It's hard to get people to care about your music. Even if they follow you on social media, it doesn't mean they're going to buy your music or come to your shows.
Most bands settle for just having social media followers. But that doesn’t always work…
You need to turn social media followers and casual fans into superfans who will buy your music, come to your shows, and tell their friends about you.
Our guest cohost David Ryan Olson is the founder of Evergreen Records and an expert in converting social media followers into fans of your band.
Listen now to learn more about moving your followers up the hierarchy of leads so they become superfans of your band!
What you’ll learn:
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Followers Aren’t Fans: Case Study on Marketing Psychology
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#82: Every Band Should Be on Patreon: Ty Christian of Lords of the Trident
#86: Six COVID Takeaways for ALL Musicians (Part 1)
Music Business Mindset #24: Six COVID Takeaways for ALL Musicians pt.2 (Bandhive Crossover)
#109: The Clock Is Ticking, Start Using TikTok Now! | Brandon Cunningham of Kawaii AF
My Chemical Romance – “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”
Asking Alexandria – “The Death of Me”
Taking Back Sunday – Tell All Your Friends
Welcome to Episode 123 of the Bandhive Podcast. You're listening to the Bandhive podcast, the number one online resource for D I. Y bands to learn about the music business and touring. If you want to turn your band into a lean mean touring machine, you're in the right place now. Let's get this show on the road. It is time for another episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross and I'm here with a special guest co host, David Ryan Olson of Evergreen Records. David was with us back on episode 86 6.
Covid takeaways for all musicians, Part one and then I joined him on his podcast. Music business mindset. Episode 24 6. Covid takeaways for all musicians, part two. How are you doing today, David Mann good to have you back. I'm doing okay. Yeah, I'm doing okay. It's getting better. Yeah, but you know what? Dogs make it all better. We've been sitting back and forth pictures for dogs and that heals Dude. Honestly, we've been trying to start recording this podcast for literally an hour now. No, no, no, 59 minutes. We don't exaggerate here.
59 minutes. Okay, Because of random issues. James and I g eking out or sending dog pictures, but you know it's happening now for the record. If anyone has a black lab, we're both suckers for labs, but especially black labs because they are the best type of dog and you cannot argue with me about that. And I should say we both have had mixed black labs. I had a lab beagle and years is a she's half lab, half Catahoula, Catahoula. Okay. See, so you know what? We're not purebreds snobs.
I had a weird looking dog. He was amazing. I loved that dog, but he was like the length of a black lab with like the legs of like a basset hound or something. He's so sweet. His proportions were so funny for this episode. For both of our headshots or something. We'll just have our dogs. Yeah, we'll figure it out. Anyway. If you have a lab or a lab mix, feel free to send photos to our instagram, which is at Bandhive dot rocks, I will make sure that David gets to see them as well and you will be forever appreciated.
And if you're one of those bands that doesn't have instagram for some reason, you can just James at Bandhive dot rocks that works too, emails. Old school. Who does that? No, no one does. That only me every day. And actually that's the segue here. I stumbled into that a couple of weeks ago, I did an episode called emails, not Dead, which is a pun on Imo is not dead. A great youtube channel that I love, but it's true, email is not dead. And in that episode I mentioned in passing that artists who have a large social media following don't necessarily have fans because followers aren't fans. Yes.
Are you trying to say emails? Not a phase. That was too good. Well played, well played. I'm not okay, it's gonna be the death of me anyway. Your right email is not a phase. And David, a couple of weeks after that episode came out, you actually sent me an article talking about social media followers not being the same as fans. And it was a really good article. So that's gonna be linked in the show notes at Bandhive dot Rocks slash 123, because this is episode 123. That's also why I asked David to come back on the show.
So, pleasure to have you here, man, Before we jump in and talk about the stuff you're here to talk about. I just want to give some good examples because I don't think social media is bad for bands. I think that social media needs to be used correctly by musicians though, because even if you are a musician, if your followers don't care about the music you're putting out, then you're not successful as an artist, you're successful as an influencer. So I want to toss out a really good example, which is Kauai af we had Brandon on the show back on episode 109 and it was called the clock is ticking.
