Have you ever wondered how stars develop cult-like fanbases? How they get so many people tuned into any and everything they put out? How they reach the top of the charts with mediocre songs? How Drake is somehow still relevant? The following 5 steps describe the path to doing that for your OWN career as an indie music artist. Have fun and have patience because it is a long road that requires a lot of your time and energy.
Brand awareness or simply awareness, is the first step into acquiring a stranger’s interest in your music and personality. Correct, the two can’t exist separately in this day and age unless you’re trying to be a professional songwriter and not an artist. Awareness is the first impression a person is left with who’s never seen you before. Before you even think about fan conversions, you should be already branded, polished, and with a clear idea of your unique identity in the music market.
After they’ve hopefully formed a positive first association with your likeness, the stranger now needs to be reminded of your existence. Very few will turn into fans from just seeing you once. Especially in this day and age with major trust issues on a global scale (we are in the middle of a war between so-called civilized countries and we have influencers that are computer-generated so blame society for it). Repeating step one consistently will bring about a healthy dose of interest from the stranger. If your music is good and your visuals match, you will be spared from too many repetitions. Some stats show that a person needs to be exposed to your music at least 4 times before they decide they like you or not while others amp it up to an entire 16. Safe to say, you’d need to retarget the same audience at least 4 times before expecting conversions and not just reaching eyeballs.
Once you’ve made a great first impression, you’ve shown yourself to this stranger at least 4 times and succeeded in turning them into a follower, next comes the engagement between the two of you. Or at the very minimum, the engagement experience a fan has with your social media. If you’re one of the big boys with big dollars, it is very easy to provide positive social engagement while you go about your business. How? Hiring professional social media managers and assistants. If you’re on a budget, which most of the indie artists are, you will have to carve time out in your everyday schedule to talk to these people and acknowledge their presence. Every comment deserves a comment back. If you can throw a like or two in the middle, you’re creating much more than a fan.
People like being on the right side of history. When you’ve arrived so far in the fan conversion process, you need to remember you have to KEEP these people around and their interest, engagement, time investment. You do that by progressing as an artist. In pragmatic terms it means you have to keep putting out new content, new music, new videos, new press articles, new features, and most important of all, you have to keep improving and diversifying. People get bored very easily if you don’t level up and release the same type of song 2 years after they first met you.
5. Direct Support
A pat on the shoulder and a diploma in your frame! Abide by the first 4 steps consistently and you will have reached direct support from these new fans. When a stranger gets a great first impression of you, is reminded of your existence repeatedly, sees engagement back from you when showing up on your socials, and witnesses your constant progress, they’ve become a fan for life. They are one of the most valuable assets you could possibly have as an artist. They are the type of people who will share your music, comment on everything you post up, buy your merch, show up at your shows, spread the word, and choose you over the mainstream acts.
Creating a fanbase is not only hard work but also a ton of strategized work and the latter is why few of the many hard-working indie artists make it.
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2022
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