Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tips For Sustaining Your Career

I was honored to read that cyberPR expert Ariel Hyatt (who has written a number of great social media books) mentioned my Music 3.0 book as her #1 favorite music business book. She said, " This book is wonderful as it explains the CONTEXT of what in the heck happened in the music business and why. But Bobby doesn’t stop there. He next lays out a clear concise plan about what you need to know about to set yourself up for success. His philosophies are very much in alignment with Music Success in Nine Weeks and our books mention a lot of the same theories (1,000 True Fans) and suggestions (use the Internet or die in obscurity)."

Many thanks for the kind words, Ariel!

This seems like a good time for an excerpt from the book, this time from Chapter 6 entitled "The M3.0 Rules Of Survival," which also discusses the 1000 True Fan Theory. You can read more excerpts on my website.
Sustaining your career in M3.0 has changed significantly from previous eras of music. The formula is simple; maintain your connection with your tribe. This could mean by frequent releases, blog posts, email blasts, tweets or anything else in social media, but you’ve got to keep your fan base engaged on a consistent basis. While long periods of time between releases (like 6 months or a year) are not recommended, they can be overcome by constant interaction by the artist. It’s only when communication grows cold that the tribe begins to dissipate.

A typical consistent communication schedule might be something like:
  • Tweets - a few times a day or every other day.
  • Blog posts - once or twice a week.
  • Email blasts - once a month with tour schedules, release schedules or just general info.
  • Music release - once every 6 to 8 weeks.
Online communication isn’t the only way to stay in touch with your tribe. Touring will always be a part of being an artist, and it’s an especially important ingredient to not only sustaining your fan base but growing it as well. The more you have contact with your fans, the more opportunities there are to reach out and touch them. Don’t forget some of the items mentioned in Chapter 4 like meet and greets, after-show parties, backstage passes and the like. Online and offline contact must all be part of the same strategic plan.

The “1000 True Fans” Theory
The 1000 True Fans theory by Wired Magazine’s “Senior Maverick” Kevin Kelly states that all an artist really needs is 1000 true fans (the members of his tribe) in order to maintain a fruitful, if unspectacular career relieving the artist of the need for some of the nastier things in life like a regular job. True fans are sometimes called “super-fans” or “uber-fans”, depending upon whose theory we’re talking about.

While the total number of True Fans actually required may be in question to make the theory work (is it 300 or 1000 or 4000?), the idea is that you need this hard-core group in order to sustain your career. Whatever the number that you’re lucky enough to develop, be sure to take care and nurture them, because they truly want you to.
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