To be a successful artist, you need fans. Fans support you, watch you play live, buy your stuff. Without them, you are just another person with dreams.
And fans need to be looked after with extreme care and consideration. Even if you’re only at the stage of being on first name terms with your still limited circle of fans, you need to take care of them and never take them for granted. It only takes one or two stupid things and you can lose them forever. So don’t do things like this:
1. Spam them
Building up an e-mail list of fans is one of the most basic and essential things you need to do to nurture your fans. So if someone has been trusting enough of you to give you their e-mail address, never abuse that trust. Once someone requests an unsubscribe or you slip into the junk folder, there’s no coming back from there. Only send out useful information by e-mail and don’t send them out every day, or even every few days. Keep them relevant and spread out. Save the more frequent updates for Twitter. And speaking of Twitter, don’t…
2. Only use your Twitter account to promote and try to sell things
Twitter is a social network, so people reasonably expect it to be sociable, a two-way channel of communication for like-minded souls. Not another promotional or sales channel to constantly try to relieve people of their hard come by money. Failing to realise this with Twitter is an excellent way of scaring away as many followers as possible in a very short space of time.
3. Turn up late for live shows
The audience are the ones paying to see you live. They’re the customers, they’re the ones who don’t have to be there, and if you keep them waiting by being late, they probably won’t bother being there next time. If the promoter who you’ve also messed around by your inability to turn up punctually is even interested in a next time that is.
4. Be a hater
It can feel good to let off steam, vent a little about things that really genuinely make you angry. Other artists or music that you can’t stand for example. It’s also a really effective way of signalling to the people you want to like you that you’re maybe a little insecure and might not be as good as you think you are. Even if one side technically ‘wins’ a fight, they always suffer some damage as well. Keep any really negative thoughts about other music to yourself or to your most private and trusted confidants.
There are so many platforms and channels for artists and fans to engage and communicate now, not least all the commercial music services you can reach with your music worldwide through Spinnup. And critical to building your profile both online and offline is to keep regularly updating with news and releasing music and doing as much else as you can (obviously as per no.1 in this list, there is the spam line that you must never cross). Fans want what’s new and interesting and you must constantly feed their interest. If you don’t, don’t be surprised if they switch allegiance to someone else. Silence is most definitely not golden!
On a more positive note, here’s how to gain fans, Building A Fanbase – Decoded.