Don’t Burn Out Like I Did! Automate Your Music Career!

July 27th, 2022 by Pravin Thompson

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Burn out is REAL.

Hi there fellow Indies! My name is Pravin Thompson and I am the Indie-Support Specialist and Co-Community Manager at Indepreneur! In this article I’d like to discuss ways of maintaining fanbase growth and engagement with minimal bandwidth. 

In April 2020 I first discovered Indepreneur and became incredibly invested in their courses and community. As many other musicians of that time, options of touring and other forms of promotion were incredibly limited or just non existent. Learning about digital marketing through Indepreneur was a complete game changer, and a decision I will be forever grateful for! 

By November of 2020 I am back to teaching guitar full-time, a mixture of zoom lessons and in person, as well as freelancing as a guitarist. For my own career and marketing I began live streaming twice a week, sending weekly emails along with email automations, posting biweekly content on my FB page as well as 3x content on Instagram. I have a fully functioning shop that is generation several sales a month. I have ran a multitude of different FB/IG Ad campaigns. These strategies include: Fan Finder Method, Green Light Warmth Boosting, Free + Shipping & Handling Funnel, Permission campaigns, and major sales offers. All of these are techniques and strategies taught in Indepreneur.

Like others I was also dealing with pandemic depression that I was not addressing, along with just burnout from the extra workload I had given myself on top of my regular work. 

By February 2021 I had completely hit burn out and was unable to make any extra content or music. All I was able to do was teach my zoom lesson, and watch TV. 

My weekly ritual for marketing completely ended. I stopped live streaming, I stopped practicing music (which began affecting my freelance career), I even stopped engaging with the Indepreneur community and trainings for several months. 

Even with all of this affecting me I wanted to still try and maintain some growth with my fanbase. I utilized 3 different campaign strategies: Fan-Finder Method, Green Light Warmth Boosting, And Email Marketing. 

Fan Finder Method:

A Fan Finder is a 1 shot performance style video Ad that is meant to attract NEW fans and people who have NEVER heard of you. 

I used interest based targeting to find people who liked bands similar to mine. As well as broad interest targeting.

I kept mine running at $5 a day for about 3 months, with very minimal oversight.

Greenlight Warmth Boosting:

GLW Boosting is when you create a retargeting audience (People who have engaged with your page for over a year, recent engagement, people who have watched 50% of your Fan-Finder, etc.) 

We can take all those people and retarget them and send them more content Ads (music or just brand related). 

To help nurture and educate them to become deeper fans and maybe… eventual customers. 

At Indepreneur we call this Green Light warmth boosting. Budget is usually $1 a day. Each post I usually just let run for about 4 or 5 days. In this case I had one running for closer to 10 days. I boosted 1 or 2 posts a month. 

Email Marketing For Musicians: 

My mailing list was a big part of my ecosystem. I send out about 1 email a week. There is a sign up form on my website offering a free song to be on my list. My list was about 200 contacts, mostly fans and a few friends and family. I was very transparent about my struggles to make new content, and how I’ve been feeling. My fans sent back a lot of love and care. It was really helpful at that low. I would go ahead and create discount codes and just add them to the end of my emails, which got me a few purchases. 

To recap before burn out I was:

  • Livestreaming twice a week
  • Posting 3-5x times a week
  • Being constantly available.

Post Burn-out:

  • Just letting my Fan-Finder run for $5 a day
  • Posting twice a month, boosting each post for a $1 a day for 5-10 days at a time
  • And Emailing once a week.

Here are the results I had during burnout:

I started making sales from just my Fan Finder. People went directly from the Fan Finder to my Merch store and some people bought about $50 worth of merch. At one point I made back about $150, which is about what I put into running that fan-finder. 

I made some really big die-hard fans that responded to almost every single email I sent, and ended being returning customers when I started making new merch. 

More importantly; It taught me how to slow down and think more sustainably.

A music career is a marathon not a sprint.. Maintaining consistency starts with figuring out your bandwidth, and then figuring out your budget. How much can you post a week before things start to feel like a chore? How much can you do, and it still be fun? 

When I am low on budget or time, I implement this same exact strategy. Fan Finder running for $5 a day, Green Light Warmth post, along with just conversation starters on my Facebook Page. And my once a week email! 

By the summer of 2021 I was feeling a lot better. Took the proper rest I needed, got the help I needed, and began nurturing the audience I have maintained and built with newer content, and eventually a new EP!

If you feel like you are hitting burn out, I recommend stopping immediately, and give yourself the proper rest you need. Re-evaluate what you need and don’t need to do. As your brand voice develops, your fans develop with it! They get used to the ebb and flow of content, don’t be afraid to even be communicative about why you need a break. This is your story and your journey, you can take as much time as you need.

Get a free trial of the trainings mentioned in this article here!

About the author:

Graci Phillips is Indepreneur's Community Manager & Director of Indie Success. Graci is part of our Nashville team and specializes in providing resources and solutions to our members, community building,  and highlighting success stories within this incredible community. 

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