Date: October 22, 2019
Venue: Wingspan Arts (NY)
Report by Dawoud Kringle
On Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019. MFM presented its 10th Workshop: Make Music Your Business with Adam Reifsteck attended by David Belmont (Vice President) and Board members Billy Harper and Roger Blanc.
Reifsteck is a New York based musician, producer, composer, and entrepreneur and MFM member, with a background in both classical and electronic music. He often goes by the alias Sonic Fear, and is the founder and CEO of Teknofonic Recordings. He has received numerous grants, and holds a master’s of music degree in composition from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s of music in music technology from Duquesne University.
Reifsteck’s talk was about how to build an audience and monetize one’s music through social media ads. He started by saying that while most musicians who used Facebook ads had disappointing experiences, he has succeeded in actually earning money with them. He then proceeded to explain exactly how he did it. Music, he said, is a commodity, because we have access to every computer and mobile device people own. Musicians must make the “right offer in the right place at the right time.” This is how musicians reach their potential audiences, and income sources.
Musicians often fail to think like a marketer. They need to start at the end of the process; what is the result you’re looking for?
In order to begin this process, we need to set up a free account with Facebook business (business.facebook.com). Then we should set up a Facebook pixel. Pixels are cookies that monitor consumer activities online. There is, off course, a legal contention about this; not to mention an ethical conundrum. But, if it exists, we should use it to our advantage. The Fb pixel can examine demographics and target specific markets. Musicians need to be strategic about who we target.
You can also import your email list into your Facebook Business Account so you can create ads that will be shown to your subscribers who use Facebook or Instagram.
Pixel can be installed on other platforms that we have control over (It’s interesting to note that Spotify doesn’t offer this option).
Reifsteck walked the attendees through the other details of how to take advantage of this tool.
It must be stressed that Reifsteck’s presentation, and this article, are not intended as endorsements of Facebook. The main point is that most of us assume that these marketing tools are the exclusive property of the large corporations is actually available to us. And in the case of Facebook Business, while Facebook is holding all this proprietary data, it’s possible to access the same processes, and use this to generate income for our own businesses. The only cost is the cost of the ads, which can be set up within anyone’s budget constraints. These tools, despite not being well known, are available to us – the playing field is more level that we suspected. We can and should use it to our advantage.
As a footnote, this workshop is clear evidence of MFM being an actual and potential source of valuable information and resources for the professional (or aspiring professional) musician. All we have to do is reach out and take it.