Does the Fans on Demand Formula Add Up?
John Gold, founder of Hypeddit, recently published a course called Fans on Demand Formula, promising a thousand new fans in one week. I put it to the test!
Well, kinda sorta. I took three weeks, and experimented with different audiences more than any sane person would dare.
But hey, I completed the training and am eager to share my results! Let’s do this.
Fans on Demand Formula overview
If you’re familiar with Hypeddit (pronounced “hyped it” but I still say “hype edit” in my head), you can probably guess the method we’ll use to capture those new fans: download gates.
The way it works is, you offer a download of your track in exchange for something — an email address, SoundCloud follow, YouTube comment, Facebook share, etc. Or all of the above! But if you ask too much, the potential fan will likely bail before completing all the steps.
Here’s what mine looks like:
When you click the download button, it’ll prompt you for your email address, then ask your permission to connect your SoundCloud account to follow Color Theory, like the track, and repost the track. Feel free to try it (you can always un-follow, un-like, and un-repost, meanie).
That sounds like a lot of steps, but it’s really just a couple clicks and an email address. For the first couple weeks of my campaign, I also required a SoundCloud comment, which functions as social proof to make my track look 🔥.
How are we going to direct potential fans to the download gate? You guessed it, Facebook Ads.
Here’s (one of) mine:
Of course, John holds your hand through every step of the process:
- Configuring your download gate
- Setting up your Facebook account to track conversions
- Creating an effective ad
- Targeting the right audience
- Optimizing your campaign over time
And that’s only the core of the course. There are other strategies discussed, like using Hypeddit’s Promotion Exchange, or using Hypeddit chart rankings to get even more downloads via social media.
My Fans on Demand Formula results
Let’s cut to the chase. Did I get a thousand new fans in a week?
No, I did not. But knowing what I know now, I easily could!
The shortcoming is half my fault, and half Facebook’s.
It’s my fault that I stretched the campaign out to three weeks, and targeted not five audiences as John suggests, but 34. I was feverishly searching for a way to bring down my cost per conversion (download), which averaged $2.73.
It’s Facebook’s fault that it’s virtually impossible to reach synthwave fans. Bigger acts like The Midnight, FM-84, and Gunship aren’t available as targets.
I was left with tangentially related interests like Stranger Things, 80s music, and vaporwave. Eventually I gave up and reverted to old faithfuls Depeche Mode and synthpop, but that wasn’t the audience I was hoping to reach with this track.
I pulled the plug at $500. What did it get me?
- 80,196 impressions on Facebook
- 10,789 3-second video views on Facebook
- 409 email subscribers (329 of which are still with me after three months)
- 7811 SoundCloud plays (that includes organic plays)
- 180 SoundCloud followers
- 171 SoundCloud reposts
- 100 SoundCloud comments
- A #8 Chart Breaker in Hypeddit’s Electronica Charts
- Pixel data to retarget the 1168 people who visited my download gate
- Loads of intel to optimize future campaigns
I opted not to use Hypeddit’s Promotion Exchange, which almost certainly would’ve resulted in many more downloads and a higher chart placement.
Why? Because I didn’t want to trade downloads with other artists who, for the most part, are likely only interested in boosting their own numbers.
Fans on Demand Formula conclusion
It turns out people still download music. Who knew?
The Fans on Demand Formula course is worth it for the Facebook Ads training alone.
Coupling an effective ad with a download gate is surprisingly still a winning formula. You can implement this strategy over and over again, whenever time and budget permit. Ergo, fans on demand. 😬
Fortunately non-synthwave artists can do it with a much lower budget. Check out John’s results promoting a house track:
That’s $0.38 per conversion versus my $2.73. In other words, his targeting was 7x more effective. Or his track was 7x better! To be fair, I’d wager house fans are more likely to be downloaders.
If you want to give the Fans On Demand Formula a try, you can sign up for it here.
When John heard that I was planning to write about his training, he kindly provided an affiliate link for me. He didn’t have to, but he did. That means, at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
While we were on the subject, I asked John if he’d be willing to provide a discount for my readers, and he came through with a coupon code for $200 off the entire training for the first 20 Passive Promotion readers who enroll.
If you’re not sure if you’re among the first 20, head over to Fans On Demand Formula and try coupon code PassivePromoSpecial in the checkout box. If it takes off $200, congrats! 🎉
UPDATE 1/13/20: John refreshed the code, which now takes off $210. Let me know if it doesn’t work for you!
If the course doesn’t deliver, there’s a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee. The training is reasonably short, so that’s plenty of time to get results. You could knock out the whole thing, minus the bonus content, and be up and running in a day.
UPDATE 6/15/20: John has a new course called Spotify Growth Engine that’s currently priced at only $37. There’s likely some overlap, but it’s not the same system. Still, at that price, it’s a no-brainer if you want to grow your Spotify audience. Prior Fans on Demand enrollees get access to it for free.
Have you tried the Fans on Demand Formula? Share your results in the comments!
Cool man! In march i’ve also done the course by John! Absolutely loved it, real eye opener for me as i’ve used fb ads before but without a lot of succes. John also hosts monthly Q&A’s that dive deeper in the subject which is really cool. Have you thought about creating look-a-like audiences based on your facebook likes? This might bump conversion rates.
