Data storytelling for musicians


As a musician, data storytelling can be a huge asset for communicating with your team or potential label, and helps illustrate how and where your music is being consumed by the public.

Guest post by Sara-Lena from BlackbirdPunk

Data storytelling sounds like it could be another internet fad. Trying to convince you that your music career will skyrocket at once if only you do this one step. Far from it!

It can actually help you as a musician to communicate better with your team. On the other side, perhaps you are not signed yet? Data storytelling can be the key communications element to help you get on a record label roaster!

Without further ado, let’s get right to the point. Data storytelling seeks to combine all your available data points in order to paint a coherent picture of your fanbase and streaming numbers. What is even more important, it can help you identify growth potential. Something that will surely help to sell your story to a record label. Next, you take your analytics and bring them to the meta-level.

This is crazy, most social media platforms let you have a peek at the stats in the analytics corner. Also, most streaming platforms have a ‘ xxx for artist’ area where you can deep dive into your numbers. However, data storytelling goes beyond this. It is the approach to connect all data points into one story: yours!

If you immediately think that this can only be the dryest sounding tasks you’ve ever come across bear with me. You can design your data approach any way you like!

Data storytelling can make you understand fan movements in much more detail

It might be weird to say, but looking at data is a very creative thing. You can see analytics, but if you have a perspective or if you are really asking questions as you’re looking, you can see patterns and movements of audiences and how consumers are behaving. [It’s about] being creative and crafty on how you can be a part of that stream and get in that mix with your content.

*source: Complex

Of course, data storytelling might be a little bit advanced. In case you’ve never worked the analytics magic take your time to figure it out. Anything that informs you about your fanbase can only be a good thing. Also, it can be quite an encouraging experience to find target audience potential in areas you wouldn’t have thought of.

Take Trigger Cities for example. Would you ever think you can get fans in Rio de Janeiro? Long and behold and you can discover actual fans there.

Here’s a handy introduction to data analytics: How To Get The Most Out Of Social Media Data Insight

Sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture in order to really grab the momentum. For example, perhaps the numbers on Instagram don’t look massively different. However, maybe you’ve been a guest on someone’s podcast and now your Wikipedia numbers are rising.

That can be a good indicator that people are really interested in you. If you had only watched the Instagram numbers you wouldn’t have noticed. What is more, having this level of data competence gives you a much stronger argumentation line when talking to music industry experts.

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Data storytelling is key to extract value from your data analytics

Here’s the kicker: data storytelling goes further then just explaining numbers to other people. It is a way to resource the full value of it. How? By packing your data points into a coherent storyline, you are translating numbers into emotions.

And that is how you can get people to listen. Pure numbers won’t get anyone to jump onto your bandwagon. However, if you trigger the right emotions you are much likely to gather support.

Important to realise, transport your data into captivating visuals in order to shape your narrative. That way you can actually bridge the analytical side of the brain that sees the numbers with the emotional side that will do actions. Like signing you to a record label, for example. Or getting your album on editorial playlists in Spotify.

Enhance your self-esteem as a musician!

Sometimes, life as a musician can be daunting. You’re basically a single-person business, in charge of not only the creative output but also the business enterprise as well.

Having an eye on your data analytics can feel like just another point on a long to-do list. Nevertheless, data storytelling can be a way to enhance your self-confidence.

Shaping a narrative of success can be a great way of battling self-doubt. If you have difficulties giving yourself credit for all your hard work, data storytelling can lead to more acceptance. After all, numbers don’t lie!

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