Everyone can see that their favorite artists do a ton of things that keep them top of mind for their fans. But when most DIY artists attempt to replicate this they make crucial mistakes. Many people don’t get there’s a method and some organizational tips to keep fans engaged with you so you constantly grow and continue to accelerate how fast that growth happens. So in this video I am going to explain what this looks like and how it affects algorithms and human attention spans. 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.
So I wanted to update one of my videos that didn’t get the most views but has been consistently one that people have told me is one of the most helpful that I’ve made. Its amazing how many artists get intimidated about doing the work to promote their music because they imagine that it is going to be so much work and they really make a mountain out of a molehill and I don’t want to belittle that since it‘s a good deal of work but most of the time when I hear how much work its going to be it before an artist has done it — its an exaggerated hallucination of a mountain that forgets that once you are doing this work regularly it gets easier and easier and once you get past the pain point (a concept I will talk about in a few minutes) the rewards come in and keep you more motivated.
And I know many of you also get concerned since so many people are vying for your potential fans attention but the good news is people have many favorite artists and what I’m going to show you is the technique that artists use to capture fans attentions, keep them thinking about them and make outsiders see your name and then discover your music. This method has been in my book Get More Fans which is taught in a dozen universities to music business majors, and I learned it from publicists for big indie and major artists who have been doing it for even longer than that and once you get it you’ll see it in many of your favorite artists when they are in the phase where they are building their following before they are cemented as a huge artist as it’s been used by nearly every artist in the book.
While many things on this channel are my own ideas creations, this is truly an idea that I feel like is gatekept in the meeting rooms of top artists that doesn’t make it to the DIY musicians.
Its the idea that the way you keep fans’ eyes glued and call attention to yourself to get new fans is to maximize the attention economy by doing something small every other week and something big on the weeks that skips. Now these will all be eventful things but as we know in marketing some events are bigger than others and as you follow artists on social media you can easily tell things like a show or an interview is not made as big a deal of as say a new song, album or tour drop.
Those are the major events, so I am going to show you how to use those to maximize attention but lets really discuss why this all works so you can get why we’re going to do all this boring work and while we are on the subject of boring lets talk PLANNING! So this dude Warren Buffet is the kinda guy that finance bros in khaki pants used to have man-crushes on before they discovered their hair plug donning king Elon Musk once said this really great quote “An idiot with a plan can beat a genius without a plan” and truly I cant think of much better quote that explains the way the music business works since many musicians are often truly absolute morons but that person on their team with a plan helps take that raw idiot charisma that happens to have some musical prowess and that plan brings us the idiots we all cant stop watching in the music world each day.
CSP So the other thing aside from a plan is to know the cheat code to music promotion today and the main cheat code for making algorithims like you as well as making humans think about you all the time, so then when they’re hanging with their friends they recommend you and then your fanbase continues to grow is CONSISTENT SUSTAINED PROMOTION and if youve been around this channel for a while you probably are thinking youve heard this one before but trust me its been 14 months since I’ve really gone deep on this one and I have heard a lot of comments on it in that time so I got a bunch to add to make the picture more clear.
So when some of you discuss CSP online grab on to one of its main features which is the release plan of releasing your song along with a video of just its album cover, then two weeks later releasing a lyriuc video or a visualizer and then two weeks later a music video and then two weeks later and this one is optional to release an alternate version and then you start again with a new song and repeat and keep growing and calling attention to yourself. I don’t want to bore everyone so if this is intriguing click on the video on the screen now or in the description below click on the video titled my release strategy. So this is the main pillar of CSP since in this day and age you need to feed an audience eventful things so they stop and pay attention to you and humans attention spans naturally gravitate towards who is doing eventful things since psychologically we think we need to know who is doing interesting things in order to bond with others.
Trust me this is what people like Kanye or Donald Trump take advantage of and why they never shut up and when you see this bloated fool whop used to make good music before rotting his brain hell have his new girlfriend do 10,000 interviews while he buys a house across from his ex-wife and asks for her back on stage. This is the same technique but just what it looks like when you’re selling attention because you have so many products in the world that any attention on you is monetizable.
