Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, SoundCloud, ReverbNation… the list goes on and on and on. I am sure many of you have profiles on all if not many of these sites. But what are you doing on those sites? Just having a presence on a site does not mean fans find you. Build it and they will come does not exist. Outside of known name artists fans are not going to spend much time searching out bands they have never heard of. This means it is your job to find your next fan and introduce yourself to them. The difference in the number of fans you could have on one of these sites can be dramatically different between bands that seek out fans and bands that just wait for the fans to find them. A calculated plan to search for fans can increase fans over seven fold in less than two weeks, I have seen these results. This can mean the difference of having 150 fans or having more than 1000 fans.
It is your job to find your next fan.
Search is one of your best tools for locating fans. Search artists in similar style to you and reach out to their fans. Find radio stations that play your genre of music and reach out to their listeners. On a daily basis you should be looking for more fans. Set yourself a goal everyday. Pick one social network and focus on it first. Don’t take them all on at once. I feel Twitter is one of the easiest sites to seek out fans. Once you find a fan on Twitter you can then follow them to Facebook or other sites they may use. Hell, just ask them to follow you on Facebook. Don’t think the results will be big on a daily basis, you will not have a 1000 new fans by tomorrow morning no matter how many ads tell you otherwise. My efforts are seeing about 10-20% of the fans you seek out actually end up following you back. Make sure your profiles are active and exciting, nobody is going to follow a account that looks dead. You need to have a plan of where you are going to look for these fans… day in and day out and a plan on how you are going build a relationship with this new fans.
If you are looking for help on how to find fans on Twitter I encourage you to check out the webinar I hosted with Brian Thompson, How To Use Twitter to Promote Your Music.
If you would like discuss how I can assist you in growing your fan base on Twitter, contact me (me at mikebrandvold.com) and we can discuss your needs.
I believe the answer is no. A fan is always in a different world than the performer. Part of what defines a fan in my opinion is the fan strives to be close to the performer. The fan wants to always learn more, know more about the performer. The performer is onstage, in the studio, backstage. The fan dreams about being onstage, in the studio or backstage with the performer. The performer always knows what is happening in their world, when they are touring, where they are touring, when they are recording, what the new songs sound like. The fan is always trying to dig up the littlest tidbit of information. As the performer you will never completely understand the world of your fans. As the performer you will never experience the joy your fans feel after waiting months to finally hear a new song. The thrill your fans experience in waiting months to finally see you in concert. The energy of being in the front row for your show.
As a performer you can be a fan of another performer, but you can never be a real fan of yourself.
What this means is that you may think you know what your fans want, what your fans like, what is important to your fans. Remember what it is like for you to be a fan of another act. Without actually talking to your fans and listening to them you won’t know exactly what they want.
I tell many people one of my strengths is I am a fan, I’m not a musician. I love music, I love bands, I love concerts. I am your customer.
Last night I went to the one night only showing of the Angels and Airwaves movie Love. I had been waiting to see this indie sci-fi movie that the band produced for many months. Angels and Airwaves (AVA) have made it so much fun to be a fan and I love it. They gave away their last album LOVE for free. They released a live/behind the scenes DVD. They released a great selection of t-shirts and merchandise. They provided sound check and VIP access that their shows. Now they spent their own money (reported to be $500,000) and five years to produce a full length feature movie for which they provided the soundtrack. They will be releasing the movie and a double album this coming November. They just didn’t show the movie last night. They also did a live three song show, did a fan Q&A and debuted the video for their brand new single Anxiety. I spent over two hours with my favorite band and got a tidal wave of new stuff from them. As a fan, I loved it!
Musicians and bands need to always remember this; make sure it is fun for your fans to be your fans. When they are having fun they are supporting you, they are buying your product.
How was the Angels and Airwaves movie Love? Great film for a low budget, indie production. The movie is a 2001 Space Odyssey type of sci-fi flick. During the civil war a alien ship is discovered in Crater Lake. Fast forward to a lone astronaut on the International Space Station. He looses contact with earth. You then see how he changes as he looses contact with other people. The astronaut comes to learn he is the last human being in existence and has a encounter with the alien intelligence. Not a simple story line I know. It is a thinker. I think you would need to watch it a couple times to put the pieces together. I admire AVA for not making a AVA movie, but a movie with a interesting story that they only provided the soundtrack. You will not see the band in the film, they are not performing in the movie, they are not singing in the movie… just instrumental soundtrack. It really is a art movie made with passion.