You’ve realized that it takes effort to grow your fanbase, and decided you want to give direct outreach a try…
The issue is, what do you write? How do you turn strangers on the internet into fans, without being annoying or needy?
It’s pretty simple: don’t be like the band I throw under the bus in this episode. Listen now to learn how you can practice effective direct outreach to get new fans!
What you’ll learn:
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Otherwise it's just cringy and horrible. And you are going to alienate people before they ever even hear your music. Unfortunately, the bad news is that most bands do get this totally long. They just butcher it and it is done so, so [00:01:00] poorly that there's just no recovering from it.
And they're never going to turn people into fans by doing this. Now, I wanna say that if you're doing direct outreach, it takes a ton of work to do because you have to keep up conversations with lots of people. But it is a really amazing tool to grow your early fan base of dedicated and loyal fans. Even a lot of major label bands have done this like new politics and I fight dragons.
They were so active on social media, talking with their fans in their early days. And that really did a lot to build the band up and get them that early core fan base that helped them Build the rest of their career. Now, ideally if you're doing cold outreach or direct outreach as a musician, which is totally different from cold outreach for other types of businesses, you're going to find people who have interacted with your content, but don't already follow you Now. I'm not saying don't talk to people who already follow you. You should absolutely do that. But when you're [00:02:00] going out, looking for people to talk to, it should be people that don't follow you. They are cold leads. They don't know who you are.
Maybe they've seen a post in passing, but they have no idea that it was you or they just, they don't know your music and they don't really care about you. and it's your job to try and change that. But the approach that I see most artists take, if they're doing direct outreach, is they send a message somewhere along these lines.
Hey, we are terrible band name. We make music. Listen, please. I beg of you. I promise this is not spam. Listen or else. This is, you know, exaggerating, but that's what their messages sound like. And you can clearly see why that does not work to grow a fan base at all. It's a terrible approach to talking to someone that you've never talked to before.
I mean, would you go up to someone and say, Hey, do you wanna buy this car right now? you have no idea if they're trying to buy a car or not. [00:03:00] No, that's not how sales works in general. Now there might be something like if you're in line for a show or a festival, somebody might come up to you and say, Hey, would you like to check out my band?
That can be super effective, but there's context there, there at a music festival. So clearly they like music and maybe they'd like to listen to your music. And this is why, when you are reaching out to people on social media for the first time you wanna kind of see that. Yeah. They're music fans. They're not just random people who don't care about your music or don't care about music in general, really? Because they don't know your music. Now here's an actual direct message, which was sent to a friend of mine. And we discussed this in the Bandhive community last fall, I'm bringing this up because this band is still doing this.
I have other friends that they messaged just this week. I'm recording this on May 26th. It's coming out like mid to late June, but I'm recording this May 26th and this band is still doing this, even though we talked to them and said, Hey, [00:04:00] You could probably do this better without coming across as spammy jerks.
And I don't use the term jerks lightly, but basically they were saying, well, we don't care what people think of us.
And it's like, well then why are you doing direct outreach? If you don't care, If you have fans or not, that all said, I'm gonna go ahead and read this. I'm not gonna mention the band's name because they've been, you know, thrown under the bus enough. If you really care about it, the post is made in the Bandhive community on October 8th, 2021.
and it's a screenshot of the conversation, which is very one sided because there was never a reply. Anyway, here's what this band said. Hello. There we think that you could love our sound. So here we are, please. Sorry for disturb. If you don't like it. In 13 years, we played in many big European festivals with many bands like Kalon ever, grace varias, Sonata, Arctica, Korn and many more, but we know that don't know us yet. So this is the reason why we are writing to you. And then they did like [00:05:00] the little face with the the hat and then the underscore, then the hat I forgot the hat's actually called. Anyway, you get it. Now any grammar or typos in here, that's not me misreading it. I'm reading it exactly as they wrote it. You can listen some videos on our profile or on Spotify, Spotify link. We hope you'll enjoy our music and we will be really glad to know your opinion. They do the emoji thing.
Again, we are really interested in your feedback. Smiley face. and then, Hey, all caps. This is not spam, mate. I am not a bot. If you thinked it. Smiley face here, Ricardo drummer and manager of the band smiley face beers. Nice to meet you. We hope you'll enjoy our music and we will be really glad to know your opinion smiley face with the weird hat and stuff.
Again, we are really interested in your feedback. Yes. That message is an exact copy of what they sent earlier. Then again, Hey, this is dot spam mate. I am not a bot. If you thinked it here, Ricardo drummer and manager of the band. [00:06:00] Nice to meet you. PS, where are you from now? This is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 messages that they just send out in a few minutes.
Without getting a reply at all. And two of those six messages were total duplicates of what was sent before. This is not how you approach someone. This is the worst possible way to do it. And I just realized that I threw Puerto Ricardo under the bus. I meant to redact his name. But too late. Now Ricardo.
