The Complete Guide to Using Headliner.fm: Reaching New Fans Never Felt So Easy

Joshua Weidling is the CEO and founder of Digital Tour Bus, a video company that documents musicians touring and the buses they use. They are also Headliner members and have generously created their own guide to using Headliner based on their experience. Joshua has “managed bands, booked shows, worked for a music magazine, and posted news for an online music news site.” So he has a good perspective on the new music business. Headliner is all about sharing and helping musicians, so we are eager to hear what our members have to say about the service. It is in that spirit that we are sharing, with their permission, their “Complete Guide to Using Headliner.fm: Reaching News Fans Never Felt So Easy.” You can link to the original here, at MicControl. And follow Joshua on TwitterTumblr, and Google+.

The Complete Guide to Using Headliner.fm: Reaching New Fans Never Felt So Easy

These days, we waste our days away on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. We spend hours upon hours a day trying to figure out how to gain new fans on these social networks. In a perfect world, every potential fan for your genre of music would be exposed to your music and would instantly become a fan if they like your music. We all know that in reality this is never true. As depressing as it sounds, even if you’re an artist with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign behind you, you’re still not going to reach every potential fan. Now, we have two options, (1) sit around and do nothing OR (2) join Headliner.fm to make reach potential new fans easier than ever before. Why? Because through their network of artists, including Pitbull, Travie McCoy, All Time Low, and thousands more, you can reach millions of potential fans.

Here’s how it works:

  • First, sign-up for an account. Yes, they do offer a free version for those who want to try the service or can’t afford a pro-account. Trust me, once you use this service, you will find it worthy of paying for a pro-account.
  • Second, sync your Facebook page, Twitter, Myspace and Souncloud accounts. You don’t have to sync all of your accounts, but I suggest you do to get the most out of using the site.
  • Third, obtain “band bucks”, which is the site’s form of currency, from either accepting other band’s promotions to post on your networks OR buying them.
  • Fourth, create a promotion with the band bucks you obtained.
  • Fifth, see your fans grow.

Tips when accepting promotions:

  • You don’t want to clutter your feed with posts about artists that aren’t relevant to your fans. Why? Because your fans might consider this spam, which could lead them un-like, un-follow, un-friend your account.
  • Don’t accept too many promotions. Headliner.fm helps with this by limiting you to only accepting 3 promotions a day, one for morning, one for afternoon and one for night. It is really up to you to choose what is right for your fans.
  • Check out the URLs within the post before accepting because the post might say one thing and the URL may lead to another.
  • Take into consideration whether the artist has accepted one of your campaigns in the past when you are choosing to accept or deny. It’s always good to reward the artists that are feeding the site’s ecosystem.

Tips for creating your promotions:

  • Make it short and sweet. You only have 140 characters and about 20-30 of those characters will likely be used for the URL. If you’re do a promotion for Twitter, keep in mind that people still do physical RTs, instead of using the RT button, so try to leave 10-15 characters for that use as well. After the URL and the RT leeway, you are left with 95-110 characters to work with, which isn’t a lot.
  • Make you post sound like it is coming from another artist. It is all too common on the site to receive a post that says “Check out my music at [INSERT URL]”. The only problem with that post it is your music, not the artists’ that will be posting that message. A better message would be, “Go check out [INSERT ARTIST NAME]’s music at [INSERT URL]”. Short, simply, and sweet.
  • If you’re posting about a Youtube video, put that link in the post. Why? Because people can now watch your video right in their Facebook and Twitter feeds.
  • In my opinion, don’t send out any promotions to artist’s Myspace. Until Myspace gains some momentum again, any post sent to Myspace will be wasted points. Plus, a lot of artists have very high friend numbers on Myspace for reasons you’re probably aware of.
  • Do separate promotions for Twitter and Facebook because an @reply on Twitter means absolutely nothing on Facebook. If you choose to do campaigns on both networks within the same campaign, I would suggest not including an @reply.
  • Only send the promotion to genres that are relevant to your post. If the song or video you are suggesting people to check out is a rock song, do you really think rap fans will enjoy it?
  • Name your campaigns so you can easily go back and check the impact that each campaign had.
  • Use the URL tracker. This way, Headliner.fm can tell you when your posts are liked, commented on, retweeted, etc.
  • If your event is specific to a certain city, use the location feature to target artists from that area. This can be very useful when promoting upcoming tour dates and events. If you do not want to target a specific city, just select “All Locations”.
  • Depending on the context of your message and your desired campaign length, you can choose between 3, 7, 14 or 30 day campaigns. If you’re using a free account, you can only run one campaign at a time, so it might be worth it for you to run a 30 day campaign.

Maintaining your account:

  • If you already have your Facebook or Twitter posts synced with each other, keep that in mind when using Headliner.fm. The last thing you want is for a promotion you accepted to post on Facebook to also show up on your Twitter just because your accounts are synced.
  • I would suggest actually accepting promotions because if every artist just relied on other artists to promote their campaigns there would be no artists actually accepting promotions. As long as you accept wisely, I think your fans will appreciate the music you’re suggesting them to listen to.
  • Check your account at least on a weekly basis; it wouldn’t hurt to login daily. This will give you the chance to accept the most relevant promotions to your fans, since promotions only run for a select number of days.

I hope you give this site a try and eventually add it to your marketing campaigns. It is a great way to reward artists with promotion and have artists promote your music at the same time. Just imagine a community of artists helping each other out. Wouldn’t that be nice?

(Yes, it would be very nice. And we’re happy to do anything we can to help make that happen. Thanks, Joshua!)