Normally, I hate the word 'traffic', but here we will connect it to real humans.
All traffic is worth paying for. Here are the four temperatures of traffic that you'll get out there in the world:
4 temperatures of traffic
I think about four temperatures of traffic. Credit goes to Indepreneur's Creative Juice podcast: here's my paraphrase of how they describe the temperatures on a March 9, 2021 episode of Creative Juice.
- Cold traffic: people who don’t care about, pass by, and/or reject your work
- Lukewarm: they have "touched base with" you at some point. I define this as getting exposed to the artist's work without having to opt into anything
- Warm: they are currently discovering you and have opted into something, whether a stream, email, or watching a new video when it comes out
- Hot: recently purchased from you
You don't heat up the audience per se. They heat themselves up based on what you offer.
3 ways to pay for traffic
All traffic is worth paying for.
The most interesting question to me is how or with what means should we pay for each type. Here's how I approach this question:
- For cold traffic, pay with cash. Advertise and discount.
- For warm or lukewarm traffic, pay with time. Build a rapport and excite them.
- For hot traffic, pay with reciprocity. Thank and reward them, especially with things they can share.
And, for the hottest traffic imaginable—partners and contributors at the core of your career, like bandmates—pay with equity, as in a co-write or collaborative release. But that's a topic for another day.