Are you super talented musician who can’t get the recognition and fan base you think you deserve? Do you sometimes wonder why some not-as-talented musicians are achieving a considerable amount of success, and their music is played in all the right places?
When you make music and it is received with a sense of appreciation, you feel excited and encouraged. You are propelled to carry on making the best music you can. +aving the right fan base is like having fuel in your car. These people are your source of motivation and the bigger your core fan base, the more unstoppable you can become.
The question is, how do you find this core fan base?
Every musician has to start somewhere. Many musicians who are playing the world’s largest stages today started in small stages in and around their local towns. However, sometimes it can be difficult even to get that far. Starting from scratch, with no connections or fan base can be difficult.
Even with the presence of social media, it is sometimes still very hard to access and connect with new fans because the industry is very saturated. This grim reality may disorient any musician especially those who are just starting out. Here are some key steps you need to take in order to discover and reach out to your core fan base.
1. Analyze your market
Musicians do not operate in a vacuum. No matter what kind of music you make, there is a market for it. You need to reach and find this market. The market doesn’t come to you; you go to the market. The problem with many musicians is that once they make their music, they sit back and relax expecting raving fans to find their music. It doesn’t work that way. The responsibility is on you to analyze your market and identify places where your core fans can be found. The internet has opened up a huge opportunity for musicians to discover their fan base. There are many online communities you can look out for. They are in form of:
• Facebook groups/pages
• Twitter accounts
• Soundcloud profiles
• YouTube channels and many more
You can leverage these communities to identify your core potential fan base, introduce your music and engage them. Deep analysis is needed to make sure you are joining the right community. Once you find the right community, you need to be as relevant as possible. For example, it would be pointless introducing your Trance tracks to a Facebook group that talks about Country Music. If you make trance music, look for groups that talk about trance, join conversations that revolve around trance. Subscribe to relevant YouTube channels and follow Twitter accounts that promote EDM music. Analyzing the market is a continuous process.
2. Identify your potential core fans and interact with them
Joining music communities is one thing. Identifying core potential fans is another thing. Here, you will need to pay very close attention to how people are commenting, sharing and engaging with music content. Every tweet, Facebook post, YouTube upload, will have a group of people commenting, liking, sharing and even disapproving music. These are the kind of enthusiastic fans you should reach out to because they are more likely to share and promote your music. You can even create a spreadsheet of potential core fans you reach out to on a daily basis.
As we stated earlier, interaction is the most important aspect when you’re in the process of building your fan base. Interaction can actually make or break your relationships with fans and define the future of your music. At all times, remain down-to-earth even in the face of severe and harsh criticism. Maintain decorum and observe the various rules of interaction of the respective social media platforms. In short, don’t be a troll and your rewards will be great.
3. Networking is key
When you are starting out, you’re like a fisherman without a boat. At that moment, you need to make other musicians your strongest allies. You may even have to join forces with other DJ’s or producers as a starting point because in most cases, your best opportunities will most likely happen through them. Whether you were referred by them or they asked you directly.
Utilize the power of the internet to hunt down your favorite artists, show up in local shows and talk to a lot of people who can help you in this regard. Introduce yourself to people you think might be of help but don’t be overbearing from the beginning. Instead, you should let it come up naturally during the conversation. If it doesn’t happen during the first meeting, wait for the second, third, forth or even 10th meeting.
If you give an impression of being pushy, they might think you just want something out of them, which will seriously backfire. Keep doing this with more and more artists over and over. Your fan base will eventually expand and your opportunities will grow exponentially.
Apart from meeting other artists, there are other key contacts you would want to make. News/blog writers, sound engineers, marketers, music promoters, producers and club owners are very important pillars of any musical career. However, the key here is to make sure they are in the same music space as you. Don’t approach promoters for Hip hop clubs when you play techno. Many of these people can be of help to you if you approach them. You will be surprised that many of them are keen on helping upcoming artists.
4. Brand yourself
Many musicians do not understand or appreciate the importance of personal branding. They believe that once they make the best music, fans won’t be a problem. When you’re starting out, an important aspect of your strategy should be to brand yourself in a unique manner. However, if you don’t know your core fan base, how they think, act, and what they want, this is difficult to do . As a new kid on the block, you need to create an overall theme that will identify you to your core audience and fan base. This includes your font style, logo and image scheme. For a start, specialization is key to branding yourself. Therefore, it is not advisable to make music on a wide range of themes. Stick to one particular theme central to that core fan base. As a music promotional service we are very familiar with the issues artists face when trying to reach genre specific audiences.
Do not expect that people will be dying to buy your music when you’re relatively unknown. For a starter, you should be giving out your music for free because you have not established a robust fan following. However, once again if you don’t know your core fan base, giving away your music will be tough. A person who listens to Taylor Swift, probably doesn’t want to hear your Tech House track. Even if it is free.Free music is an investment for a future loyal fan base.
Lack of loyal fan base could be the reason you are not getting plays likes, gigs, etc., or generally not moving your music to the next level in any meaningful way. The good news is if you’re willing to work hard, it is possible to learn how to identify and attract a strong fan base that will act as a source of motivation and catapult for your music career to greater heights.