How To Build A Fanbase For Your Music
They say you need a thousand true fans to build a sustainable music career. (A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you release. These diehard fans will drive 300 kilometers to see you sing; they will buy, pre-order your next album; and even ensure they have your latest merch.)
There are a lot of ways to get more fans for your music, but it’s going to come down to your level of commitment and finding the right tactics that work best for you.
Build A Brand
Before you do anything else, you must know your brand. Your brand is impacted by everything you do, from how you present yourself (both in-person and online), to how you communicate with your fans.
Take the time to discover what’s truly unique about you, your artistry, and your story, and build out your brand identity from there.
Get Discovered on Music Discovery Websites
Music fans, bloggers, Spotify playlisters, record labels, and other industry influencers search music discovery websites regularly. Music discovery websites make it easier to capture new fans. Check out sites like Hype Machine, NoiseTrade, SubmitHub, Pitchfork, TopSpin, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and ReverbNation. These sites help connect independent artists with passionate music fans. Some also provide tools and services that help you engage with fans, promote and sell music, view analytics, and more.
Do A Giveaway
Everyone loves getting free stuff! Offer incentives as a referral strategy to reach new fans.
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.
Embrace Streaming and Playlisting
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.
With the right pitch and timing, you can strike gold with a playlist feature.
Collaborate With Other Musicians
Collaborating with other artists exposes you to their fanbase. Tapping into the audience of another artist is a great way to reach new fans and expand your exposure. And if the other artist is well-established in the music scene, then the potential reach is even higher.
Build Relationships with Influencers
This is easier said than done, of course, but as you already know, relationships are everything in the music industry. One tweet from an influencer with a big following could be a game-changer for your music career.
If you’re brand new to the music business and you have zero contacts, try going out to networking events, conferences, or local industry meetups. There are also plenty of online communities and Facebook groups you can join to build up your network, as well as websites like Fluence that give you access to people who can help promote your music to a bigger audience.
Experiment With Facebook Ads
With a little bit of experimentation and the right audience targeting, you can run Facebook ads that reach new music fans very inexpensively and effectively.
Release great music!
When it comes down to it, if your music and shows are anything less than remarkable, you’re going to have a really hard time gaining true fans. Focus tirelessly on building up your brand. If what you’re doing is really unique and amazing to your target audience, you’ll turn them into superfans who will gladly promote you to their friends and followers.