Chris Rockett wrote an excellent article for MusicMarketingManifesto.com that explains the law of reciprocity and the concept behind content marketing better that I could. I like his analogy of the “Band Fund”. Let me know what you think with a comment.
Opening up an “Emotional Band Fund” with your Fans Activates “The Magic Law of Reciprocity”
Let me explain the “Band Fund” using the example of a new friend…
Each time you see them you have fun and get on well. Maybe you even bake them some cookies or brew them some beer!
You keep making payments until your friendship becomes rich and a new “best friend forever” is created.
So when something goes wrong, and you need a favor you can make a small withdrawal from the “friendship fund” and your new BFF will not hesitate in helping you. For instance, if you need to borrow a little bit of money or need somewhere to stay, your friend will be there with a helping hand. Because you have shown that you would do the same for them.
Friendships breakdown when the balance starts to become skewed if too many withdrawals are made.
(This is also why a stranger would laugh in your face if you asked to borrow $100.)
You need to think of creating a true fan in the same way as nurturing a fulfilling new friendship.
How To Make A Payment Into the Emotional Band Fund
- Give fans lots of free stuff.
- Arrange and after show party.
- Create a happy birthday video for one of your fans, and post it on Facebook.
- Follow them on twitter and re-tweet their stuff.
- Respond to emails personally.
- Get them to design your T-shirts
- Do a Q + A call and shout out the people who asked the questions.
- Discount your music for the fan club.
You get the idea…
So now if you need to make a withdrawal your fans will be more than happy to help because your credit is good.
*Note* A fan withdrawal is when you send them a link to your online store or ask them to tweet a new track to their followers. If you have been saving the “coolness acorns” up for winter people will not bat an eyelid when you ask them to do you a favor.
Giving to your fans in this way eventually activates The Magic Law of Reciprocity, which is that idea that if we do something really cool for somebody they will want to return the favor at some point in the future.
Being nice and taking time to be good to people is not a hassle or a waste of time. It’s great for your career!
Try and do at least one thoughtful thing for your fans every day, and after a while this will create a snowball effect. You will notice that people are starting to spread your music around sincerely, and without even being prompted.
There are a couple of theoretical ideas in this post, which I usually like to stay away from. But I think that if you implement the tactic in the last paragraph you should see some good results over time.