Chapter 8 this week focused on creating a continuum program…now that we’re all up ons our social media output, it’s imperative to have a plan to keep all those dedicated fans we’re gaining through all our marvelous efforts engaged and continuing to support us! We read about the basic marketing principle of “the funnel” – something we’ve all taken part in, whether we were aware of it or not. Sounds familiar: having your interest in an artist peaked with a free download or video, then slowly spending more money to support the artist as you get to know them and their material more, and as your want to listen to their music and support their work grows . A few continuum program options that interest me:
Private gigs have been something I have been doing for a long time, though I have never advertised as such. A few times a year I will be asked to play at events, birthday parties, weddings, etc. Whenever I tour with my brother David Newberry, we are sure to add in a few private gigs for family and friends who are long time supporters. These are very special, intimate shows in local cafes, churches or living rooms. They are always full of warmth, laughter, and the best listeners a musician could hope for (see here for upcoming shows of mine, including private house shows in Montreal, Ottawa and Sutton!)
Special Events are a specialty of mine. I love me a good musical bash. Consider an annual special event officially added to my list of goals (that I am still revisiting frequently!). I also love the idea of artist critique/feedback as part of a continuum program – I had never considered this before. Question to you: would you be interested in attending a concert where you gave feedback on new material for an artist that you support? What are your thoughts on this as a fan/audience member?
Some of the other continuum program ideas (such as a merch or fan club) are interesting to me, and great ideas to add to the funnel to revisit down the road, perhaps after touring and releasing our CD. You have to make sure that you have quality material to promote, and a strong fan base to promote to before adding in those items.
Thoughts on fan funding: I have many, many colleagues and friends who have partaken in fan funding for music videos, upcoming albums, artist collectives, theater tours… I have donated when i can, and always been pleased with how successful these artists have been in reaching their goals. Yet I am still torn about the idea of fan funding, like many artists are. There is no doubt that most projects out there that I love have been funded, at least in part by parties other than the artist themself. With federal, provincial and private arts funding being cut more and more each year, it feels like often the only option is to ask the people who support you to support you even more. Which can also feel bad. How to get around these bad and guilty feelings of asking people for money and support? The most poignant point regarding fan funding was reading “It has to be a desirable experience for the fans; it’s about them”. Yes. To me, a funding campaign that gives back to the fan is inventive, unusual and witty – those are the things that make emotional connections, and are the things people want to share with each other. A really good funding campaign will campaign for itself! Much more so than offering a free T-shirt with a donation of X dollars. (Unless it’s a really, really great T-shirt. I mean, nothing beats out a super T).
An example of the best fan-finding campaign ever: Toronto songwriter Corin Raymond is currently funding his next album through donation of Canadian Tire Money. This campaign has gotten him recognized in online media, print and television. Corin blogs regularly featuring the best donations he’s received, and I regularly check up on his blog to see what kinds of crazy and beautiful things fans have sent to him along with money. Artists and fans are spreading the word as well, such as this group of BC musicians and fans did in a homemade video here, which itself had over 1,000 hits in a month. (…seems like campaigning in an interesting way on behalf of someone else’s campaign can help to boost your profile as well!)
So, the wheels will continue to turn regarding my thoughts on fan funding for the next album. (I’m lucky to have had a good part of my upcoming EP funded by a FACTOR grant – another huge learning curve for the ‘business side’ of music!)
In other news, I have been revisiting weeks 3, 4, and 7 as I continue to work on my website design and newsletter which won’t be officially launched for another month or so with the coming of the new album (but I’ll have a super secret sneak preview for you readers next week!)
Next Monday: The final chapter: Real Life Networking Tips.
Read your way through all of the blogs in the 9-week challenge:
WEEK ONE – One blog make one a blogger?
WEEK TWO – Presidential Pitches
WEEK THREE – Cheese or Font?
WEEK FOUR – Baby’s…got…Klout
WEEK FIVE – Video Killed the Radio Star
WEEK SIX – blogs from a diarist
WEEK SEVEN – No News isn’t Good News
WEEK EIGHT – Funnel of Love