Want to know how to win more music fans? Wish you knew the secret to building a huge following? Do you want to know how best to promote yourself as a musician? If you want to achieve long-term success in the music industry, it is absolutely essential that you have a lot of devoted fans who are interested in what you do as a musician. To do this, you need to learn the most effective methods to promote both yourself and your music.
However, the answer to “How do I get more fans and promote my music career?” is not easy to find by taking a very general approach that ‘seems’ to work for other musicians. At any given time, you (or the band you play in) may struggle with several unique challenges that require you to take specific actions to gain more fans or boost your promotional efforts. That said, wherever you are in your music career and whatever challenges you face, you need to achieve 3 goals if you want to gain more music fans as well as promote music:
- You need to get more people to watch your music.
- Once someone listens to your music, you need them to help you in some way (buy your albums, watch you live, buy merchandise, etc.)
- You have to transform your fans into total fanatics who will use word of mouth to tell all their friends about you and your music.
Whatever you’re trying to achieve in the music business, the three goals mentioned above apply to anything you do, as long as you try to build a strong relationship with your fans.
These goals all seem to be unrelated; however, they are in fact all connected. Once you are able to achieve success with one of them, you will greatly increase your chances of success with any of the others. Once you truly “understand” this fundamental truth, you will find it much easier to be productive in your endeavors.
To achieve great success in promoting your music to your fans, you must learn to think strategically rather than just taking inconsistent and isolated actions (a mistake most musicians and bands make). Instead of trying to find a general formula that you can apply to get more fans for your music, start thinking the way most professional musicians do. As I train other musicians to succeed in their music careers, I help them understand how to find creative ideas that they can apply in their own music careers to quickly gain more music fans. Once you gain the ability to think this way in your own music career, it will become much easier for you to overcome obstacles that stand in the way of your promotion efforts.
To illustrate what I mean and give you several steps (that you can take right now to get more music fans), here are some quick and easy things you can do to achieve all three of the music promotion goals mentioned above.
To help you on your way to gaining more music fans and expanding your current music promotion efforts, I will now show you several things you can do yourself to achieve the three goals mentioned above.
Okay, now that you’ve completed the above review, read on to find several actionable steps below that you can use to promote your music. As you read through them, don’t focus so much on the actions themselves; instead, think creatively to see the ideas and think ‘behind’ the actions to understand why they are so effective. This prevents you from simply ‘copying’ them and you come up with ideas that you can benefit from in your specific music career.
Music Promotion Action Step: Get more people to listen to your music.
Solution #1: Join other musicians and participate in a compilation CD. After you have released a compilation album, you have achieved some important things. First, you have successfully produced a record that contains your own music. Second, not only did you get a tool to promote yourself to your fans, but you also got a tool that potentially promotes you to the fans of every other musician on the album (with no extra effort on your part). Keep in mind that the purpose of this is not to make money directly, but to use the album as a very cheap tool to promote your music (and the music of the other musicians) to more people on a larger scale. You can also apply this idea as a way to leverage your own album releases and products for a larger fan base. The idea of ”leverage” (using one action to gain multiple benefits) is absolutely crucial if you want to achieve a high level of success in your music career. This is something I help members in my Music Careers Mentoring Program develop and refine.
Solution #2: Collaborate locally with other musicians. Instead of looking at other local musicians as your competition (to get more fans), work with local music artists of a similar genre to help you access a wider range of fans who are interested in hearing your music and to see you play. One method of achieving this is by teaming up with another band to perform at the same venue in an effort to bring together the fan base of both bands. By doing this, you not only improve your relationship with the venue owner (because you bring in more people), but you also get the opportunity to advertise your music to the other band’s fanbase (and them to yours) . This idea is very fundamental, but in reality not many bands take the initiative to actually do it. On top of that, many bands make the mistake of sharing the venue with other bands that aren’t in their target market, or with bands that don’t put in a lot of effort to attract their fans to the venue (which removes the mutual benefit). An example of carrying out this idea (which is quite common in the music business) is when a band with a small following becomes an opening act for a much larger band. However, if you can’t find a very successful band to open for, you can still get it; you’ll just have to find a band with musicians who are ambitious enough to take ACTION and execute this strategy. An example of carrying out this idea (which is quite common in the music business) is when a band with a small following becomes an opening act for a much larger band. However, if you can’t find a very successful band to open for, you can still get it; you’ll just have to find a band with musicians who are ambitious enough to take ACTION and execute this strategy. An example of carrying out this idea (which is quite common in the music business) is when a band with a small following becomes an opening act for a much larger band. However, if you can’t find a very successful band to open for, you can still get it; you’ll just have to find a band with musicians who are ambitious enough to take ACTION and execute this strategy.
Music Promotion Action Step: Have your fans take specific actions.
Solution #1: Make sure people have an incentive to both love your music AND buy your music. Those who have mastered the ability to successfully promote music find ways to get their fans to buy their music instead of downloading it for free online. Moreover, they are able to take an average listener and make him/her a loyal fan. A great way to do this is by offering something special to people who will actually BUY your music (which cannot be obtained by simply downloading it for free). To do this effectively, it is important that what you offer cannot be easily reproduced through digital media. Think for example of VIP passes for your concerts, merchandise or other creative and unique items.
Solution #2: Familiarize yourself with your current fan base. It’s easy to successfully promote yourself as a musician when you can present yourself to those who give you all their support as you pursue new projects in your musical career. Most musicians think their biggest problem is a lack of music fans when in fact they just don’t know who their real fans are and how to get in touch with them. Rather than reaching out to these particular fans, many musicians focus their efforts on the general public. The truth is that this approach can work; promoting your music in this way, however, costs a lot of money and time. To drastically save on your costs in terms of money, energy and time; make your musical promotion more effective by finding an easy way to stay in touch with your fan base at all times.
Music Promotion Action Step: Transform your current fans into FANATICS
Solution #1: Host special gatherings or events that will immerse your fans in your music and engage them on a whole new level (as opposed to just listening to your music or watching you live). There are almost endless ways to do this – limited only by your own willingness to be creative. However, remember that the key is to develop your relationship with your music fans.
Solution #2: Focus on rewarding your most loyal fans with unique gifts that casual listeners can’t access. This concept can be used in conjunction with the first point described above or as an idea on its own. If you want your music fans to take a certain action (for example, get more people to your gigs or buy your albums), focus on finding something of high value that you can offer them that goes beyond the reach of music. (Remember: your music fans don’t necessarily want free money or t-shirts… think of something specific to offer them)
As you’ve read, once you take a more detailed approach to understanding what you want to do when it comes to “getting more music fans” it’s a lot easier to understand specifically what action steps you need to take to make this happen. . Majority of musicians only think about improving their music while trying to appeal to the general public, but this is only one aspect of musical promotion. Of course your music is important; however, there are aspects of your music career that you need to work on to effectively get more fans for your music. Once you start focusing on these aspects, you will get much better results from your music promotion efforts.