After playing a few shows with your band around your local town, you are excited about the music. But still, things are not moving as fast as you would like. One of the questions in your mind might be how to find fans. In this post, we will share some tried and trusted tips and break down some myths.
My music is for everyone
The number one mistake is to think that everyone will love your music. Let me explain. The most popular ice cream flavour in the world is vanilla. Dark chocolate with rock salt is an acquired taste. But to become a very successful ice cream maker with vanilla would be very difficult, as the competition is fierce and dominated by the mass producers with crazy marketing budgets and prime spots in the supermarket. But to build a reputation for that exquisite banana and toffee flavoured ice cream would be much easier, as you would be making something that is rare.
Your music will never be for everyone. For everyone to like your music, it would be bland, mass-produced vanilla. Figure out the type of people who would like your music. Who else do they listen to? Where do they find new artists? How do they consume music? Would they associate themselves as fans of a particular genre? Do they go to live shows? If so, where? What do they do for a living? What films do they watch? Do they like cats or dogs? The more you know about your potential fans, the more likely you are going to find them.
My music is like nothing that’s been done before
When advice bands and musicians, when they tell me that their music sounds like no one else, I usually tell them that I can’t help them. I have news for you, we all sound like someone else. We all picked up influences along the way. That is what music is supposed to be about after all. If you don’t know what your music sounds like, how is a booking agent supposed to book you for a show? They need to know what you sound like.
This does not mean you are a Coldplay copy. This means you sound a bit like this band mixed with a hint of that and a sprinkle of the other. Being able to identify and explain your sound to others is very important when you start promoting your music to new fans.
There are no magic tricks
Stop looking for that magic wand that will get you thousands of fans overnight and start putting in the hard work. True fans are won over one at the time, yes you heard me right. Go to forums, Twitter and Facebook groups. Start a conversation and don’t just talk about your self. Find out first what kind of music people like.
You see you must like music, otherwise, you would not be here looking for ways to get more fans. So strike a conversation about music, and see if you have anything in common. Talk about the bands and artists you like, just as you would with your friends. Build trust. Once you have done this, then casually drop the fact that you play in a band in the conversation. At this point, if you have not rushed it, I am pretty sure they will ask you about your band. And this is the key to deliver your pitch.
Learn a pitch
It is time to put the above together. Learn how to sell your music, by being able to describe what you sound like. If they have an idea in their head what you sound like, they are much more likely to check you out. And if they like what you are describing, ask them if you could invite them to your next show, or send them some links to your music. As I mentioned above, your first 1000 fans are won one at the time. So repeat the above as many times as possible.
The magic trick
Yep, I lied… There is a magic trick. But it involves money and a lot of hard work. If you have figured out who your ideal fan is, and you know how to describe your music, you might just be ready to advertise. And the best place to do that for musicians in 2018 is Facebook ads. Now, this is a completely different subject, and if you are not ready for it, you might waste a lot of money, you have been warned. No band should do this until they have at least a few thousand people following them already on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The free magic trick
Yep, I lied again! One of the fastest ways to grow your fan base is by collaborating with as many artists as possible. This is how YouTubers build their subscribers; this is how Instagrammers grow their likes and follows fast. It has been proven time and time again in the music business to be very effective. Start small, and do it often.
So what do you do until you have those first few thousand fans? As mentioned, you go and strike up a conversation with people online and offline who you think could be potential fans. You share a lot of good and engaging content on your social media. Make your social media sites worth following. And what kind of content? Pictures, video, blog posts, even podcasts if you are adventurous, and of course music. We have written another post on social media for musicians, which you can check out HERE. In the mean time, build your fan base, one fan at the time.