In the studio? Don’t shut out your fans!

Photo: Elida Arrizza

Hello Zooglers! This is my first “official” post as blogger-in-residence here at Bandzoogle. I’ve been a big fan of Bandzoogle for many years and I've always felt that Chris created the most powerful website builder around. And the fact that the company was founded here in my hometown of Montreal is a great source of pride. So it's an honour to be part of the team and I look forward to hearing your feedback on my blog posts. And if there are ever any topics you want to see covered, please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at dcool{at}bandzoogle{dot}com. In this post I take a look at the studio experience and how you can get your fans involved in the process.

Going into the studio to record new music is one of the most exciting times for a band. But all too often when musicians go into the studio, they disappear into their creative bubble and shut everyone else out. Although it’s understandable that you might want to avoid distractions while in the studio, you shouldn’t disappear completely.

With so much competition for people’s attention, bands need to keep in regular contact with their fans just to maintain that fan base. And for fans, it’s all about access. Fans want to get an inside look at your career and feel like they’re part of the experience. From an artist’s perspective, the more access you can give, the stronger your relationship to the fan, the more they'll talk about you and your music. And being in the studio is a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship with your fans.

So what can you do to enhance fan engagement and create a buzz while in studio? Here are a few ideas:

Social Media

  • Live tweeting

Announce to your fans that you’ll be live tweeting certain recording sessions. Post pictures, give live feedback on takes, good and bad.

  • Post updates on Facebook

Post updates on Facebook, including a few pictures from the day, funny stories, etc.

Your Website

Social media is quick and easy, but you should try to bring fans to your website whenever possible. This way they can find out more about who you are as an artist, sign up to your mailing list, and maybe shop at your online store while they’re there. Here are a few ways to attract fans to your website while in the studio:

  • Blog

Post a daily blog talking about each recording session. Use the flexibility and space that a blog affords you by posting in-depth reviews of each session along with lots of pictures.

  • Photo Galleries

Post extensive photo galleries on your website from each recording session.

  • Video blog

Same concept as the blog, but you can make it more visual by filming throughout the recording sessions and including some of that footage in a video blog review from each session.

  • Live streaming

Take video to the next level by setting up a live stream of the recording sessions on your website so fans can see in real-time what your recording process is like.

  • Post rough tracks

Every so often, post a rough take of a song on your website and even ask for feedback on it. This will not only drive fans to your site, but also give you some valuable insight into whether a song is connecting with people or not.

Have a contest

Being in studio provides a great opportunity to take fan engagement even further by having contests where you offer fans a chance to participate in the recording process. Try making the contest exclusive to your mailing list subscribers. This will not only help increase the number of subscribers, but also reward fans who are already on your list, something you should look to do as often as possible.

Here are a few ideas for contests where fans could participate in the studio:

  • Invite fans to visit the studio during a recording session where they can take photos/video with the band, then take them out to dinner afterwards
  • If you need group back-up vocals or hand clapping for a particular song, instead of inviting a bunch of your friends to help out, invite a few of your fans to come into the studio and actually be on the album
  • Invite fans to sit-in on an exclusive listening session in the studio once the album is complete, and then throw an after-party to celebrate. Guaranteed your fans will post pics on Facebook and Twitter of their experience.

These are just some ideas to get you started. But by allowing your fans to be a part of your life in the studio, you also become a part of their lives. And guess what? People like to talk about their lives. So these are the fans that are going to do the best kind of marketing for you, which is word-of-mouth marketing. They’re going to talk about you on Twitter, Facebook and to their friends and family.

So the next time you’re planning on recording a new album, consider giving your fans as much access as possible during such a unique and interesting experience like being in the studio. You’ll reap the benefits of creating a more loyal and dedicated fan base, and no doubt gain some new fans in the process too.


Posted by WWW.QUIETSTORMBEATZ.COM on May 12 2011 10:34 PM
these are great pointers to keep fans engaged and entertained, at the same time connecting with you personally. Great 1st post Dave. I'm sure the zoogle family will love reading this as I did:)
Colorado Music Business Organization
Posted by Colorado Music Business Organization on May 13 2011 2:44 PM
I'm glad that Dave did not suggest that you actually bring "your fans" into the studio. I learned that the hard way with the first band I produced. The "fans" (especially the girlfriends) were nothing but distracting. And then some of them started drinking and then the fights started! I love Dave's ideas on "social networking", etc. Keeps the fans involved but at arm's length! Very good article, Dave. Barb Dye, President - Colorado Music Association, a/k/a COMBO
Si Connelly
Posted by Si Connelly on May 13 2011 3:48 PM
Great first post Dave, I agree and I need to involve people in the world behind closed doors.
Abby Feferman Music
Posted by Abby Feferman Music on May 17 2011 2:32 AM
Great post, Dave! Thank you! :)
Dave Cool
Posted by Dave Cool on May 18 2011 4:57 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone! And I actually *did* suggest bringing fans into the studio, but I guess there are some risks involved. Maybe leaving alcohol out of the equation is best ;-)
AST Productions
Posted by AST Productions on May 18 2011 5:15 PM
Does anyone know how much a professional installation for live streaming costs so a client can listen to the mix as I mix?
Morgan Joanel
Posted by Morgan Joanel on May 20 2011 1:00 PM
[quote="DaveCool"] Maybe leaving alcohol out of the equation is best ;-)[/quote] In the studio???? :)
AST Productions
Posted by AST Productions on May 21 2011 1:02 AM
Never mind, gettin the info from a guitar center guru.... Lol.... Oh yeah, studio+drinks+music+fans= a new band member/roadie!!!!:D
John Rowles
Posted by John Rowles on May 21 2011 1:10 AM
Great post! All the suggestions are good and ideas are already brewing.
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