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You’ve heard the saying — find yourself 1,000 true fans and you’re set. And it’s true; with just 1,000 authentic fans you can have a sustainable, fulfilling career. But why stop there? Why not take those 1,000 true fans and work on creating even more fans just like them? After all, whose going to know you and your ideal fan better than an existing one?
There are a lot of great articles out there telling you how to market to new fans, get in front of fresh new faces, and get super DIY with your techniques — and there’s a lot of value in those! But there’s another method that we don’t talk about nearly enough, and that’s utilizing your existing fanbase — the people that know and love your music best — to connect with new fans.
After all, if anyone is going to know how to find your next wave of fans, it’s them.
Your fans want to be involved, so let them be.
When was the last time someone asked for a new band recommendation and you went, “Nah, I’m good”? Um, never, am I right? We love to tell people about our favorite bands, because we want our friends to love them as much as we do. Your fans are no different. They love your music and given the opportunity, they’ll shout your name from the rooftops. But, they might need a little encouragement.
There are a few ways to do this.
The first is, to simply ask them to share their favorite song with a friend. You can base it around a holiday (i.e: “It’s Valentine’s Day! Share our song “X” with your favorite sweetheart”) or an anniversary (“We’re turning 5 this year! Can you help us celebrate by gifting one of our songs to someone who needs more X in their life?”) or you can make it a contest, asking fans to share with friends and giving them one virtual ticket entry for every place they share, with the winner getting an awesome prize pack.
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Do a special show that encourages fans to bring a friend, at a discount.
Most people don’t want to go to shows alone, and if they’re the only one in their friend group who knows your band, that could be enough to keep them from coming out.
To remedy that situation and find new fans, throw a show in which you celebrate your fans and invite new ones in by offering a “BoGo” (Buy One Get One) style door deal, where you invite your fans to bring someone who has never been to your show before and in return, their ticket is free. Plus, as a special thank you to the fans, you can offer some kind of prize that you giveaway at the end of the night. It can be anything from a merch basket to a private acoustic performance to an exclusive after-show hang.
Don’t forget to really go all out at that show — I’m talking about a killer live performance, an incredible atmosphere, hanging out at the merch table introducing yourself to fans old and new — the works!
Ask your fans for help.
Some of your fans are bound to either be in bands themselves or be fans of/know other bands, managers, venues, etc.
The bottom line: your fans are probably better connected than you think they are, and by being really vulnerable with them in saying, “Look, we want to help as many people as possible but we need your help spreading the word…” You’re opening yourself up to tons of new opportunities.
You can use this for a variety of situations, such as when you’re looking to collaborate with other bands, tour, book more shows, or looking for representation, etc — all of which get you in front of new faces.
Your fans really do want to be there for you and support you, and the truth is, people, love to feel helpful. So why not let them?
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Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Spotify, Noisey, Substream, and more, as well as the Director of Community and Events for Music Launch Co. Her free training ‘Reaching a Wider Audience Without Spending A Dime’ helps emerging artists cut through the noise and get in front of fans and industry influencers in just a few steps. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.