Well I was reading through my RSS blog feeds this morning and an interesting article showed up concerning Lady Gaga. Well, I never really thought I’d ever reference Lady Gaga in a write-up, but I must say she has some creative ideas for building a loyal fan base. I’ve listed the link at the bottom of the post.
But that begs the question, what are you doing to connect and increase your fan base? From a music fan perspective I would love to connect to my favorite bands whether it be in person, online through Facebook, Twitter, etc., or reading an interesting and informative article on their blog about their tour, some facet of the music industry, how they approach songwriting, learning to play one of their songs, etc.
So, let’s list some easy things you could do each week to connect with your fans:
1.) Connect with 2-3 new folks in your audience each show.
As your show progresses locate some folks in the audience that really seem to be enjoying the show. Actually spend a minute with them vs. just a “Thanks” and you move on. While you’re at it give them something inexpensive, i.e. a sticker, bumper sticker, poster, etc. and thank them for coming to the show.
Please…Please, avoid the temptation to only talk to your friends, family, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. You’re missing a prime opportunity to make new fans.
I see this way too often. Who knows, you might even make a life long friend along the way.
2.) Get to know the Venue Staff.
The people that work at the clubs can be your greatest fans, best sources of information, and good communicators for your band. Who do you think the first people are that I talk to when wanting to find out about new bands…… Also, they are usually musicians as well and can give you great ideas or tips on your show, other musicians, etc.
3.) Communicate via Facebook, Twitter, News/Blogs….on a Consistent basis !
Ok, so I know life is busy and it’s hard to find time to do everything you need to do. However, connecting via social media sites or your web site is a very important way to get news out about your band. Also, it’s a great way to get to know your fans. You usually have some fans that comment on your wall or on Twitter. Respond back and let them know you appreciate their comments and having them as a fan. I’ll bet the fan will feel a stronger bond to you and probably become more of an evangelist for your music !
My suggestion is to make a specific time each week to update your sites. My friend Walt Wilkins uses Monday as an office day. He goes through communications, updates his sites, etc. Walt then does it another time or two through the week on shorter communications.
4.) Use an E-mail database tool to gather e-mails and send out communications 1-2 times per month.>
So while there are all these great social media tools out there, not everyone happens to be using them. Some use Facebook but not Twitter……Some focus on Twitter and less on Facebook…..Some don’t have either. You get the idea.
This is where e-mail comes in to play. If you’re not capturing e-mails at shows, when folks come to your website, etc., you’re missing out on a whole crew of folks that would come to your shows if they knew more about what’s going on with your band.
Pick a time each month, or before an important show, to send a note to everyone with upcoming dates, and some news about your band. Also, and this is important. Give them some news, a new track, chords to a song, etc. that they wouldn’t benefit from and not find somewhere else. That way they will be less likely to skip the e-mail since they’ve seen the same news on your website, Facebook or MySpace page, etc.
5.) Find a Fun and Creative way to attract, retain and connect
Ok, so you say what should this be? Well, just try some things. If they don’t work out then no problem. These could be a band picnic with a show, a Tweetup at a local club, post a tweet about where you’ll be for lunch and have your fans join you, have a post show meet and greet…..the list goes on. Make it fun and creative. Check out what Lady Gaga does and then let your creative juices flow.
Overall, the key thoughts here are Consistency, Creativity, and being Genuine in building these relationships. You need to do this on a routine basis. If you can’t get to these due to a busy week, that’s fine. But, pick it up the next week. Do it in small chunks of time and be focused. Spending time on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace can be a time drain if you’re not watching out. Have fun and be creative. Lastly, I’m not saying you have to get everyone to be your best friend, but be genuine when you talk to folks, in your communications, and when acknowledging your appreciation for them being a fan.
Here’s a link to the article to the article about Lady Gaga from our friends at the Music Power Network: 5 Lessons for Building Brand Loyalty