Step3: CONNECT WITH INFLUENCERS, your network
and new fans
IN THIS STEP, YOU WILL
Research Instagram accounts to find your top 100 accounts to target (Tony Robbins refers to them as your "Dream 100").
Choose your top 100 targets.
Learn about how to properly engage with other accounts (and what not to do).
Collect your current network into a list.
Plan your next 5 moves
WHAT ACCOUNTS SHOULD YOU TARGET? (3.0)
YOUR TOP 100 TARGET ACCOUNTS are media outlets, tastemakers, and influencers who should be your fan, post about you and collaborate with you. Their followers are your target audience. Also, you want to target similar accounts with around the same amount of followers, and those one tier above you, because they are more likely to want to partner with you and post about you to bring you to the next level.
The music outlets/tastemakers/influencers who cover your genre (both local and national) are your targets.
The journalists who may write you a rave review are your targets.
The bands you want to go on tour with are your targets.
The bands you want to share the bill with are your targets.
HOW TO FIND YOUR TARGET ACCOUNTS -
Open your Google Sheet, find the tab "My Targets" then add all potential targets to column F, "Brainstorming."
If you have done your own publicity, who did you reach out to? They are your targets. If you hired a publicist, look at the list of targets they gave you. Collect them in a list.
What bands do you listen to? Add to your list.
What music blogs/websites do you read? Add to your list.
What sessions would you like to play? Add to your list.
What venues would you like to play? Add to your list.
Write down one band you would like to go on tour with as their supporting guest. Google them to find out what blogs and music magazines have written about them, add those to your list.
Write down 5+ local bands (local to you) who you could share the bill with, add them to your list. Google what media outlets have written about them, add them to your list.
Write down 5+ bands who are not local, who you could share the bill with, add them to your list. Google what media outlets have written about them, add them to your list.
Write down 5+ bands you would like to go on tour with, go to their Instagram account and look at what bands they follow, add them to your list.
What local media outlets write about music? Add them to your list.
Find accounts belonging to band similar to yours with around the same number of followers - AND accounts more established than you. Look at who they are following and add the media outlets and bands to your list.
Who is commenting on your posts? Look at what other accounts they are following. Write down potential target accounts they are following.
Don’t take into consideration whether you already have a relationship with them or not at this point.
Only include accounts that are active on Instagram. Look at their 10 last posts. How often are they posting? Do their posts get good engagement (likes and comments)?
ADVANCED STEP: If you want to dig deeper into this rabbit hole, you can use the analytics tool Iconosquare (it costs money after the 14-day free trial). There you will find who are the top accounts in your niche.
ORGANIZE YOUR TARGETS (3.2)
After brainstorming, organize the targets into a prioritized list, something like:
20 top media outlets/influencers who should write about you.
20 media outlets/influencers that specialize in your genre/niche
10 music writers/influencers who you think will like you
10 media outlets in your local market
20 bands who are similar to yours (therefore you have a similar audience) and have around the same number of followers as you.
20 bands who you look up to in your genre. They have a higher number of followers than you.
Also under the tab "My Targets" in the Google Sheet, you can now copy/paste your targets from the brainstorming column into column A (Targets). It will look something like this:
If you'd rather, you can scribble in your Moleskine notebook or use the notebook app. Either way, keep it organized and add with room to grow.
HOW TO USE YOUR TARGET ACCOUNTS (3.3)
GOAL: You want your target accounts to follow you, to post about you and you want their followers to also follow you (and post about you and stream your music and come to your shows).
Once the 7 days are up (since you followed any new account), and you have once again cleaned up (used the Cleaner app to unfollow all accounts that are not following you back), you are now going to do the following:
Arrange the targets in a prioritized order, 1 = the first one to reach out to. 100 = the one it will be hardest to get attention from. The first ones can be the local media outlets and similar bands with similar following.
Focus on target #1 for a certain timeframe, say 1 week.
Try to get their attention by
Liking and commenting on their posts. Keep all engagement positive, relevant to the post, and sincere.
Make your own post about them, and tag them in it. Don't just give them a mention (adding their @unsername in your caption text). I want you to also tag them in the photo (click on "Tag People" when you set up your post) because this gives them a notification that really stands out! See screenshot 1. I have missed it maaaaaany times when accounts have mentioned me in their posts (tagged @northerlyagency_nyc in the caption text, not tagged the photo itself), because I constantly recieve tons of notifications, and many drown.
Drop the post into our Engagement Pod so it will reach further out in the algorithm.
Reposting their content (ask first. More on that in the next step.) Drop the post into our Engagement Pod so it will reach further.
Start to follow the accounts that are commenting on their posts. But make sure it's an actual engaged person and not a spammer! Look for relevant and insightful comments to make sure it's coming from a person, not an automated service (bot), meaning:
Comments and likes can come from spammers. If hashtags are used, make sure the accounts you are engaging with are actual potential fans. If a comment is really vague or does not seem to fit with the post, it's a spam-comment from a bot
WHAT'S A BOT? A software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the Internet. The often pretend to be human.
