When successful recording artists step into the public eye, they seem larger than life. They exude charisma and talent, leading their fans to believe that success springs from some magical combination of luck, destiny, and the right set of skills. However, as these recording artists prove, the business side of music influences stardom just as much as the rest of it.
Tweet Like Katy Perry
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With more than 70 million Twitter followers, Katy Perry proves she understands the value of social media and knows how to leverage it to increase her visibility. A glance through her Twitter feed reveals that she covers topics as diverse as politics, paparazzi, and personal promotion.
Fans don’t just want to listen to your music — they want to know you as a person. Interacting with your fan base via social media humanizes you before the public and allows people to feel as though they’ve connected with you.
Claim the Limelight Like Big & Rich
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The dapper duo Big & Rich echoed the lyrics to their popular hit “Save a Horse” when they kicked off a concert in Maine by buying all the patrons of a local bar two rounds of Crown Royal shots before the show. They not only stepped into the spotlight with this stunt, but they also associated their performance with generosity and humor.
Maybe you can’t buy drinks for everyone in a bar, but make a splash in other ways. Develop a reputation for hanging out with fans after performances to engage them and show your appreciation.
Diversify Your Efforts Like Rihanna
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Joining the ranks of musicians like Madonna, Kanye West, and Beyoncé, Rihanna capitalized on her signature fashion staples with a clothing line. Take a page from Rihanna’s playbook by diversifying your business. You record and distribute music, but also develop unique branded merchandise (from hats to mouse pads). Lack the funds for design and promotion? Consider launching a crowdfunding campaign.
Give Back Like the Grateful Dead
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Long before Napster, iconic rock band The Grateful Dead actually encouraged piracy among their fans, inviting them to record their performances and distribute them among friends. While this generosity might seem counterintuitive, it actually boosted sales. Breed more fans by issuing a batch of free concert tickets or distributing free live recordings on your website. On a smaller scale, give away a few branded t-shirts or free digital downloads at each of your performances.
Create a Culture Like Jimmy Buffet
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Jimmy Buffet has created a Margaritaville culture around his performances that inspires fans to dress up, adopt his slogans, and spread his messages. His net worth of $400 million is a consequence not only of his musical talent, but also of the culture surrounding his music.
Follow his lead by developing your own culture. Small things, such as how you dress and how you talk to your fans, influence others’ perception of your work.