An article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal prompted this blog. I’m always searching for innovative ways for DIY musicians to grow their fan base. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again and again: the internet has created unprecedented opportunities for all entrepreneurs whether you’re a merchandiser, an artist, a chef, a homeowner, a sculptor…as long as you’ve got something the public consumes, there’s a broader audience to be reached than ever before.
Today I read about four businesses whose models depend solely on internet interaction and the needs of like-minded people: Feastly, Airbnb, Blablacar, and Dogvacay. Feastly is a site for people in various cities that love cooking and sharing food with others. The cook posts their menus (time, place, etc.) and responders dine in the chef’s home for a fee. It’s a great way for people who are interested in particular foods to meet and sample new culinary offerings. Airbnb is a space you can list or find a room/apt., etc. for rent, often times for much less than a hotel stay. I was super impressed with the offerings on this site. There are some unique places here that otherwise could not be found by the general public. I’m going to use this site the next time I travel to a major city! Dogvacay is a place to find a sitter for your dog as opposed to boarding them at a kennel and Blablacar is a place for people who want to share transportation costs to get together: virtual carpool planning for all sorts of occasions…you’d be surprised!
So this new ‘share economy’ as it’s being called sparked a new idea. What if DIY’ers combined the house party concept with the share economy concept to increase their fanbase. It would work something like this:
Musicians and artists hold ‘a music share’ in their homes. Artists invite other artists in the same genre to share their music, beats, etc. in front of an audience in your home. For example: You invite 5 people in your genre to perform at a music share (of course include yourself). Each performer would bring 2 friends (or however many your space can hold). You have 5 artists and 10 guests = 15 people that have never been exposed to your music in a friendly (face to face is best!), free environment that are exposed to your music. Other artists will be eager to respond in hopes of gaining new fans of their own. It’s a win-win.
But wait…there’s much more. Let’s assume that you have samples of your music to give away, perhaps 2 CD’s to each guest so they have one to give to friends. And of course, you’d have business cards and info about upcoming performances, etc. This is a fabulous opportunity to meet and interact with potential fans on a level that can’t be reproduced anywhere else. Now let’s say that you do this on a regular basis…let’s say once a week. Every week you are exposing yourself to 15 new fans (using our example above). In the course of a year, that’s 780 potential new fans. Let’s say you do it twice a month and double your audience capacity each time or once a month and triple it…it’s up to you. Then all of these folks will join your email newsletter list, join you on Facebook, Twitter, etc. but the best part is: you’ve created a reason for people to talk about you and spread the word about your cool new sound. WORD OF MOUTH is still the most effective way to create new fans. In the age of digital overload, especially in music, the importance of face to face interaction with fans cannot be overstated. The music share model can also lead to collaborations between artists. You could hold a music share to bring lyricists together with composers…vocalists together with beat makers…the possibilities are limitless.
The downside to this is that there isn’t a website dedicated to a music share…hopefully this will resolve itself soon. In the meantime, it’s vital that you expand your social media presence so you can invite various artists to participate in a music share through Facebook invitations, etc. When creating an invite for a music share, make sure you only invite the number of musicians/artists you can accommodate. For each music share you have, you’ll invite completely new artists. But remember to keep these artists in your genre! If you’re a country performer, you may not gain new fans by inviting metal artists to your music share.
If you need help conducting a music share – let’s setup a consultation. The price of a music share is free and the benefits could be priceless! Share your experiences with me – I’d love to hear about them. And don’t forget – take lots of pics and viddy at your music shares to post on your social media sites! Your new fans will be excited to ‘share’ their experience with friends. Pics and viddy rule social media, don’t forget them