The 7 things artists can do to survive during COVID-19

It’s no secret that this COVID-19 season is being very hard for the artists and creatives of this world. With liveshows being cancelled, a lot of artists lost their stream of income and with that, the ability to invest in their brand by promoting themselves, buying equipment and hell.. even put some food on the table.. A lot of artists are finding themselves settling for an extra job (if one can be found at all) to still be able to pay the monthly bills.

Maybe it sounds bittersweet, but it is during these times of lockdown that an artist could find himself/herself having some ‘extra’ time to ‘invest’ in their own brand. Sure, not being able to tour across the country sucks (!!) but this period is giving you the opportunity to find (new) ways in letting your brand grow! And that’s why we wrote down the seven things artists could (and should) do during this Corona pandemic in order to still grow their respective brands!

The list we’re going to discuss is as following:

  1. Live Stream Concerts
  2. Music Playlists
  3. Online Tutorials
  4. Interactivity
  5. Knowing When To ‘Ask’
  6. Social Consistency
  7. Brand Consistency


Give the viewers value for their money

How to survive corona covid-19 as an artist by live stream concerts

1. Live streaming

Let’s kick off the list with the obvious one, live stream concerts! Innovation often happens out of necessity and that goes for this crisis as well. Not being able to perform in front of crowds has made a lot of artists/entrepreneurs curious how to make a buck with online concerts. Now, this isn’t something completely new but the way how it is growing lately, is definitely an eye opener for the music industry.
You see a lot of live streaming from home and this is where branding comes to play as well as ‘value’ for the ‘visitor’ of the show. You could ask yourself if someone is willing to pay a small fee to watch you sitting on your bed with a guitar.. Perhaps it’s a better idea to prep the room nice. Maybe you have your own banner you could hang on the wall or some characteristic items you could use to create that feeling of “Ah yeah, this is that Artis X..Y.. or Z style”.
Give the viewers value for their money and if you think nobody will pay to see you live, look at the results of this Dutch research (translate the website with Google Chrome)
They found out that a staggering 93,6% (!!) of music fans would love to pay a small fee to see their favourite artist perform live! Your fans want to support you! Now of course, when you thought it would be a good idea to buy 20.000 instagram followers for $30, you’re not going to see the benefits of having that amount of followers now.
Some websites on which you can host your live stream concert:

2. Playlists

Having a playlist with lots of followers on a streaming service is actually a way to generate an income. We work with artists that earn thousands of dollars per month, just by having big playlists. Now that’s serious! That right there, is a way to compensate the loss in live events!
Just create a playlist on i.e. Spotify and add your own music to that list. Now, here’s an important piece of advice:
Of course you want all your music to be in that list, but if you’re not a famous artist yet.. why would anyone listen to 30 of your songs (if you even have that many). Value plays, again, an important role for the success of this one on the list. Give people what they want! They want a cool playlist with lots of great tunes to listen to. A playlist that cool, that they’ll follow that playlist and keep coming back to hear the latest additions to the list.
Then, when you have a substantial following, you can start putting more of your own music in there so more people will hear your stuff which will generate more income for you but will also will help building your brand and, potentially, new followers and monthly listeners!
When creating a playlist, think ‘Moods’. Just watch how great Spotify is doing this. Those ‘Coffee Table’ playlists, ‘Study’ playlists and ‘Gym’ playlists are doing so well, just because it serves a specific mood. In general, playlists based on moods are performing better than playlists based on, and build around an artist.
No inspiration when adding music to yours? Check out Magic Playlist to find some great new music that suits your style! Simply type in a song you like and the machine will search for relevant songs to yours!

When creating a playlist, think ‘moods’

3. Online tutorials / informative content

Another great way to get engagement and start building your brand is by giving away informative content for free. YouTube tutorials are skyrocketing in this pandemic because of one simple fact: Everyone is staying at home!
Beauty tutorials are skyrocketing. Music production tutorials are skyrocketing. Handyman tutorials are skyrocketing and yes.. marketing tutorials are skyrocketing as well. You’re looking at one right now aren’t you? 😉
This one on the list is something a lot of artists were already doing before this pandemic started because it’s such an ‘easy’ and great way to build a strong fanbase that is engaged with your content. They see you as an authority with what you’re doing. When they think of the topic, you are the so-called ‘Thought Leader’.
Just ask yourself when creating: “What would I have wanted to learn when I just started doing…..” And make sure you use clear and specific titles and descriptions so that people will have no hard time finding you online!

