Fans play a crucial role in your career. They can either support you or break you. That’s why you cannot neglect them.
There are different ways to build a fanbase and retain your audience. I’ll share with you a few tips to apply right now!
To grow your fanbase, you should …
1/ Know what a fan means to you…
… and what you are expecting from your fans. You need to ask yourself a few questions: what do I want my fans to do? Follow me on social medias? Share my music online? etc.
Most of the time, new fans are going to do the same things your current fans are doing because of the « group effect ». So if you have certain objectives, you need to make sure it is clear to your fans.
2/ Perform live as often as possible…
… in both big and smaller venues. Even if you are popular, you should continue to perform in smaller venues. Because they offer a chance to your fans to get up close and personal with you much more than in bigger venues. And that is great to create a strong relationship with them.
Hanging around after gigs is also a great way to connect with people. Taking some minutes to meet and speak with your fans will put you higher in their estimations. It can also encourage them to talk about you on and offline and buy your merchandise.
2/ Use live stream platforms…
… to reach people for free: YouTube Live, Periscope, Facebook Live, etc. There are a lot of live streaming services available nowadays that you can use from time to time to perform and promote your latest single for instance.
3/ Create your music website…
… that has mostly two roles: share your latest news on your website and via newsletters (new music, tour dates, new photos, new videos, exclusive content, etc.) & sell your music and merchandise.
You can also use it to share personal stories about you and your career via blog posts for instance. People like to identify and relate to others.
To have more info about the importance of a music website, read the following article: Create a Music Website: why it is so important.
4/ Interact with your fans…
… as often as possible. And thanks to social medias, you can do it anytime and on different platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Every time you have a downtime (stuck in traffic, on the train, at the airport, etc), take a few minutes to go through your social media mentions and reply to as many messages as possible. Your fans will appreciate that and feel closer to you.
You can also plan Q&A from time to time via Facebook Live or Twitter using a special hashtag for instance.
Avoid any automatic messages you could use. Most of the time, it will make people feel chilly towards you and therefore, it will affect your reputation.
5/ Build a community…
… by creating a unique connection with your fans. For instance, you can give them a unique name if they haven’t already as Beyoncé and her Bey Hive, Lady Gaga and her Monsters, James Arthur and his Jarmy, etc.
If this is not your style, you could create a symbole or else that your fans will automatically recognize and associate with you. You can also create a private Facebook group, as Machine Gun Kelly, that only your fans can get into.
Fan clubs are also an interesting option. Same about Fan-only events that can help you build a strong bond with your fans.
No matter what you choose to do, building a community will notably allow your fans to connect with each other and strengthen links with you and your fans.
6/ Run contests…
… through your website and/or social medias. It is a great way to get people’s attention and generate interest in you and your music. You can give away anything you want: it could be free merch, backstage passes, signed albums, etc.
7/ Include them in one of your music videos…
… or in an exclusive video or a special project. You could ask some of your fans to feature in one of your projects and no doubt, they will show up to support you. They will be able to meet you in person and be part of your journey and you will have the support of amazing and enthusiastic people for your project. This is definitely a win-win situation!
Rihanna did this in one of her music videos, remember? And not just her, Leroy Sanchez, Sapphire and other artists did. Emerging or not.
8/ Not ask them to listen to your music…
… or at least, not directly. It is partially about reverse psychology and semiology here. You need to be subtle but still clear.
For instance, there’s a difference between: « Listen to my new song now! Here’s the link » and « I just released a new track, just in case you missed it ». Understand?
People are naturally curious and most of them, don’t like to be told what to do. I’m sure you agree with me, you bad boy 😉
Furthermore, your fanbase is initially built thanks to connections you make with your fans. Some people will listen to your music and like it but it doesn’t mean they will become fans.
People want to know you, who you are. This makes your music more relatable. The more they like you and feel connected to you, the more you will have support from them.
9/ Show support to others…
… It will help you build relationships, network AND make other people want to support you in return. You can do it in a number of ways: commenting on social medias, attending live events, purchasing items, wearing items, telling them directly, etc.
10/ Focus on people…
… and quality, not on numbers! Building a fanbase takes time so be patient. And you do not need to have millions of followers to live from your music.
As long as you are doing what you love, that you are just being yourself and honest, people will follow. Trust the process and enjoy the ride.
Do you like this article? Leave a comment, I’d love to have your feedback!