Harvard graduate and Grammy nominated artist and producer Ryan Leslie is on the brink of releasing SuperPhone which is a technological infrastructure designed and built to empower rappers to take control of their fan base and increase their income by building meaningful relationships with those that support them most.
Technology is constantly advancing and so is the way that we do business. We must constantly evolve to handle our business smarter, quicker and more efficiently not only for our own productivity and profitability but most importantly for the convenience and optimal experience for our supporters. A failure to do so sends a blatant message to our fans that we don’t care about them nor their needs and is a surefire method to ensure we quickly get left behind just like Blockbuster.
Building A Real Following
Ryan Lesie created SuperPhone with the common motivation all inventors had before him, to solve a problem. Ryan understood early on that the key to building a real following was based on cultivating and nurturing meaningful relationships with his fans. He began to give his Google voice number out to his supporters and he immediately noticed that not only his love and appreciation grew stronger as his intimacy with them grew deeper but his sales skyrocketed as a result of him making engagement with his fans his top priority.
However this also presented a problem as he was sacrificing his most valuable commodity, his time. While his relationships and sales were growing his productivity in creating more music was plummeting. What’s a fella to do? He gained fans of his music, he’s building meaningful relationships with them but he no longer had time to create the very thing that they wanted in the first place, his music!
So Ryan Leslie does what anybody else would do, he joins Code Academy, learns coding and creates a brilliant piece of software appropriately called SuperPhone; no big deal right? lol. SuperPhone is software that can be downloaded to your smartphone which integrates with SMS text messaging to act as an autoresponder similar to what e-mail marketing companies such as Aweber offer but much more robust.
It also acts as a data collecting database which collects information such as: first and last name, e-mail address, phone number, area code, birthday, social media profiles, company, job title and industry that they’re in; I believe you can even get peoples shirt sizes! I’ve personally never seen an opt in form this robust especially for a text messaging platform. Collecting this data for an e-mail marketing platform would be great but being able to accomplish this using SMS messages to cellphones is quite frankly incredible!
Just think about all the ways this information could enable you to build quality relationships with your real fans via the most personable and direct way possible, cell phones. If you’re out of town you could send personally addressed text messages to people who are in the area codes nearest you and meet them for lunch. You could easily spread the word about a show you’re going to be performing at in their city. You could text them a warm and thoughtful message wishing them a happy birthday. You will know who is the most engaged with you on social media, who purchased an album or ticket to your show which will them prompt you to reach out to them via text or preferably a phone conversation to personally thank them for their support.
In action it will look something like this. Someone sends you a text for the first time, SuperPhone recognizes there isn’t any contact information for this number and will then send an automated response such as “Thanks for reaching out but I don’t know who you are. Please fill out this form so I can add you to my SuperPhone”. Once they have filled out the form all of their information is stored in your SuperPhone database and then are sent a series of personalized text messages that are relevant to the information they entered and again this is all automated and is working for you 24/7.
Social Media Disconnect
Ryan realizes the issues with depending on any social media platform as your means to reach your fan base. There’s a large disconnect between who’s following you and which ones are actually seeing your posts and most importantly engaging with you. For example Facebook makes you pay to reach the whole audience you’ve worked so hard to obtain because in reality while you may have your on page or profile you don’t control the platform that your under and therefore have to PlAY by their rules.
Digital Distribution Disconnect
Not only is there a disconnect with your fans on social media but this issue also overlaps into Digital Distribution companies such as iTunes. iTunes takes all of your fans information and doesn’t share it with you. Imagine if someone just discovered you and went to buy your music off iTunes you would have no way of knowing who purchased your music and therefore are unable to build a relationship with them. This is a huge disservice to not only the artists but the fans as well.
The Old Music Industry Model
Oddly enough new technology such as social media and digital distributors are repeating some of the same mistakes that record labels have been making forever. You bring out a new artist, you put lots of money to promote and market their music to build a fan base but never collect all the contact information of the fans. So a year or so later when that same artist comes out with another album they have to repeat the same process again and spend lots of money on marketing and promoting the album just to reach the same fans they’ve already got. Had they have gathered their contact information to begin with they could directly market to them and focus on expanding their market to increase their revenue.
Ryan Leslie’s Advice To All Artists
- Get as many phone numbers or e-mail address “But phone numbers are more powerful”
as possible of your social media following. Start today contacting friends on
Facebook, Twitter followers, Instagram, YouTube subscribers, Vine etc.. Own that
relationship! Your network is your net worth!
- Figure out a way to have something if they want to support you. Don’t create a
barrier for supporting you! So many people say I’m new, people want to try before they
buy they’re not going to buy anything from me. If your family members won’t give you
$10 or even $5 dollars to make your EP then something is probably not right in that
relationship. You realize that strangers may not want to spend any money on you but the value
proposition is different for people who really care about you. It’s not just about
that your music makes them happy, it’s about them supporting someone who is happy and
on their way to do something they love to do and that person is you!
- Take advantage of all the technological platforms out there that allow you to sell
your music or whatever else you’re trying to sell directly such as..
Pledge Music, Patreon, Tilt, Kickstarter, Indie go go and Gumroad to name a few.
- all these places give you your data. That’s the most important piece. How do you
correlate all the social media following you have and differentiate the people who
actually are supporting you and helping you to build that career? Because without their
support you can’t afford to do your craft. YOU’VE GOTTA KNOW YOUR PEOPLE!
- And you have to be willing to invest financially in your infrastructure. This means you will need to get a job or some kind of hustle, just try and keep it legal.
The Information Age
We currently live in a time that many refer to as the information age. There’s no longer an excuse to not know something. There are answers to nearly any question you may have on the internet. So why shouldn’t we have the information to the lifeblood of any business, our customers. When you order a pizza from Pizza Hut online they get all of your information, when you purchase a plane ticket from an airline they follow suite as well. Any successful business knows the most important contribution to their success is data. And if you are an artist trying to build a sustainable career off your music then you’re not just an artist you’re a business and it’s time to start minding your own business and take full ownership of your success by gaining full control over your audience.
- Currently in Beta version
- Desktop version is also in the works which will be ideal for managers who need to manage multiple artists.
- Price: starts at $20.00 per month and scales up to $200.00 per month depending upon your needs.
- If you are interested in working or becoming involved with SuperPhone click here
- If you’re interested in trying out the beta version of SuperPhone click here
Current popular artists/producers who are using SuperPhone include:
- Ryan Leslie
- Nipsey Hussle
- Super Super Kyle
- Lil Wayne
- Dizzy Right
- !llmind (producer)
If you would like to contact Ryan Leslie via his SuperPhone text +1 915 600 6978
How Did I Do?
Did you find this article helpful? Have a question or comment? I’d love to hear from you so make sure you drop your 2 cents in the comments section below!