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Level 1: Fans (Section 4)
Written by:
Emily Plazek
Level 1 - Fans. 

This summary article is split up into other articles, so you can use this one as a reference as you maintain your career -- but if this is your first read-through of the IMBM, navigate in and out of the sections with the "click here" links mentioned throughout. You'll always come back here.

Welcome to Level 1. 

The right side of the Pyramid is about Fans, the left is about Money -- your music career success is a product of these 2 factors. Each side has a milestone to hit that guides you into Level 2, opening up new opportunities per section, and allowing you to let go of old activities you didn’t want to do forever.

Remember, you’ll be conducting the two laneway activities consistently throughout the entire process -- and your goal is to climb to Level 3 - Definition of Success, then stay there, living sustainably. 

The Goal to get to Level 2: 1000TF

This side of the pyramid is about building a dedicated fan base, specifically 1000 “True Fans” (also called “Superfans”) in order to hit your “Tipping Point” and rise to Level 2. We abbreviate it as 1000TF. 

Some bands/artists spend most of their time on one or two activities that they think they “should” do -- so this section is dedicated to throwing out those preconceived notions, and helping you narrow in on activities that have big bang for your buck in terms of gaining true fans.

Don't know what a "True Fan"/"Superfan" is? Click here!

Our first IMBM example of career success, millaze (our MIC creator and leader), is beginning this Friday 7/28 with a single release called "Rabbit Hole" -- follow @millazemusic (wait, you should already be following @micpgh, too by the way)

The 4 Fan Activities: Projects, OP, Fan Comm, & HRs

1) Projects

Projects are music releases (albums, EPs, single), music videos, and touring. We talked about your music’s differentiation in Product Development -- and here’s the place to apply that same idea to all your projects. The more unique/differentiated your projects are, the better they'll stick in people’s memories.

To some musicians, this part of the Pyramid is EVERYTHING. It’s where you exercise your power of freedom: you can write whatever music you want, say whatever you want, be whatever you want. Enjoy that. You have no one standing in the way of your artistic integrity, and not all musicians get that gift.

We have an official MIC Music Release Process Manual we’ll release to you later this year, containing more information on things like copyrights, but one takeaway to remember for now is to always distribute everywhere possible -- be where your fans are. Significant money can come from other sources in your career, in case your holdup is the hot debates on streaming revenues lately. Don’t alienate people who want to be your fans by not being where they listen to music -- you lose way more long-term potential for money if you do that.

The IMBM works hard to keep you updated on what’s important in the music industry in real time, and right now, we recognize that music videos are very important because YouTube is one of the biggest streamers at the moment. Whether you like that fact, or consume music that way or not, it’s the truth, so work with it however you can muster-- at least try offering cover art music videos so people can listen to you while streaming from there.

See? Distributors make your music releases easy-peasy.

Also, if you didn’t know, it’s ridiculously easy to get your music onto a distributor (like Distrokid) that puts your music into online stores and streaming platforms -- go to our publishing article to get pulled into the loop on that.

2) Online Presence (OP)

There’s an entire section of the IMBM devoted solely to where you exist online -- welcome to today’s music industry. Think of everything you do on the internet as little park slides that funnel towards the #1 place you want people to visit. This funnel focus is usually your website, because that is a piece of property you have 100% control over, unlike social media -- and on the site you can deliver your call to action like “Listen to our music here” or “Come to our show at this time," etc.

You’re going to balance (1) making it easy for your fans to find you (“ease of access”) with (2) what you want to upkeep, because leaving an online location outdated makes you look bad. So don’t bite off more than you can chew -- be true to yourself.

There are 4 Online Presence sub-categories:

  • Social Media (SM)
  • Website
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • PR (Public Relations)
Intern Kiersten on the MIC Snapchat group with that hot dog.
MIC's founder and our conscious rapper Kellee Maize, on Snapchat of course.

To read more about how to manage your Online Presence in Social Media, Website, and SEO -- click here!

PR (Public Relations): The IMBM takes a lot of freedom using this term: we consider this as any press, or networking with the public (meeting people in general and keeping in touch with them casually -- keep a nice folder in your email inbox or add them to your email list! They want updates on your projects if your music is great!).

No, it’s not necessarily easy to get writers to pay attention to you in this noisy industry era of so many musicians, but you can still make meaningful relationships with writers who want to cover you -- if you give them a “WIIFM”.

To read more about "How to get the press to pay attention to your music", click here!

3) Fan Communication (Fan Comm)

Your fans are your friends -- they want to cheer you on and be a part of your rise to indie-success. Do these things regularly so they know you appreciate them:

  • Social Media Interaction
  • Email List/Newsletter
  • Response to fan mail
To read more about how to communicate with your fans and why, click here!

5) Home Run Strategies (HRs)

The IMBM is about doing less-- less is more; KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid-- so this section is vital. These are the “Home Run” strategies you want to pursue, as opposed to “Single/Doubles." The difference is that HRs give you a great ROI (Return on Investment) for the assets (time, energy, and money) you spend, while Singles/Doubles are maybe easier to pursue, but suck up your assets with very little return.

  • Influencer playlists
  • Celeb Endorsements
  • Celebrity Collaboration
  • Humor
  • Hometown Rally
  • Piggybacking on Current Events
To read more about how "Home Run Strategies simplify your music career", click here!

Next up: Level 1 - Money (rollin’ in it)

(Or, go back and read more about Level 1 - Fans, here!)

