Day 3 at the Great Escape 2016 was dedicated to all things DIY, with the CMU:DIY strand supported by TuneCore.
TGE took over Brighton's Old Courtroom and Lighthouse to present a series of a panel discussions and interviews on topics ranging from promoting and staging your own show, to engaging with fans and the wider industry.
One of the highlights of the day was the panel discussion at The Old Courtroom called Beyond The Venue, Engaging Fans & Maximising Revenue, which covered the best ways for artists to promote themselves at gigs and online, with tips and advice from an artist’s perspective as well as from industry professionals.
The panel was moderated by Juliana Meyer (SupaPass), with the line-up featuring Jessie Scoullar, (Wicksteed Works), Little Boots (pictured), Sam Taylor (TuneCore) and Joe Porn (Music Glue).
Here are some key takeaways from that discussion:
Jessie Scoullar (Wicksteed Works):
“The most important conversion you can have with a fan is to get their email address. A conversation I have with a lot of newer artists is that it's old fashioned. What I would say to that is that when you are relying on social platforms for access to your fans. This is not an optimal relationship. What we call this is renting your fans. It’s a rental situation and at any point the landlord might raise the rent.
“If you look at Facebook for example, when we started to use Facebook to reach our fans, it was not a big deal to put a page post up and hit a large proportion of your fans, but over the years this percentage has gone down and down to almost single digits organic page reach, you can’t reach your fans anymore unless you pay.
“Twitter is so crowded and it’s such a busy place that it’s harder to be seen now. There’s so much noise and everyone is fighting to be heard. So these are all rental situations when re you have restrictions like 140 characters and payment requirements.
“When you look at email, this is a situation of ownership. So we move away from rental and you move to owning the fan relationship. When you have their email address you have a direct line that you can where you can access the fan without any intermediary beyond the restrictions of an HTML template and the cost of email, which I don’t want to downplay. When you have a very big list it can be expensive.”
“Personally, I think there’s nothing worse than standing on stage and saying, Go to [my website] and buy my stuff. For me, and I’m pretty sure for fans as well, the key is doing things that people remember to get them engaged, whether that’s a great live or a funny email mailing list. People these days are so used to being bombarded with adverts and people trying to sell us things. People know and they can see through stuff if you’re being pushy. It’s hard enough as it is to sell music, so if someone is trying to push it on you it doesn’t really work.
“Just for me, I try be funny and engaging on stage and try to make a bit of an idiot of myself. I normally just say thank you very much for buying here and thank you very much for buying my record. And I will always go to the merch stand afterwards.
“People will always respond to you being personal and engaging. I get so many more re-tweets or replies if I just post something honest and funny. And you should be asking fans what they like, and what they want to see more of. It’s all about the fans.”
Sam Taylor (TuneCore):
“Everyone knows how to use Google and everyone knows how to go and find out more information about things. So by mentioning your name and by having your name visible, it sticks with you. If there’s nothing there for them to find, if your music isn’t on sale and isn’t on Spotify or isn’t on iTunes, or SoundCloud, when they come and find you, what are you going to do? We have an artist on TuneCore who built his fan-base largely through YouTube. And he discovered that YouTube gave him a really engaged fan-base of people that wanted to spend their money because they liked what he was doing.”