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Unsigned Musicians - To Succeed in the Music Industry, Make Your Fans a Part of Your Story
By Mark Halsall
It is generally accepted that money is the best motivator, period. That is why so many sales jobs work on a commission basis. However, there is actually very strong scientific evidence proving that in many cases, feeling a part of an important cause is a stronger motivator than money. Participants in experiments consistently perform certain tasks worse when they are offered rewards of cash. However, a sense of belonging to a team, or of working towards an important or worthy goal effects better performance. Moreover, in the pure 'cash as motivator' model, once the cash has gone, so has all interest in, and loyalty to, the job.
Mark Halsall is the founder of MusiciansTogether - a video sharing site, just for
amateur and unsigned musicians He firmly believes that the community of musicians
there provides an excellent launching platform for artists trying to make it in
the music business.
So what has this got to do with someone trying to make it in the music business? Well, artists and bands are falling into a similar trap if they rely entirely on the quality of their music. If the music is good enough, goes the argument, people will buy it. But this simply isn't true. Even if the music is exceptional, the chances of getting anywhere with it nowadays are very slim. Bands need to provide extra and/or better motivation to potential fans. Just as the cash won't buy better compliance and loyalty from an employee, the music by itself won't buy loyalty and longevity of support from fans. Instead, bands need to make the fans a part of their story - make them feel a part of a greater cause.
An artist or band can make the fans feel a part of their story simply by being open and accessible instead of arrogant and stand-offish. It is amazing how many acts fall into this trap. They think that by being inaccessible and distant they are creating attractive mystique. The opposite is true - they usually appear distant and arrogant, pushing fans away. Mega-stars might be able to get away with this, but not up-and-coming acts. Letting fans become a part of the cause of propelling an act to stardom simply makes them feel important - that they matter. It has the potential of turning every fan into an evangelist.
Also, just like the employee loses interest when the money is gone, a fan engaged merely on the strength of the quality of music might abandon an artist or band if they bring out a bad track or album. The fan that feels a part of a greater cause will not only stick around but will defend the act and even make excuses for them!
If you are an unsigned musician, here are a few things you can start doing straight away to make fans feel a part of your story:
• Regularly thank and praise fans on your social media, for buying your album
or for coming out to a show.
• Include biographical information on your website emphasizing humble beginnings,
lack of equipment, opposition, etc.
• Regularly talk about how fans inspire you to carry on/get better.
• Reply to fans' comments/ praise on sites your songs and videos are on.
• Run fan competitions, or offer to cover a song of your fans' choice.
Start being creative in ways of making your fans feel that their effort and support are the deciding factors in whether you are successful or not. If you do, you may well find that their enthusiasm and dedication really does carry you to far greater success.
Additional Articles by Mark Halsall
The Independent Music world has become so fragmented that anyone entering into this arena will be lost without
having a chance of survival. What every independent musicians needs is information, understanding and a
path that leads to success. Sure, you can buy a few books from authors that never played a note or loaded
a single amp into a moving van. Pipe dreams are all over the Internet.
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