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Posts Tagged ‘tim sweeney’

Why your Kickstarter fundraising campaign failed

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Many artists these days are using Kickstarter or similar services to raise funds for their next album, which is a great idea.
But they often fail. Why?

According to veteran music industry consultant Tim Sweeney, one simple reason: You don’t know your fans.

One strategy Tim has taught artists he mentors for the last 30 years is the following: “Whether you want more fans at your shows, greater sales or want to raise money for your new project start having social events with your fans. Instead of only inviting them to your shows, invite them to come hang out with you at a movie, a festival, another artist show or some other event based upon on a common interest. Too often artists want people to blindly support them because they wrote a good song. As we wrote in our last post, it’s not about the music.

“Give fans what they really want, a chance to talk with you and build a bond.”
Would you do that with your fans? Well, maybe that’s why you have to work so hard to promote and sell your music.

While social events offer you a chance to get to know your fans, they more importantly create an opportunity for your fans to get to know each other and develop friendships. That way when your future shows come up, they will call each other and come together so they can hang out with their new friends. This is why Facebook is so popular: it allows people to do this online.

Tim’s Artists have sold millions of CDs and downloads with this strategy with selective fans and have found it the best way to sell out shows in advance. He says, “Think of it this way, if your favorite artist invited you to an event where you can hang out with them and make new friends would you go?”

Invest your time into your fans instead of only social media campaigns and your show money and sales will increase along with “pre-sales” of your next project where you may not need to do a Kickstarter campaign.

And then when your ready, you may want to try Pledge Music, the Kickstarter for music that we really like.


Press Releases – an important part of publicity campaigns

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Using a well-written press release and highly targeted campaign to announce your music-associated event, such as a CD release, an upcoming tour, or a charity concert, can get you more publicity than thousands of advertising dollars ever will – if, done correctly.

A press release (or news release) is used to bring an artist or business “free” publicity. A press release is a simple, to the point release that provides news to reporters, editors, and other media people. The publication of your press release will be free. Writing a good press release is a valuable skill. Preparation involves three key points – When, How and Who (to send it to).

The key focus of your press release is that it needs to be “newsworthy”, after all, a press release is supposed to be news. A writer, or editor has a responsibility to inform their readers. A well written and interesting article is far more likely to make print than one that’s sloppy, and shouts “advertising”.

Typically a press release is distributed to mainstream or national media outlets that receive every industry specific announcement known to man. The idea of submitting your press release to a national publication early in your career may result in it being ignored. Tim Sweeney, the music industry’s most highly sought after expert and consultant in the fields of artist development, recommends specifically targeting the daily music publications in your target markets. There are several music newswire services that offer press release distribution, and for a small fee will distribute your press release to some of the top music websites.

Not to be confused with your Artist Profile or Press Kit, a press release is a quick shot of publicity, used only to announce an upcoming event or CD release to your fans. A good press release will help build your online visibility, attract new fans, and boost your music career. Check our next post for more about Press Kit’s and Artist Profiles.

How many ‘active’ fans do you have?

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

In the new music business, your audience and fans are your most important asset. Take it from Trent Reznor, Getting peoples attention, and then keeping that attention, and connecting with those fans is one of the most important thing you can do for your music career.

So how many people on your mailing list are ‘active’? By active we mean how many would actually reply to an email you send out about a show or new song? Those are your active fans.
People on our mailing list these days don’t “unsubscribe” like they used to when they don’t want your emails anymore. Eventually, they change their email addresses without telling you and your emails will get rejected and you may never be in touch with them again.

Industry leader and consultant Tim Sweeney recommends you “test your list”, also called verifying, or ‘opting in’ your email list subscribers. Here’s how you can do it. Write a new email about an upcoming show or something important and ask them to let you know if they can come or not. Start making a new list of the people who responded and call it your “active list” of fans. Include in this list the people who come to your shows and have bought CDs from you!
Or, use mailing list software such as reverbnation‘s free fan reach, and ask everyone in your list to verify their email and subscription to your email list by responding to confirm their address. Our guess is over half won’t respond!

Tim suggests continuing to send general email announcements to the people on your list if you want to, but send a separate more personal email to the people on your new “active list.”

To jumpstart your career or to move it to a new level, you need to know who you can count on. It’s time to build a new fan base of people who want to support you versus being disappointed by the lack of response to hundreds of emails.

It’s not about how many fans you have or ‘friends’ on your social networking profile, it’s about how many of those people are ‘true fans’ who will support your music, help promote you, and puchase all your products. Those are the kind of fans that today’s artists need to have a music career.

So, how is your career going this year so far?

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

So, how is your music career going this year so far? Have you made some progress with your goals and promoting your music?

It’s nice to think of your music career as just putting out songs on the Internet and playing shows, hoping people appreciate them. But according to veteran music consultant Tim Sweeney, if you are serious about your music, then that’s not enough! This strategy did not get you the attention you wanted in the past and it certainly won’t get you what you want this year. You need to take action if you want different results than you had last year!

Tim says, “If you want to see real change in your fans and develop a new fan base that far outreaches your expectations this year than you must put yourself into the community of others based upon your political, social, environmental or community interests. You must share with people your interest and get them to see you as someone who is bringing about real change for the betterment of others. Once you start to do that, you will see the change in your fans and their support of you as well as the media’s interest in you and your music. Build a community of your fans and start to participate in the one that you live in and you will begin to see support beyond your expectations.”

Millions of other artists are just putting songs out on the internet… You really need to create a connection with your audience to stand out amongst the masses, and see lasting results.

How politics can hurt your fan base

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

It’s hard not to get caught up with politics when it is constantly in your face in the media. Many artists have done this on their own sites, blogs, and social networking profiles, but it can be a bad move for an artist trying to connect with their audience effectively.

Artist consultant Tim Sweeney describes it well. “Many artists are taking the dangerous position of dividing their fan base instead of uniting them. They are seeing a growing number of their fans either remove themselves from their mailing list or stop coming to shows and supporting them because they have started sending out political endorsements for one person or one side on different issues. While we would hope that election times would bring people together to discuss the issues and collectively move ahead, it usually only stirs emotional reactions to make people fight against each other for different personal reasons.”

Of course, artists want to promote things that are good for the community of their audience, or help them get involved in improving society, and that is a good thing. As long as it’s not done in a negative way, artists will get a more positive response from their fans.

Tim goes on to get philosophical on the subject: “Music artists should be ‘community builders.’ We should bring people together not divide them… Let your fans see you as someone who is bringing people together so they want to support you and bring new fans to you!

And he’s right; artists have always positively changed society, so why not you? This approach has been proven to work in building a strong, supportive audience, so start putting it to work. Better yet, get Pro Soul to help you do it!