Five Tips to Expand your Music Fan Base
As a musician, band, or lyricist, it is important to stand out and expand your fan base. The internet has been a great equalizer in the music world for distribution and connecting with fans, but it has also created an incredible volume of artists trying to get noticed online. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and video sites like YouTube and Vimeo are inundated with artists looking to rise above the pack and get noticed. One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd online is through creative and diverse video content. Here are five tips on how to expand your fan base through video content!
#5: Create a Connection With Your Fans
With an incredible amount of artists and talent available online, one of the best ways to grow your fan base and acquire more listeners is to establish your presence as an individual in conjunction with your music. Fans want to feel a personal connection with artists that goes merely beyond listening to their music, so involving your fans in your life and creative process through social media posts and videos can be a great way to encourage increased engagement by your fan base. In addition, developing a personality beyond your music makes you a marketable brand and gives you a distinct advantage when working to shift from hobby to career. In this day and age, a personal touch can be the difference between a casual listener and a lifelong fan; make sure your social media presence reflects an authentic image of who you are as a person beyond just your life as an artist.
#4: Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Using social media effectively can give you a leg up on other musicians trying to get noticed and it can give you a platform for free marketing. By encouraging your fans to support and share your content, you can eliminate the need for a large advertising budget. Make sure you update your social media with some degree of frequency or hire a dedicated social media manager or marketing team to ensure that your online presence is strong and keeps your fan base engaged. Additionally, many of the tools available from platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be very important in establishing a meaningful connection with your fans. Facebook Live and Instagram Live are two great tools for reaching out and interacting in real time with your audience. By utilizing these live streaming tools, you can keep your audience engaged and keep fans excited for larger upcoming projects or events.
#3: Expand Your Geographic Reach Through Concert Films
If you are at the stage in your music career where you perform locally and are not touring nationally or internationally yet, it may feel difficult to build a broad geographic fanbase. Concert films can be a great way to gain a wider following by giving your potential fans a taste of what attending one of your live shows is like. For fans that already enjoy your music, they will relish the chance to see you perform or to enjoy live interpretations of your songs. For those who do enjoy your shows in person, having a film of the event allows them to share the magic that you portrayed live with their friends and followers. Concert films can be an expensive undertaking due to the amount of equipment and personnel that are required, but oftentimes the payoff in fan engagement or exposure for new content justifies the upfront costs. Well produced concert films can give a far more personal and professional view of your live experience than, for example, an audience member's smartphone video. Some of the greatest concert films of the last few years have not only exhibited incredible live music, but they also give a personal look at the artist that is appreciated by fans. The film of LCD Soundsystem's last concert entitled Shut Up and Play the Hits [directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace with cinematography by Reed Morano, ASC] documents both the concert and the personal life of singer and composer James Murphy with an enthralling style of verite realism. John Mayer's 2008 concert film Where the Light Is [directed by Danny Clinch with cinematography by Vance Burberry] gives less of a personal view of the performer but delivers an impeccably photographed view of some amazing musicianship.
#2: Reduce Costs With Video Live Sessions
If concert films or music videos are out of the realm of your budget, then a great way to still deliver great and professional content to your fans is with video live sessions. These are often more economical because they take less time and equipment to produce and therefore provide a fantastic value for money. Additionally, these projects can often be scheduled in conjunction with studio time and provide a judicious way to achieve multiple goals at the same time. A good filmmaker will also be able to capture b-roll from your studio session that can be used in other projects or for producing promotional materials for your upcoming studio projects. Another benefit is that live sessions allow you to act fast when inspiration strikes and can capture the original feelings and intentions that accompany a new composition.
#1: Release Professional Music Videos
The most important piece of video content for musicians is creative, unique and cinematic music videos. Music videos are undoubtedly expensive, but the good news is you don't need to release a lot of them to satisfy your audience! Oftentimes one of the biggest mistakes new musicians can make is releasing too many music videos. You want videos that expand on the ideas or feelings of a particular song and entice viewers to purchase an album or explore the rest of your discography. I often tell my clients to pick the song that means the most to them or one that they have strong visual ideas for as the song to produce as a video. Music videos also give you the chance to flex your creative skills in the visual spectrum. Directors and filmmakers love working with artists to incorporate their ideas and style into a visual project. As you've proved with your music, you've got a message worth spreading and a music video is a perfect way to emphasize and expand upon that message in a visual manner.
With these tips, you'll be on your way to expanding your online music fan base! If you need inspiration or ideas for music related video content check out my page on video production for musicians here and feel free to contact me here if I can help you tell your story through a cinematic music video or another type of video content.