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The Secret To Building A Following On The Internet

by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan
08/09/2016

File Under: Booking and Performing Live, Making Money With Music

Over at Digital Music News, there was an excellent article about how singer/songwriter Clare Means doubled her income. She started out just playing live nearly every day at Santa Monica Pier. The breakthrough happened last September when she decided to Periscope her performances by leaning her phone against her tip jar and broadcasting.

Now, of course, she didn't have any online followers to start, but since she played almost every day, she just kept streaming. And each day more followers tuned in. Within three months she had 1000 followers and was getting attention from other media who started to mention her. And, since she used a tip application like Paypal.me, her street donations were supplemented by her online donations. Today she has 34,000 online followers.

Clare Means story teaches some valuable lessons about generating multiple sources of income, and marketing, but at the heart of this is the secret to building a following: consistency.

If content is king, consistency is queen. Consistency means releasing regularly scheduled content. This works because of two facts of brain chemistry. One is that our brains are literally wired to give us a dopamine hit when we get new information. The internet feeds this circuit since it's constantly delivering new things to see, read, or listen to. This is one of the reasons why we spend so much time glued to screens. The other is that we are creatures of habit. If you stream your performances at the same time every week, some fans will make a habit of watching. If you release a song every week, your fans will look for the new songs on your release day.

Want to take advantage of this?

Start breaking up your music releases into singles and EPs. Create remixes and alternate versions. Then create a schedule and release your music throughout the year, which also helps with streaming sites, as it says in the EM Master Class How to make Spotify Work For You. Thirteen songs -- an album's worth of music -- can be scheduled to come out every 3 weeks. Twenty-six songs gets you a song every other week. And, if you're really productive, 52 songs will allow you to release a song each week. The internet rewards consistency. And consistency will help build you a fanbase.

A similar trend happened to the Brobdingnagian Bards when they started out. They would perform in a park four days a week. Eventually, after a year of consistently playing, they built a following with over 100 people showing up regularly to hear them. By the time they played their first gig, they sold out their show, and were able to quit their jobs and spend the next 10 years performing.

These things start small -- it's about doing just one thing at a time -- but if you stay persistent and consistently release music (or videos), you'll build an audience. Once you've established this, use your PR campaigns to market and bring people to your body of work. When you do this, your music becomes your marketing and grows your your fanbase.

Challenge: Don't just release an album! Consider splitting your music up into singles or EPs. If you can release your music on a regular schedule, you'll be able to use this method to hook your fans one release at a time.

Related:

#consistency #releasestrategy #playinglive #marketing #pr

Photo credit: Joel Bez


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