“If you own the data, the money will always follow.”
—Derek Webb (Artist/Founder of NoiseTrade)
There are many revenue streams outlined in 23 Ways Musicians Can Make Money. But, there is a new kind of currency in the music industry that you should pay attention to: data. Access to data, and ownership of that data, should be a top priority in your career.
What is data? Data gives you insight into who your fans are, where they live, and what content they’re consuming. Things like:
- Where are your website visitors from?
- What site(s) brought them there?
- Where do your mailing list members live?
- Which of your songs are being streamed/downloaded the most?
- Where are those streams/downloads happening?
- What types of merch are selling best for you?
And much more. Data can help you choose which song to release a video for, where you should tour, and what merchandise to sell.
How do you get access to this kind of data? Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube offer data to give you insight into your fans on those platforms. Even music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify have opened up data to musicians.
But, you don’t own the data on those platforms. While you should definitely make use of it, any service can change that access, or take it away.
So what’s the best way to own your data? With the two most essential tools for marketing your music: your website and your email list.
Website: Your Online Hub
“A good website will change someone’s perception of who you are and what you do. It’s one of the best marketing moves you will ever make.”
– Joy Ike (Singer-songwriter/Founder of Grassrooty)
In the age of free social media sites, some musicians ask whether they even need a website anymore. It might be more important than ever to have your own website, and here’s why:
- You own the address
First, with your own domain, you’re guaranteed to own that little slice of the Internet. As long as you renew it, it will always point to your website. Even if you switch hosting companies, you can transfer your domain so your fans will always be able to find you.
- You own the experience
With your website you also own the experience. You can control what your fans see, when they see it. This means you 100% control how you want fans to discover and engage with your music. No sudden changes, no ads or distractions, no design limits.
- You can sell direct-to-fans & keep more $
If you’re selling music or merch, your own website is even more critical. You get to keep more of the revenue (100 percent with Bandzoogle!) by selling direct.
Plus, your fans can join your mailing list when shopping from your online store. You can then let them know about new albums, tours, crowdfunding campaigns, and more.
- You own your data
With your website you get detailed data on your fans, which you own. And remember, that data can help you book shows, decide what merchandise to sell, and more.
But more than data, you also own your fan list. There’s no “export fan list” from social networking sites, because they own that database. Remember, your list of fan emails is gold. It allows you to always stay in touch with your fans.
Mailing List: The Most Important Marketing Tool
“If email is not the biggest part of your social strategy, then you are giving the power of communication with your fans to companies who will gladly take them and whose advertisers will thank you to no end for providing them with eyeballs.” —Benji Rogers (Founder, PledgeMusic)
Email lists might sound outdated, but they’re still one of the best tools to market your music. This is because:
- You own the list
As we mentioned before, owning your data and your fan list is essential. With a mailing list, you own that database of fans for life. No matter which email service you use, you can always download that database and take it with you.
- It’s the ultimate permission marketing
An email list is the ultimate in permission marketing. Once a fan gives you their email address, they’re telling you that they want to hear about your career! So be sure to tell them about your latest album, your next show, your new merchandise, etc.
- Email is the most effective way to sell music & merch
“Email marketing is 40 times as effective as Facebook and Twitter, combined.”
When it comes to sales, mailing lists still get the best results. And this is true both inside and outside of the music industry. So for selling your music and merch, email is still the best way to turn fans into paying customers.
- Email is the best way to stay in touch with fans long-term
“An email list is an artist’s retirement plan” – Emily White (Whitesmith Entertainment)
Social media sites come and go, but people rarely change their email address. So a mailing list is the best way to stay in touch with your fans over the long-term.
To read more, download the eBook FREE
Here’s what you’ll find in the eBook:
- 23 ideas for generating revenue for your career
- Resources and expert tips for each revenue stream
- Musician tools and services to help you make more money
It’s a quick read, has a ton of great tips and resources, and will no doubt help spark some ideas for how to make more money for your career!