4 Basic Steps to Optimizing Fan Conversion.

Last week, the ABC of Music Marketing was introduced. Today, let’s delve deeper into fan conversion and the steps it will take to build a truly viable music business.

Before going into the steps, I want to make sure I have your attention. In our mantra of “Always Be Converting,” “converting” is obviously the key term, so say it with me, “CONVERT.” Very good. Now let’s continue with our program.

To be clear, this is the basic thought process you should have to optimizing your fan conversion points. At larger companies, the process is a bit more complicated, but in the end, most follow the same concept. If you set up a business, then you need to make sales. In order to sell, you need a storefront. In order to get people through the door, whether physical or virtual, you have to announce yourself or communicate with potential customers.

The only way you can make a living is by making money, which has to be your key endpoint for your fan conversion funnel.

When you get really sophisticated, you can begin to customize your customer or fan experience based on their preferences. These four steps will show you how you get to that level of sophistication.

Step 1 – Set Up Your Conversion Points / Funnel

You started a music business with one very specific mission – to earn a living by doing what you love. The only way you can make a living is by making money, which has to be your key endpoint for your fan conversion funnel. Everything you do should be revolving around the selling of your products or services.

This diagram showcases the average process a person goes through in making a decision to buy something. It is not unique to any particular business. Even with music, it takes awareness for any purchase to happen. It has to be liked. Music sales do not happen by osmosis.

Therefore you have to set up additional points for the conversion funnel. Here are the necessities for a music business:

  • Website
  • Blog
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Events

Now each conversion point has its own nuances that can make or break a decision to buy. If your website is not set up to help a visitor to find what they are seeking, then it is less likely to convert on anything. Complicated site design is one of the biggest reason for ineffective websites. In the future, we will visit all these elements with closer detail.

You most likely have all these elements in place, but you probably do not have them arranged in a way to help your business grow. For instance, many bands rarely encourage people to visit their website. They just want them to see them play, but that limits your ability to convert a fan. You should always invite people to see you wherever it is convenient for them. The Internet is the most convenient place for most people, so you should pay close attention to your website’s user experience. More on that later though.

Step 2 – Announce You Are Open for Business

If you have all the necessary conversion points in place, then you can invite people through various mediums to come pay you a visit. You can send a Facebook update, an email to your list and/or announce it at an open mic.

Now being open for business is not Internet-specific. Your most important conversion point should definitely be in place at your events and even the stores you get to carry your goods. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is just said to be clear – it is not all about the Internet.

Step 3 – Observe Your Traffic’s Interactions

From watching someone peruse your merch table to reviewing your Google Analytics, observation or LISTENING is key to optimizing your conversion points.

If you are not tracking how many people click the links you share on Twitter, you are leaving money on the table.

If you are not reviewing your Facebook Insights for your music business page, then you are leaving money on the table.

If you do not have any idea how or why people come to your website and never buy anything, then obviously there is a problem. Fix it.

Once you have observed, you can then ask questions. You have to know what questions to ask first. Simply asking, “hey, why didn’t you buy my stuff?” is not appropriate without context. Body language can tell you quite a bit. Of course, people know you want them to buy your stuff. By observing, you can get a sense of what they are seeking and positioning your goods accordingly.

If someone can to your site due to a blog post you wrote about your favorite drummer, you should probably post a widget of a song that was influenced by that drummer. If the person likes it, then they might want to download it. Let’s take it one step further. Make that song available in exchange for their email. Then when they opt-in to your list, ask how they liked the song. That’s conversion.

Step 4 – Adjust Conversion Points / Funnel Based on Traffic’s Behavior

This is simple. If you listen, you will learn. Take what you learn and make it actionable.

If your fans only carry plastic at shows, get Square. Then add a sign that says you can make secured credit / debit card transactions.

If you find that fans of your genre of music share interesting things over social networks, then do your homework and supply your own. Speak their language, if you don’t already.

These are just a few ideas. Again, this will be addressed in greater detail in the near and dear.

Here is my Opportunity to Convert You

In the next few months, I will be publishing ebooks and hosting classes on building music businesses. If this sounds like something of interest to you, you should join my email list to get exclusive news and offers. If you know people that should be receiving my information, please share it with them.

S.M.A.R.T. (Music) Business Goal Recommendations for 2012

2012 is a much-discussed year in the two most controversial areas known to man – religion and politics. Regardless of what you believe, you probably are still going to work on your music business. As 2012 is quickly approaching, you probably should set some SMART goals for it.

Lately, many of the artists that look to this site for support have been getting help on setting their goals that are SpecificMeasurableAttainableRelevant and Timely. Working with these artists, we have run across some repeat goals. It is only right to share them with you.