You an unknown artist don’t have that so people won’t care when you do all this stupid garbage so you need to do what your potential fans fo care about, making music they will form a lasting and meaningful relationship with. Then you two can act like an obnoxious fool in public and have it generate streams and sales of your stupid looking shoes. Consistent But we should talk about the ingredients to consistent sustained promotion and the first crucial part of this is is consistency – the number one thing I hear from musicians about this is their favorite artists don’t release music this constantly so why do they have to???
? Just like our friend we just discussed Ye – Your favorite musicians already have a platform and most likely they built it when the rules of the game were different have to work at making the thousands if not millions of people hear about what they are doing so that takes a lot longer.
You do not so you have to show people you are someone to pay attention to and that person is someone who is always feeding them. You know how all the advice for YouTubers or podcasters is how we have to post weekly and for TikTokers its 3x a day. Well for musicians who are on the rise this is what you need to do, this is the clip and that’s the consistent part.
And of course I am asked about releasing more than that but any more than once every 4 weeks I strongly feel does not have the same effect as you become an artist who cries wolf releasing songs so often no one believe you when you say its great you just become someone making noise not showing that you have put out something you pout extraordinary effort into since part of the human attention span is today that with all the s**T throw at us we have to decipher what’s extraordinary and what’s noise and decide what gets our time.
Continually pushing your song and showing you put a lot of time into it and telling stories around it gives that impression. Putting out a song every week shows you are throwing S*it at the wall to see what sticks. But lets talk about why consistency matters so much 1. When you’re doing eventful things people keep seeing your fans share your name constantly, or see it posted in a discord or reddit enough that it becomes familiar.
When you’re inconsistent they forget about your name and are less likely to cross the curiosity gap and investigate further. When you are consistent and keep fans addicted to you by doing music’s purpose which is making a fan feel a way theyd rather be feeling they keep thinking about you and you stay top of mind to tell friends about, support. When you stop feeding their addiction to you on a regular basis they look for someone else to make them feel a way theyd rather feel and focus on them.
Consistency matters! AD But lets also focus on this since its important you make a good impression if you get a fan to cross that curiosity gap and learn about you what most music fans do once they want to bridge the curiosity gap and learn about an artist is often click on the link in their social media profile which probably means its a good time to tell you about the sponsor of this video Koji who offers what I considser the best experience for a fan to have when they want to learn more about you.
I find their link in bio to be better than most websites for clicking around and getting to know what an artist has going on and this is because Koji is a link in bio app store for Creators, it offers a free to use, free to customize link in bio platform and is truly the best link in bio for musicians. I mean just look at these profiles they look amazing and that call be done FOR FREE! But here’s the thing you have probably seen ones like linktree but Koji has this app store where you can do amazing experiences for fans to get to know you, interact with them, build relationships AND EVEN MAKE MONEY.
And I wanna say these are not IOS apps – nothing to download – these are LINK IN BIO apps that live on the link in your bio on ALL your socials 24/7 So let me show you a few that I find to be amazing for music marketing. The first is EMAIL COLLECTOR – which gives you a way to easily collect emails and own your audience – no more sending fans 4 or 5 clicks deep into a website to get their email.
Once they’re subscribed to your newsletter you’ll be able to stay on their minds daily or weekly with marketing messages and other content directly into their inboxes.Then There’s LINK LOCKER – which you can use to change for livestreams or any other content where you will give a fan a link after they pay. There’s so many cool possibilities for this one and I am really excited to use it for marketing idea I have for a campaign soon As well, heres this super cool app called RARES -which is your own personal (non-sexual) OnlyFans right on your link in bio.
The fans who pay can get access to the content you make behind the paywall so you can profit off your most passionate fans who want to hear from you all the time while not over posting on your socials. And lastly DARE U – run lip sync contests, cover contests, dance contests etc on your link in bio as organic marketing campaigns for your single or album.
