So many artists have to postpone or cancel shows & other obligations which lead to confusion & stress. Some of the results and thoughts are: less income coming in, being afraid that a music project might not receive the attention it deserves, not having enough content to share, losing the audience’s interest, not knowing how to entertain the fans and keep them waiting until things go back to « normal »,…
It is definitely a challenging time but as an optimistic person, I do believe that it is a blessing in disguise & an opportunity to explore new ways to express our creativity as well as rethink any business strategy. Because yes, being a musician is being an entrepreneur too. You are the CEO of your music career.
Being resourceful and flexible is necessary, no matter what you want to achieve.
Below you will find some ideas you can use during the pandemic (and not only during this crisis of course!). You can use all of them or just pick those that resonate with you and/or that you can actually apply. These ideas are also a way to encourage you to tap into your own resourcefulness.
They have different functions: to make you & your fans happy, to create content, to allow your audience to continue growing & engaging with you, to make money from your music,…
Remember that it is necessary to be giving without expecting to receive something in return. Your actions should come from your heart and not from fear. If the things you are doing are not coming from an authentic place, people will feel it and won’t be responding the way you want them to.
Make an exclusive intimate acoustic live show of at least 30 min that you can post on your YouTube channel.
Why on YouTube? You can actually make money with YT notably with the number of views you can get on your videos which is not the case on other platforms. Read this post for more info about YouTube monetisation. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post the video elsewhere. I recommend to post snippets on your socials to let your audience know, promote & redirect to your channel. You can also create an event using YouTube Premieres: it is a feature that lets you and your viewers watch and experience a new video together, much like a movie or TV show premiere. You can even interact with them during the premiere with a chat. It doesn’t have to be a big production, do with what you have. But make sure the quality of both the image and sound is neat. This can be a nice way to give a gift to your audience if you had to cancel or postpone upcoming shows due to the pandemic. It’s also a way to display your talent as a performer, promote your music, reach more people, create content, and also increase your income.
Continue to release music.
It can simply be an acoustic, a remix or a special version of a song you already have. You can suprise your fans this way, and give them something while they are waiting for new music that might be on the way or postponed for instance.
Do covers of songs you like to post on YouTube & your social media profiles.
You can create a kind of series and ask your audience which songs they want you to cover. Then, you can either post full versions on YouTube and snippets on social media, or just make 1:00 min videos to post only on social media like Instagram. This is a good way to create content, practice and engage with your audience.
Organise a giveaway for your fans offering exclusive content.
The price can be new merch, signed items, an exclusive song they would get for free and before the official release, a phone or video call, a personalised video, tickets to a future show,… be creative!
Plan live events on social media.
It can be for a Q&A or perhaps a short live performance?! Anything is possible. It can help you encourage engagement from your audience and also increase your visibility on social media.
Promote the work that is already released (!)
Yes, that might sound a bit basic but many (manyyy) don’t do it. You can create content (posts, videos, stories) to promote released songs, encouraging people to buy or stream them; same with merch, you can take photos and/or make videos of yourself wearing your merch. And redirect your audience to your different platforms and website.
Create new merch.
Even if the new designs can’t be produced and delivered at the moment, you can still work on it and create a buzz, promoting in advance and creating a waiting list which is also a good way to build your mailing list. Same with new music!
Collaborate with other professionals & fellow musicians.
Of course, with social distancing, you won’t be able to meet anyone in person at the moment. BUT! We have Internet, computers, mobile phones and amazing technology to use! This could be the right time for you to reach out to some fellow artists you’ve been willing to contact for a while?! It can either be for a specific project or just for fun and make collabs like covering a song together live on social media. There’s no limit.
Create your own challenge with a personal hashtag on a chosen platform.
It might not have an impact as big as the #fliptheswitch challenge on TikTok, but it doesn’t matter. The objective is to engage with your audience in different ways. And it will also increase your visibility, and most likely grow your audience. Start the challenge on a platform of your choice, you can always repost the content on your other profiles after. It’s an opportunity to be creative & just have fun.
What is your favourite idea? Are you already doing some of these things? If so, which one? Do you have more ideas you’d like to share?
Let me know in the comment section below! 👇🏼