Start using Tiktok now with Brandon Cunningham of Kauai F to hear that just go to Bandhive dot Rocks slash 109. They have approximately 150,000 Tiktok followers and they have 11,000 monthly Spotify listeners, That's a good sum. That is what, like 7% of their following, roughly is listening to them on Spotify. If that's their following, there's no other sources, but that's really good. However, on the other hand I had a couple of artists and I call them artists loosely because they got very upset about the video that I published saying that if you're not harnessing you're following, you're not a musician, you're not an artist.
Well, one of them has 80,000 followers and 60 monthly listeners. That is a prime example of having a big following and not having any clue what you're doing with them When you claim to be a musician on Tiktok, but nobody cares about your music. Apparently because you only have 60 monthly listeners with such a large following. Now, I'm not saying 60 monthly listeners is bad. If you have 500 followers on any social media and you have 60 monthly listeners, that's great. We're looking at the ratio here, somebody with An audience of 80,000 on social media, you should have more than 60 monthly listeners on Spotify.
But it gets worse. Somebody else who got really upset about that video, 20,000 followers on Tiktok, so smaller, a third of that three monthly listeners. And I'm assuming now I might be wrong, but I'm assuming that one of those three is the artist himself just guessing Now, again, three monthly listeners, if you've never promoted your music, that's you know, whatever. But if you have 20,000 followers, you should have more than three monthly listeners. It's all about that ratio and I couldn't tell you what a healthy ratio, is I just know an unhealthy ratio, having under 100 monthly listeners when you have 20,000 or 80,000 followers, you're doing something wrong.
There is a way for you to convert those followers into fans. And that is why David is here today. So dude, take it away. Yeah, no, absolutely. And just to actually add on to what you said, I would say it's not even necessarily about the ratio itself I would encourage you to even think about more, how does that actually translate into your bottom line rather than necessarily just streams? Because yes, I feel like streams is a better metric for your band's engagement and how well you're doing.
But even more than that streams don't necessarily translate to Are you actually bringing in money, are you connecting with people at shows? Are you paying your bills? Case in point. One of my good friends, the Talbott Brothers for a band that's like established as they are, they don't necessarily have the hugest social following and they don't necessarily have the hugest Spotify following either. But what they do have is the most dedicated fans that will do literally anything for them at the time of this recording, The Taliban brothers have 13,000 followers on instagram and their top song on Spotify has only 800,000 plays, Their second highest song has only 150,000 plays, which like again that's great, but if you go to any of their shows, they have a line out the door, They sell out of their merch, they sell vinyl and cds, and for their most recent Indiegogo for their new album, they doubled their actual Indiegogo goal.
So instead of raising $30,000, they raised over $60,000, which I would argue your ability to make money and pay your bills is way more important than even your ratio of followers to streams. I would definitely agree with that. And it sounds like they're leaning somewhere towards the 1000 true fans model which I'm in full support of that. If you can make that work, I think it's a great model. I think more my point is just if you have 80,000 followers and you're not harnessing them, you're messing up. And I think probably doing what the Talbott brothers are doing is better because you're not fighting the algorithm, you might only have 13,000 followers, but those people actually care about you.
Whereas if you have 80,000 and they don't care about you, then you're going to fight the algorithm because nobody's going to engage with your stuff unless you post something stupid and they're arguing with you. So I like the model that you're describing for the Talbott Brothers. I think that makes a lot more sense. And everyone is going to have their own model, their own business model. There's no one right way to do it. There's just lots of wrong ways. Exactly. That's really what it is. Like don't do these things and try something that works.
Sure, what I'm getting is that this is a wonderful conversation. And to kind of more of like the philosophical of what we want to get into today, marketing is a word that has been misconstrued in modern society. We tend to think of marketing as promotion, which is not what marketing is. I'll give you the textbook definition that I learned in college and then I'll give you the actual a better definition. Marketing is the set of activities and principles that lead to a mutual exchange of value plus for value plus.
So what does that mean? It's everything that you do in order to separate someone from their money while also giving them something that they want and find value in. That's the important part. Exactly. And that's why I use the term value plus for value plus. Each person needs to feel like they're gaining something. Marketing is not exploitation, not if you do it right. No, totally. I think that's part of the reason why capitalism and the free market has gotten a bad rap lately is because it's gotten to a point where it's unchecked and all you hear are the examples of exploitation and people screwing people over, but really at its core marketing is I have something that someone else wants, they have something I want.
