Do you know how to build a fanbase for your music career?
I’m not talking about getting Twitter followers, SoundCloud plays, YouTube views, Facebook likes, or anything like that.
I’m talking about building a real fan base of real people that look forward to hearing your music, support you, and will actually spend money on you and your brand.
If your answer is anything except “yes”, continue reading – this post is for you.
Most music artists don’t know much about building a fan base. They associate “fan base” with social media metrics like Twitter followers and Soundcloud plays – which holds them back from taking their music career to the next level.
See, gaining fans will usually result in an increase in Twitter followers, SoundCloud plays, and so forth.
But it doesn’t work the same way in reverse.
An increase in Twitter followers, Instagram Followers, Soundcloud plays, and etc. does not usually result in gaining fans.
So, in this post, I want to help guide you down the correct path for building fans.
But, understand, the tips and advice in this post are not the only ways to build a fan base. The further along you get in your music career – the more you’ll understand what works best for you when it comes to building true fans.
BUILD A BRAND
Before you do anything else, you must first know your brand. Your brand and story will influence your music career decisions. It will guide your marketing and messaging strategy. It will also influence the way you present yourself in person and online, how you interact with fans, and more. Your brand reflects your style as much as your music!
It’s also crucial to have a vision of where you want your music career to go. So, take the time to discover what’s unique about you, your artistry, and your story. Then build your brand identity from there.
GET DISCOVERED ON MUSIC DISCOVERY WEBSITES
Music fans and industry influencers alike search music discovery websites regularly. Music discovery websites make it easier to capture new fans. Many also help you get discovered by music bloggers, Spotify playlisters, record labels, and more.
Spotify is one of the biggest music streaming platforms. It is an excellent place to grow your fan base, discover new artists, and promote your music.
Getting your music featured on popular Spotify playlists is an effective way to introduce your music to the world. Curated streaming playlists are also how most fans discover new music.
Below are a few ways to get your music featured on Spotify playlists
- Create a Spotify for Artists account
- Submit unreleased music to the Spotify Editorial team for playlist consideration
- Submit music to independent curators such as Soundplate, Indiemono, and Spingrey
- Email or message playlist curators and ask them to add your music
- Get your music signed by a label with high performing playlists
- Create themed playlists featuring music from other artists and regularly update your playlists
- Support and share other artists’ playlists. Also, follow artists you like to help your fans discover the music you’re into
- Share your playlists on social media, blogs, and music related websites to expand your exposure
- Promote your music on Spotify. Encourage your fans to follow you and to listen to your music on the platform
- Release quality music that stands up to well-performing tracks
- Stay active, be proactive, grow your followers, and increase your streams
GET FEATURED ON MUSIC BLOGS
One of the biggest challenges as an artist is getting your music heard. Getting your music on blogs is one effective way to promote your music and reach new audiences.
Support from a music blog will help you increase exposure, establish credibility, and open new opportunities. However, it’s challenging to get your music featured on a blog. Especially with so many emerging acts striving to get heard. So, how do you submit music to a blog? And, how can you find the music blogs that will feature your music? The guide below breaks down all the essential steps of scoring a feature on a music blog.
RUN COMPETITIONS OR GIVEAWAYS
Offer incentives as a referral strategy to reach new fans. Running a competition or a giveaway is a great way to incentivize your existing fan base. Give your fans something in return for referrals.
Here are some ideas that will motivate fans to refer their friends to your music:
- Offer a free song download in exchange for an email.
- Run a ‘Like and Share’ competition on Facebook. Offer a free download of your album to anyone who shares your music to ten people.
- Offer a free song or merch discount to anyone that subscribes to your mailing list.
- Giveaway free merch, tickets or anything else when a fan gets ten people to subscribe to your mailing list.
- Use music marketing tools from sites like FanDistro and StereoLoad. FanDistro rewards fans with free downloads and merch when they get their Facebook friends to download or share your music.
PLAY LIVE SHOWS
Live performance is one of the best ways to reach new fans and connect with people. It’s also a chance for fans to experience your music rather than stream it. Playing your music live has a more powerful impact.