Here are our SMART music business goal recommendations for 2012.

Legitimize Your Music Business by Incorporating

Sometimes we all need a kick in the pants. We get lazy and stoic when massive activity is not transpiring. This happens often to music acts, especially when only meager results are attained from our efforts.

When it comes to keeping your music business alive, it helps to have some extended motivation. One great way to extend it is to run your operation like a real business.

The best way to accomplish that is by actually establishing an S-corp, (Low-profit) Limited Liability Corporation or even just a DBA.

As a real business, the money you spend on instruments, legal and web development are viewed as expenses. You can possibly deduct those expenses on your taxes. If that does not alter the way you think about how you work, what will?

Running a legitimate business adds an allure of seriousness. Seriousness can be scary to creatives. Thing is, if you are not serious about what you do, do you think anyone else will?

Setting up a formal business should not be taken lightly. Visit the Small Business Administration to get more information on starting a business.

Define Who Your Customer Is

If you vibe with the 1000 true fan concept, then answer this. What are your true fans like? Do you really know what they want or expect from you?

One of our most popular posts offers 5 steps to getting 1000 true fans. Then we offered some music industry secrets to complement these steps. One of the biggest secrets we shared was the art of LISTENING.

Once you define who is going to help you stay in music business, LISTEN. Take the time to get acquainted with these people. They are all individuals. Therefore you will need to figure out how to deal with their unique habits.

Which leads us to our final S.M.A.R.T. music business goal recommendation…

Photo by birgerking / Birger Hartung

Establish a RELEVANT Rhythm Keeping up with Your Customer

If you read how Stones Throw is losing, you know the lesson. Do not assume that your audience just wants to hear everything about you.

It might help to survey your true fans to figure out what they want. Ask them how often they would like to hear from you. Ask them what would they want to know. Once you do that, set up your communications to fit their preferences.

This can mean you will need multiple lists in your email service. You may need to set up a Facebook group for the rabid true. The only way for you to know though is to ASK and LISTEN.

Okay, that is it for us. What about you?

What are your goals for 2012? Are you intending for this to be your breakout year? Let me know in the comments. Everyone that does will be invited to a new mastermind group I am starting.

The ABC of Music Marketing – Always Be Converting

When you think about what you have done to build your music business today, how confident are you in your efforts being effective?

Hopefully, the things you did today were aligned to your mission of connecting with your fans. If not, we have more work to do that you know.

It is amazing how many artists are not building programs to convert new fans.

Today, I want to introduce a concept that I do not see addressed when folks provide advice to artists – fan conversion.

It may not seem like a groundbreaking idea, but I rarely see people putting in the time and effort to really create engagement experiences that are designed to turn a passive listener into an avid fan.

If you think these statements are annoying because you believe the music should do the converting, then you can leave now. Best wishes on your magical music saving your career.

This is serious. You know that you need fans to survive. Fans pay the bills.

It is amazing how many artists are not building programs to convert new fans.

One-off campaigns do not count either. Fan acquisition needs to be a round-the-clock affair.

Let’s get basic here, let’s talk about the ABC of music marketing.

Always Be Converting

As the head of your music business, you should know your bottom line is affected by your ability to keep your fan base happy and growing.

That is why it makes sense for everything you do to be motivated by your fans.

When you build your website, you should be envisioning the fan experience when you hit your site.

When you set up your Facebook page and you begin to beg for likes, you should make sure you are providing them something of value there as well.

Your merchandise should be items that your converted fans actually want so much that they are willing to tell their friends about you, which is another conversion point.

Hopefully, you see where I am going with this.

No idea is original. I did not come up with “Always Be Converting” by myself. In fact, it was only when I saw a great marketing copy blog on the need for all copy to be written to convert did I think I was onto something.

Here is a quick story of how important conversion is.

This website gets solid traffic, due to search. FiV is always optimizing for particular keywords, so they can be found by the people that need them.

Yet the green “Subscribe” button in the header rarely gets touched; even though, it is quite visible.

The FiV email list is a measly number of subscribers.

Something had to be done.

Unnecessary elements on the page have since been removed that were deemed distracting.

In the last two posts, an email signup form was added to the end of the copy.

I bet you can guess what happened. Yep, email subscribers increased.

Here’s the crazy part – email subscribers increased by 100%!

That is why it was clear that it is time to get serious about conversion.

I want to help music artists become better business owners.

The only way I can do that is by making sure I am optimizing for your attention.

In the coming weeks, I will share how you can begin to optimize for your target consumer. Hopefully, you will stick around for that.

As you re-consider how you handle your music business, where do you think you can better convert listeners into fans? Let me know in the comments.