"Your Secret Weapon"
©2007 - 2016 By Bronson Herrmuth
No matter how far along you are in your musical career, a known act
or a virtual newcomer to the business, you do have an incredible
weapon at your disposal. A powerful weapon and your most
important weapon in your creative arsenal. Your fans.
Bet on it. Your success and longevity in the entertainment industry, no matter what your respective role in the industry may be, is going to be greatly determined by your fans. All of the people that believe in you and your ability to get 'er done, as Larry the cable guy would say. Fans whose faith in you has been expressed over and over by their moral and active physical support, doing what they can to help you accomplish your goals. Loyal fans motivated by your talent and your proven willingness to work hard on your own behalf. But make no mistake about it, you will have to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, to activate and utilize this tremendous asset.
Here are 10 suggestions on various ways to do just that:
1. Start by sitting down and making a list of everyone you know. Don't bother listing any one that you don't like or trust. Concentrate first on family, then your best friends, then business associates, then casual friends and then any all people that come to mind in a favorable light. Once you have completed this initial compilation, you will be looking right at your secret weapon. Your fans and also your potential fans.
2. Now look closely at every name on your list and make a note of why they are on your list. Note what your relationship is with them, how long you have known them, and what they do for their occupation. You are looking for anyone who may be able to assist you and your band as you do this. Once you identified who those fans may be, you will that much closer to actually approaching them in hopes to inspire them to utilize their talents and assests on your behalf. Once they know you need their help you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish with their active assistance.
3. Make sure you compile this information in a format that will allow it to be interactive. So that your list can be sorted and used to print mailing labels. Not everything you send will need to go to everyone and having the ability to sort it in numerous ways, will be very important and save you a ton of time.
4. Do the best you can to add the names of spouses, mates, childrens names, birthdays to each name on your list. Everyone likes to feel special and sending birthday greetings, personal notes, best wishes, etc., lets your fans know how much you appreciate them and that you do think about them on a personal level.
5. Don't forget to use your favorite search engine as you go when seeking out information for your fan list, if nothing else to insure proper spelling or locale. Double check to make sure you have everyone's name spelled correctly. So much information is available on line now and there for the taking in exchange for burning some midnight oil on research.
6. Since you are making this list to be used to communicate with your very important fan base, be sure and keep track of when you do use it. Any and all direct communication you conduct on a one on one basis, acknowledge this in your info about that person in your data base. Make a brief note of when you talked, what you talked about, etc.. Use this info to refer back to when you next communicate and avoid trying to rely totally on your memory.
7. Make the decision of how often you want to commit to communicating with your fans. I think the majority of folks on line probably get more emails than they would like, so I wouldn't wear people out by sending them more than neccessary. Once every two weeks to your whole list, once a week to fans that actively suport you and come to your live shows. This is also where being able to sort your master list comes in handy. Sorting by locale allows you to pin point the fans that live close to where you will be playing, so you can contact them for sure to get their support and also to get them to pass the word to all of their friends and contacts.
8. Sending out postcards in the mail still works and should be included for any special shows, to promote a new cd, any new merchandise or a new web site. Obviously the cost of postage can add up quickly, so use your ability to sort and only send postcards to the most sure to show up, or buy, don't just fling them out there. Many of my fans have told me over the years that the reason they knew about my show and were there that night was from the post card we sent them so this does work, use it.
9. Using posters to advertise your shows is one of the oldest and most effective ways to get people out to see you. Relying on the places you're playing to get your posters up in advance is probably dreaming even if you send them to them in bulk. Use your network of fans effectively and let them know you are looking for volunteers to put up your posters when you come their way. Pick wisely from your volunteers and then supply them with posters in advance, since they will know where to put them in their location to be the most effective. Give them free passes to the show for helping you with this.
10. Perform a show at least once every ninety days that allows for free admission for your fan club members. Every chance you get, offer them a discounted admission to your performances and your merchandise, cd's. Once a month give a few of your fans a free tshirt or cd and make a big deal out of it, say their name over the mic.
Your fans are everything, let them know it and they will follow and support you for your entire career no matter where your musical path may take you. Love them and they will love you right back and never forget that they are your secret weapon.
Authors Note: I invite you to listen free to my narration of a few chapters from my book:
Dedication & Acknowledgements - Dedication (2.1 MB) mp3
Chapter 3 - Rehearsing - Rehearsing (5.5 MB) mp3
Chapter 7 - Your Name - Your Name (8.6 MB) mp3
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