How do we make sure that it's a win win for both of us? So to dissect that a little bit, we have four different areas of marketing. This is called the four ps of marketing and the four P's are product price, place and promotion implosive. Dude, I haven't already 20 bro. And you'll notice promotion is the last of all of those. Marketing always starts with the product and I get this is going to feel kind of esoteric, especially in the context of music. But I guess just bear with me because I'm trying to sum up college marketing in just a few minutes here.
Your product is a part of marketing. If you have a product that no one wants, obviously no one's gonna want it, right? That sounds stupid, but it's true, secondly, is your price and it's not necessarily like how do I give the lowest price? People don't necessarily want the lowest price, but the price is a factor in all of the activities that involve capital. M marketing place is okay. What is the, not necessarily even like the physical venue, but like, you know, how is it accessible to my customer client?
And then finally, promotion is how do you interact with people? And I would encourage you to think about that, not just as like having a virtual sign saying buy from us, buy from us, buy from us, but rather it is a holistic activity that deals with all interactions. Another way to communicate. The concept of the four PS of marketing is instead of product price, place and promotion, let's think about it as creating value capturing value, delivering value and communicating value. I like that, I like that a lot and I think that's something that a lot of artists don't see because they go out there and think okay, this song is great, I love my music so other people should love my music and your music might be amazing, but it might not be so starting with that first p product or adding value.
If you put out music that people honestly enjoy, you're gonna have a much, much easier time following through on the rest of the four PS. If you have a good product, that's what makes it, you're not going to have to struggle nearly as much if you have something that people actually want, if you have to act like billy Mays and just constantly be spamming your stuff, maybe it's not that good. On the other hand, if you have something amazing that your fans share around that's really cool.
Which side note something really awesome happened today, which was that a friend of mine sent me a link to a video that she enjoyed because it was an Ed Sheeran cover and I was watching, I was like, oh this band is one of my students, it was common choir and they were in the data twitter management course. The full version is coming out soon. It's called Road Ready. If you go to Bandhive dot rocks slash road Ready, you can learn more about how to get out there with your band book more shows, be less stressed and not get screwed over by promoters, which is probably the most important thing.
So Bandhive dot rocks slash road Ready. But I was just like, hey, this is cool. Somebody didn't know that I know this band and they sent this to me and was like, oh, I worked with those guys like that's sick and that shows to me that what they are doing is working because random people are sharing their music. That's what you want. That's how it works. That's how you get your music out there, you'll have to put some effort into your marketing. But if you have a good product that people like they're going to tell all their friends taking back sunday. Yeah.
And I would actually go one step further and say that even though we can very clearly define the four PS of marketing for say like you're making a physical product within the context of a band. Things are a lot more ambiguous because when you are in a band, this is especially true for like any type of service based business, but for, especially for a band, you're not just making a physical product and your product is not just your music in a way. Your product is your brand and you are in the relationship business.
So in a lot of ways the product and the promotion of your products are inherently intertwined. So I think that actually leads great into my next point of even within the subset of marketing that is promotion, we have multiple objectives. You have both the need to build your brand and you also need to promote specific action of people with regards to your brand and your product and price and all of that fun stuff. One of the biggest mistakes I see is people feeling like, oh marketing is just marketing and I just got to post more and then if I just post more then like people will sign up for stuff when I finally say, go listen to my new song or whatever, when in fact people are all along different phases of the journey, some people are just trying to get a feel for your brand and some people are more in the phase where you need to drive them to action and I feel like social media is great in terms of brand building, having people figure out what you're all about, having people understand your brand's your visual identity, your vibes, maybe getting people intrigued, getting people from being casual fans into into more dedicated fans, but it's not necessarily as good in terms of converting for specific actions and we'll talk a little bit more about that.
So the main point I'm trying to make right now is that brand building is not the same thing as specific action and conversion. And there are some companies that lean more heavily onto one or the other. Good companies do both. So for instance, if you notice all of the tv ads that coca cola runs are all brand building ads, people hanging out during christmas time and you know, they have C G I santa and reindeer, you know, all that fun stuff and it's about the vibes, right?
It's about like, oh yeah, coca cola, is this really great brand about having a good time or even Apple's ads, most of their ads aren't sign up for, you know, 0% financing on your new Macbook Pro between now and december 31st. No, it's about showing attractive people being creative, living a fun lifestyle, fun youth lifestyle, because it's all about building their brand and then once you're on their email list because you've signed up for something because email is not dead emails, not dead, it's not a phase, they're way more likely to get you to convert on some sort of specific activity once you are in their ecosystem.
