Chester French Make The Smart Move Of Making Super Fans Vs. Semi-Interested Fans

mtvu_pic.jpgThere is a great article in The NY Times today about the band Chester French. In this article there was a great point that I think is worth discussing:

“The band doesn’t think twice about its embrace of upside-down
Internet economics. They eagerly share their music and videos on social
sites, in hopes of growing a much larger fan base that will eventually
spend money on them. “We gave away an album for free,” Wallach said,
“and that was the single largest driver of new fans that we’ve done.”
They honestly believe giving away copies of their CDs gets them heard
by others who’ll go out and buy a copy.

But in rock, talk is cheap. So I went and signed up as a Chester
French fan coming in from MySpace to see what would happen. A few hours
later, I got an email from Wallach: “I’m delighted to personally
welcome you to our VIP Concierge Service. As a 48 year old male in San
Francisco with an average of 274 friends on social networks” –
Salesforce is able to glean these stats from my email address — “you’re
an ideal ambassador for our music. Let me know your best mailing
address so I can send you some copies of our record for you and your

The idea of writing each of your fans is a personalized letter compared to interviews is a very interesting point. The first thing anyone learns in marketing 101 is that a recommendation from a friend is one of the most powerful things you can have to get people in to you/ your band. By writing back to each fan you start to make them a superfan. What do superfans do? They talk about you all day and tell all of their friends about you which gets their friends to listen to you – helping you to make more friends. Nevermind when you send each fan some music to pass around. Interviews are a great way to spread the word but most of us are numb to them and don’t read interviews with bands we don’t know. If you are looking to make more fans – the method these guys have described is dead on. Creating a fan who is going to tell everyone about you is far more effective than answering another interview about what underwear you wear in a college paper. 

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.