"How can I get more people to check out my music?" "What is the best way to promote my music to others?" "What is the secret to getting a lot of new fans?" Chances are, you've asked yourself these same questions many times while looking for new ways to expand your current music career. Understanding how to attain a solid following of fans is incredibly important. No matter what it is that you do in the music business, it is essential to have a lot of motivated fans who look forward to your newest releases, lessons, products, etc.
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.
No matter what it is that you are trying to achieve in the music business, the three goals mentioned above will apply to anything you do as long as you are trying to develop a strong relationship with your fans.
Even though these goals are separate from one another as specific achievements, they are all connected together. Once you are able to reach success with one of them, your potential to achieve the others with increase greatly. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you can make progress to take your music career in the direction you want.
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.
However, before I discuss this in more detail, you will be able to get much more benefit from reading this article if you take the time (right now) to assess your current understanding of how to attract music fans. Take this free assessment about music promotion first before you finish reading the remainder of this article. Open a separate tab in your browser now, finish the assessment and then come back when you are done.
Ok, now that you have finished the assessment above, continue reading to find several actionable steps below that you can use to promote your music. While you are reading through them, do not focus as much on the actions themselves; instead think creatively to see the ideas and thinking "behind" the actions to understand why they are so effective. This will keep you from simply "copying" them and will lead you to come up with ideas that you can benefit from in your specific music career situation.
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 The Next Step
Solution #1: Give people a good reason to become your fan AND purchase your music. People who are successful with their music promotion efforts understand how to get their fan base to purchase their music rather than download it (without paying) while also making them into loyal, returning customers. One way to do this for yourself is to create a valuable incentive that can only be attained by the people who actually buy your music. In order to effectively do this, you should create something that is not easy to reproduce digitally. For example, some kind of merchandise item, a backstage pass, a special event ticket, etc (that is only available once the fan can prove to you that he or she purchased your music) are some great methods for achieving both of these goals at the same time. The point here is to get your to understand the idea of using one method of music promotion to accomplish multiple goals at the same time and bring you closer to your fans.
Solution #2: Become familiar with your current fan base. It is easy to successfully promote yourself as a musician when you can put yourself out there to those who already give you their support whenever you pursue new projects in your musical career. Most musicians think that their biggest problem is a lack of music fans, when in fact, they simply do not know who their real fans are and how to get in touch with them. Instead of contacting these specific fans, a lot of musicians focus their efforts on the general public. The truth is, this approach can work; however, promoting your music in this manner will cost a great deal of money and time. To dramatically cut down on your costs with regards to money, energy and time; make your musical promotion more effective by finding an easy way to stay in touch with your fan base at all times.
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.
If you haven't done this yet, take the music promotion assessment mentioned at the beginning of the article and get personalized feedback to help you succeed in your music career.
About The Author:Tom Hess is an online guitar teacher, music career mentor and the guitar player in the band Rhapsody Of Fire. He trains and mentors from all over the world on how to develop a successful career in music. On his website you can find a lot of free music career resources and music industry articles.