WHAT'S A SPAM-COMMENT? There are paid automated services where you choose a comment that will be posted on posts that use the specific hashtag. Obviously these are bots that send them out and often the comment does not make sense. Therefore the comment is usually kept completely vague, such as a "thumbs up" or "I love this post." You'll become a pro at recognizing them, and it teaches you how NOT to write comments. See Screenshot 2 and 3.
So from now on when you write a comment, make sure it's relevant to the post, so everybody can see that you are an actual sincere engaged person who looked at the picture, read the text and wanted to contribute with a comment.
Once you have followed an account (either because it's a top target account or a potential fan), also look at their last post, then like it and comment on it - just to give them some extra attention.
WHY? If you receive a follow, a like and an insightful comment from an account, you are more likely to take the time to check out their account - and to follow back.
But, before you do all that work trying to get them (whoever they are, big or small) to follow you, look at how many accounts they are already following. Only 12? They are probably not gonna follow you unless you are Keith Richards. Or maybe they are just not active on Instagram. Don't waste your precious time on them.
Write down what you have done, what you will do and the results. Use my template.
1. When you tag someone in the photo, they should definitely see it!
2. This Instagram specialist believes in automated services. I do not.
3. Money not very well spent (on automated services).
USE YOUR CURRENT NETWORK AND KEEP BUILDING (3.4)
Your network is every person you know and they know you back. Some are gonna be willing to move a mountain for you (your closest family members), while others - who might be able to create opportunities for your music career (you don't necessarily need a mountain moved as you prefer to hike on it) - might have their hands full to care about you. Unfortunately, having a Rolling Stone editor's business card in your hand does not mean he/her is in your network.
Now, let's get cracking on your current network by writing them all down. Use the Google Sheet's tab My Network.
Find them all on Instagram and make sure you follow them.
Reach out to all on your network list, start with the 10 most relevant who you think might be able to help you/support you/connect you/give you tips.
Email those who don't follow you or chat them on Facebook if you're friends.
"Hey man! Long time no see! How are things going over at the company? I'm getting ready to release an EP later this year, so I'm currently focusing on boosting my presence on Instagram. Would be awesome if you'd follow me back, that'd totally help a lot! Please let me know if there is anything I could do for you. Hope to catch up soon!"
Email them when you have announcements. Personal email, please! Only copy/paste the announcement itself.
Tag them in Instagram posts (screenshot 4).
Keep building your network! Go to concerts, industry networking events, seminars, conferences, workshops, parties and join networks in your niche!
4. Tag your network every once in a while! Tag @northerlyagency_nyc with your announcements!
Join the indie band collective (3.5)
Another way to connect with your possible collaborators is through our Indie Band Collective. This Collective aims at bringing independent musicians together to collaborate, get to know each other, supporting each other, share contacts and much more. We are getting ready to really get this kicked into gear, so f you are not yet a member, sign up below!
Make a plan (3.6)
Write down your next 5 planned moves, and add dates you must have the tasks accomplished by. Use the tab "To Do" in the Google Sheet if you'd like. If you prefer that I tell you what to do, here it is:
Reach out to 5 similar accounts with about the same amount of followers (who don't follow you). Find one of their posts that you like and ask (in the comments) if you can share it. At the same time as you're commenting, you also start to follow them (they will receive a notification that you are now following them and have made a comment. That might make them check you out!)
Follow all (relevant ones, not spammers) the followers of one of the similar bands. Give them a week to follow you back, and then clean up. Especially take a look at the accounts that are engaging with their content. Who is commenting on their content? They should be your fan too.
Start connecting with target accounts #1, 2 and 3.
Ask 5 accounts who are already supporters to post about you. It can be other bands, venues, friends, etc.
Reach out to 10 people on your network list to tell them about your latest project, and ask if they have any tips on how you can get a write up in a media outlet. Also ask if they can follow you if they are not already.
BONUS: DIY MUSIC MARKETING (3.7)
Northerly is an active A2IM member (American Association of Independent Music), and I'm an A2IM Education Committee member. Watch me host an A2IM webinar with Marni Wandner (President of Sneak Attack Media) where we discuss how labels can do their own music marketing! Our talk includes the importance of using your network.
Here are our talking points:
Define your brand: Have a clear brand and let it reflect throughout your physical materials and digital platforms.
Know your market: Know your niche and how to connect with your target audience.
Use your network: Reach out to your current network and always keep building.
Use social media: Post regularly and be strategic to maximize their marketing potential.
Publicity: Hire a publicist or pitch media outlets yourself.
Work on the numbers: Numbers of followers and streams do count (real organic numbers). Constantly work on attracting new followers and consider leading traffic to a few selected platforms.
Building your email list: Come up with a good lead magnet. The newsletter should offer value.
Designing your campaign: Using all the tips above to put together a marketing campaign for your next album release.
CheckList. Before continuing,
make sure you have:
Written down your top 100 targets, and given them a priority number.
Joined the Indie Band Collective, if you want
Learned more about Music Marketing by watching the webinar above.
Started to work on your next 5 moves, and set deadlines for yourself.
Send the code "Damn, I rock! ;)" to our Chat Group (if you want).