This is such a cool way to get your fans building relationships with your songs, getting more addicted to them and encouraged to make content that spreads your music which is what so much of this video has been about so you should REALLY start here so go learn more and get your own free koji link in bio page for your tiktok, insta and Twitter page head to the description or to withkoji.com that w i t h k o j i dot com OK back to TikTok.
Sustain So obviously the second ingredient is sustaining this. So many of you suffer lapses in momentum and we have to remember what you’re trying to do here is create an impression on people who are hearing about you and whether that’s a potential fan who has a friend who shares your new song whenever you releases one on to if some blog is covering you or a playlist that adds each new track you put out. If you aren’t doing this for months on end and having your potential fans hear about you on a regular basis you are less likely for them to bridge the curiosity gap and find out who you are or for that matter even remember you even if they liked you before as people pay attention to the artists who regularly remind them about you.
So how long do you need to sustain this? On average 9 months is when anyone sees any real growth, it is music business common law that promoting an album for 9 months is the minimum that is going to make it an eventful record people hear from an artist that isn’t already established. But for many new artists that are using CSP it can be 18 months of CSP releasing singles before they do an album, headlining tour, and start to see themselves at now doing the post 10,000 fans platform stage. So lets remember it only takes 6-8 songs a year to fill up that entire calendar year. But its important to understand that sustaining it is important since no matter how good you are it takes months and month of people seeing your name.
Its so funny when someone puts out one of those songs or albums that is considered classic in a genre, what we all see is it takes around 9 months to a year before they really peak and have everyone aware of what they are doing and you have to remember that to that sustaining this for a while is the only way people keep hearing your name and finally bridge the curiosity gap to find out who you are and then hopefully become addicted to your music.
But truly so many of you fail because you don’t plan and create months of content before you start releasing music so you’re ahead on all of this. The Pain Point But we really should discuss how often most of you don’t get to ever sustain your promotions since in the past two years boy do I hear about this a lot and I think its what discourages a lot of you. I mean its crazy how some of you will say “I am doing DSP and put out my single last week and it isn’t working, which makes me wonder did you look up the word sustain. So you know how you always see this graph when people are talking about growing a fanbase.
I want to talk about this time period right here which I call the pain point. Your numbers aren’t really going up, you are just getting songs out and if you are following what I tell you which is to save your best material for a few songs into your release cycle so that the other songs will help build you an audience and set up your best material for success and if you don’t know what Im talking about and why you constantly see your favorite artist put out a good but not their best song first when they launch their record, well you should probably watch my video on focus tracks and building momentum with each song released.
Anyhow, so you’re at the pain point youve not yet put out your song that most people will be susceptible to liking and will probably give you accelerated growth. In addition to that you’re not seeing huge gains in your fanbase and worst of all youre working REALLY HARD you’re learning all this new software that’s intimidating and gives you massive ego depletion and no ego depletion doesn’t mean when your significant other tells you your songs trash in order to keep you watching 90 Day Engagement Disaster or whatever on the couch with them, ego depletion is that every unfamiliar task drains us and theres only so many draining things we can do in a given day before we are drained and exhausted.
And this important because the pain point is filled with this, making lyric videos, doing graphics having to reach out to artists who don’t write you can are some of the most ego depleting things I can think of.
But here’s the thing IT GETS BETTER after 2-3 songs those aren’t draining activities any longer they are tools you use to be creative and just things that are a part of your daily routine IF YOU SUSTAIN AND GET PAST THE PAIN POINT. Remember when you were learning your instrument or your DAW how annoying it was at first but once you got good you are a creative functioning person who gets that thing to make the sounds in your head.
This all gets easier and easier and trust me as someone who barely ever edited a video until 2 years ago when I started this channel which I now do EVERY WEEK it got better but the beginning was a pain point that made me want to polish off a bottle wine and swan dive off my apartments roof. But now that I am past that this is a creative place I have fun make jokes and learn how to do cool and interesting things, I mean hell I wanna direct and make a documentary now and this is how you will feel if you get past the pain point ESPECIALLY if you start seeing those numbers going up. You feel empowered and inspired And here’s the even better news dawg – While you were getting good at all this you were practicing and you’re now ready to release your real bangers of songs you have the hang of it all have learned some lessons and can do right by your best material.
