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Music Success in Nine Weeks – Week 6 – Blog Challenge 2.0

August 31, 2010

Holy moly. I’ve gotten so behind and off schedule with my posts! I was going to post from the road in Knoxville, TN while I was there for Indiegrrl 2010, but my hotel didn’t have free wi-fi and with 6 showcases in 3 days, and 24 hours of driving, that was a tad overly ambitious.  But – I won’t let that get me down, because I did at least re-read the last 4 weeks of the book (what book, you say? Music Success in Nine Weeks!) a few times so I will catch up and post the remaining 3 blogs over the rest of this week.

Week 6 is all about connecting with your fans via newsletters, and conducting surveys so you can give your fans what they want. I’ve been getting waaay better at my newsletter writing over the last year. I used to not have much to say,  or at least, I thought I didn’t, but since I’ve been getting busier and focusing on marketing -thanks to the book! – that’s not the problem anymore. The problem is making it interesting enough for people to open. I recently imported my email list into reverbnation’s FanReach and I love it. It tells me if people opened my newsletter, and then even tells me if they clicked through anything. That stuff is gold. And it’s FREE. Free is awesome.

You may recall in my post on Week 3, I talked about how I doubled my email list in a few months. One thing that really helped that growth was a online contest via ourstage.com, and the newsletter I wrote to get my fans involved in voting  for me. I often have songs entered in things on ourstage.com, but sometimes I forget about it. This was one of those cases. I had entered my song, “How Long” into a contest to open for Bon Jovi, and completely put it out of my mind. Then all of a sudden, I was in the top 20 for the Foxboro, MA date! Which was super cool because I hadn’t even been voting on anything yet, or told any of my fans about it. So, I checked the contest rules and discovered I was “safe” – meaning that the Bon Jovi team would be picking from the Top 20 in each city. But – I wanted to finish in the top 10, plus, I wanted people to know that this little Canadian was in the running in an American city so I sent out what I think is one of my better newsletters with the subject line “Jovi needs Jarrett – Help Kim Jarrett open for Bon Jovi – VOTING ENDS TODAY!”  Hee. Note how I made sure to make it very time sensitive, too. I think that helped a lot.

Here’s what I said in the content:

VOTING ENDS TODAY!

Holy – insert expletive of your choice – !!!
I was minding my own business, checking out the very cool http://www.windowfarms.org (how much is that veggie in the window – um, free!), chatting on twitter, and I pop over to my profile on http://www.ourstage.com – a very cool music discovery site that I’ve been hanging around on for almost two years, and – insert drum roll….
I discover that I am in the running to open for Bon Jovi – yes, that’s correct – THE Bon Jovi – in Massachusetts in July! I’ve already made it to the quarter-finals – that’s the top 20! – but I need your help to push me to the semi-finals TODAY!
Anyone can join, either as an artist, or fan, or both, and help decide. To register and vote go here: http://www.ourstage.com/contests/4060-bon-jovis-wanted-a-superband-tonight-foxboro-ma and then choose the “Judge” tab. You can create a login or use your facebook id. You’ll then be given two songs to listen to at a time, and you’ll choose your favourite (um, mine, I hope!). Simple, huh? And lots of fun. I really enjoy hearing some of the fabulous songs in the various channels and competitions every month. While you’re there, pop over to my profile (http://www.ourstage.com/profile/kimjarrett) and check out some of my favs from other ourstage.com artists under “Kim Jarrett’s Favourite Tracks”.

VOTING ENDS TODAY at 11:59pm so go do it NOW! God knows, I’m “living on a prayer” over here and could use all the help I can get… Ha!

Thanks for your support!
Kim
xo
If you need any help at all with the ourstage.com interface, just email me back and I’ll help you out!

What happened after that was crazy! I had fans writing me telling me they had gone through the entire 190 votes in the voting proces, and one good friend even called a local radio station and had the DJ dedicate “Livin’ on a Prayer” to me. I was shocked and overcome with gratitude and love that my fanbase had not only reacted, but spent 3 or more hours of their lives madly clicking away for me. At the end of that hurried few days, I had reached #9 in the contest (woohoo!) and my facebook fan page was expotentially growing in numbers – I sat there and watched it roll upwards as I looked at it. It freaked me out! But in a good way of course! And then I looked at my streaming numbers for that song on ourstage.com, and it had clocked an additional 5,000 streams (and that’s from *outside* of the voting process). Success!

So, that is my newsletter success story for you. 🙂 I didn’t end up winning the contest in the end, but as they say, it was an honour to even be in the running, and I used it for what it was for: A great PR and outreach opportunity. I won new fans, and got some good data on my existing ones. It also meant I finally got around to creating and posting some video for the contest team to view so that was a good thing, too.

As far as really knowing my fanbase – I’m still working on that. I don’t feel I have quite enough of them yet to start doing surveys, but as soon as I do, I look forward to writing a(nother)compelling newsletter and collecting that information. I may even try one anyway, as I think I have a loyal fanbase, even it’s is on the small side currently. It might yield useful information, even though I may not have 1,000 true fans yet – the ones I do have are definitely “true”, and that’s what counts. They keep me going every week by coming out to events, and sending me wonderful emails, facebook, and youtube comments. They rock!

Happy newslettering!

Kim

xo

www.kimjarrett.com

gigs – cds – mp3s – news – blog

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