Fans and followers take time when it is done organically. Having an outstanding repertoire is, of course, a big factor in gaining strong attraction, though becoming outstanding isn’t an overnight job nor is it likely to wake up to hundreds of thousands of followers, emails or fan-mails. Here I have listed some of the key concepts in order to help growth and ensure you are on the right track.
How important is your fanbase?
Imagine a world where you can be a hugely successful artist, songwriter, producer or DJ with no fans. Imagine McDonald’s or Nike still earning billions every single year with no customers, no buyers and nobody interested. It makes no sense and why should it?
Think of your art, your music as your business. You must grow your business and in order to do so, you need people or fans to get the word out by sharing through word of mouth or online. There are numerous ways to keep expanding your fanbase and I welcome all concepts, though to summarize the most effective ways to do so, word of mouth and digitally will always be organic and carry more long-term results, which will always win every time in this day and age. Long-term and sustainable.
Why is my music not getting heard?
This is a question that I get asked from every single writer or artist and more often than not I’m responding either the same or in a very similar way. Yes, it does factor down to the strength and quality of the music and performance, though putting this aside providing the quality is on a good path to becoming incredible, having your music heard also contributes to a combination of the below.
Your audience are not potential fans, they’re listeners.
What’s the difference? Listeners are simply people scrolling through their feed and coming across your songs with no intention of replaying or sharing, whereas fans are loyal and most importantly, actually enjoy your music and want to hear more.
To begin finding your loyal fans, you need to make sure you are targeting the right people. Even today, music and genre are particular to most people and the majority like a certain genre or a certain style. If you’re a metalhead that also loves a ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)’ chant, sharing your music to your Katy Perry lovers may not be the most logical idea, unless they are awesome and love a range of genres although this, unfortunately, plays unlikely.
If you are a singer-songwriter, make sure you’re following similar accounts to you. This can be big artists you are inspired by as well as lots of smaller related artists to your style.
This goes the same with live performances. Making sure you are at the right gig playing a lineup that represents your music well is key as you will have your target audience right in front of you. All you need to do is perform your songs as best as you can in which to reel them in and get them curious about your music, resulting to them wanting to know everything there is about your songs and brand.
Shall I continuously upload new music?
This topic I will discuss delicately as there are so many different answers elsewhere, most of which I disagree with.
You may or may not have heard through the grapevine to “consistently upload new music as much as possible to build your streaming numbers”. Though why would a listener who knows nothing about an artist/songwriter with less than 1K Instagram followers want to be filled with all these average songs in a short period of time? Wouldn’t this be more annoying and push you away? Wouldn’t this only lead to a couple of plays max on every single dead-end song (most likely from the best mates)?
Think of this scenario instead: you’re a growing songwriter who currently has minimal followers and you spend hours upon days writing and mastering your craft. You only upload one song every month or perhaps 2 every three months, though these songs are special and they excite you. A listener comes across these 2 songs and LOVES them, so they replay the songs and share to their followers. You are active on your socials and keep them updated on what you’re up to and when the next upload is, so they’re curious and stick around making them 90% more likely to listen to the new song hours or minutes within you uploading.
You can see how this works, it’s simple. Keep the quality high over quantity. If you are only uploading music once every 6+ months, try to give yourself a goal of every 3 months instead. Though it’s crucial that if you are not 110% confident in a song, whether it has been over 6 months or not, it’s ok to not upload new music. All this is part of songwriting development and it takes time no matter what level you are at, so as long as you’re benefiting from your time away from Soundcloud, Spotify or Youtube uploads by writing to become a stronger songwriter, then you are most definitely on the right track to becoming a successful songwriter.
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