Tag Archives: followers

Keys To Building A Focused Audience

Image by  Dimitris Kalogeropoylos

Image by Dimitris Kalogeropoylos

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I wrote previously about the difference between trying to gain 100,000 Twitter followers (or simply a giant group of music fans online) and focusing your time, energy and money on a specific group of people. Numbers are a big sales point that most people are looking to increase, but when your focus is on the wrong number for the wrong reason, you don’t win as much as you want to. Here’s why:

You need to grow your audience to be able to keep making more music. That’s a bottom-line reality every musician and small business faces. And yes, you are a small business once money enters the equation. A focused group of fans is much more powerful than a giant number.

The confusion between real, prosperous success and fame (or what is considered “success” in young markets) is an obsession with the wrong kind of number.

Let’s say you have 10,000 Likes on Facebook. For some artists, that’s a small number, for others it’s a goal they’re still trying to reach. In either case, how would you view a band who has 500 Likes on Facebook or 600 Twitter followers? You might consider them to be rookies, newbies, or not very good musicians because the number of followers is small. But what potency does the 10,000 have that the 500 doesn’t other than sheer volume alone? You don’t know, because all you see is a number of followers.

Image by Dave Catchpole

Image by Dave Catchpole

This obsession with the high number without knowing much about WHO is in either group is what’s wrong with musicians and bands trying only to grow the number-base of their audience without trying to grow a specific group of people who are prime fans for their work.

You can buy Likes and followers on any social platform. You can purchase enough “followers” to make it seem you have a substantial fan base when reality tells a different tale. So how powerful is that giant number now, or better stated how real is it?

What the number metric misses is Potency, or strength. This factor is key to success in the short and long term of your music career. Potency is driven by real connection with a focused group of people who are passionate about the unique aspects of your music. Artists and bands with incredible potency include KISS, Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Shins. Their fans go out of their way to showcase how much they love these bands including costumes, fan made documentaries, and traveling large distances to see shows.

Think about it in terms of two very popular and potent brands: Apple and Microsoft. Chances are you are using one of these brands right now in some capacity. Mac users are hardcore, passionate and extremely brand loyal. Most PC (Microsoft) users will go with whatever maker or brand they feel like who runs the software they’re used to, be it HP, Sony, Dell, etc. Yes both are powerful brands. But where Apple’s user base may be smaller in size compared to Microsoft, it’s more than compensated with user (customer) potency.

Can you say the same thing for your fan base?

If 10% of your fan base shares your content with their friends (be it online social posts or old fashioned word of mouth promotion), you have a really strong connection with your fans. That’s a high conversion rate for most bands and small businesses. What if only 1% of your fan base is an evangelist for your music? That’s still a good portion. But when a fraction of a fraction of 1% is talking about you, that big number of your fan base that you brag about isn’t as powerful. Actually, that’s more indicative of what your true fan impact is.

Focus on connecting with a specific group of people, a targeted section of folks who make up your Ideal or Super-Fan group. This is the potent, focused group of fans who will increase your music success a lot more powerfully than an arbitrary number of followers online.

How can you grow your connection with a targeted group of people? The strategies and tactics for doing that are outlined in an upcoming webinar. Sign up here.

The Secret To Getting More

MusicFansAtConcertThere’s an adage in life that the more you gain the more you grow. We all want more of something, be it money, opportunities, fan/followers, happiness, etc.

The idea of more=more is built on the notion that as you increase exposure of your music and your unique offering, you add fans. With added fans comes the increased opportunity to perform which leads to a larger amount of income from your musical endeavors. This is the more that you want.


We know but aren’t always prepared to experience the more than we don’t want. This is increased competition, a growth in the amount of doors to go through or hoops to jump through to get to the people we want to reach. There is an unspecified amount of time and repetition of endeavors that is required to convert someone from just knowing about you into following you, then more time and effort to convert the follower into the fan who attends gigs and buys music. It’s more time. With time comes the increase in opportunities to be frustrated and potentially give up. This happens far too often.

To compensate for that negative variation of more, artists will throw money at the issue, hoping that will turn the tide. Sometimes it does, but other times it just creates even more of the thing we don’t want: the state we are in. It also creates a hole we feel we can’t get out of.

6924223634_74e709f616_oWe spend a lot of time comparing our success (or failure) to other people we know who we think are in the same boat we are. It could be a solo performer in your city who started performing around the same time you did, maybe even in the same venues. You’ve built up a friendship with this artist and enjoy what they do. You even like their music. But they seem to be more successful at getting other people’s attention and showing up to gigs, and it appears that they sell more music that you do. They’re getting the more that you want. Why aren’t you?

If it turns out that they’re doing some of the same things that you are doing to attract new fans and followers, promoting your gigs and shows, and also putting your music out to the world, but not seeing the same results, that more aspect of frustration comes in. What gives? How can one thing work perfectly well for one person but not for you? I’ve been there, and it is very frustrating.

The key thing to realize is that the “secret” to getting the more you want and eliminating the more you don’t isn’t this elusive item that is only accessible to some people, but not to you. The secret doesn’t actually exist, meaning that there isn’t a one-way formula for success in all aspects of your music that once you discover, all of your worries will disappear and you’ll find gold at every turn.

The keys to having the more of what you want is to be constantly learning and adapting to changes. Nothing stays the same, so when you find something that works, continue to work at it and cultivate it. Doing so will make what works, work better. Instead of asking what your music network is doing to grow their fan base and get people to their show, try asking if you can play a show with them and watch what they do in action. Maybe there are some behind-the-scenes things they’re doing to engage with their fan base that you can try out. You could even ask them what they would do to get more people to attend shows if they were in your shoes. That personal application can make a really big difference.

That one-on-one insight is actually one of the main so-called secrets to achieving the good version of more. A generic plan or series of suggestions that anyone can do to produce results will only take you so far. This is the real value of coaching and mentoring. With someone who has experience in the realms that you want to grow in, helping you navigate through that process is the real key to achieving the growth that you’re looking for.

Do you really want more of the good growth? Let me know how I can help you.