6 Steps to a Good, Healthy Fan Base

It takes more than good music to build a fan base; it takes personality.

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Singer-SongwriterOne thing that technology has done for the songwriter is made it easier to create great music in the comfort of your own house. While big studios have all the bells and whistles you’ll ever need to get the job done, it’s amazing what you can do these days, the quality you can attain, and then the ease with which you can distribute your songs to the world, literally from your bedroom.

Creating great music from your bedroom can accentuate a problem, though: causing you to neglect the need of a good, healthy fan base. There you are, providing great tunes via your website, really nicely recorded, but no one’s buying.

If you look at any successful singer-songwriter/band, you’re looking at a person or group that’s:

  1. likeable, and
  2. good at what they do.

…And preferably in that order.

The best musicians out there started their careers by building up a following of people that didn’t just love their music — they loved them. Using humour, opinions, style and of course music, the world’s best musicians create a community of fans that love everything they do. You can’t do that without some good music, of course. But those first successes need to be used primarily to build your fan base.

Once you’ve got those fans loving you, your music becomes magical. They look for any information they can possibly find out about you. They want to see every interview, go to your concerts, hear more of your music, and then get others on board.

You might think that the likability of a musician is directly related to the quality of their music, and that writing and recording great music will naturally lead to a bigger fan base. But it is vital to remember that people connect emotionally to people, and rarely to music.

So if you’re wondering why the world hasn’t noticed the quality of your songs (both the writing and the recordings), you need to ask yourself what you’ve done lately to build your audience base.

Here’s what you need to do to be sure that your audience is growing daily:

  1. Make it easy for people to find and hear your music. Whether you do it professionally or on your own, the point is the same: be sure that others can hear your music. That’s going to involve social media and streaming.
  2. Develop your personality. Good music on its own has little longterm power to build an audience base. But partner it up with your face and your voice by way of online interviews, videos of you talking directly to fans, plus videos of you interacting with other people and musicians, and you’ll start to see the benefits that come from having a personality.
  3. Perform live music. Getting your music out and in front of people is one more way to show your personality to the world, and it’s such an important part of success.
  4. Improve your performance chops. Weak performances won’t impress. Work daily on getting your own instrumental abilities to shine, and then rehearse regularly with your band to get everything to click.
  5. Get professional advice on how to develop an online presence. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay a lot of money. But a weak web presence that looks as though it was thrown together by an amateur can kill your attempts to build your audience.
  6. Write and record songs regularly. Don’t sit on your laurels. Let your latest success be yesterday’s news, and get working on your next project.

______________Gary Ewer

Written by Gary Ewer. Follow on Twitter.

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