Chicken And Egg - April 3rd, 2011

Image by Ecstatic Mark via Flickr

Do you create an on-line buzz to get the fans along to the gig, or use the energy created at the gig to get the fans to sign up your Facebook page and follow you on Twitter?

Real life and internet marketing aren't as segregated as you might think. You need to combine on-line and off-line marketing to create the big picture. And get the big audience. But you still need to turn these fans into paying customers.

Take advantage of all the help that digital music distribution channels can give you, like embeddable players and sales tracking. It's not unreasonable to want to sell more gig tickets, or make money from your music.

One of the best ways to get more fans, whether out to see you play live or on your Facebook page or even following you on Twitter, is to get your existing fans to help you out. People listen to other people, especially when they're all part of a community. What you really want is for your fans to recommend you to their friends. Personal recommendations work.

You should be connecting with your fans on a regular basis already, at your gigs and through all of your social media channels. So engage with your fan base. And don't just talk to them, entertain them! You know your fans and followers better than anybody, so you know what they want to hear from you. If you don't – then you should.

Don't forget to offer them something in return. Maybe a free download from your website? Maybe a free badge at your gig? All of these things can be shared with others. At no extra cost to you. The free download should net you an email address. You can use that for future marketing. The free badge is free advertising at minimal cost to you.

Don't discount any channel, however minor it may seem. With all the excitement over internet hype it seems that good old fashioned word of mouth gets forgotten, but it still works.

You still need to turn your fans into paying customers. They want to hear your music, you want to be able to afford to make it. They buy gig tickets, you get to play live. Everybody's happy.

Guest post: This is a guest post by Selina Murray of independent digital distribution leaders Zimbalam

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