D2F-U Part Two: Applying D2F to a new release
The D2F-U skill sets are all focused on creating an ongoing cycle of giving your fans reasons to engage and reasons to buy. Whether you engage the fan or get a direct sale first, it really doesn’t matter. Once you create a direct sale, it takes only a few simple D2F-U skills to create a life long relationship that you own! Finding the balance, and maintaining a regular cycle of engagement and reasons to buy, builds fan loyalty and grows your business. Growing your business means you get to have a career doing what you love.
Is it really that easy? Yeah, it is. If you create great products, the rest is easy by comparison. Keep in mind that all content can be of value to you. Fans devour content, so you need a lot of it around to keep them engaged. Never throw anything away or decide a track shouldn’t be finished because it doesn’t fit an album.
Think of content going into a couple of buckets. The first one is content that you will sell. The second is content that can be used as a reward, gift or premium for your fans that buy (think: keep your fans engaged). And the last is content that you’ll give away to draw in new fans as well as keep old fans engaged between purchases!
A new release presents one of the best opportunities to jump right into the cycle of engaging your fans and giving them reasons to buy. Again, just keep in mind that you need to do both, over and over again!
Start before you’re ready! (WTF? Well that’s D2F-U thinking!)
- Before you begin a new recording consider fund raising through your stores.
- This is an excellent example of engaging your fans and giving them a reason to buy all wrapped up in a neat package.
- Ellis Paul used his storefronts to raise $130,000 to make a record, before he got started!
- Don’t just ask for money. Create levels of engagement where fans get something in return: name on liner notes, dinner, house concert, a song for them, executive producer credit…Time to get creative.
Take your fans along for the ride
- What may seem embarrassingly stupid or simple to you can be fascinating to your fans.
- The process of creating and recording is a great place to engage fans.
- Share the little things that motivate or fascinate you.
- Share rough tracks or a rough track as it moves through the process
Become a Tease
- Start teasing the music through the process.
- Build anticipation. This is an event.
- Release a demo from pre-production. (it’s ok if it sounds like a demo)
- Share what you are comfortable with. (album name, song choices, etc…)
Keep it real.
At D2F-U we cannot stress enough how important it is to be as real with your marketing as you are with your music. Solid D2F marketing requires the same disciplines and creativity that are used to create amazing music.
You can’t bullshit a new song and you can’t bullshit what you’re sharing with your fans. Be as light or as deep as you are comfortable with but never try to manufacture comments or blogs. Be real.
The rise of social networking has given fans a sixth sense for online bullshit detection. With any emotional relationship, you risk breaking that bond when you wade into the world of bullshit and you’ll have a lot of trouble getting them to ever trust you again.
Look at it this way, share what you’re comfortable sharing and comes naturally. No more, no less. But remember: you must share, you must connect. That’s all it takes to create reasons to engage.