Over the weekend we spoke with 'music marketing master' Michael Brandvold, a freelance music industry consultant based in Northern California. He recently published an ebook entitled KISS School of Marketing: 11 Lessons I Learned While Working With KISS. As the title implies, Michael worked closely with KISS after Gene Simmons personally reached out to him to lead the band's website and VIP ticketing program. Michael has also managed online efforts for Motley Crue, Rod Stewart, Madonna, Ozzy Osbourne and more.He was kind enough to answer a few questions for our Inside the Gig audience:
Everyone would love a dedicated fan base like the KISS Army. What are some practical tips for an independent artist looking to develop a dedicated group of fans?
Develop a close relationship with your fans. Talk to them, listen to them, recognize them. Make them feel part of the band. Fans want more than anything else to be recognized. Your fan relationship is the most important thing after great music. Without fans you have no career.
Lesson 9 from your e-book KISS School of Marketing is “If You Don’t Ask For It, You Won’t Get It.” Can you elaborate on this lesson? It seems like one that applies to a lot of aspects of a musical career.
Well just by asking you aren't assured they will do it, but by not asking you can pretty much be assured they won't do it. If you have a great relationship with your fans they will love to help and support you. But, you can also apply this to things such as shows. Ask for a great slot on a show. You may not get it, but again if you don't ask there is a good chance it won't be offered to you.
On your blog (http://michaelbrandvold.com/blog/) you are offering 2,000 things musicians can do to generate 20,000 fans! Can you share any of them with our audience?
(These ideas) are pretty much all about getting your fans involved. Anything that asks your fans to submit content is great. Your fans will feel honored to have their content included on your website. Ask them for show reviews, ask them for album reviews. Ask them to submit photos. Think of finding new fans in something as simple as 10 new fans for each activity. Rather than trying to score a bunch of fans at all once, do a lot of little things to bring in fans.
Of all the social media sites out there, which do you think is most essential for musicians and why?
I love Twitter! Twitter is easier than Facebook to find new fans. You start following the fans of another similar artist and they will start following you. Twitter is also not nearly as complex as Facebook to learn. But, saying that you still need to be just as active on Facebook.
It seem obvious how a band like KISS can be seen as a brand, but how is an independent band of weekend warriors that practices out of the garage like a brand?
Every band needs to remember that everything they do, every post the make, every comment they leave, every photo they upload, everything, leaves an impression with your fans as to what your brand is.
Download a free copy of the KISS School of Marketing: 11 Lessons I Learned While Working with KISS for a list of simple, but important, lessons every band should think about. These lessons apply to all levels of bands, not just superstar acts such as KISS. Learn more: http://kissebook.michaelbrandvold.com.