If you’re an upcoming music artist, you desperately want to reach as many people as you possibly can. Even though we’re living in an age where the universe is at our fingertips, thanks to the digital revolution, universal access to every kind of music can be a double-edged sword.
For artists, it can prove more difficult than ever to build a successful fan base. The internet, as in the physical world, is over saturated with creatives all vying for attention. With so many artists clamouring for a performance spot, it can feel like one giant hurdle after another. It’s therefore vital that you take full advantage of the technological means available to you in order to maximise your reach and impact. Thankfully, the best – and most simple – ways to gain more fans involve managing your efforts in a twofold manner, comprising both an online and “real world” strategy.
Here are a few ideas to get started with.
Creating an online buzz
From Twitter to YouTube, galvanising all that social media has to offer is the way forward if you want to gain those much desired online fans. The way in which you approach these is therefore crucial.
For a musician, the first port of call is YouTube, argues Marcus Taylor in his post 7 Ways to Double Your Fan Base for musicthinktank.com. “Increasing the rate and quality of producing music videos – or video content – can be a powerful way of exponentially growing your fan base, because as the number of videos on your YouTube page cumulates, the results begin to compound.” He writes further “This is how many ‘YouTube celebrities’ have made their fame – by producing good quality video content frequently until they hit a tipping point where they have so many videos that they’re getting 100,000s views every day. You can use services like TubeMogul to distribute your videos to a larger network of video hosting sites, as well as use their pre-roll advertising options, which I’ve found to be very effective. There are also music specific platforms for building loyalty with your fans via video or live streaming. My favourite of the bunch being Stageit.”
With YouTube as your base of operations and the rest splintering off from that, essentially it’s quality content that will tempt potential fans most of all – whether it’s music videos or a video diary. In turn, these can be posted to your Twitter and Facebook profiles. Once you’ve built up a satisfactory number of followers, you can begin offering special incentives to keep them entertained, like the opportunity for fans to have their own private gig and specially signed merchandise.
Dotted Music Blog gives some further useful tips on digitally marketing yourself.
Furthering your real world strategy
Doing as many gigs for as many people as possible is always the foundation stone for a successful real world strategy. John Hess writes that collaborations are also a fine way to widen your appeal. “Collaborate with other artists and bands in your local area. Rather than thinking about all other musicians in your area as “competitors” (for the attention of your music fans), you can cooperate with one or more bands in a style similar to yours to attract many more fans to see and hear your music.”
“One way to do this is to arrange for you and one or more bands to perform at a certain venue and organise a joint effort to bring in as many fans by each band as possible. In addition to helping you to build a much better relationship with the venue owner (due to packing a much bigger audience into the club), you get a chance to essentially “advertise” yourself to the fan base of another band (and vice versa). This idea is extremely simple and obvious, but surprisingly a lot of bands do not consciously implement it.”
Another good idea is to set up gigs in unusual locations. Take some inspiration from pop-up restaurants, who often set up shop for the day in unconventional places such as launderettes and bus stations. A few alternative location gigs would get local press interested and may even lead to a local TV news spot.
There are of course many more ways to market yourself. Quite Great have put together a superb infographic which breaks down good music PR, so take a look for some extra tips.