Article by: Brandon Keen
Word-of-mouth is one of the absolute best ways for people to hear about you. Having an arsenal of followers that are ready and willing to enthusiastically spread your music throughout the world is better than most things you can do to market yourself.
This free advertising will relieve some stress and allow you to spend more time making music. Friends enjoy sharing music with each other, and there is arguably no more credible source for new music than a friend. This is an important first step in building your relationship with new followers. The important thing to note here is that you first must have fans that want to share your music! Of course you need to have great tunes, and that may even be enough; but here are a few tips in order to build strong relationships with followers.
Engage with fans on social platforms. This is the easiest, and often most effective way to build relationships with fans! There are whole articles written on just this topic, so this will be a quick overview of what you can do to make sure you’re getting them most out of your social media. In addition to writing effective and personal posts on Facebook and Twitter, you can use these places as a forum for discussion for current events, music you like/dislike, and other random posts. Try to think of posts that could start conversations, ask questions and show that you’re a person with opinions too! Having this engagement will do wonders in regards to building relationships. Use your Favourite/Retweet/Follow button on Twitter! This shows that you care about what they’re saying. Properly utilizing your social media tools will help you build a solid following.
Let people in. Similar to engaging online, try to let people in on happenings with your project as much as possible! Whether they’re related to music or not, it is a good idea to have a Tumblr account and even a Pinterest. Lots of artists use these effectively to give fans a behind-the-scenes look that is more in-depth than a tweet or instagram photo. Letting people into your personal life doesn’t mean giving them all your personal banking information or your social insurance number. It is just nice to get people interested in what you do outside of music. Having these types of accounts, and letting people have access, allows your followers to feel more emotionally connected to your project.
Give exclusives. Who doesn’t love free stuff? Exclusives are a great way to get some added buzz for yourself. Many independent artists offer up a free single to prospective listeners, which is good, but why not go further? Merchandise giveaways are great, and spending time with fans can also be “given away” as well! Things like Skype conversations/jam sessions, Lunch/Dinner dates, and more, are all important ways of building a buzz around your band and strengthening relationships with your followers.
Finally, be natural. Music fans are becoming increasingly appreciative of bands that have "organic" upbringings. Meaning they like to discover bands before mainstream success. Tastemakers love to be the first person to hear/see/support bands that they care about; the important step here is making someone care about your band. Doing the above things, along with making some great music, can only help you create your path to success! At the end of the day, this all boils down to effort. How much effort will you put into yourself above your competitors?
Audio Blood is a Canadian music marketing, publicity, and promotions company specializing in full-service national and regional artist and brand development campaigns for artists, labels, and events.