Unless you're writing music purely for your own delight, fostering a strong connection with your fans should be a top priority as an artist. Besides simply the substance of the music itself, we here look at three essential ways in which artists can cultivate a connect with fans.
Guest post by Patrick McGuire of the ReverbNation Blog
Unless you’re a musician who never releases music and writes songs that only you hear, building a strong connection with your listeners is something that should be on the top of your priority list. Making music that resonates with your fans is one thing, but there’s plenty of other ways to make an impact on the people who listen to your music the most. Here are three ways to help you better connect with your audience:
1. Speak to your audiences where they are and in a language they can understand
Sometimes musicians let their musical identities complicate the ways they reach out to their audiences. If your music is cryptic, dark, or artistically inaccessible, that doesn’t mean you need to reflect those traits when it comes to how you talk to your fans. Honest and clear communication goes a long way in music, and if you’re hung up on the whole “trying to act cool” thing, you might be missing a big chance to connect with your fans. Find your audiences where they are––on Youtube, social media platforms, and at live shows––and connect with them there.
2. Show your gratitude
Even if you’ve got only a small following, gratitude is massively important when it comes to making an impact on your fans. Buying music, coming out to shows, and showing support at the merch table––these are things you shouldn’t be taking for granted. Take every opportunity you can to thank your fans for supporting you and your music. This means in person, through your mailing list, over social media, and even through Youtube comments. If you’re lucky enough to have a big following, you should absolutely still do this. Again, unless you make music only for yourself, the relationship with your fans is something you need to be making a top priority in your career. Without an audience, you’re just one person making music. A song transforms into something completely different when there are listeners engaging with it and making it their own.
There’s a huge difference between knowing your audience and writing music in a specific way to please a select group of people. If you’ve got a group of people who already love your music, this means that trying to write stuff they like might mess up the good thing you’ve already got going. Understanding your audience means making an effort to figure out who resonates with your music and why. It’s important to do this because it can help you understand what sort of place your music has in the lives of your fans. Once you get an idea who your fans are and why your music means something to them, you’ll have an easier time knowing what to say to them. Everything from promoting your releases to talking with your fans after shows will feel more natural if you can get a good idea of just who likes your music and why.
Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician, and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.