Live performances from your favourite artists

Part 5: Building and Interacting with your Fanbase

These days there is more new music being put out than ever before.

What are you doing differently to stand out from the crowd? What attracts people to you rather than another artist?

 

How do you build a fanbase?

This goes back to Part 3, play as many shows in as many places as possible. Put on great shows and people will become interested in the band. Once they are initially interested, you have them on the hook and now you need to reel them in.

The most important thing to remember about your fanbase is that they are the strongest tool you have to spread your music. If you keep your fanbase involved and interested, they will tell their friends about you, bring them to your gigs, encourage them to purchase your music.

With all the music being released, it is easy for people to move on and forget about your music if you aren’t keeping them updated and interested.

You need to promote your band heavily, but without being annoying to that people block your feeds online.

Keeping Them Interested

There are so many ways in which you can keep your audience interested in what the band is doing.

The most obvious one is to keep releasing tracks, as stated in Part 1, if you release a new track every 6 weeks, your audience will constantly be hearing new and fresh music from the band, therefore their interest will be maintained, rather than 1 release a year of only 4 or 5 songs.

You need to create content online and it needs to be updated regularly. Rather than re-posting the same YouTube videos constantly, create new videos. Whether it is behind the scenes at a rehearsal or a song writing session or even just the band hanging out, the more videos and content online, the more your fanbase can find and enjoy.

Another way to keep your fanbase interested is to include them in what the band is doing. Don’t make it seem as though the band is separate to the audience, make them a part of the band. One way to include your audience is to let them design artwork for you. Fan art can range from gig posters, computer wallpapers, t-shirts and other merchandise or even CD covers. Fan art gives those with a creative flair the opportunity to connect with a band, the fan gets to feel a closer connection and the band gets free graphic design. In reality all it could take to decide on your next piece of artwork is to post all the fan art online and have a fan vote, what could be better for the band that having the person who designed the art tell every person they know that THEIR design will be featured on as the bands next tour poster or release.

The band Totally Unicorn (http://totallyunicorn.wordpress.com/) have been interacting with their fans by putting together a free compilation CD. Each member of the band has been putting together a CD of songs they like, are influenced or inspired by. These CDs are done in a limited number for the first 10 people that email when the CD is ready. It’s a simple enough idea, but will keep dedicated fans checking the blog to see when the next CD installment is ready so they can be one of the few to receive the CD.

A variation of this can be done onFacebook quite easily, one night a month the band can be online and post videos from you tube of songs they like and would like to show their fans, this can also lead to further interaction with fans by chatting and messaging. You no longer need be a guest programmer on  Rage to show your fans which music videos you really love.

 

The important thing to remember is that you are competing with all the other music available for the attention of your audience. Just because other bands are on major labels and have $100,000 albums, does not mean you are not competing with them. The music buying public only has a certain amount of money to spend on music; you need to offer them something that goes beyond the music, something that major label bands can’t offer –  interaction!

 

Once you have a fanbase you virtually have an army at your disposal. You can ask them to vote for your songs in online competitions or pass your videos around to their friends etc. Your fanbase will want you to succeed so they can say that they were there first and helped your band go to the next level.

 

Amanda Palmer has built up a strong fanbase which she interacts with via Twitter.

Granted that she has a larger fanbase, but this is an example of how interacting with the fanbase can lead to generating some income – http://mikeking.berkleemusicblogs.com/2009/06/23/how-an-indie-musician-can-make-19000-in-10-hours-using-twitter/

 

Recently at Soundwave after their performance, We The Kings said that they will be on Twitter after the show and for fans that want to meet the band or get items signed, they should contact the band on Twitter and they will come out to the fans.

 

Having a large dedicated fanbase that will get attention from other people. Your shows will get bigger, your tracks will get more plays. You then need to make sure you interact with your fans and never forget them. It’s this sort of interaction that builds loyalty with your audience, so they will stay with you for the length of your music career.

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