Corporate News Education & Events Pathways Into Music Update
By CMU Editorial | Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Last week, CMU’s Pathways Into Music Foundation used the MUSIC + EDUCATION sessions at The Great Escape to showcase more of its research that aims to provide music educators and talent development organizations with resources they can use to give artists in the DIY phase the knowledge and information they need to pursue a career around their musical creation.
At TGE, Foundation Director Phil Nelson introduced the Artist Circle, a way to understand the process artists go through to build audiences and business around their music.
It starts with creative activities, then moves to building a fan base, which in turn is amplified by promoting releases and shows, and finally artists look for ways to fundraise and generate income. around their music. There are therefore four quarters in the circle of artists: creative, fanbase, promotion and finance.
Once the circle of artists was introduced, music industry experts were then invited on stage at the TGE to compile together the ten key pieces of knowledge and information that educators and talent development teams should try to communicate to the artists the DIY phases for each quarter of the circle.
Famous Friends’ Chris Chadwick, WMA’s Erika Thomas and Atlantic Records UK’s Fiona McAuley gave tips for building the neighborhood fan base.
Here are the ten tips they compiled…
1. What is your story? With so many artists releasing so much music, having a great story is a great way to stand out from the crowd. Think about your brand, your identity and your vision.
2. When you start building a fanbase for your music, think of that fanbase as a community. Interact with your community and talk to your community – this way they will become your biggest champions and supporters.
3. Build your music creator and wider network of creators. Collaboration is key to making great music, but it’s also important for growing your fan base. All the other music creators and creators you collaborate with have their own fans. Be sure to advocate for each other’s work to your respective audiences.
4. Look for as many live performance opportunities as possible – including open mic nights and guest spots – and use each performance as an opportunity to connect with new fans by subtly directing them to your digital channels.
5. Determine which digital channels work best for you and your fan base, learn what types of content and posts work best on each channel, and find a good rhythm in terms of content and post regularity. You need to refresh every digital channel, but you only have a limited amount of time, so set a realistic schedule that keeps people engaged.
6. Look at “content pillars” outside of your music and artist identity – i.e., what are your other passions and interests that you could post about? This makes it easier to keep your digital channels fresh and engage your fans.
7. Use your analytics – from streaming services, your distributor and social networks. Cross-reference different datasets to see which types of content and posts get the best response – and result in more streams of your music. Learn from this and adjust your future content and posts accordingly.
8. As your fan base grows, you need to start segmenting your audience into casual fans, core fans, and super fans, and then treat them differently.
9. Start building an email list right away – so encourage fans to give you an email address and permission to email them. You’ll still talk to your fans much more frequently on social media, but every once in a while you can email your core fanbase some additional content. These sends often get more engagement and generate great fan data.
10. Be your own PR! Don’t be afraid to promote your music and musical projects. And as momentum builds, start reaching out to industry and media contacts as well. Don’t be pushy, but occasional one-to-one emails updating key people on your activities and asking for help and advice can be very beneficial.
We publish the ten tips for each quarter of the circle of artists every day here in the CMU Daily. Or you can get them all in one place by by downloading Pathways Into Music’s latest research summary here.