Hey Friends -
Welcome to the Artist Development Newsletter.
Every Sunday, I send an email providing actionable tips for artists and industry on one area of the music business.
Last week we learned about using a “Later List” to keep track of your ideas.
You can re-read last week’s newsletter here if you want to refresh.
Today we will walk through 5 Tips For Turning Your Time Into $.
Let’s get into it.
Monetizing music through digital platforms is no longer an impossibility but a realistic reality for many musicians.
But if you’re like most aspiring artists, the path to success can seem unclear.
You’ve probably been bombarded with conflicting advice, big promises, or maybe you are discouraged by your fear of failure.
In today’s Artist Development Newsletter, I will share five tips I’ve learned through my journey to monetize music.
Tip 1: Creating in public generates massive attention
Let’s say you write a new song, record it, and are ready to release it into the world.
There are two ways to approach this from day 1 -
You can do all of this behind closed doors, or you can invite everyone along for the ride.
You can start telling the audience about your music when you want their money or bring your audience with you as you work through the daily grind of writing, recording, and releasing your music so they become invested like you are.
Share each day’s wins and losses, metrics, etc.
Soon, casual followers will become invested in your story.
Once you get them engaged, they’ll want to know how the story ends.
Somewhere along the way, they’ll become fans of your hustle.
Both approaches will yield results, but creating in public can turn a passive fan into a forever fan, and forever fans want to support you with their hard-earned $.
Tip 2: Accessibility equals word-of-mouth
When I look around the digital artist landscape, I see many people with small audiences who don’t engage with their fans or comments and live behind a virtual paywall.
The trust and nurturing needed to get someone to buy a CD or a t-shirt from your website is high.
$35 for a tee shirt + shipping isn’t cheap.
Engage in the comments, write a weekly update to your fan club, and give people a reason to support you.
You are the story's narrator, and you need to give your fans something to grab onto.
Consistent FREE engagement with your audience will result in incredible word-of-mouth and eventually $ in your pocket.
Tip 3: Social proof drives success
When artists promote their products, they always see a spike in sales. This is great for a discount around a holiday or when you’re hyping a new drop, BUT the best promotion is when you can point to a fan loving your music or merch in real life.
Keep an eye on social media and DMs for your best fan photos and videos.
Once per week, share a simple post or DM from a happy fan.
You’ll see that product sales go up x3.
The good word of your fans will always convert at a much higher rate than your own.
When you see them, share them!
If you do this 4x a month, you’ll see spikes in sales you can begin to count on in your yearly financial projections.
Tip 4: 80/20
When promoting your music or merchandise, you must ensure you give a lot of free content and engagement between your calls to action.
Recommended Posting Cadence:
- Instagram 5x per week
- YouTube Shorts 5x per week
- TikTok 5–10x per week
- Facebook 5x per week
- Twitter 10x per week
The golden rule to be effective is to ensure that you give free value 80% of the time and promote 20% of the time or less.
If you want other people to promote what you’re doing, you must ensure you’re promoting yourself and your music too.
Tip 5: Keep It Simple
You don’t need an elaborate scheme to get fans to follow your story and support your music.
You just need to be consistent with the four tips listed above.
If you emphasize letting fans be a part of your story, engage with them along the way, celebrate their love and support, and give more than you ask, you’ll be well on your way to building a lasting audience of forever fans.
See you next Sunday!
PS — I’ve added a couple of mini E-Books to the website.
They are free, so grab them!
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