4 Steps to Success: Lindsey Stirling

Violinist and YouTube sensation Lindsey Stirling's second album, "Shatter Me," debuts on the Billboard 200 at No. 2 with 56,000 units sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

One Year Ago Stirling set to work on "Shatter Me" last spring, feeling intimidated by the surprise success of her self-titled 2012 debut, which has sold 321,000 copies. "It felt like it was impossible for me to live up to that," she says. Stirling, 27, built anticipation during recording with frequent updates to her huge social media community, which includes 4.7 million YouTube subscribers. "Her consistent success is because of that constant contact and how much she connects with fans," says manager Ty Stiklorius of Atom Factory. "It's a new model that she's an expert at."

2 Months Ago As she finished "Shatter Me," which includes a duet with Halestorm's Lzzy Hale on the title track, Stirling posted a so-called "Album Shower" clip on YouTube on March 11, five-minute spoof of a baby shower during which Stirling showed a "sonicgram" of the album. On the same day the Arizona native announced a Pledge Music pre-order with bundles including swag, personalized videos and, for $600, a backstage "cereal party" with Stirling.

Release Week After debuting the video for "Beyond the Veil" on March 25, Stirling released visuals for the title track on April 23, six days before the album's release. "She gets more views on her channel than she would have going on late-night TV or debuting her video on the home music page of Yahoo," says Stiklorius, noting that the "Shatter Me" clip had more than 3.5 million clicks in its first two weeks. "We focused on making sure that we spoke to her YouTube fans to let them know the album was out through social media." "Shatter Me" was also released in special editions with bonus tracks for iTunes and Target.

Up Next Stirling is planning to release more videos for the album in coming weeks. "She writes with videos in mind; she creates audiovisual packages," says Stiklorius. On May 13, Stirling heads out on a North American tour with Dia Frampton, who sings on "Shatter Me"'s "We Are Giants," and two dancers - she's even learning some choreography herself. "It's a little overwhelming and really hard, but I know I can do it," she says. "It's going to be a super-fun show and something really different from what I've done before." 


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