2017 will be the year your music career sees flames if you aren’t on social media. I’ve been preaching from the top of my soap box for years now about the importance of social media in building your career and now we’re starting to see the emergence of many more people who are using social media to get ahead.
I talk to a lot of people about social media marketing and I’ve had the privilege of building relationships with all sorts of great people. Some of these people tell me they don’t really do social media and it’s okay. I don’t really give them a hard time about it, but I do suggest they jump online and see where a larger presence takes them. More often than not they try it out for a few days and then tell me that it’s not for them. I wish I could go into some of the conversations I have with my contacts on my phone and show them the power of creating and cultivating an audience online. They’d be astounded at how close I am with some of these people that I’ve never even met. Some of the connections I’ve made online sometimes surpass the ones I forge when I’m in studio.
I’ve got some contacts in Cape Town (1000 kilometres away) that I speak to often. We’ve grown so close musically that we call and message often. We chop it up about all sorts of things and we provide value in each other’s lives. I know that all of this sounds a little corny and you’ll probably tell me that you have more than enough friends and I understand that, but if we talk about the 1000 true fans model then I’d say the method that I use is pretty solid. You need all the friends you can get. I’ll explain…
I’ve heard so many versions of the 1000 fan method that I figure a whole lot more people would be taking advantage of it than what I’m seeing at the moment. The theory says that if you require able to build a group of 1000 true fans that they can basically support your music hustle financially. If each person spends loads of time interacting with your content and gaining loads of value from it then each of those people eventually spends R500 on you and your brand a year, you essentially have R500 000 coming your way each year just because of your core fanbase.
“But Silas, not everyone is going to spend R500 on me”
Answer: That’s correct. We’re working with estimates here. Some people will spend R0 and some will spend R2000 – R5000 depending on how much value you are giving them. Your task is to grow very close to the core 1000. Let them into your world and develop one on one connections with them. Let them know you’re genuinely interested in what’s going on in their lives. It’s a lot of hard work and it is quite draining psychologically, but no one said building this life for yourself was going to be easy.
“But Silas, how do I create R500 worth of content a year”
Answer: What do you have as sellable content now? Do you have shirts? How about CDs? Do you have any skills that you could mesh with your music to create sellable content? When I looked at my situation, I realised that I enjoyed writing and teaching so I decided that I’d write an ebook and try sell it. It did way a better than I thought it would and I’m currently working on another. You need to create things around your music and your brand that people can buy into. Let them into your world.
“But Silas, I have 1000 people who are fans yet I don’t earn anything from them. They don’t spend on my content”
Answer: I’m not saying your first set of 1000 follows will support you. On the contrary, dear friend… your 1000 fans are going to be people who you know very well and people who know you very well. This process is really difficult to get right and you’ll hit a few snags along the way. There will be people who tell you they don’t want to be involved in what you’re doing and this is normal. Keep pushing and you’ll see that the true people will continue to follow you. I will stress that you need to have engaging content. If you’re boring and uninteresting then you won’t get to 1000 true fans. People need to resonate with what your saying. That’s when you can begin building that connection with them.
Using social media is free! I don’t know why people don’t take advantage of it. I really do love social media as a tool for communication. I try to be as social as possible on it but I also tend to use it to push music and business activities. If you are super serious about building your presence and building a base of 2000, 3000 or even 5000 true fans, start with the few people that vibe with your brand currently. Branch out as much as you can and build relationships that will eventually transcend into relationships that literally support your career.