Growing an engaging and interactive fan base is tough… yet possible.

 

You need to ask yourself this…

“What makes a fan base engaging or interactive?”

There’s a few different answers here…

First of all, people could turn up to your shows. That certainly makes them an engaging member of a fan base!

But, given the state of the modern music industry, the fact is… your biggest fans can live on the other side of the planet.

So, for those who live too far away to watch your live shows, the best ways to show their loyalty and support would be to:

  • Follow all of your social media pages,
  • Share and comment on your updates and posts,
  • Tell their friends about your music (word of mouth is powerful),
  • Buy your merch,

and one more, which I promise is the best thing that a fan could do for you….

  • They could join your emailing list.

 

How To Build An Engaging Fan Base - Pin Art - Jam Tavern

 

 “So you’re saying an email subscriber is better than a merch sale??”

 

Emailing is much more personal than talking on social media or online forums. It’s a 1-2-1 form of communication.

So when someone gives you their email address, they are insisting that you keep them updated with whatever it is that you do.

Becoming an email subscriber shows a greater connection.

With that in mind, anybody subscribed to your emailing list is automatically more likely to end up investing more of themselves into your music career than those who have not subscribed.

Another way of putting it:

Those who visit your website, without signing up to your emailing list, could eventually forget about you…

Whereas the members of your fan base who DO sign up can’t forget about you because you’ll be keeping them updated with regular emails (not too regularly though! once every week or two should do it!)

Not to mention…

The longer they remain a subscriber, the longer they remain a potential customer.

But this is where the important part comes in…

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“What’s Email Marketing? and how can it help me as a musician?”

 

In Email Marketing, you send a group email to potential customers, which could include any of the following:

  • New music
  • New content on your website like a blog or a artist journal entry
  • Reminders of upcoming shows
  • Competition announcements

Just try your best not to go overboard with the amount of emails you send out. You don’t want people getting frustrated by a clogged up inbox.

But first things first…

In order to grow an emailing list. Your best bet is to have your own good-looking website.

We recommend using WordPress and a theme. That’s what we’ve done!

Without a website, growing an emailing list becomes much more difficult.

Once you have your website, you’ll need to use an emailing list management site such as MailChimp (that’s the one we use). They basically host your emailing list. Storing the email addresses in an organised fashion, ready for you to write your next bulk email and send it out to everyone.

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Now you just need people to subscribe

 

There are SO many different methods but the ones that are tried and tested are methods such as:

  • Include a pop-up subscription box on your website’s home page or on your website’s content (blogs are great for this).
  • Offer your fans a freebie (like a free song to download) in return for their email address.

Any method used to draw in some emails is great but honestly, it still comes back to the music. If you don’t produce great music, nobody is going to care much about what you have to sell. Make it worth their while. Remember, they’re handing over a piece of personal information to you.

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“What else can be done to grow an engaging fan base?”

 

As mentioned earlier, you want people to follow your social media pages. Even though most of your early-career income will come from people buying tickets to your shows, there’s no cheaper way to promote your shows than the internet!

Again, your emailing list comes in handy here… but how about for the quick and easy updates. The simple posts like “Don’t forget to come down to [venue name] tonight to catch our band play” or a quick photo of your band during soundcheck.

You don’t want to be sending that kind of thing out by email.

That’s where social media comes in… BUT…

 

You need to know which platforms to use for different types of posts.

 

  •  Facebook  is a fantastic resource for quick and easy posts. You can now link a “Community Group” to your Page, which often adds an extra dimension to having a fan base (Loads of people use Facebook so it makes sense that people will engage more on that platform). Facebook Pages are also compatible with Instagram accounts, so every time you post a photo on Instagram, you have the option for that image to also upload to your Facebook Page.
  • Instagram  is designed specifically for images and photographs. You can post links in the description of the posts, as well as on your profile, if you like. That can draw some traffic to your website.
  • YouTube  is often only used as a portfolio for an artist’s music videos. This is such a waste of an extremely useful platform. Imagine how much more involved your fans would be if they could see the face to go with the music. I wont go into too much detail here but you could do fun videos, you could upload your band’s interviews or do a weekly get together. Maybe even record some songs from rehearsals and upload them.
  • Twitter  is perfect for those super quick posts about your band / whatever it is that you’re up to / show reminders etc… It also links to Instagram.

The best advice that we can offer to you in regards to building an engaging fan base through social media is to keep it consistent and keep it suitable. Do your best to manage Facebook, Twitter and Instagram daily. Youtube is basically as often as possible.

 

You might be asking yourself some questions such as:

 

  • “How do the professionals build their fan base? and should I be copying them?”
  • “Social media is becoming clogged up with artists sharing their stuff, how will I ever stand out?”
  • “I’ve got some great music, why is nobody listening?”
 Do your own thing!!

Yes, learn how to utilise the different platforms online, learn how to boost website traffic for your music and so on… but don’t lose track of why you started in the first place.

People see right through that!

Ask yourself this, would you put enough effort into promoting if you weren’t happy with the way you were promoting?

I, for one, hate seeing those LinkedIn messages saying “Hey, just thought I’d get connected with you so I could tell you all about how great my new album is!”

It’s awful.

As in… the way you’re promoting… not that the album itself is awful…

I didn’t listen to the album…

 

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