There is a strange way that musicians work. The fact that I am a musician myself attests to this. We may not think of communication technology as a priority, but it actually can free up time for us to focus on our craft. For us to remain creative, we need to stay focused. Although music may be your main passion, it’s important to stay connected to the people who make your art possible: your fans.
Artists with fans have probably spent time considering ways to stay in touch with them; to enable them to communicate directly with you. Despite its great benefits for communication, social media can feel impersonal or overdone at times. You can’t just go and give out your phone number, right? Take that to the next level, but you can’t just give it out?
You can, in fact! Rather than sharing their personal number, musicians can simply get a virtual number and let their fans know what’s going on. The virtual mobile number (VMN) is a number that can be used with online services such as Knowlarity. As a result, there’s no physical SIM card involved, hence the “virtual” part of the name. I guarantee it won’t disrupt your creative flow too much, as other creatives have used it before.
Don’t let your audience getaway
A VMN allows musicians to communicate directly with their fans. There are some well-known artists who have made their numbers available online, such as Questlove and YouTuber Tessa Violet. As Tessa Violet writes in her Twitter bio, “text me so I can let you know if I have a show near you 5412036998”.
There is nothing new about this concept. A service called “Dial-a-Song” was set up by the indie band They Might Be Giants in the 1980s, where fans could call a number and hear one of their songs.
Nowadays, it’s so much easier and less expensive to make your phone number public than it was in the past. It doesn’t even require you to sign a contract.
Buying a VMN
An easily accessible phone number is only a few steps away. Our website allows you to purchase a virtual number quickly after you have created a free account. If your fans wanted to contact you, how would you like them to do it? Would you like them to call you or send you an SMS message? The number you need is easy to get once you have decided. For those who aren’t sure, you can even purchase numbers that accept both text messages and calls.
The VMN only operates at the national level, so it’s important to keep that in mind. Therefore, if you get a US number prefixed with +1, the number can only be texted or called by real phone numbers from the same country. You should buy a number for each country where you plan to be reachable.
OK, now that we have established that buying a number is easy, let’s move on to the next step. What do we do now? While it would be great to be able to sit around all day answering phone calls and SMS from your fans, it is not exactly a scalable solution. The good news is that we now have a tool that will help you automate the whole process while still keeping everything personal. If someone calls or texts your virtual number, you can decide what should happen when that person calls or texts, such as sending them an auto-reply, playing a sound file, or even making a call or sending a text within specific ‘open hours’. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a developer or not, and you can use it without any problems.
As an example, let’s look at the following:
For example, let’s say you tweet a new phone number to your fans, and you ask them to text you if they want to find out more about the upcoming song you’re working on. The best way to let your audience know about the new song is to send out an automated SMS reply with a private link to a YouTube video that offers a 30-second snippet of it.