Tag Archives: more fans

Why Focused Audience Growth Is Essential

8204195250_6d4e042d25_zEvery musician is trying to grow their audience size with everything they do. This is especially true with posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email messages. For those of us who work in media, we get constant messages from bands promoting their music. Why?

The confusion many artists have with what they perceive as audience growth and what actual growth is are two very different things.

If you take a pellet gun, stand 50 feet away and aim at barn wall would you consider yourself a good shot when you hit it? Probably not. The same is true with not only how you message people about your music, but also WHO you message. Why you message them is the real kicker.

Musicians, and small business owners alike, spend a lot of time and money trying to grow the wrong kind of number. Yes, you need to get your music (product) into the eyes and ears of as many people as you can to have the greatest chance of converting them into someone who buys from you (hard copy CD, vinyl, digital download, concert ticket, merch, etc). However, you stand a greater chance of converting a higher percentage of people when you focus on who your music is really targeted for.

Do you know the demographics of your Ideal Fan (aka your Super-Fan)? Do you know if they are male or female, live in a certain area, work in a certain field, are interested in a series of specific things like nonprofit work, rescuing animals, education, green peace, pro-gun rights, etc? Or do you just have a group of people who are following you online and attend concerts but don’t really know much about them?

What you know about your true fan base serves as one of the best metrics you possess to know how to grow your audience. This is a focused approach to audience growth, and it’s essential to your short and long term success as a musician. What you know about your fan base shows how connected you are to them and to reaching the prime group of people with similar interests, tastes, and characteristics.

If you’re a fan of the Die Hard movie series, there’s a good chance you also enjoy the Lethal Weapon series as well, and maybe even other 80s/90s Action films from Stallone, Van Damme, Chuck Norris and the like. Whereas if you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, these films are not something you’re going to gravitate to. So what good does it do for action film fans to be presented with something from Downton Abbey?

That’s a very big picture comparison, so let’s zoom in and focus more on audience demographic. Stallone action-films might appeal to fans of Die Hard but not to Jet Li or Jackey Chan films. Why is that? Both types include action, fighting, and lots of explosions. The subtleties between the two styles of action film indicate the specifics of fandom from one type to the next and the differences between one and all others.

jl_bloodsportmovieposter08_40x26_sSpend any amount of time in a video store and you’ll see b-movie films from actors who maybe were once on a TV show or popular film from a decade or so ago. Yet they crank out countless straight-to-DVD movie every year. They have targeted a specific audience demographic that eats that stuff up and have made a career out of producing for this specific group of people. Are they hit movie stars? No, but they get to do what they enjoy doing because they’ve found and connected with a specific, focused audience.

This applies to music as much as anything (including small business) because the competition in music is much greater than film, where competition is very high. A focused, potent audience group is the difference between you making music that only gets heard or streamed on a few platforms and you doing a tour across several states that sells out venues and sells all of the discs and merch you made for promotion.

Put more bluntly, would you rather have 100,000 listens to your soundcloud track or pack out gigs of 400-800 people and sell all 5,000 copies of your discs in a short tour? Tons of listens are great, but without a specific purpose for those listens to convert to fans, and without a strong connection to a specific group of people, you end up with a number that gives you very little in return.

How can you put this into practice with your band and in your space, Contact Me and let’s talk.

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.

More=MORE

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.