Level 1: Fans (Section 4)
Level 1: Fans (Section 4)
MIC is my baby.
Level 1 - Fans. 

This summary article is split up into other articles, so you can use this one as a reference as you maintain your career -- but if this is your first read-through of the IMBM, navigate in and out of the sections with the "click here" links mentioned throughout. You'll always come back here.

Welcome to Level 1. 

The right side of the Pyramid is about Fans, the left is about Money -- your music career success is a product of these 2 factors. Each side has a milestone to hit that guides you into Level 2, opening up new opportunities per section, and allowing you to let go of old activities you didn’t want to do forever.

Remember, you’ll be conducting the two laneway activities consistently throughout the entire process -- and your goal is to climb to Level 3 - Definition of Success, then stay there, living sustainably. 

The Goal to get to Level 2: 1000TF

This side of the pyramid is about building a dedicated fan base, specifically 1000 “True Fans” (also called “Superfans”) in order to hit your “Tipping Point” and rise to Level 2. We abbreviate it as 1000TF. 

Some bands/artists spend most of their time on one or two activities that they think they “should” do -- so this section is dedicated to throwing out those preconceived notions, and helping you narrow in on activities that have big bang for your buck in terms of gaining true fans.

Don't know what a "True Fan"/"Superfan" is? Click here!

Our first IMBM example of career success, millaze (our MIC creator and leader), is beginning this Friday 7/28 with a single release called "Rabbit Hole" -- follow @millazemusic (wait, you should already be following @micpgh, too by the way)

The 4 Fan Activities: Projects, OP, Fan Comm, & HRs

1) Projects

Projects are music releases (albums, EPs, single), music videos, and touring. We talked about your music’s differentiation in Product Development -- and here’s the place to apply that same idea to all your projects. The more unique/differentiated your projects are, the better they'll stick in people’s memories.

To some musicians, this part of the Pyramid is EVERYTHING. It’s where you exercise your power of freedom: you can write whatever music you want, say whatever you want, be whatever you want. Enjoy that. You have no one standing in the way of your artistic integrity, and not all musicians get that gift.

We have an official MIC Music Release Process Manual we’ll release to you later this year, containing more information on things like copyrights, but one takeaway to remember for now is to always distribute everywhere possible -- be where your fans are. Significant money can come from other sources in your career, in case your holdup is the hot debates on streaming revenues lately. Don’t alienate people who want to be your fans by not being where they listen to music -- you lose way more long-term potential for money if you do that.

The IMBM works hard to keep you updated on what’s important in the music industry in real time, and right now, we recognize that music videos are very important because YouTube is one of the biggest streamers at the moment. Whether you like that fact, or consume music that way or not, it’s the truth, so work with it however you can muster-- at least try offering cover art music videos so people can listen to you while streaming from there.

See? Distributors make your music releases easy-peasy.

Also, if you didn’t know, it’s ridiculously easy to get your music onto a distributor (like Distrokid) that puts your music into online stores and streaming platforms -- go to our publishing article to get pulled into the loop on that.

2) Online Presence (OP)

There’s an entire section of the IMBM devoted solely to where you exist online -- welcome to today’s music industry. Think of everything you do on the internet as little park slides that funnel towards the #1 place you want people to visit. This funnel focus is usually your website, because that is a piece of property you have 100% control over, unlike social media -- and on the site you can deliver your call to action like “Listen to our music here” or “Come to our show at this time," etc.

You’re going to balance (1) making it easy for your fans to find you (“ease of access”) with (2) what you want to upkeep, because leaving an online location outdated makes you look bad. So don’t bite off more than you can chew -- be true to yourself.

There are 4 Online Presence sub-categories:

  • Social Media (SM)
  • Website
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • PR (Public Relations)
Intern Kiersten on the MIC Snapchat group with that hot dog.
MIC's founder and our conscious rapper Kellee Maize, on Snapchat of course.

To read more about how to manage your Online Presence in Social Media, Website, and SEO -- click here!

PR (Public Relations): The IMBM takes a lot of freedom using this term: we consider this as any press, or networking with the public (meeting people in general and keeping in touch with them casually -- keep a nice folder in your email inbox or add them to your email list! They want updates on your projects if your music is great!).

No, it’s not necessarily easy to get writers to pay attention to you in this noisy industry era of so many musicians, but you can still make meaningful relationships with writers who want to cover you -- if you give them a “WIIFM”.

To read more about "How to get the press to pay attention to your music", click here!

3) Fan Communication (Fan Comm)

Your fans are your friends -- they want to cheer you on and be a part of your rise to indie-success. Do these things regularly so they know you appreciate them:

  • Social Media Interaction
  • Email List/Newsletter
  • Response to fan mail
To read more about how to communicate with your fans and why, click here!

5) Home Run Strategies (HRs)

The IMBM is about doing less-- less is more; KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid-- so this section is vital. These are the “Home Run” strategies you want to pursue, as opposed to “Single/Doubles." The difference is that HRs give you a great ROI (Return on Investment) for the assets (time, energy, and money) you spend, while Singles/Doubles are maybe easier to pursue, but suck up your assets with very little return.

  • Influencer playlists
  • Celeb Endorsements
  • Celebrity Collaboration
  • Humor
  • Hometown Rally
  • Piggybacking on Current Events
To read more about how "Home Run Strategies simplify your music career", click here!

Next up: Level 1 - Money (rollin’ in it)

(Or, go back and read more about Level 1 - Fans, here!)

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