Can Musicians Thrive Without Live Shows? Here’s How

This is just about the hardest time in recent history for a band to get the ball rolling. Or is it? simpl., run by Anthony Pacheco, has spent this year boosting new artists’ performance in a significant way. He’s also sent me some of my favorite new bands to cover, like Properties of Nature and Roman Pilot. Today, simpl. shares some insight on how to grow in the daunting early phase of a band’s lifespan in an interview!

The New Fury: simpl. has given substantial growth for bands’ Spotify listeners. How do you get such a steep incline in just a month?

simpl.: As cliche as it is, it honestly is all about the music. I can create the most badass marketing plan for an artist but if the music fails to impress, the best PR campaign or marketing plan will not work for them.
Once the music is there, knowing who your audience is key.

A lot of artists are “influenced” by the bands they love – but they’re just that – influences. Musicians sometimes tend to confuse their influences with their target demographic.

Finding your target demographic is not as daunting as you may think, however. Tools such as Spotify for Artists, your Facebook/Instagram Insights, and even Spotify’s related artists can actually help point you in the right direction.
Data driven decisions are what allows artists to scale.

Once you find and understand your target demographic, you’re at an unfair advantage compared to the rest of the bands out there – simply because you understand your listener’s tastes, when they’re most active online, where they’re from and so much more.

TNF: Your advertising actually worked on me for Roman Pilot thanks to its keywords in the text field. What are some keyword ideas bands should aim for?

simpl.: I see a lot of bands release music and state the obvious – that they’ve released music
“Our new single __ is out now”
“FFO: __, ___, and ____”
“new single out now”

None of these do anything for me or for you or for whoever is going to come across your music on social media.
You only have 3 seconds to make a first impression on a cold listener (someone who’s never heard of you) and you have to make those 3 seconds count.
Whether it’s something eye catching from your artwork, your video creative, your text – it all matters.

When formulating your captions for social media (and what I assume worked for you) was the lyric snippet I chose for the post – which was…
“You’re the only one who’s ever made my hourglass stop”
Space Debris feat. Isaac Wilson from Dwellings is available now!

You can “state the obvious” in your posts, but always lead with a hook, in which this case the hook was a lyric snippet that almost everyone can relate to (or at least, I was able to relate to.

TNF: How crucial is it for a band to interact with their fanbase in their initial growth period?

simpl.: This is super important. And most artists fail to realize this because of the artists they look up to. One glimpse at one of the biggest artists out there, and they’re “mysterious” or “eerie” online and only post 1-2 word sentences to fall into some aesthetic.
Developing artists can’t do this.

Being mysterious isn’t appealing – what is appealing is getting to know these artists and becoming a part of their lives.

Take gamers for example – you don’t watch them because of the game they’re playing (you can find 20,000 other active live streamers out there playing the same game) – you watch them because you are genuinely invested in their personality and charismatic character.

This again is the barrier most developing artists build up themselves due to the “leaders” of the industry luring them in just to (figuratively) “close the door” on them.

TNF: How could a band convert a high amount of likes/followers into listens?

simpl.: Likes/followers don’t translate to listens.
And listens don’t always translate to likes/follows.
The way to bridge this gap is through something called audience retention and nurturing.

Let’s say you visit a website (for the sake of argument, a clothing store) and you peruse around the site but don’t buy anything.
You know the name of the store, what they have to offer, and maybe you looked into what they have to offer.
A couple of days later, you log into Facebook, Instagram, or even some random website, and what do you know?
There’s that clothing brand again, letting you subconsciously know “hey – you interacted with this clothing brand in some way shape or form recently – don’t forget about it.”

This is a proven method of increasing brand loyalty across different industries, and you know what?
It works for music too.

TNF: Some bands might be afraid to invest in advertising because it’s expensive. How would you convince them that there’s potential for a strong ROI?

simpl.: The thing about ROI (return on investment) is that your return isnt always money. Your ROI could be the number of fans you get, the number of streams or Spotify followers, whatever you define as your conversion.
When you see it that way, the ROI is limitless.

Bands also tend to forget that the amount of people they’re placed in front of for $5 is crazy.
When live shows were a thing (or god, even touring), how much money would it cost for 50 people (if you’re lucky) to listen to your music?
A lot.

I’ve seen results for as little as $5 per day, and when you have 3, 4, 5 or even 6 band members, it will be much easier to afford and a lot less intimidating.

A big thank you to simpl. for sharing such sound insight today! He’s always posting success stories and hand-picks some of the best new bands I’ve heard all year. You can check out more about simpl. here!