You’ve seen it before – the indie musicians who spam all the big bloggers and personalities on the web via Twitter, Facebook andInstagram comments. They are the ones who leave comments promoting their music on posts that have NOTHING to do with music. You don’t want to be one of those indie musicians. Spamming people on the Internet is no different from walking up to strangers, interrupting their conversations or phone calls, and demanding that they stop everything they are doing and listen to YOUR music. Rude, much? Believe it or not, with some work and dedication, you can get people to listen to your music without spamming them. Here are a few ways to “NOT” be the guy above.
1. DO NOT Ask For Anything:
Your first approach to a potential fan should not be asking them to do anything. They don’t know you. There is no existing relationship. You are a stranger, and really, 9 times out of 10, no one responds to someone who is a stranger. Remember “stranger, danger!”? Exactly. Building a fan base and disseminating your music should fall into the 80/20 rule when you are approaching new people. 80% of interactions should be building a relationship on a personal level and providing relatable content. 20% of interactions should be promotion solely. This is a great balance that lets you not appear too indifferent and makes the fans feel special and not like they are just being “talked” at. Once you’ve established a rapport, the quality of your content will be what gets them to stick around and to become disciples of your music.
2. Understand Your Audience’s Behavior:
Research, research, research! To know your audience is to have all the power in your hands. It’s your job as an indie musician to understand where your audience spends their time, why they spend their time there, what they are looking for, and how much time they spend there as well. Content is king, and it drives most types of platforms in different ways. For example, Twitter is more about conversation/back and forth type dialogue. Instagram has little to no dialogue outside of comments and is image driven. Facebook is a space for sharing, commenting and threads with interaction and discussion. Provide your fans with the RIGHT kind of content via the RIGHT platform for maximum exposure. After you’ve done the research make sure the content you’re providing redirect fans back to your original material. If memes are popular on Instagram, you should be posting those as well, but make sure there’s some direct connection to your material. If your Twitter and Instagram usernames are the same, cross promote both usernames to get additional followers, for example, by tagging your memes with that information.
3. Be A True Fan of Your “Fans”
There’s nothing worse for an average Joe then following their favorite artist only to see them retweeting compliments and random show dates only. That’s not interaction. That’s being on a pedestal. It pays to show genuine interest in your fans. Regularly responding back to fans and discovering what types of things they enjoy, will go much further than just retweeting one-sided compliments.
4. Provide Incentives That Fulfill A Strong Desire:
While providing such cool incentives like behind the scenes footage and show tickets are great to keep preexisting fans, it probably won’t garner you too many new fans. Why? Like mentioned above – there’s no relationship! You need to find incentives that would be better suited to attract new fans not familiar with your music. A few examples might be giveaways that cater to their interests or raffling an experience that might make them become a fan – a studio meet & greet, an event with open bar, etc.
5. Collaborate With Similar Indie Musicians and Fans:
No man/woman is an island. There are other indie musicians in your lane more than likely with bigger followings than you. By tapping into that network organically, you can also attract new fans to your music. Share their songs and posts with your followers/fans. Comment on their discussions. Create playlists around your music that include their music and tag them and any other artists along the way. There’s a high chance they might share that playlist with their network (if they like it!). Once you’ve established some rapport with your fellow indie musicians and have shown that you both are “in it to win it,” they will continue to share your material possibly and vice versa. Collaborating with your followers is another great idea. If you’ve done a cover of something that someone comments they really love, ask them what they want to hear next. Collaboration can come from both sides of the velvet rope, so to speak.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on getting your music heard. Don’t be the guy who walks around with an extra pair of headphones on the street, asking people to listen to his mixtape. They don’t! Likewise, don’t spam anyone and everyone on the Internet with a link to your Soundcloud. It won’t work. In conclusion, the steps above are just a template, and you can surely find more creative ways of sharing your talent!
If you’re an indie musician or company looking to build your online fanbase, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and discover how we can help you get your music heard online.