LOOK AT THAT HAPPY ENDING! ITS LIKE WERE IN A ROM COM and I guess that makes me the dreamy male lead.
Eventful So the last concept we have to discuss is being eventful. Eventful moments for your music are promotions that actually make your fans or potential fans stop and give you the attention you’re requesting that they would then tell someone else about. So when we talk about doing something eventful were literally just talking about doing things people would turn to a friend and tell them about.
When you are designing these events for your marketing theres a simple question to ask yourself what is the thing you can do that will get the most people telling their friends they have to look at it so they will discover your music. The more the even comes with hearing your song and hopefully turning the fan into an addict who is interested in paying attention to you the more worthwhile the event is.
And truly the way I always engineer these is I just ask myself what Id like to see a musician do and reverse engineer from there. While a song isn’t that eventful these days for your fans it is and we have to remember that event when you have fans is how word spreads about you. But if you’re not connecting why this is important, think of it this way, when you do eventful things it keeps you top of mind to your fans, it gives them a reason to reshare your content, to tell friends about you and gives them conversation points to talk about you on discords and get more people to know about you and the most interesting and eventful these are the more people hear about you.
This is why musicians spend money coming up with crazy marketing ideas is it serves the purpose of starting conversations and that’s how people connect with one another and it becomes a tool for your fan base growth. Planning Tutorial But you’re probably wondering why was I going on and on about planning over ten minutes ago, so lets get into that. First make a list of all the songs you have and put them in the order you’re going to release them.
Then lets make a list of smaller things you have to promote like say an alternate version like a feature, a remix BTW videos or playthrough, tour videos, contests or a major interview your gonna do that’s going to unveil a lot of your story. On the screen now you can see one I made for Incel Hypebeast who is of course my fake persona I use for videos on this channel.
So once you have all these potential events you can start laying them out. So I have them listed as big events and small events and that is how we will distribute these every other week for a year. As you can see the big events are songs and video releases. The smaller events are behind the scnes video, playthroughs, perhaps doing an alternate version feature or remix which really could also be a big event too, it can be the drop of an interview or a blog of a collab that you did with another artist. It can be a content like incel hypbeast can have a contest to stand on the supreme line with him.
And let me emphasize here the key here is to just make them things fans would talk about and tell other people that would get them excited to hear what you did and go deeper with you. As long as that pasts the test you’re good to go. So you go on your plan and you make each event a focus for each week of the year. And you will promote this thing during that week in addition to your story telling and if you don’t know what I mean by that be sure to watch my video on it which is linked now or in the description on all the posts you can make on social media in addition to these events.
So now that we have all these events listed its time to put them on a calendar.
But if you look on the screen now you can see this on the calendar as you can see the small events happen one week then the big event happens the week after abnd youll make posts about each of them for the weeks after and try to make sure these events get the attention they deserve and lure potential fans in. I am sure some of you are exhausted and wonder how you can do all this but remember even your favorite artists get ahead often by 3-6 months and have all this content done ahead of time so on weeks when they say have covid or are heartbroken the content machine keeps running and they keep growing.
Honestly I know a few labels that won’t even give a release date until 6 months of this is turned in. The last ingredient to this is community outreach meaning you need to know your community and make them aware of what you’re doing and truly THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK HERE AFTER MAKING GREAT SONGS AND DOING ALL THIS. If you ??know what I mean please watch the playlist on the screen now.
And heres a nice thing If you do this work youll know youve done everything you could to promote your song.
But I will also be honest with you the commitment of doing this will grow your creativity like a muscle and you will be better at everything you do and know you did right by your music. This is what you can do to feel empowered and in control of building your fanbase. OK on this channel this is the type of stuff we discuss so if you’re interested in that you should definitely like, subscribe and most of all get notified so you don’t miss crucial videos that will help you level up on building a fanbase. I answer every comment below that doesn’t ask____ So if you have a question hit the comments.
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