If you want to get anywhere in music today, fan interaction is a major part of it. There are so many options in music, and so many ways to obtain it (legally or not) that fans are only going to be loyal to musicians who truly give something back.
This is a problem that we see more indie artists facing: Their music is out there, on streaming services and online stores, but that’s not turning into tickets and T-shirt sales. In other words, they have listeners, but not fans.
What’s the difference between gaining actual fans and languishing in obscurity? Fan interaction, mostly.
Fan Interaction Turns Your Music Into Something More
1 – Start Blogging and Tweeting
Any indie musician working today needs to be savvy about social media and online outreach. A popular blog, Twitter feed or Facebook page will go a long way toward building fans. Since these outlets all encourage visitors to share and retweet, interesting posts or cool photos will get your message out via interested fans.
2 – Give Out Occasional Freebies
Some of you may balk at working for free, but it’s a valuable option when looking to build your fan base. A “B-side” track, unreleased demo or exclusive music video will all do plenty to spread the word.
Some artists have even given out entire albums for free. Often these are limited-time offers, or sometimes just a way of distributing an experimental album that might not be commercially viable. Lecrae did this with his “Church Clothes” mixtape project.
3 – Do More Onstage Interacting
A live music performance should be an experience for the audience, not just a note-by-note recreation of your latest album. Anything you can do to involve your audience during a show will generally garner better reviews and more word-of-mouth among people who see you.
Intricate dance numbers or complex light shows are fun, but in what I have seen, the artists who actually can initiate fan interaction in the show directly are the ones who build a dedicated fan base.
So, have you seen any good examples of fan-building lately?