We all know the tried-and-true models for releasing music. You spend months writing, rehearsing, recording, mixing, and mastering in private. Only you, your band, and a few choice engineers, producers, and family or friends get to hear the work in progress, and after all that time and hard work, you release the finished product out to the world and hope people love it. Then it’s back to the studio to do the same thing again.
The key word here is “hope.” You don’t know how the thousands of music fans out there will react to your new songs. You’ve only had feedback from a few people, and you’re basing your entire livelihood on hope. Any entrepreneur would call that insanity. As a music entrepreneur yourself, you should be testing and experimenting with your new creations and improving them based on feedback throughout the entire process. Even after your music is released, you should be gauging your fans’ reactions and using that feedback to improve your next song or album.
Many artists are already doing this. Zedd and many other DJs will play songs live before they’re released to see how the audience reacts. If it doesn’t make quite the impression they wanted, it’s back to the drawing board. In this article, I’m going to share some cool ways you could be collecting feedback from your audience to improve your art.
If you’d like to improve your music and give your fans exactly what they want, Alex Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of Audiokite, will be joining me for a free webinar on Thursday, April 9 at 1:00 p.m. EST. He’ll be talking you through the platform and showing you how real indie musicians are using Audiokite to take their music to the next level. You can join the webinar live or sign up to watch the replay – it’s all free.
1. Social media
Social media has feedback built right in. Fans and listeners can comment on your posts and videos, share their opinions, and tell you what they think. What’s even better is that it’s pretty much instant. The best way to initiate feedback on social media is to ask for it. Ask your fans what they thought of your newest music video, what their favorite song of yours is, and their opinion on your live shows.
The only problem with this form of feedback is that it tends to be pretty biased. Your fans love you and your music so their feedback will almost always be positive. While it’s great to hear that your music is awesome, if you want to grow and improve, you need to get some constructive criticism.
Often, data speaks louder than feedback, and you can learn more about your fans by watching what they do rather than asking what they want. You’ll get plenty of this valuable data from your website and social media analytics.
You can learn what kinds of posts your fans like best just by looking at your engagement rates on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll be able to see whether or not your fans watch your videos all the way through on YouTube, and you’ll be able to see which pages on your website get the most traffic.
From this data, you can start improving your music, videos, and promotions. For example, if you find that your fans engage more when you post videos to Facebook and Twitter, you may want to start focusing more on developing your YouTube channel. If you’re finding that your fans aren’t watching your videos all the way through on YouTube, try to brainstorm some ways to make them more musically and visually interesting. Additionally, if a certain page on your website is getting much higher traffic than any other, you want to make sure you have an email signup form prominently featured on that page so you can start to capture some of that traffic.
3. Use Audiokite
Your fans can be a very valuable resource for feedback, but, like we talked about before, it can be a little biased. On top of that, if you want to grow your audience, you need to know how your music affects new and potential fans. With that in mind, you want to make sure you’re surveying and getting feedback from the wider world of music fans.
Traditionally, only the major labels had access to this kind of data. After all, hiring a statistics firm is a little out of the budget for indie musicians, but services like Audiokite are opening the doors for artists to gain valuable insight about their music.
Audiokite will play your music for hundreds of people and gather their feedback in an easy to understand report that you can use to improve your sound and even get some promotion and monetization ideas.
From an Audiokite report, you can learn what age ranges relate most to your music, how new listeners react to it, whether or not they would go to a gig after hearing your music for the first time, what elements of the song and the mix need more work, and much more. A lot of artists will upload works in progress to Audiokite and get feedback before they even release them, giving them the opportunity to improve.
As you can see, data and feedback can be extremely valuable to indie musicians, but we really just scratched the surface in this article. We’ll dive into even more great strategies in a free webinar with Alex Mitchell from Audiokite. He’ll be taking you through the platform and showing you how best to use Audiokite to improve your music and your career. I hope you’ll join us in the free webinar, but if you can’t make it, sign up to watch the replay.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can create a plan for success for your band or career, check out the New Artist Model, the alternative online business school for independent musicians, songwriters, producers, managers, and new businesses.
Dave Kusek is the founder of the New Artist Model, an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers, and songwriters. He is also the founder of Berklee Online, co-author of The Future of Music, and a member of the team who brought MIDI to the market.
[BLOG REPOSTED FROM SONICBIDS:http://blog.sonicbids.com/how-artists-can-use-data-to-improve-their-songs-and-marketing]