Social media followers are not real fans!
OK, some are. But most aren't.
You can bet your life you're not gonna sell the same amount of tickets or physical merch as you have social media followers.
You can wish it was that easy, but it's not.
So how do you figure out how many fans you really have?
Incentivize Fans to Give You Their Data
You need to encourage fans to give you their data.
Think creatively about how you can offer your followers something in return for their email address in the first instance... and remember that music is essentially free now so it will need to be something exclusive or rare if that's all you can come up with!
Think about offering something that only true fans would want.
Don't offer a £50 prize!
Make it something special and potential limited and/or time sensitive.
And preferably something that would be hugely valuable to a fan but not to the general public.
One-to-one meetups, intimate live-stream concerts, demo clubs, behind-the-scenes access are all good ideas to test.
Experiences are good. Especially if the only thing they cost you is your time.
Think about offering these incentives regularly. Every month perhaps.
But be aware that you might end up with the same 'super-fans' entering every time so make sure you've got a process that allows for fairness, and maybe consider limiting it to new fans only, or try using something like paid ads with exclusions that don't show to previous ad audiences.
The 'new fans only' approach is good in the early stages when your growth rate is such that you can spend a couple of hours DM-ing all your new followers that month.
It doesn't scale very well though and if you want to reach your existing audience, you might want to consider the paid ad route.
Be Humble & Helpful
Try telling your fans why they should migrate over to your email list.
There's a chance that some of your fans don't know that you're only gonna reach 5% of them unless you pay to reach more.
Genuine fans will want a better chance of hearing from you.
They want to know when you've done something new.
Tell them something like this in a direct message...
"Thank you so much for following!
It means a lot that our music is resonating with you.
If you want to know when we release new music please sign up to our email list here: insert-Mailchimp-or-equivalent-signup-form-link-here
We can't reach everyone on here without paying for it and it's unsustainable for us as an independent artist.
We have a better chance of reaching you in your inbox but please do let us know if you have a preferred method of hearing from us and we'll try to reach you there too.
Thanks again and here's an exclusive demo of our next single as a thank you: insert-download-or-private-soundcloud-link-here
Rich - AwesomeBand"
The idea for this blog has come from a number of conversations I've been having recently with these awesome folk:
If I missed anyone, I apologise!