Are you frustrated because you do not know how to get fans for your music? The truth is, the majority of musicians do not fully understand how to promote their music or music careers. As a result, they become discouraged and frustrated because their efforts to write and record music never seem to ‘pay off’. With that said, it is essential that you learn how to promote yourself and your music so that you can gain fans and maintain success in your music career for the long term.
However, the answer to “How do I get more fans and promote my music career?” is not easily found by taking a highly generalized approach that ‘seems’ to work for other musicians. At any given moment, you (or the band you play in) may be struggling with various unique challenges that would require that you take specific actions in order to get more fans or strengthen your promotional efforts. That said, no matter where you are in your music career and what challenges you face, you have 3 goals to achieve if you want to both gain more music fans and promote your music:
1. You have to get more people to check out your music.
2. You need the people who check out your music to give you some kind of support (either by buying your music, coming out to your shows, purchasing products your release, etc.)
3. You need to turn your fans into FANATICS to where they will tell others (on their own) about how great you and your music are.
Regardless of what your specific musical goals are in the music business, the three goals listed above are the main factor for building a relationship between you (as a musician) and your fans.
These goals may all seem to be separate from one another; however, they are in fact all connected. Once you are able to achieve success with any single one of them, you will greatly improve your chances for success with any of the others. As soon as you truly ‘get’ this basic truth, you will find it much easier to be productive in your efforts.
In order to achieve great success as you promote you music to your fans, you must learn how to think in a strategic manner rather than just taking inconsistent and isolated actions (a mistake that most musicians and bands make). Instead of trying to find a general formula that you can apply to help you get more fans for your music, you need to begin thinking in the same manner as most professional musicians. While training other musicians to succeed in their music careers, I help them understand how to find creative ideas that they can apply in their own music career in order to quickly gain more music fans. Once you gain the ability to think this way in your own music career, it will become much easier for you to overcome any obstacles that stand in the way of your promotional efforts.
To illustrate what I mean and give you various steps (that you can take right now to get more music fans), here are some quick and easy things you can do to accomplish all three of the music promotion goals mentioned above.
To get you on the path to gaining more music fans and expanding upon your current music promotion efforts, I will now show you various things that you can do yourself to accomplish the three goals mentioned above. However, before I delve into this topic, take the time now to test your current abilities for promoting your music with this free music career promotion test.
Click on the link above and fill out the test FIRST, before you continue reading this article.
Now that you have measured your current music promotion abilities, I am going to show you a few ways to promote your music. While you are reading, try to think creatively and focus on the ‘style’ of thinking that makes up the foundation for these ideas rather than just the ideas themselves. This will help you to better understand what makes them effective and how you can use them in your own music career.
Promoting Your Music Objective: Get more people to hear your music
Solution #1: Release music with other musicians on a compilation album. While releasing a compilation record with other artists, you not only release your own music, but the songs of others. This is important because once you do this you are able to promote your music to both your fans AND the fans of every other musician on the record. Remember, your main objective here is not necessarily to make a lot of money; but to utilize the album as an inexpensive tool for gaining much more exposure to new fans than what you would gain on your own. Later on, you can get maximum leverage out of this by promoting your own records, products or merchandise to your new extended network of fans. This idea of using one action to produce MANY benefits is one of the many success strategies that I train musicians to use in my Music Careers Mentoring Program.
Solution #2: Work together with other musicians locally. Instead of considering other local musicians to be your competition (for gaining more fans), work together with local musical artists of a similar genre to help you gain access to larger amount of fans who are interested in hearing and seeing you play music. One method for achieving this is to work with another band to perform at the same venue in an effort to bring together the fan base of both bands. By doing this, you will not only improve your relationship with the owner of the venue (because you are bringing in more people), but you will have the opportunity to advertise your music to the other band’s fan base (and them to yours). This idea is very fundamental, but in reality not many bands take initiative to actually go out and do it. On top of that, many bands make the mistake of sharing the venue with other bands who are not in their target market, or with bands who do not make a strong effort to attract their fans to the venue (thus taking away the mutual benefit). One example of pulling this idea off (which is fairly common in the music business) is when a band with a small following becomes and opening act for a much larger band. However, if you cannot find a highly successful band to open for you can still achieve this; you will need to simply find a band that contains musicians who have enough ambition to take ACTION and implement this strategy.
Promoting Your Music Objective: Get your fans to take specific actions.
Solution #1: Make sure that people have incentive to both be a fan of your music AND purchase your music. Those who have mastered the ability to successfully promote music find ways to get their fan base to buy their music as opposed to downloading it online for free. Additionally, they are able to take an average listener and turn him/her into a loyal fan. A great way to do this is to offer something special to people who actually BUY your music (that cannot be obtained by simply downloading it for free). To effectively do this, it is important that whatever you are offering cannot be easily reproduced through digital media. This could include things such as VIP passes to your concerts, merchandise or other creative and unique items. The main thing to get out this idea is that you can implement a single strategy to achieve good music promotion while also developing a stronger relationship between you and your fans.
Solution #2: Know and understand who your current fans are and what they want. The best way to get the most out of your music promotion is to promote yourself to those who already know you and support you anytime you begin a new project in your music career. Most musicians worry about not having enough fans for their music, but at the same time they don’t really know who their fans are or how to get into to contact with them. Rather than figuring this out, these musicians spend a lot of time promoting themselves to the general public. The truth is, there is certainly nothing wrong with promoting music to the general public; however, this method for advertising is expensive and very time consuming. That said, make sure to find an effective way to stay in contact with your fans at all times. This will greatly improve the results of your promotional efforts.
Promoting Your Music Objective: Changing Casual Music Fans Into True Fanatics
Solution #1: Create unique events around your music that encourages your fans to interact with you in ways other than just listening to your songs or coming to your shows. There exist many different ways to do this (limited only by your personal creativity); however, no matter what you do, your main goal should always be to expand upon the relationship you have with your fans in order to close the gap between you are your fans.
Solution #2: Focus on rewarding your most loyal fans with unique gifts that casual listeners don’t have access to. This concept can be used together with the first point described above or as an idea by itself. If you’d like for your music fans to take a particular action (for example bringing more people to your performances or to purchase your albums), focus on finding something of high value that you can offer them that goes beyond the scope of music. (Remember: Your music fans do not necessarily want free money or t-shirts…think of something specific to offer them)
As you have read, once you take a more detailed approach to understanding specifically what it is that you want to do when it comes to “gaining more music fans”, it’s a lot easier to understand specifically which action steps you must perform to make this happen. The majority of musicians only think about improving their music while trying to appeal to the general public, but doing this is only one aspect of musical promotion. Of course, your music is important; however there are aspects of your music career that you must work on in order to effectively get more fans for your music. As soon as you begin focusing on these aspects, you will start to gain much greater results in your music promotion efforts.
To learn more about what you personally need to do to gain music fans and promote your music more effectively, complete this free music career promotion test and get personalized feedback to help you achieve success in your music career.
About The Author:
Tom Hess is a recording artist, composer and a touring musician. He plays guitar in the band Rhapsody Of Fire. Tom also mentors and coaches musicians worldwide to make it in the music industry. Go to his musician development site to get free music industry advice and learn more about the music industry.