Yeah, absolutely. So when it comes to bands, can you kind of shape this into band terms. Yeah, so I would say like for a band, if you're on say instagram or Tiktok, you should be building that following to showcase your brand, you should show a little bit of personality, show your likes and dislikes, have a strong visual identity that gives people an idea of what you're all about as a band, even putting out Youtube's or Tiktok star reels going a little bit more in depth where you're trying to get people more emotionally invested.
But then in terms of when you have a new song or you have a crowdfunding campaign or something, yeah, posted on social media, but you need to have your more dedicated fans segmented to make that promotion way more efficient. Not just because like you have a subset of fans that's always going to be more invested, but also just because of the logistical realities of what social media is built for. Social media is built to build your brand. And if you want to actually get people to convert facebook wants money, that's just the reality facebook is not built to serve you and your interests, facebook is built to line Mark Zuckerberg's pocket, right?
And obviously they have a certain balancing act to make it like, you know, still addictive so that people are willing to give them money to run ads, but you know, at the end of the day, if you try to get people to do something just through organic posts on social media, you're gonna have a bad time, It's so tough. I mean, and the thing about social media is that the algorithm knows everything. So if you post something that's just like a cool picture, yeah, you might get good engagement on that.
But as soon as you post something that's like, oh hey, we have a new release, Go check this out, nope, that post is gonna tank whether it's a story or real or whatever, you need to be creative. So some examples that I really love on Tiktok are Magnolia Park and kuai af and sweat co they all do really good stuff and apologies to sweat. So if I'm not pronouncing his name right, that's just how I imagined it said S. U E C O. I think anyway, they all have really good engaging ways to get people to watch.
But then they dropped their song into the video. So people are hearing the song. I saw some comments on Magnolia Parks Post one of them a while ago. And it was basically along the lines of you guys are just posting the same song over and over again with different clips from a video. Why don't you post something else? And here's the thing, it's been proven that people like the music they are familiar with. So if they can get you to listen to the same song 20 or 30 times little pieces at a time you're gonna be like, oh yeah, I like that song.
So then when you hear it on Spotify shuffle or something, you're not going to skip it. So yeah, that's why they're sharing the same thing over and over again, because it's more likely that you are going to connect with it and enjoy it because you've heard it 20 times before, you don't necessarily need to be be releasing new content all the time, you can repurpose existing content anyway, that's just me side tracking back over to you, David. Yeah, no, totally, I guess to, to kind of expand on my previous point of social media is great for building your brand and getting the start of engagement.
It's terrible for actually converting people. I have a friend who goes by the name of soul lift, he uses an OPC to create music really cool. He just posts whatever kind of he's come up with that day on social media and he has a decent following that's relatively engaged and he has people reaching out commenting on stuff. People listen to his stuff, but recently he tried to do a giveaway and he said, dude, I'm literally giving away free money and I had one person enter my giveaway instagram, does not want to help you convert people into customers, they want you to be posting sexy things that build your brand and make people addicted to their platform.
So at a certain point you got to figure out how to like actually grow your following more than just a following that's casually engaged. Yeah, absolutely. So when it comes to converting those followers into true fans, how would you start to go about that? Yeah. Actually, let me just back up a little bit, I'm going to bring up a concept that James is going to laugh. He knows exactly what I'm about to say. Called David's hierarchy of leeds. Yes, suck at Maslow. It's a play on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
So David's hierarchy of leeds, it's just a it's a simple framework. It's not a perfect framework, but it's a framework for helping you just remember that you have different levels of fandom. So if you think of a pyramid at the bottom, most people in the world are going to be non fans of you and that's okay. These are people that don't either know about you because the world's a big place, there's a lot going on. There's a ton of noise going on in the world or they don't like you.
And again, that's okay because music is inherently a niche thing. Not everyone needs to like you, your family doesn't even need to like your music and that's okay. It doesn't mean that you're a bad musician. It just means that music is literally the most personal thing in the world. And it's rare that parents like the same music as their kids. I've seen a few people where there's a generational, shared music and I'm like, how do you do that? That's amazing. Yeah. So not everyone's going to be a fan, but beyond that, the people that do like you initially fall into a category called casual fans, casual fans are pretty much what that sounds like, which is like, okay. Yeah.
