Building a loyal fanbase in today’s music era is more difficult than it may have been a few decades ago, but reaching people is easier than ever before. So how do we use the tools and accessibility of people to our advantage to build a true following? To build “die hard” fans that hang on every note, listen to every song, and actually BUY things from you?
Connection. A simple word with some complexity to it. Everyone is fighting for attention. On social media, streaming platforms, advertisements, EVERYWHERE. Attention is the single most valuable resource to anyone trying to grow a following, and it’s also the foundation of connection.
So if building a fanbase starts with building connections, how do you do it? Well, it starts with you. You are the ‘thing’ your fans will be connecting with. The medium they connect to you through might be your music, social posts, or live shows, etc. but the common denominator is you.
So be yourself! Don’t feel like you have to create the next TikTok trend or blow up on IG reels. Sure it will help grow your follower count, but followers do not equal connection.
When you take this to heart, people will feel it. This means some folks will love it, and others will hate it. That’s a good thing. You can’t please everyone. In fact you don’t want to. When people love what you do, some people will also hate what you do. It’s just the natural way things happen.
When you talk about things that are true to you in your music, your social posts, and everything else you do, you will connect with people. Like minded people will resonate with it and trust you because you have a similar outlook as them. Trust is key to building long lasting relationships, and that is ultimately what you are after here!
Don’t just sing and post about the hottest trends or the cliche lines. Those things are here today and gone tomorrow. Stay true to yourself and people will take notice. You’ll also feel WAY better about what you’re doing.
When you can make your fans a part of what you’re doing, they will be 10x more interested and invested in the final product. Ask them to help you choose the songs for your next album. Get their opinion on new merch ideas. Create a poll asking where you should tour next. The options are endless here! When people feel like they have a say in what’s going on they will be much more engaged with everything you’re doing, and much more likely to buy whatever you’re selling.
When you ask your fans (or potential fans) to join you as you travel down the road of your music career it will build a lasting relationship and they can share your wins (and losses) with you. Who wouldn’t want a fan base like that?!
Consistency is important in a few areas. Not only do you want to build a connection with your current audience, but you also want to draw new fans in. This is done with consistency. Consistency with your musc; Releases, sound, style, etc. To exaggerate this: If you release a country song one month and a rock song the next, it will be tough to build a connection with any new fans those releases might bring in. They are expecting one thing, and then get something different.
Be consistent with how and when you show up online. If you do live streams, do it at the same time every week. Be consistent with your email lists or the posts you do on your platforms. Release music consistently on a schedule. Not only will this make planning and accomplishing these things 1000x easier, it will also let people know what they can expect from you which brings a sense of comfort.