If you're listening to this, I apologize, you know who you are and you know that this is not the way to do direct outreach. And I know, you know this because people have talked to you about it and you insist on still doing this, and you're still doing this to this day. And in fact, you are trying to sell stuff to people who have made it clear that they don't wanna hear from you.
And you're still messaging them and trying to sell 'em stuff. that is not how you do cold outreach. That is just not the way to do it. It's a little aggressive, they're yelling at you about it, not being [00:07:00] spam. And you know, they resent the message when they didn't get a response immediately. I don't think that was an accident.
I think that was intentional and they were just copy pasting the same thing and they're trying to get a response and man, that's just, that's tough. That's not how you do. So here's how I would suggest that you do cold outreach or direct outreach as an artist. First, watch for people who like, or comment or share your content, but aren't following you.
All you have to do when you see that happen is reach out to them and thank them for their engagement, you know, specifically mention like, Hey, thank you so much for commenting on this post. I really appreciate it. What bands do you like? And, you know, just Be genuine with it. If they answer and say what bands they like talk music a bit with them, you know, say, oh yeah, that band is really cool. I saw them, blah, blah, blah. Have you seen them? They're really fun. I like this song. I like that song, whatever, strike up a conversation about it. Then once you've established [00:08:00] some rapport with them and you have that conversation going.
If they like music that is similar to the music, you put out, go ahead and mention your band and say, Hey, you know, since you like this artist, I think you might like what we do. Would you be interested in checking it out? Don't drop the link immediately. let them come to you and say, yeah, sure. We'd love to listen. And then you can send a link if you want to. You could even say, Hey, what platform do you wanna listen on? I'll get you the link for that platform. That's really up to you though. You could just use something like sleek bio or link tree to send them one link that has everything in there, but it all depends on what you're going for either way though. The approach of trying to build that relationship with them before just saying, Hey, here's my music shows genuine interest in that person before.
You're just spaming. Yeah. You know, it does take more effort. Like I said, in the beginning of the episode, it takes a lot of effort, but you will not scare off as many people as you would. If you're just a jerk who's spaming people and yelling at them in all [00:09:00] caps, having a good start to your new friendships with any potential fans is absolutely key.
You don't wanna start off on the wrong foot and you don't want to alienate people. You don't wanna do anything that is not going to be furthering any potential relationship with those fans. Now, again, the message I read on this episode was from October, 2021. So it was about seven or eight months ago at the time of this episode being released. but like I said, as of the recording in may of 20, 22, they are. Doing this and their spam has gotten even worse.
So don't be like the band in this example, or really any similar band who does that. I've seen it way too often. And no one likes those bands, but if somebody reaches out to me and just starts talking music and then says, Hey, do you wanna check this out? Yeah, I'll do it. Cuz you know what? We had a good chat about bands.
We both like, so if they [00:10:00] sound similar, maybe I'll discover some new music that I enjoy. If they don't oh, well, too bad, but I still had a good chat about music that I like. And maybe somebody who's a new friend of Bandhive, or of mine. no matter what you do, be chill approach things the right way. Just make good music that people will want to support because it's good and not because you're aggressively begging them to listen.
That does it for this episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in and listening. I really appreciate it. And I hope that it has given you some insight onto how you can improve direct outreach if you're already doing it or how you can start doing direct outreach for your band, because it's really so important to have multiple marketing channels for your band.
So, you know, putting music out there, that's not enough. It's not an, if you build it, they will come. You can't just put it out there and expect people to listen. That's not how it works. So you do have to market it, but which channel should you use? [00:11:00] Well, all of them, to an extent you don't want to go out there and be on every single social media channel all the time, but you should pick two or three that you can keep up with.
You can delegate different band members to different social media platforms. If that's how you want to handle. But be active on at least two to three personally, I would say Instagram and TikTok are the ones to be on right now. You should also absolutely have a Facebook page, but you can keep that to like one post a week.
You don't need to be posting there all the time because frankly Facebook is kind of dead. You don't want to be wasting a ton of time. There you're much better off focusing on photo and video content for Instagram and TikTok. If you have any questions about this, or you wanna talk about direct outreach strategies, turn over to Bandhive.rocks/group, or search for Bandhive on Facebook and join our group. Because for every episode there is discussion thread that you can find and join in to share your thoughts and opinions about the episode and the topic we covered. So again, that's Bandhive.rocks/group. That link [00:12:00] would take you directly to the Facebook group, or you can search for Bandhive on Facebook. We'll be back with another brand new episode next Tuesday at 6:00 AM, Eastern time right here in your favorite podcast app. And until then, I hope you have a great week stay safe. And of course, as always keep rockin'!
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