Okay, so here's the formula that can make or break your music career.
It's the 1,000 fan formula and it goes like this:
If you have 1000 fans that are each willing to pay you $100/year then you'll earn $100,000 each year as a musician.
If you want to make a comfortable living as a musician, all that stands between you and success is having 1,000 fans.
If you get one new fan a day you can be earning a six figure career within 34 months.
Why is this formula so important for bands like yours?
It gives you a solid, definable target to measure your career progress.
It's attainable for almost anybody with some degree of talent and passion for what they do.
You don't have anyone else to rely on (or to blame) in order to have a successful career... except yourself.
It gets you out of your own head and focused on what matters.
If you're ever uncertain of what to do (spend 6 hours in my room playing guitar or hang posters for the show on Friday) you can always ask yourself which activity is going to increase your odds of getting even one new fan...or keeping an existing one.
The degree to which you succeed with this formula is the degree to which you embrace it.
If you think about it, having fans makes everything better.
You'll have more attendance at your shows, more money from download/CD/merchandise sales and if it is a record deal that you're after - having an established and measurable fan base will give you all the leverage in the world in order to negotiate the best possible deal around.
So you may be asking, what is a 'fan' and how do I get them?
Well, a fan in this case is someone who is willing to spend money on your band.
They're willing to travel out to your shows even several hours away, buy everything you make and want to interact with you and get personalized items from the band (autographs, hang time back stage etc).
You may be saying that you have fans, but they don't buy anything - they want a drive to the show and to get in for free - well, that my friend is not one of the 'true fans' that makes this formula work.
Casual fan = An occasional buyer.
Fan = A repeat buyer.
A rabid fan = A repeat buyer who'll pay more for like front of the line access, boxed sets, limited edition copies etc.
Like any business, without paying customers your band will eventually fold.
How long it will take comes down to how much money you have to throw away and whether you live at home with mom and dad or not.
Remember, I said that there was going to be some work involved and this is going to be the first step - to find your audience and hopefully some of these true fans.
If you've already been established for a while, you might need to figure out how many 'real' fans you have versus fair-weather fans that won't pay for much.
But before we get into how to find and capture the attention of these fans, let’s explore the formula a little more.
So here's what the formula looks like:
Q X VF = I
Q = Quantity
VF = Value/Fan
I = Income
This means that the number of true fans that you have multiplied by the value per fan equals the income that you can make.
So if you have 50 fans that average about $35 a year on merchandise the formula looks like this:
50 x $35 = $1,750/year
With this formula, succeeding at music becomes much less abstract; rather than having to ‘write the hit song’ or get the ultimate record deal, you can focus on what is actually going to earn you income.
It becomes a numbers game, the more fans you have and the more money they spend on your stuff each year determines the amount of income you make.
This formula is extremely liberating for bands that have relied almost entirely on live shows to earn more and sell their products;
this is a way to make money without having to trade your time.
Read that last sentence a few times over and let it sink it - it’s extremely important.
I realize that right now I’m being pretty heavy-handed with the money talk; but I only say this because…
Without money, your days of making music are numbered.
The day you run out of money (or get kicked out of your parent’s house) will be the day that your music dies.
Many musicians deny how important money is to their lives and end up working low paying day jobs on the side to support their lifestyle.
They feel stifled because they can never give music ‘their all’ and therefore often fail to reach the level of success they feel they’re capable of; I don’t want that to happen to you.
Wouldn’t you rather have your music generate money instead of constantly going out of pocket and having to work a day job?
I thought so!
Hey, making a living with music would be pretty cool right? If this is you, then you just need to work the formula backwards.
What you do is take the amount of money that you're surviving on right now and divide it by the amount of money per rabid fan ($100) and you'll then see how many true fans that you need to have to be able to quit your day job.
Here's an example for someone who earns $35,000 a year at their day job:
$35,000 / $100 = 350
So all you'd need is 350 rabid fans to be able to quit your day job - that's less than making one new fan per day!
If you want to keep a part time job even (say at a music store for instance), the number of fans required will be even lower still.
While you may be happy making a full time income with your music, you don’t have to stop there.
Earning a six figure income is possible as a musician if you’re able to apply this formula to your band and work it consistently;
I believe that it’s better to "aim high and slightly miss than to aim low and hit the bull’s eye".
With that in mind, here’s that six figure fan formula spelled out for you again:
1,000 fans x $100/year = $100,000/year
If you’re in a band, the number changes a little bit.
For instance, if you have four band members and you make $100,000 per year with this formula each member is only making $25,000 each.
In order to have each member of the band earn $100,000, you have to multiply the number of fans that you need by the number of members in your band.
Yes, this does increase the number of rabid fans that you need to make a six figure income, but the work involved doesn’t necessarily have to increase as long as each band member pulls their weight in the marketing department.
If each band member is accountable and spends a little time each day following some of the strategies outlined in this report, you’ll have 4 or (insert the number of members in your band here) band members working together to find and draw in these fans.
Can this be done?
Just consider that there are over a billion people with access to the internet that you can reach online - with more coming online each day.
Do you think you can find 350 - 1000 people that will like your music enough to pay you $100/year out of more than a billion people online?
Even if 99.9% of the people online HATE your music...you can have a career with the .01% left over!
People are becoming celebrities online with Youtube videos getting tens of thousands of views.
You just need to find that tiny decimal amount online that love your music, let them know that you exist, what you have to offer and then sell it to them.
This formula is not under dispute, what is in question is your ability to work it in your favour.
Do you have the drive to adopt this formula and see it through until you succeed?
Yes, you can argue that it is very difficult to find 1000 true fans.
Yes, you can argue that once you find a true fan, keeping them won't be easy.
Yes, you can argue that it is difficult to get each fan to spend $100 on your music each year.
The fact is that there are some variables to the formula.
Life isn't black and white - as the saying goes, if you wait for all the lights to turn green, you'll never get anywhere in life...and it's absolutely true.
You have to get in there and get your hands dirty, commit yourself to the method and work your way through the little road blocks that come along the way.
"The person who says that it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."
- Chinese Proverb.
None of this is easy, but this is the single best formula to get you to your goals.
You are going to have to bust your ass to provide value to your audience, but what's the alternative? Busting your ass at a job and stifling your music career?
How’s your current strategy working for you?
Again, the best part about this formula is that it will get you out of your own head space.
Many musicians identify so closely with their music that they lose sense of the outside perspective; this formula helps to bring you back to earth and focus on what will directly increase your income.
If you agree that having a thousand rabid fans is the key to having a successful music career, what would you do differently than you do now?
Would you be willing to give your music away to 100,000 people online if it meant you found 1,000 willing to pay you $100 a year?
1000 out of 100,000 is 1% - this is a pretty standard conversion rate on the internet.
Success, in this instance is a numbers game - if you attract 100,000 people to your site you'll have a great chance to make 1,000 fans.
You can increase that number of people who become rabid fans significantly when you target people who actually enjoy your style of music to begin with.
100,000 sounds like a big number … but when you look at the total population online it is chump change.
If you're ready to move along to the next phase, read on my friend and find out how to find your fans online.
(to be continued tomorrow - check your inbox)