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Artists Should Build Lifelong Relationships with their Fans

Artists Should Build Lifelong Relationships with their Fans

A Guest Post by MARQUEE

Build Lifelong Relationships with Your Audience

Artist and managers are in the business of building awareness.

New tracks need plays on Spotify and views on YouTube. Shows and tours need to be announced on Facebook. And if you’re lucky, you’ll start to build some “buzz” in the blogosphere’s hype-machine.

Plays, views, shares, likes and followers have become the holy grail for music marketers. And because metrics like followers on Twitter and Facebook likes represent individual fans, these social benchmarks are believed to indicate the relative size of your audience and the effectiveness of all that buzz-building.

But is amassing a huge following on social media the best way to build a fanbase? Are all those likes and followers really that important?

Clyde Smith wrote a great post about why Facebook “likes” are the wrong thing to focus on (he’s even referred to the Facebook “like” as nothing more than a “grunt of acknowledgement.”)

Building awareness of your band, music or live shows should be a part of your on-going dialogue with a group of committed fans. There’s little to gain from blasting content to a large audience on social platforms, many of whom won’t find that message relevant or meaningful.

Focus on your inner-circle of fans, what those fans want from you, and how your message can strengthen the relationship you’ve developed with your community of superfans.

Recognize and Reward Loyalty

Like we talked about in the last post, superfans give more to your project but expect more in return. These fans want to be recognized as an invaluable member of your community.

Give your most passionate supporters the attention they deserve. Their loyalty has helped you create a sustainable career so hail their level of support as the benchmark. Recognizing the value of the individual fan reinforces the bond with your top-fans and encourages “fringe-fans” to increase their support and join the party.

Recognition can be as simple as interacting with fans in your on-going dialogue and as sophisticated as:

  • Featuring the most engaged fans from your audience in your blog or social media

  • Empowering your top-fans to be ambassadors in your band’s marketing campaign

  • Rewarding superfans with exclusive access, content and experiences via loyalty apps

Freebies don’t hurt – after all superfans are prepared to spend up to $422 every year on their favorite musicians, so show those fans your love with some free schwag.

Encourage Co-Creation 

Incentives are the tangible manifestation of a fan’s support. Superfans take pride in supporting your band and the rewards you offer are tokens that represent their love for your band.

Some musicians are going a step further and including their top fans in the creative process. Artists like the Kaiser Chiefs gave their fans the opportunity to create and sell their own album using the band’s recorded material.

Other artists, like Umphrey’s McGee have invited fans to take an active role in the development of their band, encouraging them to do everything from promoting albums to curating setlists for live shows.

Focus on building lifelong relationships with existing fans.

Superfans love your music. This passion is active, enduring and focused. In this content series we have explored how to capture that passion and nurture it into a lifelong relationship, one that sustains your career as a musician.

It is better to have earned the support of 300 undeniably passionate fans who will buy everything you put out than 10,000 fringe fans who have a fleeting interest in you.

So put in the work to earn the support of these superfans – engage them in an honest and on-going dialogue, recognize and reward their loyalty and invite them to take an active role in your journey.

MARQUEE a New Orleans based mobile tech company with an addiction to live music and a talent for finding the groove. We develop innovative solutions that enhance the connection between fans and artists.


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