They like your music, but really it's a very passive level of fandom. Yeah. They might go to a show. Yeah. If they're in the right mood, they might buy some merch. Yeah. If they're in the right mood, they might look you up. But like, other than that, it's more just like, oh, this song came on shuffle. Yeah, cool. Or it's like they see your posts and it's like, okay, yeah, cool. They look like they're doing some fun stuff. I like that. But really they're not engaged when it comes time to actually asking people to do anything, especially in terms of the things that actually give you money and the reality is you need money to have a career in music, which it sucks to even think about because, you know, we just want to make art and hope that the money follows.
I'm the most guilty of this out of anyone, but like it's a reality and there's actually nothing wrong with prioritizing your need for money, especially if you're trying to be a grown as adult about it. If you want to keep driving Uber working at a coffee shop forever, which those are cool, but if you're just hoping that like someday you're music pops off, you've got to actually prioritize things that make you money rather than just feel cool. So anyway, the next level of fandom, that's one level up from casual fans, it's called being a true fan.
And these are the people that are actually like invested in what you're doing. If you say we have a new song dropping or whatever, they're definitely going to be checking it out if they know about it because of course, you know, obviously communicating things is often An uphill battle, but the true fans want to check things out. They want to go to your shows. They won't think twice about paying a $20 cover charge or whatever. They can be persuaded to sign up for your Patreon, that you can be persuaded to do whatever you're trying to promote.
But this is inherently a smaller number of users and that's okay. The trick is you have to figure out a way to get them from being casual fans into true fans. We can have a discussion about how to do that in a few minutes, but that's the idea beyond true fans. You have super fans and these are the true fans of the true fans. They'll do anything for you, They will drive states away to see you perform even though they saw you the previous night. Again, the Talbott Brothers, I've seen their true fans dr 10 plus hours to see them for a second night in a row while bringing t shirts that their fans have paid for and printed on their own dime and said, here, you can sell these.
That is so crazy to me. I know if you've mentioned that before, that is dedication, I personally witnessed this, this was wild to me. But yeah, they will donate literally hundreds or thousands of dollars to your Indiegogo or Kickstarter just because they want to see you succeed. This is the goal that you want to get people towards, because I think you'll find that you'll actually get the vast majority of this income From, like, say the top 5% of your fans again, this is this is more leaning in towards the 1000 true fans model.
But I think it still applies to every person that, okay, you're going to have inherently different levels of fans and some fans are going to be way more invested. Yeah, I want to touch on two things here and say one, if you're in a band, you probably care about music because there's some band out there, at least one that made you feel this way. Like I can tell you for me first, it was a f I then it was pure love. I still like a f. I but I don't feel that way about the band anymore.
Pure love broke up. But if they were still around, trust me, I would be all over that. I'd be like, oh my God, that's the best band ever because they are. But if you haven't had that experience, I don't know what to tell you because it's like nothing else. And if you have had that experience, you know what it feels like to be in love with a song or an album and it's not just like oh yeah that's a cool song. It's like this is the music that makes me feel like making my own music.
This makes me want to go out there and be a better person. I want to go out and do whatever. Like and you know not all music is motivational but you get what I'm saying. So if you've been that way with the band, which I really hope you have find out how to make people feel that way about your music. That's really what it comes down to and a lot of it is going to be making sure that you can also have a relationship with your fans.
Another example of this is I fight dragons who we had back on episode 77 lessons learned from a fan supported D. I. Y. Band with brian Matzo Ferry of I fight dragons. If you haven't heard that one yet, you can go to Bandhive dot rocks slash 77. That's the number 77. We talked with brian about that because they made 35 to $40,000 on Patreon for a B sides album and they have a really cool patreon system that all aside having those fans makes all the difference. I fight Dragons, they're not huge on social media.
They haven't even been that active in the last five years. They've done a handful of tours, they've released an album and a B sides compilation, but the fans have eaten it up. They charted on, I believe it was the rock vinyl charts because so many people bought their vinyl, the near future back in, I want to say it was 2014, that's the kind of band that you know, you don't have to be Justin Bieber, you don't have to be taking back sunday, you can go out there and make music and have people who care about your music without being the biggest band in the world.
