How to Build a Fanbase as a Musician

How to Build a Fanbase as a Musician to Support Your Music

As a musician today, it's not enough to simply rack up social media followers and streams on  services like Apple Music and Spotify. While numbers can make you look successful to the outside world, the real key to building a sustainable career lies in strategically converting your casual followers into financial supporters of your music career. This process involves not only finding your target audience, but developing an emotional connection with them thus transforming them into a community of people that care about you and your music. This is where understanding and optimizing the "buyer's journey" becomes essential.

How The Buyer's Journey Creates Loyal Fan Bases 

The Buyer's Journey maps out the emotional journey your audience experiences as they travel through your Customer Funnel and the different relationship-building stages someone goes through before making a purchase decision - in this case, deciding to spend money directly supporting your music through products, fan club access, live shows and more. By creating an effective Buyer’s Journey for your audience, you’ll be able to automate the transformation process that turns a follower into and fan and a fan into a supporter – increasing both the size of your fan base and your income.

Stages of the Buyer's Journey 

Stage 1: Unawareness

The first step is simply getting on target audience's radars through discovery channels like YouTube, social media platforms, word-of-mouth recommendations or at live shows. And once your target audience is aware of you and your great music they move onto the next stage.

Stage 2: Awareness

Once they've discovered you, the next stage is pulling fans into your musical world with great music and getting them to follow you on social media platforms, so you can further engage with them and get them to check out more of your music. This can be done using music videos that include a personal message asking for support or in real life interactions at live shows, which are the best way to create new fans.  

Stage 3: Interest

Once someone is convinced that they like your music, the next step in their journey is to decide whether or not they like you as a person. This decision will be based on what they discover when researching your background online. Your job during this stage is to use the emotional hooks from your brand to encourage them to get to know you better. This is done by engaging with them through things like your social media posts and persuading them to connect with you on your own website, so they can learn more about you. Once on your website, your next task is to provide more quality content and in-depth information about yourself through things like your bio and personal photo gallery. If they like what they see and read, your end goal here is to move them to the next stage

Stage 4: Desire

Once they reach this stage, you want to see if you can capture their email address (Meaning, MONETIZE them). Therefore, we recommend having a call-to-action which includes an incentive, like a free download, this is a great way to encourage them to join your mailing list. Capturing an email address is important for 2 reasons. From a business perspective, it gets you their contact information, which will allow you to use email marketing to grow your emotional connection and directly message them about upcoming releases and shows. But more importantly, it signifies the moment when a potential fan (or casual follower) becomes an actual fan of you and your awesome music. Because when they give you their email address, they’re saying that they want to be more involved in your career. And once they join your mailing list, this is when they’ll begin to be receptive to sales offers, which you'll provide via email marketing. Then, as you continue to nurture your relationship, it will be only a matter of time before they enter the final stage of the Buyer’s Journey.

Stage 5: Action

Now your new fan is ready to BUY something from you and your job is to simply get them to make their first small purchase. Something $10 or less, like buying a track, an album of awesome music, button, sticker or a ticket to a live show. And after they make their first purchase, you can begin to work your way on getting them to make their second purchase, and then a bigger purchase, and so on - through both online and in person interactions.

Of course, this progression is cyclical - new fans constantly need to be pulled into the top of the journey while existing supporters are guided along the path toward deeper experiences that encourage them to financially support you.

Creating and maintaining you Buyer’s Journey requires a lot of strategic planning, marketing + promotional content and continual nurturing. It means developing an effective brand, fostering interactive experiences, consistently delivering value-added exclusives and tactically guiding fans toward a more immersive experience into your career.

Passive streamers and casual social followers hold very little career value for musicians these days. By developing a comprehensive buyer's journey, you'll create an audience of loyal fans, so that you can build a sustainable music career.

Learn more by watching the video below:

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If you want to learn How to BUILD a career in music from SCRATCH, I encourage you to check out our online artist development program the Musician Success Blueprint

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