All the time when I listen to artist interviews or see bands live they always say the same thing, “We couldn’t have got here today without the support of our fans" which you may just think is something bands and artists say to win the affection of their fans but that simply isn’t the reason, it’s because it’s true. It’s your loyal fans who are the ones who spread the word about you and stay by you throughout your career. A loyal fan is your career’s most important asset. But first you must create a loyal fan.
Time to let your fans know just how much you value them. Show your fans that they matter to you throughout the whole of your career whether it be from the music you release to the places you play. Show that their opinions and involvement with you as a band/artist is crucial to your success.
“I get it... now how do I do this?”
Get your fans involved
Firstly get your fans involved. Make them feel important and that they are a contributing factor to your creative process. This can be done in a number of ways:
- Songs & Music Videos - What better way to make your fans feel valued than to have them forever included on a track or music video? This may be through the addition of gang vocals or specific vocal lines in a track whereby you need a lot of people to give that HUGE sound. Alternatively include them in your music video, let everyone SEE your fans and give your fans the opportunity to show their excitement on camera. It will show that you have a fan base that are more than happy to get involved and to show their praise for you. Now this is all depending on your band obviously, if it doesn’t suit you to have your fans included in your music or video then don’t. Only consider this if it works, because if it does it will benefit you greatly. They will be sharing your track/video about because they want everyone to hear/see them on their new favourite bands single!
- Photos - Have some new merch? What better way to advertise it than through your fans. Encourage them to send in photos of themselves with your merch, put it in a folder and share it across your social networks for ALL to see. Fans LOVE this.
- Reward them when they promote you - Your fans are going about and spreading the word about your music, now show your appreciation of this and give them a small reward! You may know a particular fan who is ALWAYS at your shows and you know they bring their friends each time so let them know you notice this. This may be a mention of them across your social networks, a free ticket, signed free merchandise or if your feeling particularly daring play them their own personal show (they will invite everyone they know).
- Have a question or big decision? Ask your fans! - You may be wondering what t-shirt design to print or which towns you should target for your upcoming tour; if in doubt ask those who matter. If you ask your fans what t-shirt design they like then your more likely to sell that t-shirt once ordered and printed; don’t make something they don’t like! Also when planning a tour fans will tell you where they want to see you and if you have a large amount of fans saying the same town then you should be there; they will be there so the risk of hitting that new location and not having any attendees is already less. Do this through online polls on sites like Facebook, its quick and easy to make and all fans need to do is click on what they like.
There are many ways to involve your fans and these are just a few. It must suit you and your demographic of fans (this article is more geared towards ‘teen fans’) but this approach can be applied fans of all types. If you know your fans well enough you’ll know what will work.
A loyal fan is the person who buys your music, buys your merch, comes to your shows, spreads the word about you, votes for you in competitions and generally always sticks by you no matter what. Let them know they are appreciated because as I stated at the beginning of this article, dedicated and loyal fans are crucial to your success.By Jonathan Bond @ Music Gateway - Helping musicians and professionals find opportunities and achieve goalscurrent funding project: http://www.crowdcube.com/investment/music-gateway-14009
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