But I see so many other bands that have a similar amount of social media followers and they're just running around like headless chickens and they don't know what they're doing and they haven't harnessed their fans and made those fans feel connected. And what I Fight Dragons did at the start was they started a forum, they started a street team and at least one of the members was on the forum, like they had like a little live chat widget every single night and it was just a group chat, anyone could pop in and talk to the band and talk with other people about whatever they wanted to and the band would actually communicate with their fans.
Another band I saw do this about a decade ago. New politics. They talked with their fans on twitter every time they had a long drive, they would get on twitter and just talk to their fans like just like, oh hey, like what are you listening to right now? What's new, like what's going on? Like tell us what's up and they forged those connections with their fans and those fans went out and shared it with their friends and that is how those bands grew their fan bases. So don't be afraid to go out there and talk to your fans on social media.
Talk to them at shows. This is how you grow those connections. If you want those super fans, you need to go out there and forage those relationships because if you don't, they're not going to turn into super fans or it's very unlikely at least. Yeah, and there's definitely more than one way to skin that cat. Some people are really good at doing it on social media. Some people are really good at doing it on instagram. I know I'm not instagram is definitely not my platform. It might be twitched for you and it may not be a forum like I fight dragons did, but you've got to figure out like what works for you.
It can literally be anything that works for you to develop that relationship. The key is just also not putting all of your eggs in the social media basket when it comes time to actually asking them to convert. I would say hang out into which doing live streams on instagram, making instagram posts, replying to comments that definitely falls more into the brand building category rather than necessarily the actual direct conversion campaigns that like we talked about, remember we talked about the two phases of marketing. Yeah, absolutely. And I should point out that I fight Dragons.
Most of their fans who were on the message boards were there because they were on the email list and wanted to get more content. The email list, they were releasing monthly covers for 2-3 years again, this is a decade ago. That's why they used forums instead of a Facebook group or a discord server. But the idea is to get those fans engaged and make them feel valued if you fake it, they're gonna know. But if you genuinely care a few years ago, I walked into an interview with New politics and they hadn't seen me in, it must have been four years and I've grown out my hair and I had glasses and I walked in and they're like, oh, hey, how's it going?
And then soaring their guitarist, just kind of like, does a double take and like, oh, I'm like, yeah, dude, what's up all those years, I look totally different and he recognized me. I'm just like, yeah, this is why I'm a fan of this band. Like, they actually care if you can do that for your fans, that takes you to the next notch for them to the next level, like that's what you gotta do. Yeah, So I guess really the point we're trying to get, as you have to lay the groundwork somehow in terms of actually getting your people invested and then ideally getting them off of social so you can actually convert them at some point.
But to illustrate a point even further, I have a case study that's on an article that I wrote on my website. So if you go to ban Hive dot rocks slash 123, which is great because my birthday is january 23rd, there's gonna be a link in the show notes here. So in this article, I reference an article that has been floating around the internet for a couple of years now about how there's a fashion influencer on instagram that couldn't even sell 36 t shirts that she needed to sell to launch her new fashion brand despite having 2.
6 million followers and you would think, okay, if you have 2. 6 million followers and you're getting hundreds, if not thousands of likes and people commenting OMG, you're so perfect, you know all of that, that you could sell 36 t shirts, right, especially if I can't remember exactly how much the t shirts were, but they weren't like outrageously priced. This ain't no easy t shirt, but she couldn't sell 36 despite having 2. 6 million followers. So this is a great example of everything that we've just outlined in the sense that followers aren't fans, her people weren't engaged, it wasn't necessarily a product that worked.
And then even then You're dealing with the inherent limits of social media and how Instagram doesn't necessarily want you to have people leave the platform, they want you to be addicted to their app, which by the way, I just did the math with 2. 6 million followers, she would have had to sell one shirt Per 72,000 followers. And she did not manage to do that. Do you know how many bands have like 10,000 followers and can easily sell 5200 shirts? Lots, lots of them. So you may say, oh well, okay, 2. 6 million followers, if she's, you know, fashion influencer, half of them are probably bots, Or weird men from random countries, you know, or whatever.
So I did find someone that did an analysis of her followers as best they could and they concluded that of her 2. 6 million followers, 48.7%. So let's just call, it half were quote unquote real people, Only 2% of her followers were fellow influencers, 16% were quote unquote mass followers, which are the people who just like whatever span. And then beyond that, only 32% were quote unquote suspicious accounts which were probably fake and then just mass spamming, who knows? Not necessarily that she bought but were fake in some way or another. So if you have half of your 2.
