TikTok, when I actually look under 
the hood I often see there was another ingredient   there helping explode their growth.

Its very rare 
an artists massive growth came from concentrating   one place it is often an accumulation of a few 
smart strategies and I just laid out the top lines   of those for you here.
  So let’s review really fast.To distill 
this video into a few small rules they   would be this and the more you follow these 
rules the more your music will spread
  Appeal to the algorithm by releasing a song 
every 1-2 months on Spotify and pitch it to   editorial playlists and then follow up by pitching 
to user playlists. Release a single screen video,   a lyric video and a music video for 
each to appeal to peoples attention   spans as well as YouTubes algorithm.
Learn and do community work everyday as   the time spent doing this sets you up for a 
greater understanding of what your should do   and finds the people who will elevate your music 
career. Whenever I speak to the artists who   really blew up without fail it was that their 
community lifted them up and their understanding   of this not that they bought a bunch of ads.
Create connections on social media and on Spotify   and YouTube between you and other artists 
who are similar to you that are equal   or just a bit bigger than you in size so the 
algorithm understands how to recommend you and   connect you to the fans of those artists.

Instead of thinking about branding or imitating   other people, think about your authentic thoughts 
and personality and how you can display them on   social media. Devote time each day to thinking 
about your most interesting thoughts or traits of   your personality and how you can use them to build 
relationships with fans on social media.
  Ok so this video here kinda sums up what we 
talk about on this channel, so if you enjoyed   it you better like, subscribe and get notified. 
I answer every comment down below so feel free   to let me know your questions. On the screen now 
is a playlist that links to all my videos on this   subject or you can go deeper on the subjects in 
this video How To get your music Noticed and How   To tell stories around your music. Keep going 
deeper and learn more. Thanks for watching!.

As found on YouTube

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