Keep these insights in mind when you are telling your story to fans in an email, a Facebook post, a tweet or with Instagram –says Shlomo.
People love a story – they will latch onto it if it feels like something true to you.
If you tell your story well, you will become more human for your fans and, in turn, they will become more engaged with your music.
1. Keep your text to a minimum. Remember: the vast majority of emails are read on smart phones – and no one wants to wade through lengthy chunks of text on their phone.
2. Include as many videos, images and sound clips as possible. This will make your messages more dynamic, engaging and enjoyable. After saying ‘Hi’, get to your point right away. Give a brief update on what you are doing – what is making you happy or unhappy. Tell your story through video, images, embedded links to SoundCloud – ANYTHING that will encourage people to engage with it.
3. Use Instagram. Instagram is an app for your phone – you can take photos and videos (up to 15 seconds) and share them – with text. I have mine connected to my Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr. Sometimes I’ll take a 15 second clip of the crowd going mad at my show and then post it. Fans love linking to this as it allows them to share something of the feeling of being at your concert. 15 seconds can be more effective than a still image at capturing the excitement of a moment and it’s probably better than 10 minutes of shaky video on YouTube!
4. Use Instagram MORE. One interesting thing about Instagram is that there is no word limit- so people use it as a way to sidestep Twitter’s character limit. When Robin Williams died, I noticed that Questlove (the drummer for The Roots) posted a really great personal story on Instagram about having met Robin Williams in an elevator and how that touched him. After Robin dies, he posted the story up and it went viral. People saw the image and story on Twitter and then clicked through to Instagram for the full text.
5. Include a Call to Action (CTA). You could say to your fans, “I have just released a record.” Period. OR you could say, “I’ve just released a record – join with me now in achieving the goal of XXXXXXX [insert your own benchmark here] and I will send you a free MP3 of…” CTAs give your fans a REASON to engage. It changes one-way monologue to two-way interaction. CTA’s could be sharing a photo, retweeting a video, taking part in a poll, or anything else you can think of.
6. Take a Selfie on Stage. I got this idea from The Ultimate Guide to Singing! (I’m in the book – but I started reading the other parts!). Take an image at your show of yourself with the audience behind you – and immediately post it so that the crowd can tag themselves. Last summer I played some big festivals. At some point in the performance I said, “Is it all right if I take a selfie? OK! Get ready to go crazy! 3-2-1-go!” I take the picture and then people go on Instagram and Facebook and tag themselves to remember the moment and share it with their friends. It captures the energy of what is happening and people really like to engage with it! Plus it then comes up in their Facebook feeds for their friends to see.
7. Cultivate Good Social Media Habits. The first habit is to not spend more time promoting yourself on social media than doing what you love with your music. However, do post regularly, trying to document anything interesting about what you are doing. Take pictures; share them… and always remember that some people are interested in what you do. Share stories about what you love and what makes you into the artist you are.
This brings us back to the main principle: stories are everything – a true story that involves your life can touch others.
Get yours out there.
My Reaction to This Week's Singing Competition Entry
Skye - I'm Not The Only One
I agree, it’s a wonderful song, and I can see how much you love the song by the passion in your voice. Unfortunately it’s notoriously hard to keep pitch constant when you sing totally accapella like this. I’d like to see you improve your pitch and it will be easier to stay in key if you bring in some accompaniment.
Shlomo gave up astrophysics to perform his amazing vocal pyrotechnics. It was a good move. Since then he has won global acclaim and worked with some of the biggest names in music; he’s also won the World Loopstation Championships in LA.