6 million followers as quote unquote real people again, you're doing something wrong here. That would be one sale to every 36,111 people. Right? So just because you're posting pretty content and getting engagement and followers and it looks cool. I would say for her followers were definitely a vanity metric and vanity metrics. I define as anything that doesn't necessarily lead to the creation of money for you. Yeah. All her efforts were in vain. Sure. And yeah, you could argue. Well, in order to have someone actually a customer, they first have to be a fan and in order to be a fan, they first have to be a follower and like, Yeah, that's kind of true.
But still, I would say by and large, Your follower count is a vanity metric. I think this ties back nicely to the artists who have, you know, 80,000 followers and 60 monthly listeners or 20,000 followers. And three monthly listeners like that's a vanity metric. Yeah. You have followers, but they don't care about you. Or maybe they do care about you, but they don't care about your music. So find a way to get followers who do care about your music. Maybe you're on the wrong social media platform, Maybe you just haven't harnessed them the right way.
Maybe it's time for an email list, Maybe it's time for a Patreon. There's lots of things you can do out there. But the main thing is you need to understand this difference that David is talking about with fans versus followers and you also have to be able to understand how you can turn those followers into true fans if they're interested. Yeah. And maybe this is a good time to to kind of continue on talking about a couple of marketing principles with regard to this specifically. And we're gonna talk about a few different kinds of funnels, which I'm not talking about funnel cakes, but we are going to be talking about vegan stuff because we're both vegan, we are going to be talking about vegan stuff.
We'll get there later. So the first funnel I'm going to talk about is a concept called Aid A. I. D. A. And this just is a marketing funnel that talks about how do you actually get people to take action? So if you think about a funnel it starts at the top wide by the bottom, it's very narrow before it actually gets through that final hole. So at the very top of the funnel, when we talk about actually getting people to take action. The very first thing that needs to happen is awareness and this is pretty much what it sounds like.
People have to be marginally aware of the fact that you exist then beyond awareness. Even of the people that are aware, not everyone is going to have some level of interest in you. Interest is the next phase. You're always going to lose a percentage of people going from awareness to interest. And this is why our funnel is getting narrower just because someone is aware of you as a band doesn't necessarily mean that, you know, they're interested in actually interacting with you because maybe they're a fan of R and B and you make punk music after interest.
We actually have a phase called Desire. And Desire is where it goes from someone casually being like, oh yeah, you know, I'd listen to that too. I want to actually listen to this and this is actually separate from the final phase, which is action. There are a ton of people that I'm friends with that make great music, that I haven't had a chance to listen to their music yet, just because I haven't made it happen, even though I actually have a desire to listen to their stuff.
It's just the button hasn't been right in front of me and like I haven't done it yet. So each phase, there is inherent friction and there is inherent leakage in your funnel and that's okay. Absolutely. And it's really, you're just thinning the herd, You're going up the pyramid of David's hierarchy of leads as you go down that funnel, they are tied together. That's why the bottom of the pyramid is so wide, there's a lot of people who don't care about you, the top of the funnel, there's a lot of people who maybe they know about you, but they're not interested, so they don't move to that next step, which is interest.
That's just how it is. And that's not a bad thing. So this funnel of awareness into interest, into desire and then into action can have a different level of friction depending on where this person falls on your hierarchy of leads. If it's a casual fan, there's gonna be a lot more friction to go from awareness to interest. The desire to action than there is for a true fan or a super fan to go from awareness dangerous to Desire to action no matter what anybody, whether they're a casual fan or a super fan or a stand or whatever is going to go through the set of awareness, interest, desire and action.
It just may happen without them noticing it. For a true fan or a super fan. Yeah, they may instantly, as soon as you post about your new song, they may go and check it out, but it's just because they've gone from awareness to interest, desire to action in the blink of an eye, whereas a casual fan is going to get stuck along the way of that funnel, All I'm trying to say is people seem to think that awareness will magically lead to sales because it feels that way, if you think about your true fans and super fans, but you do have to like understand that you have to nurture people first, so that his final has way less friction.