Keep doing what you do!
Great to hear from you Yasin!
Yeah, those Q&As just keep coming. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
So far I haven’t had much luck with lookalike audiences. My Facebook likes go back so many years that it’s not exactly a tight group. I’ve tried lookalikes of my email subscribers, Bandcamp downloaders, and Patreon supporters. I have yet to find one that performs as well as simple interest targeting.
Thank you for the discount code – it was the difference between being able to afford it and not. Fingers crossed for results. Now to find the time to do the course!!!!
You’ve got an adventure ahead of you! The core stuff isn’t too time-consuming. I suggest getting your ad(s) up and running alongside the training, rather than waiting to cover all the bonus materials like the monthly Q&As.
Please let us know how it goes!
Thanks for this Blog! I am seriously considering investing into Johns course. So far my instincts are telling me to let go of the cash! This Blog only encouraged me further!
I think it’s a great investment, assuming you have money left over to dedicate to Facebook ads.
Thanks again for the discount code!
At 200 Dollars I found it to be worth it for navigating FB ads. At the full price I am not so sure if I would have felt the same sense of value but for someone else whose conversion rate is better than mine it would be good value.
I ran into a few probs with FB declining my ad and had to rejiggle it around a few times and I am not certain I have found my optimum ad set criteria yet as I have not been able to get my conversion rate down to less than 2.75.
John has a VIP group on FB where members exchange info and results and can ask him questions and he is responsive, encouraging and informative – always answering questions happily and in detail, so that is also an extra added value component of doing one of his courses.
When I broached the high conversion rate on the page, he said something sensible along the lines of: why do I think it is high? What am I comparing it to? Basically, that I should compare it only to myself as each genre is different etc etc, which made sense as I was seeing other people getting their conversions down to mere cents per download and was gutted. But my genre is pop/ singer-songwriter so it is more saturated and less niche so I guess I should stick to monitoring my own progress compared to where I was a month ago. He also pointed out that the longer ads run for, the more chance FB algorithms can gather information so that subsequent campaigns have greater success and not to pull the plug on campaigns too quickly for this reason.
I totally agree with you when you said:
“I opted not to use Hypeddit’s Promotion Exchange, which almost certainly would’ve resulted in many more downloads and a higher chart placement.
Why? Because I didn’t want to trade downloads with other artists who, for the most part, are likely only interested in boosting their own numbers.”
Whilst John says it is a good way to get additional fans, I like yourself, feel that it is just a ‘follow me I’ll follow you back’ kind of result so I am avoiding that too.
I definitely have not reached anywhere near 1000 fans in one week, but as I said, the information that I learnt was very valuable as it will help me correctly structure FB ads (not just the free download type) and know how to use the ad sets. In fact, I made an end of year video that looked back on what I had achieved musically (without offering anything) and targeted fans of similar female artists just as a way of exposure and to introduce myself and my music and that ad that did better than the download ad! I would not have had a clue how to do that before the course or how to correctly structure my ad sets, so whilst I am not expecting I will get 1000 new fans, I feel I can now slowly but surely tailor some ads and optimise them properly and get some exposure and a few new fans along the way.
I haven’t yet done the extra vids that John offers or any of the other training – simply due to time constraints but I did buy the yearly membership to Hyppedit and my track has reached number 2 in the Singer/Songwriter charts. Again, without this article (thanks!) I would not have known about Hyppedit so I have benefited from that along with the new FB ad knowledge.
My comment to anyone considering the course is to be realistic; you will learn some great tools and become part of a useful exchange and community which is worth it, but getting that many fans is not a given and depends on a variety of other factors alongside the course knowledge. I am not saying you won’t get those fans as lots of artists have… just to be realistic that it may or may not happen or may happen to a lesser (but still satisfactory) degree or a longer timeframe than the one week.
This is great info! Thanks for taking the time to lay all this out.
My genre is pretty niche, and we were paying pretty much the same price per conversion. I believe one reason why John’s campaigns cost so much less than ours is because EDM enthusiasts, DJs in particular, still download music. The bigger reason is likely that he’s better at optimizing Facebook ad campaigns.
He’s totally right about giving Facebook time to learn who your fans are. I confess I’ve been way too quick to pull the plug. That’s especially problematic in my case because interest targets in my genre are extremely limited.
I haven’t watched the monthly Q&As either. There are a bunch of them! But between those and the Facebook group, you might glean some pointers from other artists in your genre who’ve had more success.
To be fair, you could totally get 1000 fans in one week, all for the low, low price of $2750 ;). Actually I’m sure it would be less than that since Facebook continually dials in the targeting, and you could continue ad infinitum by creating lookalike audiences.
The way I look at it is download gates are one tool in the toolbox. Now you’ve got a baseline to compare other fan acquisition methods against. Those methods will almost certainly include Facebook and Instagram ads, so you’re already ahead of the game there.
I’ve recently come across you via the Indiepro crowd and your success with the free CD + Shipping + Handling. It’s amazing what you’re sharing, and is such a valuable resource for those who want to get ahead of curve.
Thanks for the kind words Tim! Glad you’re finding it useful.