Blogging Til I Win a Grammy: Day 1,376

Post #73 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE

I am experiencing lots of drama lately and this week I have decided I need to move out of the house I’ve been living in for the last couple of years.  This is kind of a last-minute thing, and it’s obviously going to take up most of my time this week.

Nonetheless, I am adding people to my MailChimp account, my texting list, and doing all my regular weekly promotional activities.  These include the above 2 tasks, sending out a MailChimp mass e-mail, posting on Facebook & Twitter at least once a day (artists should really post 3x/day, but the posts have to meet a few criteria in order to be effective, like a photo, a link, and it needs to be SHORT, SWEET, and TO THE POINT), and making sure upcoming gigs for the next two weekends have been e-mailed (or snail-mailed) posters so they can promote on THEIR end.  And, of course, adding to my blog; my Grammy Blog (very important now that the 2013 Grammy Awards are coming up soon)!

This would be the BARE MINIMUM of what needs to be done every week.  Are you doing this stuff?

The ONE THING you can do every week to advance your career is making sure you are reaching out to your fans with NEW information.  As long as you are present in their minds, you will have a better chance of getting them to come see you again soon, and perhaps bring a friend next time.  But don’t be a pest.  Reaching out to your fans once a week is the limit.  Unless there is some huge breaking news that warrants an additional e-mail that week… and CAN’T wait until next week.  More than once a week WILL turn people off.  Believe me, I get PLENTY of people unsubscribing every week, and I NEVER send out more than once a week.  But I always get more subscribers than unsubscribers each week.  This is becuase I ACTIVELY go up to people in the bars I play at – every show – and ask them -nicely, not aggressively- if they’d like to be on my mailing/texting lists.  (And I let them know I have CDs available!)  When someone says, “No,” I just SMILE and say… “Ok, but thanks for listening… maybe next time!”

I think most of us are used to getting an e-mail in our in-box once a week from whatever we’re interested in/subscribed to.  And it’s good that people unsubscribe when they do.  Thats means they didn’t really care about you.  And you don’t want those people on your mailing list!  You only want people who CARE.

The key thing here is to present something NEW to your fans with each weekly e-mail.  That’s why my e-mail on any given week will ONLY reach those people who live in the towns where I or ABVC has an upcoming gig in the next 2 weekends.  Unless there’s something that fans everywhere would be interested in, like a big show opening for a huge musical act, a review in Rolling Stone or Revolver Magazine, or a new CD Release.

OK, so you you don’t have new shows to announce every weekend, or any news to report?  Make sure you have SOMETHING to report to ALL of your fans all over the world at least twice a year.  Or you’ll quickly fall off the face of the earth in their minds.  The last time I sent out a Mailchimp to my entire list of 1,690 subscribers (and this grows every week, of course,) was kind of a creative one: It was a call for my fans to partake in Small Business Saturday (which was just a little over a week ago) – reminding them that local artists & musicians are in that Small Business category!  It included links to where folks can purchase ABVC CDs and songs online.  The time before that was when I was up for an award… as a finalist for the Best Female Vocalist for the Shepherd Express.  I believe that my fans everywhere CARE about this stuff.  Or, they never would have signed up to be on my mailing list, right?

What “news” would be considered to be “irrelevant” or not warranting a mass e-mail?  NOTHING.  Because it’s all RELATIVE.  If you’re a new band with not much going on except that right now you’re rehearsing a few new songs to add to your repertiore, that might be the only thing to report, but it’s SOMETHING.  A new song you started working on is news!  (Some artists don’t put out new material for years.)  Would I mention that in my mass e-mail?  No.  It’s already kind of filled up with other things that I feel might be more “newsy” for my fans.  If they come see us a few times, they already know that ABVC is always writing new songs and adding them to the shows.  Getting this great review from Kellie Levans, Milwaukee Rock Music Examiner, is more “newsy” for fans of ABVC:  http://www.examiner.com/review/annie-b-the-vagabond-company-more-than-music

Get it?  When I first started promoting the very first band I played in, I came up with any excuse to reach out to my fans to get them to care about my music & my band.  And sometimes, it was reaching.  But it worked.  They actually cared!  And I added a lot more humor to the e-mails.  The e-mails had more anectodal stuff.  For instance, you can share the experience you had at your most recent photo shoot… and how the photographer had to handle a special circumstance or situation that made for a challenging photo shoot!  Your fans will be excited to be able to connect with you when they mention that photo shoot when they see you at your next show, and you can tell them a little more about it, genuinely connecting with them.

The anecdotal stuff is always good, because your fans like to know that you’re a real, living, breathing human being that experiences life a certain way.

That’s it for today.  Gotta get back to packing!  Thanks for reading!!

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