Coronavirus & Musicians — What Now?

Not long ago I thought to myself this coronavirus will pass shortly. Just follow the guidelines and we’re good to go in a couple of weeks. Little did I know. As the situation stands, we’re looking at a few months of uncertainty at least. Just as we head into the busiest season for musicians, this summer is looking more and more likely to be spent in some form of isolation.

Image for post
Image for post

This means that revenue streams are being cut off and for the creative industries this hurts more than others.To help prepare musicians for life during and after lockdown; I’ve put together this article to draw out what other artists are doing. Learn from the lessons of others and put in your own work with my guidance to set up your brand for life in lockdown.

Within days of quarantine announcements going out across the world, many musicians have turned to their social media channels to interact with their fans. Putting on live shows from their homes, giving private online sessions and getting creative with live streams. The amount of creativity out there at the moment is very enlightening.

Everybody from John Legend to music festivals are opting for live streams to bring the outside entertainment to the safety of your sanitized living room. In my opinion this is way overdue — you artists are performers after all! It’s time to step up your game and get into the live video world. It had to take a global pandemic for musicians to pull their finger out and begin engaging with their fans online.

By going live on social media platforms you are opening up your reach to new and potential fans. Once you hit that live button a notification is sent out to your followers which in turn can lead to fans sharing your stream to many untapped audiences This initially doesn’t sound like a lucrative use of your time, however, you can start monetizing what followers you already have. Engaging with live streaming is a good start.

Everybody focuses on increasing their visibility too much and are blind to the earning potential of what they already have. Your current followers are already there, you need to turn them into supporters that will generate income. Converting followers into ‘superfans’ is as easy as just engaging with them. Give some value and do it regularly. Occasionally hit them with promo of a new product and see what bites. You may be pleasantly surprised.

To start making money during quarantine, you can of course start using Patreon and crowdfunding, etc. These are not scalable for the future. For a scalable business you need both products to sell and a community. Below I’ve lined out how you can do this.

Find Your Tribe

While browsing through Instagram, I frequently see more and more musicians with super general bios. “I am a DJ, a music producer, a musician”. Yeah, and so are a few million other people… Seth Godin’s book We Are All Weird explains that we’re experiencing the death of mass marketing and the generalised approach to appealing to massive audiences. Now is the time for you to start finding your niche. Your tribe will follow naturally. The more specific, the better. Communicate this in your bios, your content and your creativity. Stand out from the millions. Find your tribe amongst the herds.

So less is more, right? Starting with your current followers, try to dissect your audience. Try out different types of content that reflect your identity and values. Find what works and make more of it. Engaging with your true values and lifestyle will bring the real fans out of the woodwork. They are there. As I said before, focus your energy on what you already have and build out from there.

An account with 5,000 followers can be much more valuable than an account with 500,000. It’s no use having inflated follower numbers if they aren’t active and engaged with your brand. This is why I want you to stop focusing on swelling your numbers and start giving actual value and getting to know the people who are already following you. This is why it’s worth investing the time into understanding your quirks and finding your fellow freaks rather than churning out garbage to push up pointless numbers.

Create Products

Music is a product, which you’ve already got fine tuned. Now it’s time to start thinking creatively about other products you can create. To create a proper business around your music you need to have products.

Deadmau5 is a great example of how he identifies himself and which products he’s built around those values:

  1. He is a Music Producer
  2. Provides an online course
  3. Sells sample packs
  4. He is a Gamer
  5. Sells gaming merch
  6. Makes money from Twitch streaming
  7. Partnered with gaming brands
  8. He is a DJ
  9. Performs live shows

By collating all of his identities into one package, he then sells this ‘package’ in the form of a membership service. His superfans are billed monthly to get access to all of the above and more. These are the people who are buying into all of his identities — his true tribe.

While this can seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember that everybody starts small. So what would your fans currently be willing to pay for? Start with one thing. This could be an exclusive preview of something, a live show or tuition of some sort.

By starting small with both your product and audience, you allow yourself this valuable time to learn from your mistakes. Communicate with your customers, just as any other business does and find out what is working. Testing new formats will always take some time but those who practise and improve are those who find the successes.

Essentially you need to start converting your current followers to these superfans like Deadmau5 does. If you managed to get 100 people paying $10 a month to get value from you, that’s already $1000 recurring per month. If you have 1000 followers on your account right now, that’s just 10% you’d need to sign up.

So to get these followers to convert, you need to drive traffic from your channels to your new form of revenue/product. This is where the magic happens. And for this, I have created a webinar to show you how to structure your channels correctly to make them income generating machines.

I will give you a specific structure and processes to follow that I developed from growing 250+ startups — to make your own and level up your Instagram game. Click here now to get started: https://webinar.rebeccasmartbakken.com/register

Written by

An Ibiza based ex-tech-marketing guru turned ‘Audience Queen’ working with musicians on digital marketing and strategy

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store