Access to data and analysis has changed the game in terms of the techniques involved in artist management. To bring an artist’s vision to life today, it’s important for an artist to have a statistical understanding of the audience: where they are, their interest outside of music and how they engage with different platforms, from Spotify to social media. Sheryl Jeffrey, its founder QLEEN Artist Relationships, Shares her path from social media Maven to artist manager and her data-driven approach to working successfully with artists.
Spotify for Artists: So, tell us about QLEEN, the artist management company you founded.
Sheryl Jeffrey: Four years ago, I started noticing that artists were posting links to their music socially. But it had no rhyme or rhyme. I was working on social media marketing, so I thought I would combine my passion for music and my social skills to help artists. I’ve started creating social campaigns, participation strategies and marketing rollouts for emerging artists to establish a voice and reach maximum results while trying to reach an audience and stream.
How do you begin to broaden an artist’s audience?
When I first start working with an artist, I look at their perspective and who they think their audience is. From there, I dive deeper into their social channels and audience information so that artists understand where their words fit and where they are. How old are they? What platform are they on? What are their interests outside of music? From there, I start to see brands, corporations, influencers and events that attract an audience that will naturally be attracted to my artist’s music. I use that information to develop a solid pitch and then start setting up those conversations.
You are moving towards artist management by leading with data and analysis first.
Art is a numbers game. Labels, corporations, brands – they all look at the number of followers of an artist first. How many streams they are getting, how many playlists they have launched. So with the resurgence of QLEEN, I’ve naturally moved from traditional theatrical artist management to analytics and ad targeting, and strategizing audience data insights. And using those numbers indicates the visual, aesthetic and creative direction.
Sharell Jeffrey Co.Lab Blog
Are corporations actually looking for artists first by looking at their data? Tell us more about him.
When pitching to a company or brand, it’s much easier if you have the numbers to bring to the table. While I can show how an artist’s music has grown over the months or proves that their audience is growing not only in size but also in engagement, it makes it much easier to discuss partnerships and sponsorships.
Can you give an example of an artist you have worked with who has successfully socialized their audience?
My biggest success story was working with Quota The Friend. He used to shoot his simple one minute music videos. But they didn’t come down until he rolled over a cover Childish GambinoOf “Redbone. “Facebook fan groups were popular back then, so I posted this music video on this childish Gambino fan page.
In today’s age of algorithms and content saturation, how can an artist engage their audience on Instagram?
Always look for opportunities to add a notch to your content. This does not mean that additional budgets are needed or even creating content, but for example, using new Instagram Story features or understanding how the new algorithm works. I am always reading articles about how these social platforms are changing so I can advise an artist on new ways to better engage with their audience.
What is a key part of your advice to artists about finding and / or building your audience?
Don’t try to reach mass so quickly. Find out your main audience first before trying to figure out how to go viral. Consistency is important for converting the audience into fans who will reach into their pockets and make money to support you. But once you establish that core audience, everything else will come.