Building a dedicated fanbase is a vital part
of sustaining a music career. Every person who shows that
they truly believe in your music will make a difference in
the long run. However, many bands often make the assumption
that once they gain a fan, they’ve automatically acquired
a lifetime’s worth of support. This is not the right
attitude to have!
The top mistake bands make right after gaining
a fan is thinking they don’t need to work to keep that
fan. It takes a lot of effort to keep your fanbase consistently
engaged, especially when you consider how many different artists
the average music fan listens to.
It's essential to spark a potential new fan's interest at
the right time in order to push them to the next level of
fandom. The best way to accomplish this in the early stages
is by simply interacting and showing that you care about them.
A lot of nurturing must go on between the point of a fan streaming
your single for free to buying your album, so get perfectly
in tune with what your fans want out of you and deliver it
on their behalf.
Take the time to personally thank your fans
for coming to your show. Send them something special, like
a free download, for joining your email list. Respond to their
comments on social media. Remember that it's a two-way street
– you need to deepen the relationship and give something
to your fans before you ask for something from them.
No matter what stage of the creative process
you're in, you need to keep your fans constantly involved
in order for them to maintain interest in you as both an artist
and a person. Run a special promotion on social media, do
interviews with journalists who will ask the right questions,
perform at well-curated showcases, collaborate with similar
artists, and come up with cool concepts for merchandise.
Ultimately, do whatever it takes not only
to garner that initial spark of interest, but to get fans
directly involved with your art. By keeping fans engaged on
a daily basis in a natural way, you will solidify the strength
of the people who matter the most in helping your career progress.
Nothing sets a band back like losing a member. Your bandmates
are your biggest asset, and your most fragile one. It’s
easier to find new fans or buy new gear than it is to find
the right drummer. Keeping that in mind, you need to make
sure everyone is happy with the direction you’re going
in. Different things motivate different people, so know what
the needs and bottom lines are for each band member.
Travis, the sax player, has a new baby at
home, so money is tight. He loves to play, but he absolutely
needs to at least cover his travel expenses or he can’t
afford to be in the band. Lisa, the guitarist, has a steady
job, so she doesn’t care if some of your shows don’t
pay well, but she won’t be satisfied unless she gets
to write some originals for the band. And Andre, the drummer,
plays in three other bands, so he just needs you to work with
his demanding schedule and keep things fun.
All these people need to be respected,
and not all of them will just come out and list their needs
and wants. You have to ask them.