Yeah, absolutely, and I think now to continue the discussion of friction, we can go on to teflon pans versus cast iron pans and how to cook tofu. So the next way to think about marketing psychology, in terms of actually getting people to convert, remember this is all within the context of the second half of marketing, which is actually aiming for conversions, not brand building, you have different stages of a funnel, you have your top of funnel, middle of funnel and a bottom of funnel tofu, tofu, tofu, only the top one is tasty, but it's the worst one, what we were talking about before, in terms of awareness, interest, desire and action, that's about what's going on in someone's head.
Now, when we talk about top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel, this is where you're constructing the journey that any particular person goes along while interacting with you in terms of getting them to actually do things. So if we think about the top of the funnel, this is the largest section, you're just gaining awareness, you're trying to get people's attention, you're trying to get interest, initial interest, initial awareness and brand engagement, This could be your songs that come up on a playlist on shuffle, they see you and discover, for whatever reason the algorithm suggests it, this could be your social media at this point, you're just trying to capture people so they can start going down the water slide of the funnel, the middle of the funnel is just about gaining trust.
So when these people are at the middle part of your fan journey, you're trying to build trust with them. So you're trying to build a deeper connection with you and your brand, your persona, your ideals, you're still building this brand. Finally, at the bottom of your funnel, this is where you're starting to work on converting, you've built a little bit of trust, this is the final stages of closing the sale or getting them to actually take action. So you're working on people's desires into action. And again, every phase along this fan journey is going to inherently lose some people and that's okay.
But again, you just have to think about, okay, there are different phases and different objectives for each phase of the fan journey, gaining awareness, gaining trust, and then working on converting. Yeah, absolutely, and so when you're taking these fans, I would say social media is your top of funnel, right? It doesn't have to be, but for a lot of bands it is then the middle of funnel would be, you know, like your email list or something like that. Some kind of community or email list, anything like that.
And your bottom of funnel is going to be a sales page or your web store or wherever they're actually handing over their money tickets, tickets. So that's a good one. Yeah, but top level, would you agree with that kind of parallel of social media or whatever they first are aware of you to your email list or private facebook group or some kind of community to handing you money? Yeah, no, absolutely. I think you do have to kind of get all of your true fans and super fans into one place to make the promotion easier.
And preferably this is a platform that you have more control over than social media because of the reasons that social media will always inherently screw you over when it comes to actual conversions. So I don't know for you that might be an email list, it might be a text list, it might be a discord server. I don't know what it is, but you got to get them in one place that is not going to be subject to the whims of Mark Zuckerberg. I think that's a perfect mic drop moment right there.
But I have to toss out two more things because we've talked about email, I mentioned it already, episode 116 emails, not dead. It's not a phase, you can hear that at Bandhive dot rocks slash 116. But also when it comes to patreon. I know I mentioned episode 77 with brian from, I fight dragons, which you can hear at Bandhive dot rocks slash 77. But we also did an episode talking about why every band should be on Patreon with thai christian of Lords of the trident. And that was number 82.
So you can find that at Bandhive dot rocks slash 82. And by referring back to those episodes, all the episodes we mentioned in this episode, you can learn more about what we're talking about and how to harness the funnels that David talked about in this episode to grow your Patreon or your email list and convert your fans from casual fans to true fans to super fans. That's really what this all comes down to, is having an understanding of funnels. So you can use David's hierarchy of leads.
All the links for everything we mentioned, David cite the article. All the other episodes will be in the show notes at Bandhive dot rocks slash 123. Okay, that's right. That does it for this episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in and listening and big thanks to David Ryan Olson of every Green Records who's still awkwardly sitting here watching me record this for coming on the show. I really appreciate it and I hope that everyone listening learned a little bit or maybe a lot of bits about how to harness your following and turn them into casual fans.
Then true fans and then super fans for those elite few who you can connect with on such a deep emotional level. This is really important because all the most successful bands have this. If I look at all my favorite bands over the years, if I look at all the bands that have a cult following that have fans who care about them, they have found a way to connect with their fans and this even goes to the biggest levels. Like look at BTS as much as I think some of their marketing practices are manipulative, they figured it out.
So if you can get fans who care about you as much as BTS, fans care about them without being manipulative and shady. Thanks. You know, two big labels and manipulative management companies do it. Like be there for your fans, be genuine, get them to care about you by caring about them. That's how it works. So go check out David's article again. The link is in the show notes at Bandhive dot rocks slash 1 23 and we'll be back next Tuesday at six am with another new episode of the Bandhive podcast.
Until then, I hope you have a great week, stay safe. And of course, as always keep rocking
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