How to Build a Fanbase for Your Music

How to Build a Fanbase for Your Music: Dos and Don'ts

As a musician, one of the most important things for your career is building a fanbase of loyal followers and not simply casual listeners. Casual listeners are potential fans that will stream your music on Apple Music and Spotify, but a real fan attends your shows, visits your website to buy your merch and supports you through the ups and downs. But how do you go about building that sort of emotional connection and cultivate a loyal fan base? Here are some key dos and don'ts:

Building a Fanbase: Dos and Don'ts

Do: Engage with Fans on Social Media

In today's digital world, social media is crucial for connecting with fans and growing your audience. Make sure you have active accounts on all the major platforms like Youtube, TikTok & Instagram, etc. Respond to comments on recent posts, repost fan content, go live occasionally and give fans a window into your life and creative process. Fans love feeling like they have a personal and real connection with the artists they support. The best way to nurture that sort of relationship isn't with random posts or old show clips, it's by sharing killer content that conveys both your personal and musical interests so fans can clearly see what they have in common with you.

Don't: Buy Fake Followers

As a beginner musician without a community of people to support you, it can be tempting to try and inflate your numbers by purchasing fake followers or running engagement pods, but this is ultimately a wasted effort that damages your credibility. Sure, it's an easy way to fool family and friends into thinking your more successful than you are, but it won't fool industry professionals and it won't help your engagement. Instead, focus on organically growing real sets of fans across all social media platforms and build your mailing list. The fastest way to grow your career is with the help of a truly engaged fanbase who actually care about your music. Remember that the next time you consider buying followers.

Do: Build an Email List

Email may seem outdated, but email marketing is still one of the most powerful tools artists can use for promoting their music and staying in touch with their fan bases. Marketing work is something almost every artists overlooks. Instead of marketing their music, they simply promote their music posts and music videos on social media and hope for something to happen. To learn more about Music Marketing Vs Promotion: The Reason Behind Why Fans Do Or Don’t Care About Your Music check out our article. That said, when you do begin email marketing, you will need to offer incentives like free downloads or exclusive music to get fans to sign up for your mailing list. Then you can notify them about new music releases, tours, merch and more. However, there are techniques for doing that, which you can read about in our article that covers Email Marketing for Musicians.

Don't: Be Salesy or Impersonal

No one wants to feel like they're being sold to constantly, so if all you do is promote, it's a strong indicator to potential fans that you don't have a lot to say and they will quickly lose interest. It takes more than great music to create true fans, even if you create truly awesome music. When communicating with fans a great way to build a bond with them is to keep things authentic and conversational. Share real life stories and genuinely aim to make connections beyond just promoting your latest single. In a world where we're all constantly spammed, fans can smell insincere marketing ploys from a mile away.

Do: Play Live Shows Regularly

There's no better way to turn casual listeners into diehard fans than by putting on an incredible live show. Make sure you're constantly booking gigs, whether it's small local shows or opening slots for bigger acts. An energetic, memorable performance will solidify your existing fans and win over new ones. Again, this doesn't just mean perform great music, you need to share personal stories on stage that will help build a relationship with the people in the audience. Relationship building all relates back to your brand.

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Don't: Neglect Your Local Scene

While you'll eventually want to tour regionally and beyond, never underestimate the importance of your local music community. Be an active, supportive part of the scene by going to other artists' shows, collaborating on tracks or events and continually working to build your reputation and fanbase in your backyard first. Major artists have a special relationship with their hometown audience and that's because those fans were there to support them when no one else did.

Do: Collaborate with Other Artists:

Collaborating with other musicians can help grow your organic reach and connect you with new audiences / online communities helping to expand your fanbase. Look for opportunities to collaborate on songs, live performances or social media campaigns with artists who share a similar audience.

Don't: Ignore Feedback:

Pay attention to feedback from your fans, both positive and negative. Use this feedback to improve your music, engage with your audience and refine your marketing and brand strategy.

Related articles: 

Feedback Loop: Working With Fans To Build A Successful Music Career 

Brand Creation: Working With Fans to Create Your Brand 

Bonus Don't: Give Up Too Easily:

Building a fanbase takes time and dedication. Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Stay focused on your goals, continue to engage with your audience and keep pushing forward. Remember, you don't need millions of fans to be successful, 1,000 true fans will do it.

Building a devoted fanbase is a long-term process that requires patience, hard work and a genuine desire to connect with listeners. By doing things the right way through engagement, authenticity and constantly honing your craft, you'll steadily attract the kind of fans that can take your career to new heights.

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