However, gigging needs a strategy. For example, avoid playing live too often. If you play every weekend in the same city or venue, your shows will lose value. It also helps to promote your shows. Create Facebook events, and send out emails. And don’t forget to meet people in the audience and engage with them!
Also, try to play with established artists with a strong following. A great way to increase your fans is to play with artists who have a larger fan base. Network with local artists and venues or even artists in cities you’re touring. Networking in the music industry is essential!
CREATE VIDEO CONTENT
Videos are an effective medium for music promotion. And YouTube has become a must-use media platform for musicians.
Beyond being a video platform, YouTube has other advantages. For example, it is one of the largest search engines. People also visit YouTube first to find a song. In addition, music is the most searched topic on YouTube.
Videos also offer a different way to connect your music with fans. Plus, there’s a lot more you can do with video compared to music streaming. Here are some video content ideas:
- Official music videos: Create official videos for your music. Tag them, so they get discovered by potential fans.
- Remixes or cover songs: Showcase music inspired by other artists to reach their fan base.
- Live videos: Capture footage and audio of live performances, making music in the studio, goofing off, etc.
- Updates: Use video to share important news like an upcoming music release, tour dates, etc.
- Interviews: Develop a stronger connection with your fans through interview videos.
- Create playlists: YouTube has a playlists feature that allows you to group several videos. This feature can help keep fans watching longer.
Don’t limit yourself to YouTube. Several other video hosting platforms are also effective. For instance, Vimeo, Facebook Live, Instagram
DISTRIBUTE YOUR MUSIC AND MERCHANDISE
Digital music distribution services help independent artists and labels get their music on major online music stores and streaming sites. These digital aggregators distribute music on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Beatport, Amazon, Google Play, Pandora, and other leading music platforms. Getting your music on these platforms is a sure way to reach new fans.
Leading digital music distributors such as Symphonic Distribution, TuneCore, and DistroKid also offer a suite of services and tools for artists. They provide everything needed to prepare, sell, and market your music online.
Building an official website for your brand is another effective way to offer music and merchandise. An official website should feature your artist bio, music, tour dates, images, relevant media, achievements, social media links, merch, and contact details. A successful website represents you as an artist, your brand, and musical identity.
LEVERAGE FANS OF OTHER ARTISTS
Leverage the fans of artists, venues, and brands to increase your fan base. For example, collaborate with other artists, create remixes, and play at venues with a loyal following. Tapping into other people’s audiences is an easy way to reach new fans.
HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
The rise of social media is a valuable asset for musicians. A strong social media presence is essential for promoting your music, engaging with fans, and expanding your fan base. Moreover, having an effective social media strategy connects you with music industry peers and presents new opportunities.
These social media tips will boost fan engagement and increase followers:
- Analyze your fans: Who are your fans? What are their interests? Knowing your audience and the content they respond to the most is crucial.
- Post regularly: Keeping your social media profile active is essential. Post with regular consistency to stay relevant to your fans.
- Schedule your posts: Scheduling your posts in advance allows you to engage with fans without staying online all day.
- Share visual content: Photos and videos generate more engagement than plain text posts. They also capture people’s attention much faster than text.
- Share engaging text content: Post a variety of content fans can connect with, share, like, and comment on to keep them engaged. For example, music releases and tour updates, interactive posts, educative posts, and motivative posts. Also, ask fans for opinions, feedback, and other engaging topics.
- Show your personality: Developing a personal connection with your fans will help solidify the artist-fan relationship. How you communicate to your fans makes a huge difference.
- Optimize your social media profiles: People are likely to find your social media profiles first when searching your artist name. That’s why having a clean, optimized profile for each platform is crucial.
- Share content from your fans: Spread the love and share or retweet content posted by your fans. It’s also a great way to show appreciation to your fans.
- Interact with your fans: Connect with your fans and show them you care. Don’t just use social media to promote your music and tour schedule. Use these platforms to interact with your fan base.
- Use hashtags: Search trending hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Then use them to connect with niche audiences or topics relevant to you.
Implementing these methods will increase your fan base. However, you must engage with your fans frequently if you want to maintain and grow your fan base. Also, stay consistent if you want to break through the noise and hold the attention of your fans. Give your fans something to expect or look forward to regularly. Last, get creative and think outside the box. Figure out what your fans love and then have fun with it.