As an artist, don’t you hate it when Facebook changes it’s algorithm, making it harder for you to reach your followers? Or have you ever been frustrated that you didn’t have more information about the people who actually buy your music or come to your concerts? If the answer is yes, then you should consider using Superphone.
Superphone is an app launched in 2016 by the Grammy-nominated American singer, rapper, musician and producer Ryan Leslie. Its mission is to fundamentally change the way artists interact with fans by allowing them to communicate directly using their phones.
Ryan Leslie has long been ahead of the curve. After graduating from Harvard University at just 19, he turned his focus to music and was an early adopter of platforms like Myspace and Youtube which he used to establish himself as an artist and producer for hip-hop and R&B stars like Cassie, Beyonce, and Snoop Dogg. Over the past few years, however, Leslie has been making waves as an innovative tech-entrepreneur who is currently showing how independent artists can more effectively grow their fan base and monetise their careers.
Cutting Out The Middlemen
In the 2000’s Leslie was signed to the major label Universal but decided to become independent towards the end of the decade. Along the way, however, he started to feel like there was a disconnect between himself and the people following him on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram and that this was generally true of fans and the artists they were following.
Though social media is an effective way of broadcasting a message to the masses, the actual interactions between artist and fan are often very weak. Even worse, by depending on these platforms for communication, you’re relying on them to stay popular with users or else you’re back to square one, having to build a following on a different platform.
Historically, artists have also often had to go through intermediary companies to sell music, concert tickets, and merchandise. Besides taking a cut of profits, those companies also usually keep the customer information generated by the transactions for themselves. This data, however, is extremely valuable as it gives you insight into who is supporting your music. Leslie, who had taught himself to code, created the Superphone-app in response.
The concept is simple. As a user, you are given a phone number which your fans and followers can contact. After the first initial call or text, fans receive a text message where they can sign up to your Superphone-data base, enter their information and connect with you. You can then access a dashboard where your contacts and conversations can be organized using topics or tags of your choice. The app can also notify you whenever someone makes a purchase or supports you in other ways.
A Direct Line To Fans
There are many, many options for using Superphone. Because the app allows you to communicate directly with fans as well as keep tabs on which fans are doing and buying what, you could, for instance, send direct messages to certain fans thanking them for supporting you with a purchase, mentioning you on social media or any number of things. That kind of direct engagement is a great way to make your fan base feel appreciated and therefore more engaged.
If you have new content on the way, whether a track or a music video, you could also exclusively send it to people in your database before releasing it to the general public. Because you can see where people are buying your music, it can also help you when you are planning where to tour. And, of course, you can sell music, concert tickets or merchandise directly to your fans thus cutting out any middlemen. The possibilities are endless.
Used alongside social media, traditional press, email marketing and the like, Superphone can become a very powerful tool in an artist’s arsenal. It’s no coincidence that current users include prominent artists like Nipsey Hussle, Wiz Khalifa and Talib Kweli.
You can learn more about Superphone here.