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YMI Consulting

Use these tools to gain followers –and a competitive advantage!

Tool KitWe’re used to giving things away for free in the independent music business. The idea behind it makes sense: if you give away your music for free, via a download, stream, or physical CD, you have a better chance of gaining a new fan and follower. From a business perspective, the moment you give someone something for free, they will expect it for free moving forward, as they do not see any value in that product or service. There’s an old story from WWII, when the Red Cross began charging U.S. soldiers for coffee and donuts, when they had always been free, in order to remove feelings of jealousy from the European soldiers who had to pay for coffee and donuts. The soldiers were furious –charging for free donuts and free coffee?! (You see what I did there?) You can read more about this story here.

Frankly, it is tough to sell CDs and songs online as an emerging artist. The majority of musicians don’t have the leverage to challenge Spotify like Taylor Swift or charge a dollar per song. Just like the soldiers and free donuts, most people who listen to music expect free music from emerging artists. I mean, you’re trying to convert them into a follower and they don’t know you, right? So how can you guarantee that your free song is actually getting you a follower? Well, Randall A. Gordon (@RandallAGordon,) an associate of mine, stumbled across some tools that make turn that free download into a follower online, which gives you the potential opportunity to “sell” that follower something in the future, like a ticket to a show, which can lead to merchandise sales, etc. (the sales guy in me is very apparent, I know.)

@YuriyM in sales mode.

@YuriyM in sales mode.

Here they are, in no particular order.

TheArtistUnion – A very powerful tool that gives you social support across nearly all social platforms. “Use music as marketing” is the idea here. I highly recommend this tool, as it gives you the most reach. In addition, the tool will give you SoundCloud analytics. I question how long this will be free and when the organization will adopt the freemium business model, so take advantage of it while you can.

StereoLoad – Turn a free download into a follower on Twitter and SoundCloud.

Supportify – Create your own download “gateway.” This platform is constantly under development, so keep your eye on this one.

Hive – Not necessarily a download gateway, but it provides a ton of data on your marketing reach and data on others in your market. The pro tier will cost you after a 14-day trial, though.

Tunebula – Another great, multi-social-platform gateway, which provides analytics on your social campaigns. This tool is missing Facebook connectivity, though. Also, the SoundCloud analytics are more apparent with The ArtistUnion.

As I’ve said before, don’t wing it with your career! Use tools like these to 1) gain followers, 2) increase social engagement, 3) create powerful campaigns, and most importantly, 4) gather data in which you can use to do 1-3! Go ahead, give people your music, but expect something in return.

Thoughts, ideas, comments, questions? @YuriyM on Twitter, or yuriy@ycmsquared.com.

About the Author

I Get Things Done. Let's grow your business together!
I Get Things Done. Let's grow your business together!