Unlike Kickstarter categories like video games, technology, or film, your band will not stand a chance if you launch without a pre-existing circle of influence. Learn the truth about Facebook fans and how to properly assess your circle of influence. This step is so epically important that we think it should be the first thing to consider when doing your pre-launch checklist.
DEBUNKING THE MYTH
MYTH: Facebook is the best way to build a fan base and communicate with my fans
Facebook is awesome for bands. You just have to understand it’s limitations so you can accurately assess your Circle of Influence which will allow you to determine your Kickstarter Goal amount which plays the most important role in you actually reaching your goal.
TRUTH: Email Marketing is ALWAYS Your Number One Priority as a Band, not Facebook or anything else
I realize I’m going against the grain by saying this, but do not underestimate email.
It is the foundation of everything you think is important right now like making music videos, doing cover song videos on YouTube, your sweet Twitter strategy, your stage costumes, photo shoots, logo, getting a ‘sponsor’ to wrap your van in huge decals, playing shows and writing music. That’s all secondary after building your email marketing plan.
I can’t stress enough that if you don’t have a mailing list building and marketing strategy that you stick to, then your chances of success decline by epic proportions.
Whether you want to be a YouTube star, get signed, or be a local hero, using email marketing as your first building block will accelerate your success with everything else you do.
No platform lasts forever. Myspace proved that. Were we able to export our Myspace fans when the site went black almost overnight? No. We lost that connection. We tried to get some of them back on Facebook or Twitter, but for the most part, we were starting over again.
Email is a direct, one-on-one relationship with your fans and you own your list. You can build that list over the course of your entire life and career and if you water it and feed it, it becomes stronger and stronger.
Facebook, Twitter, G+ and all future third party social platforms always become noisier, more distracting, and less useful over time. Always.
Golden Grenade’s attempt at building their mailing list
Golden Grenade was a brand new band. The drummer also played in an established band called The Clintons. Golden Grenade had a brand new, 100% fan funded album and wanted to use it as a temporary give-away in order to build their mailing list, which was currently at about 60 emails.
Attempt #1: Facebook Only
The Clintons had 7,000 Facebook Fans, Golden Grenade had 400 FB Fans, the three members of GG had a total of 1000 Facebook friends and a different member of The Clintons had 1800 friends. That’s a total of around 10k Facebook followers with a few hundred Facebook connections overlapping between all channels. Either way, that’s a big group of people to have direct access to on Facebook.
The two band pages and all four people began to post updates that included a Topspin email-for-media widget that would allow people to download the entire EP from their Facebook news feed just by putting in their email address. It’s probably the easiest way to do this that I’ve ever seen.
Attempt #1 Email Capture Results: One week of sharing across all FB channels = 18 new email sign-ups
What did we learn? Well, Golden Grenade is a new band that the people in this Circle of Influence had never heard of. That’s something to be considered. If the Circle of Influence was familiar with or even fans of this band, I’d expect to see much better results. Consider this when reading the Attempt #2 results.
Attempt #2: Email Only
The Clintons had 3500 people on their mailing list. Here’s the exact email I sent out:
It’s Levi. I wanted to thank you for helping Golden Grenade raise almost $12,000 which allowed us to record a no-compromise, 6 song EP in Nashville with the best in the business (including production credits of former Clintons bassist, Andrew Petroff).
I loved the way we made this GG record which actually gave me some ideas on how to approach the next Clintons record. I’m currently working on a short documentary of the entire experience of raising funds, recording our debut CD, and launching a new band. Look for that baby soon!
The whole experience has given me a lot of perspective on how amazing the last decade has been with The Clintons and it’s gotten me really pumped for future Clintons recordings and creative endeavors.
The list of Golden Grenade supporters has grown to include full rotation on Bozeman’s 95.1 The Moose and Phoenix mobile station KUKQ, as well as tv spots on Bozeman’s CW network (GG is the “face of the “CW” for 2012). If you can help extend this list, please do!
Everybody seems to be LOVING this record and I think you will too. I’ve made the entire EP free for you to download until Monday, May 21st (about a week from now). Go to http://goldengrenademusic.com/free to listen, download, and share. I’d love to hear your feedback!
Usually I’d keep it much shorter. There’s a lot of strategy going on with how I wrote this email, but that’s for a future post.
Attempt #2 Email Capture Results: Within two days of sending this email = 396 new emails!
What’s the overall take-away here?
Communicating through email fosters a one-on-one relationship with your fan. They’re 100% focused on the email, at least while they’re determining whether it’s worth the read. They feel more connected with you, and you wouldn’t have gotten their email address in the first place if they didn’t trust you.
Facebook is less personal, more noisy and spammy, and people are less trusting of links they click. Even more important is that you own your email list. Nobody is going to impart an “EdgeRank” algorithm that takes the control out of your hands.
Yes, your open rates will average 20 to 25% if you have an engaged fan base, you know how to write engaging headlines, and you only email with things your fans are truly interested in, but you can control and fine tune all of those things.
Email is the window into your fan’s soul. It’s the next best thing to playing a live show.
When you launch your band’s Kickstarter fundraiser, which would you prefer, 10,000 Facebook fans, or 3500 people on your mailing list?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!