Acquiring fans is something a band starts doing (intentionally or not) from day one. Every time you talk about your band you are working at attracting new fans, whether that is your intentions or not. In fact, every time somebody sees, hears, or reads about you there is potential that they are going to end up loving your music. Heck, they might even attend some shows and buy some merch!
Growing your fan base is something that you should never ignore. The more you do to show people that you exist, the more fans you are going to get out to shows. The more fans you get out to shows, the more money you end up making in CD and merch sales. Get enough fans, and making enough money to support yourselves is entirely possible.
With that being said, you need to consistently promote yourself using all available platforms, online and off. Here are 5 ways to ensure a steady growing fan base.
1. Update Consistently On Social Media About Your Music
If you have a following on social media that you don’t interact with, then what good is that following? You should be using your personal profiles and band pages to post anything that is related to your music. Something as simple as you in a car listening to a snippet of your new demo will do. Just keep posting so people don’t forget about you.
You can save a lot of time by using tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to post to multiple social networks at once. These tools also allow you to schedule the number of posts per day, and the specific times for each post. Utilizing a tool like this can save you hours of time each week.
2. Play As Many Shows As Possible
If you aren’t on tour or have a steady job that you can’t leave town for, you should still be working towards playing at least a couple of shows a month. The easiest way to gain a fan is to have them watch you live in person. The easiest way to sell music or merch to someone is to have them right in front of you. You can only make this happen if you are playing a gig!
Make sure to scatter your shows between adjacent cities you live near if you are unable to travel far. If you are always playing in the same city every week or two then people will stop getting excited when they hear about your shows. Why would people come out to see you when they know they can come next week or the one after that…
3. Hold Contests And Giveaways
Contests and giveaways are a great way to attract new fans if done the right way. It can create excitement and get people talking about you in no time. For best results post your contest on social media and get people to share for maximum exposure.
You can give away something as simple as a free song download, concert tickets, or a piece of merchandise. Getting people to subscribe to your newsletter for an entry into the contest is a great way to build your mailing list fast. Trying holding a new contest every month or two with new prizes to keep things fresh.
4. Do Show Swaps With Other Bands
Show swaps are an excellent way to attract new fans. Show swapping, for those who don’t know, is a pretty simple concept. First you find a band from a different city that will agree to play two shows with you. One show is played in your city, and one show in theirs. Next thing you do is agree on things like pay and accommodations long before the show dates. Agreeing on these things beforehand will help avoid unnecessary conflict come show time.
This is a great way to attract fans from cities you don’t live in. If you have a good relationship with the other band then they will no doubt say good things about you to their fans. Just make sure that you do show swaps with bands that have similar musical styles to yours.
5. Get Interviewed On Independent Music Blogs
The internet is a wonderful place for musicians. You can promote yourself on your own website, EPK, or through social media profiles. Most bands have at least one of these. What most bands don’t take advantage of is the fact that there are millions of websites online that post articles about independent bands. These websites attract visitors who are into indie music. These people also love going out to watch gigs, and are more likely to buy your music than anyone else.
If you can get your band onto some of these blogs it can create a steady stream of traffic to your website, songs and social profiles. This is a great way to obtain a steady growing fan base. There are services that will help you get onto these blogs, but you can always do it yourself. Just start searching for indie blogs and start contacting the owners requesting to be interviewed online.
If you want your fan base to grow you need to be doing things that get your name and your music in front of new people. Always keep an eye out for new and creative ways to get people to notice you.
Do you have a great way to attract a steady growing fan base? Let me know in the comments sections below!