Perhaps the biggest factor of my own success as a musician, is the people that support me regularly.
There are a few hundred folk who love what I share with them, and who go out of their way to send me positive words, buy my music (live and online), and have a laugh on social media.
Some of these folk found me online. Others I met through friends and neighbors, but most of my regular fans grew from attending live concerts.
I hope you are one of them – if not now, then soon!
And according to my last few Annual Reader Surveys, there is actually one thing I do that keeps my fans engaged, interested, and coming back for more.
- It is more than just sharing great live music.
- It is more than just sharing my ideas and thoughts about performing.
- It is more than than just giving glimpses of my sparkling personality
(if you know me well, you will sense the sarcasm in that last statement!)
Perhaps it may be obvious to you, or it may not be, but the reason I consistently grow a solid core of SPB Groupies is because of my email newsletter. That’s right. My newsletters. Not the articles I write, the little booklets I put together, nor the concerts I produce or the music I write. It’s the newsletter that keeps us all together, talking about how to share live music with others.
I have been distributing newsletters via email for about a decade now, and have found there are three aspects to my newsletters that seem to work. Little tweaks here and there continue to be made, and experiments and tests are at the forefront of each publication, but these three elements consistently prompt regular email openings and clicks on links within the newsletter.
It has become vital for me to send an email newsletter at the same time on the same day each week. Two of the organizations I head up send monthly newsletters, but my personal email list receives some sort of communication every week. Such regularity portrays consistency and reliability. Some people look forward to reading what I have to share, and on the occasion my email newsletters is a few hours late (usually on purpose), I actually receive emails asking if everything is OK.
People like consistency. They rely on those who regularly stay in touch with them. Does it matter how often and when? I don’t think so. My newsletter has been distributed on Tuesdays, Saturdays, Thursdays, mornings, noon, and evenings. For me, the best time seems to be Friday mornings – right before the weekend when people are deciding what to do with their leisure time. Many of the newsletters I subscribe to send a newsletter every day, or each weekday. Some are at 7am, others at 4am. One is at 10:37am every Tuesday – right before many people take a mid-morning coffee break!
Regardless of what you hear, you should experiment and find out for yourself when your fans like to get your email newsletters. Use an email service such as aweber, and keep track of the number of emails opened and the number (and type) of links readers click on. Adjust the day and/or time for the next three issues and see if the numbers go up or down. Slightly adjust again whichever is more popular, and keep going until you find a regular routine that works for you and your fans.
Think how busy your life is. Think how busy your newsletter readers’ lives are. Think how many emails you get each day, and how many outright marketing messages your receive. Some you probably do not even see if your email service blocks them, or they end up in your gmail “promotions” tab (click here to see how to remove it).
Your readers’ time is precious. Some of them have to wade through hundreds of emails every day. For one of your fans to take a moment to even scan through a newsletter is a precious moment together, and there is nothing more valuable to any of us than time.
So say thanks. A lot.
Somewhere in every newsletter you should thank your readers for their support, generosity of time, interest, something. One of the most important lessons I have learned in life is that you can never say thank you enough. Ever.
In addition to publishing your e-newsletter on a regular schedule, something I consistently find fans asking for is my own schedule. “When is your next performance?” they ask.
It does not matter how far in advance it is, nor where it is, your fans want to see how active you are and hopefully see a town nearby listed. The more you post your upcoming performances (for the next month or two, at least), the more excitement is generated around those concerts. This has proven to be the case consistently through many trials and experiments – sometimes to the detriment of my own concert attendance.
Include your concert schedule in an unobtrusive manner, and your fans will devour it up. Your schedule may be the most sought after element of your regularly scheduled newsletter, even if it just says “thanks for liking the music I share with you!”
By publishing a newsletter regularly, always thanking your readers, and giving them the dates, times and places you will be sharing live music, has proven to be a sure-fire way to build the colossal fan club you need to sustain a career as a musician.
Now it’s your turn
- Think what you like to read about other performers.
- Write a paragraph that is similar in content, but about your own music, activities or perspective.
- Help your readers live a better life or build a better society by helping them share live music with others.
- Test how often and when sending such an email results in the most opens and click-throughs.
- Say thanks for reading and supporting and engaging in live music.
- Let your readers know when and where your next performance will be.