Ask and you shall receive.

Don’t worry, I haven’t been converted by the mystic powers of the Secret craze that passed through society a couple of years ago (where all you had to do was simply visualise what you desired and it would appear). But I have been converted by Amanda Palmer!

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This morning I had absolutely no idea who Amanda Palmer was. And then I watched a talk that she presented with TED, and I am proud to say that I am converted!

Amanda Palmer is an accomplished solo punk cabaret performer and was one half of the Dresden Dolls. Drawing on her history of street performance, she looked to redefine the exchange process behind music production. Rather than making audiences pay for music, she asked. And as a result took music back to its original form with an emphasis on connectedness between audience and performer rather than placing the performer off-limits and distanced away from their fans.

If you like the sound of this approach, check out the full video at the end of this post.

In my opinion, the most influential thing that she said during her presentation was that the development of social media has allowed us to overcome the barriers of stardom and provided the opportunity for performers to form a real connection with fans. Like the olden days. (Ironic, isn’t it!)

And she is totally right!

One of the factors that has exponentially increased her success in asking for fans to donate money rather than pay for her music is the fact that through social media the distance between Amanda and her fans has drastically reduced.

This is only because she hasn’t treated social media solely as a marketing tool which only pushes information out, but rather as a connection tool writing blog posts about random everyday experiences and using Twitter to strike up conversations. All of which builds up loyalty and appreciation from audiences. And it is this loyalty which gets fans to pay for your next album, buy tickets to your next concert, wait at the stage door and hopefully bring some new friends along.

In Amanda’s case, this also means that she can arrive in any city on tour and ask on Twitter for a crate, a hat or a Nettipot and someone will take the time to drive it out to her. Why? Because they know that they won’t just be handing it to the security guard but because she will reciprocate and buy them a smoothie or sit down and have a conversation. Or in marketing speak . . . build a connection!

So break down those barriers and take advantage of the new connections you can now make through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and even your own blog. Showing fans that they are important and recognized means that you won’t be forgotten when you want them to reciprocate.

I certainly know that my loyalty to a celebrity increases when they acknowledge my presence – and it makes me more likely to buy their music or tickets to their next show. What about you? Let me know in the comments below.

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