There’s a way to connect with your fans that’s perhaps more powerful than any other way to do it. It facilitates sales. It fosters connections. People find it genuinely interesting and want more of them. They are the perfect quarantine content. I am of course speaking about going live. I’m not talking about live stream concerts, though those are great too, I’m just talking about turning on the camera and talking to some people live on Facebook or Instagram.
Be it on Facebook or Instagram, going live is one of the best ways for you to build an audience of people who are stoked on you and care about what you are doing. I wanted to talk about how to run a successful live stream, the best ways to push it, and of course how you can hopefully make a little cash off of one.
3. How To Have A Good Live Stream
First and foremost be aware that live streams take a lot of bandwidth. Make sure you are somewhere that has a good internet connection. No one wants to see a herky-jerky garbled live stream. If it happens even once some people won’t come and visit you again. On top of that, make sure that you know how long you are going live for and are in a room you can do that for an extended period. That shit’s important.
On top of that – even if your goal is to take and answer questions, make sure you have other shit you can talk about. So often I see bands doing live streams expecting questions to flood in and then looking awkward when they don’t. Maybe you’ll luck out – but it’s wise to have something you’re going to talk about while you wait for folks to ask questions.
2. Ways To Promote Your Live Stream
The two big keys seem to be regularity and announcing stuff well in advance so people can note the time. While I have seen people do off the cuff lives with success, it’s always good for those who really care to know that you’ll be out there doing the thing.
The other key is either crossposting your live stream with a friendly page or promoter or bringing another person onto the call so you can pull from each other’s audiences. Both of these techniques get more eyeballs on what you are doing and mean that people can start to see the relationships that help to make you interesting.
1. How To Monetize Your Live Stream
And then of course there’s the question of monetizing. Some bands have obviously had success with a Patreon model and going live just for their patrons. If you are trying to do something a bit less intense I would encourage you just to have a buy link in your video description and periodically make a call to action. That is to say, actually ask people to buy the record.
Ideally, if you want to sell something you’ll have a copy of it so you can show people. This could be holding up the vinyl and showing it off or talking about why a shirt is so special, or something else entirely. People like to be able to see what they want to buy. In some ways, you can envision it as a personalized TV commercial.
As you can see live streams are a really interesting way to push your band that will make people feel a deeper connection and get them interested in growing with you for years to come. If you do it right you can build a very real and meaningful fanbase. It might take a few tries for it to really click, but it’s almost always worth it!
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Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from Glam Rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post Black Metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of 14 he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
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