4. Interactivity

Start engaging with other artists or industry people! We’re all in this together and we all face the same problems. Start following new and interesting people that are working in the industry. A&R Managers, label managers, marketing managers, artist managers, graphic designers, musicvideo creators etc. Let them know of your existence by commenting genuine things on their posts.
This one will take some time. You have to really tighten up your social game and put in the work. A good solid following that actually will react to your call to actions like: “Stream my music” and “check out my new music video”. Stop putting the emphasis on the quantity, start going for quality!
Also, give people the opportunity to engage with you! One perfect example of this is how Dutch artist ‘Blanks’ is doing this. He is even writing and producing songs by going live on Instagram and let the people decide whether he should write on the piano or guitar. Whether it should be a happy song or a sad one. He even lets his followers pick themes and lets them help writing lyrics! Needless to say, his following and engagement is crazy and he has near 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube.
Go watch and learn!

5. knowing when to ‘ask’

Let’s talk about what we like to call ‘That 7AM Magic. The morning rush hour (after 7AM) is the time most people are on social media but it’s actually the time that we see the least amount of engagement. (in general). This is because of the fact that everybody is going to work or school but rather would have a day off. Everyone is scrolling down their timelines like zombies but ‘nobody’ is willing to follow Call-To Actions. Think about it. It’s Monday morning and you’re sitting on the bus, (not) ready for another day at school and your timeline is full with “Subscribe to my YouTube channel!”, “Add my song to your playlist!”, “Checkout my new remix on Soundcloud!”. Pfff, man.. come on. Not now please! Right?
So just post pictures of you. Pictures of your band in the studio. Pictures of that time you were a guest on a radio show. Hell.. even pictures of a banana with “Start of the day healthy my dudes!” could work every once in a while. Just be there. Be there when everyone is scrolling down the timelines, seeing your name. That’s enough.

That 7AM Magic, the morning rush hour

The After Dinner Dip (after 7PM) is the time a lot of people are online and when most of them are willing to engage. Why? Simple! You’ve had your meal, lay down on the couch after a hard day’s work, you grab your phone and start scrolling down the timeline again to see “if you missed anything fun today”. Now, this is the perfect time for you to post a teaser of your new upcoming song or music video. People are more willing to engage after dinner, so hit them with the Call To Actions!

And here’s is where the 7AM and 7PM start working together. Let me ask you a question, Who do you think you would be engaging with the first.. The artist you barely see online or the one that you saw every morning this week? That sympathetic artist not harassing and asking for sh*t. “Hmmm, wondering what kinda music he/she’s making. Let me check real quick, I’m curious”
This is how good social media management works! Knowing the behavioural patterns of human beings at certain times. Start doing this and you will see results within two weeks!

Post images at 7AM WITHOUT Call-To-Actions.
Post images/video’s at 7PM WITH Call-To-Actions.


Social media tools used by pauw agency for social automation

6. social consistency

Social presence is obviously important and probably even more because of the current situation. Still, we see a lot of artists not posting on a regular basis. This means that your followers won’t see you that often. And with that, your name, your visuals, your brand. But also, you won’t rise in the algorithms of the social channels. In fact, you’ll fall..
Social Media Management is something that can be taken very seriously if you want to grow your fanbase. It’s a way to grow, for free. So start posting everyday!
And maybe you’re thinking: “I’m not going to set my alarm to post something at 7AM!” Well.. start using social planners like Hootsuite or Buffer to automate your social media. Simply collect your content, upload it to the online software, plan it on 7AM or 7PM, write a caption and you’ll see yourself rising in the algorithms of the social channels in no time! Consistency is key!

7. brand consistency

The next one on the list is actually pretty simple but often overlooked. Please be consistent with the brand! Branding is so important and can make or break an artists career. When you decided to be the overly excited happy guy, be that overly excited happy guy. If you want to be that rapper with dark themes, make sure your content reflects this. Your brand should be consistent because how can people otherwise start connecting with you. Your potential fan will become a fan because he or she loves a certain style. Not being consistent with that particular style will raise (subconscious) question marks whether they should ‘trust’ you as a brand or not. Whether you’re the real deal or not. Really, be consistent in your tone of voice, your visuals and please dear artists, start by getting your logo the same on all platforms. Your banners. Your links. Everything should be consistent!

So keywords in this article are: Value and Consistency. Be consistent with the value you are giving your followers and you will be able to grow your brand during this pandemic! Good luck!

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