One goal of artist promotion is to increase your fan base. Growing your fan base is not just about the music. It’s about how you and your band are perceived by prospective fans. They form their perceptions based upon impressions they come across.
Perception is Reality
Remember, your prospective fans will form perceptions and opinions based on their exposure to you as an entertainer. It may be a newspaper article, a play on the radio, a picture they’ve seen, a video of your performance, the quality of your website, a tweet you made, etc.
You should get the picture. Remember perceptions are real in the minds who hold them. Once they have them, it takes more effort to change them then to create the perception you want in the first place. In today’s world of social media one person’s perception or opinion can spread quickly to others.
If that perception is even slightly negative, you will have a harder time with your artist promotion tactics to convert them into a fan. That’s why we always talk about building a great brand, whether you are a solo artist or a band. If you haven’t I would encourage you to read my first post on this topic:
Entertainer’s Brand: Most Artists Don’t Get It
Building Fan Base = Building Brand
Building a brand and building a fan base are, in many ways, one in the same. They are a major goals of any artist promotion strategy. Most musicians and artists equate building a brand to a corporate brand. They detest the concept. So, let’s get at it another way.
How do you build your fan base as an entertainer? There are some specific artist promotion tactics you can use that will increase your fan base. By the way, you will also be building your brand.
Let’s look at two ways that will help you as an entertainer increase the number of your fans.
1. Artist Promotion: Only Quality Music and Images:
Make sure your music and how it is presented is mind-blowing. None of the approaches listed below will increase your fan base if you don’t make really good music that appeals to them.
Sometimes, during live performances, you can’t control the acoustics of the room or the ambient noise of the audience. However, you can use a sound engineer to control the mix for the venue you are working to make your music sound as good as possible.
Make sure all demos and song tracks are done in a recording studio. Your music should be mixed and mastered by a sound professional. While it may be fine for rehearsals, you den or garage and a tape recorder just won’t cut it.
That goes for music videos as well. Using low quality video will not grow your fan base or attract industry professionals to your music. Spend the money to create professional and creative music videos that helps you stand out as a performer. There’s always a chance such a video could go viral and introduce you to many more prospective fans.
I’m not just talking about “music videos” but also about videos taken during your live performances. Cell phone videos of your performance with people walking between you and the camera with a poor shot angle do not belong on your social media and websites. Even live performance video should be as high quality as possible. Consider using a professional videographer to shoot examples of your live performances for use on your social media and websites.
Whether it’s a photo, logo, website layout, CD packaging, banner or fashion statement, make sure it depicts you in an excellent and consistent way. Quality always trumps quantity.
2. Artist Promotion: Only Best Behaviors:
As a booking agency in business for over 40 years, TSE Entertainment has seen the value of good behavior in growing a fan base and being asked back to perform again. Whether it’s a live concert, a meet and greet, or using online tools, these are the behaviors that will help you grow your career and the number of fans who support you.
- Be Yourself: Find your identity and what you and your work truly represent. Let followers or potential followers become familiar with who you are. Show your personal side and help potential fans relate to you. By seeing themselves in you, they become bigger fans. See yourself as others do.
- Be Different: What makes you different for all the other musical talent out there? Showcase your talent and identity that sets you apart from them.
- Be Consistent: While you may be different, you must be consistent in how you relate to your fans both in your live performances and in the ways you come across online. Your image, whether on your website. social media pages, album covers, banners, etc. must have a consistency of look, feel and messaging.
- Be Likeable: Your fans must like you or something about you to relate to you. Be respectful and treat others the way you would like to be treated. If you are a jerk, that won’t help you build a fan base. Remember with social media and cell phone cameras a bad moment could go viral and impact you in a big way.
- Be Accessible: Whether it’s at a live event or through social media, you need to engage your prospective fans. Interact with them between sets and after your performance. Let them take selfies with you. Respond when they mention you on social medial Start a conversation with your fans and answer their questions. Being approachable lets your fans better relate to you and strengthens the bonds between you.
- Be Dependable: Your word is your bond. When you commit to something, do it. Never cancel or be a no-show. Show up on time and act in way you would be proud to let you children see. Never be that guy or band who left someone else holding the bag. No matter how good you are, bad behavior will impact your fan base and future bookings.
In future posts, I will discuss other tactics you can use for artist promotion and building an artist brand. If you start by doing the two things discussed in this post, you will be well on your way to promoting yourself and building your brand.
Bob Brecht, Ph.D.