We all have goals for our success. Growth is a part of that. When I talk with musicians (and entrepreneurs too) the focus they have on growth is reaching a zillion people today with their message, and gaining social media followers.
They want this kind of massive growth to happen overnight, and can get frustrated when the magic of audience building takes longer than clicking a button online. Here’s the thing: marketing for growth is a process, and it’s about relationship building and not anything else.
Three key places where musicians benefit from relationship building that brings ROI to your work is radio airplay, crowdfunding, and social media. Focus on building bridges and connecting with people in a real way to see real growth.
Relationship building and nothing else
Radio airplay is one way for musicians to get themselves in front of tons of new people that they didn’t have access to before. However, getting your song played 1 time on a station is a really low goal to strive for.
Look past that achievement and see what benefit you have. You get a song heard on a station and you’re introduced to let’s say 500 new people. Then the song is over and another song from a different band starts. Of those 500 people, how many people are going to look you up? On the first listen, less than 3% will take action.
That’s 15 folks, which is significant. But what if you could get more, not just more people reached total but a higher percentage of the total listeners engaged and looking you up? It’s a matter of building something other than a goal for radio airplay. This comes down to building bridges with radio stations and programs instead of just pitching your music.
When you submit your music for airplay, it’s easy to focus on just getting your song picked up. But think bigger.
If you build a connection with an individual, and can start a dialogue where you both provide something to each other that is mutually beneficial, you gain long term benefits. Which could include a radio interview, a CD giveaway, a blog review or showcase, and multiple songs spun a number of times in a concentrated period of time.
This is really powerful marketing because you get in front of a focused audience multiple times.
The more you can get in front of the same number of people in an engaging way, the higher percentage of people will connect with you. It’s scientifically proven:
According to salesforce.com it takes 7-10 touches for a person to convert from observer to buyer when it comes to products.
Music is no different. In the business community, people have to experience your product offering a period of times before you can build the trust offering to get them to buy. This is a matter of your messaging (marketing) building a relationship connection with the individual to lead them to spend their money.
With radio listeners, your desire to get them to buy your music comes into play here too. Getting them to follow your social channels and engage with you is the same thing. Add crowdfunding to that, where asking people to invest in your project comes down to a reciprocal connection.
How to build a relationship that brings return
As Robin Sharma writes in his best selling book The Greatness Guide “Ultimately business and life is about forging human bonds. Before someone will lend you a hand, you need to touch their heart. And that business is all about relationships.”
Helaine Olen of Inc Magazine’s piece in May 16 titled Spread the Wealth talks about how even asking for a loan from a bank is about relationships. If a bank, which has to use loans as a way to stay open, is still particular about operating their business from a relationship standpoint, how much more do we need to be in the creative space.
She writes that “You don’t want your conversation to be a once-a-year event, where it’s like you’re called into the principle’s office to beg for credit. Relationships matter.”
This is why friends can ask for gold but strangers can’t even give away free candy. When you know the person who is contacting you, and when you like this person, you’re willing to do much more for them than just what they ask. This begins by reaching out to someone and asking a question, showing them that you value who they are and what they do.
Think about it from their perspective. If you were emailed, tweeted, and contacted countless times everyday by people you don’t know, all asking you to do something for them, how would you feel?
On the flip side, if you were contacted by someone you don’t know but who addressed you by name, and talked about how much they enjoy the work you do, how it’s something they value, would you feel the same way about this person as you do the strangers who just want a handout?
No, it’d be the opposite. This is how you gain attention that leads to action. Attention alone is pretty worthless, because it’s so fleeting. An Empirical Study of Web Use, researchers determined that the average human span in 2013 was only 8 seconds (the average goldfish can pay attention for 9 seconds).
You can gain 8 seconds of attention or a friendship that will benefit you for years. Which would you rather have?
Put relationship building to work for your growth success
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