Wednesday, February 1, 2012

5 Questions To Ask Your Fanbase

engage image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
In Music 3.0, your fanbase is a living, breathing thing that needs your attention not only in order to grow, but to keep from dissipating. Marketing guru Seth Godin calls your core fans your "tribe," which needs a leader to keep the group active. The leader can either be the artist himself, someone designated by the artist, or even someone very vocal within the group. Either way, it's the leader's job to constantly check the pulse of the tribe to keep it healthy. Here's an excerpt from the Music 3.0 Guidebook that explains that process, as well as 5 things to ask your fans to gauge their interest.

"The leader must constantly check the pulse of the tribe to hear what the members are feeling and thinking. This can be helpful in determining just what the tribe likes and dislikes about you and your music. Maybe there’s a direction that you briefly touched upon on your last record that drove the tribe wild, or maybe one that they hated? You might choose to follow your musical instincts instead of listening to tribal feedback, but at least you won’t be surprised by the resulting reaction. 
Taking the tribe’s pulse also lifts the mood of its members, since interaction with the leader is always appreciated and results in more participation. Showing your appreciation for their participation fosters even greater loyalty and participation and gets them invested emotionally and intellectually.
So how do you take the tribe’s pulse? You ask them questions or ask them to help you. For instance, you can:
1. Ask them which piece of merch they prefer. 
2. Ask them about the best venues in their area, why they like them, and if they’d prefer to see you there. 
3. Ask them what song they’d love to hear you cover. 
4. Ask them who their favorite artists are (this answer is great for other elements of social marketing as well).  
5. Ask them to judge the artwork on your next release. Then, when they respond, reward them. Give a free T-shirt to the first ten people who respond. Send them a secret link to download a track that’s available only to them. Give a personal shout out to some of the best responses. 
All of the above makes them feel special and great about belonging, and keeps the interest in the tribe high."

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