With a loyal fanbase, independent bands and solo artists don’t need to rely on the mercy of major record labels anymore. Attracting new music fans should be a massive part of your music marketing strategy – don’t just bank on them finding you.
This article will cover 12 top ways to get more music fans. Not every method will be appropriate for every artist – so use discretion when deciding which methods will be right for your career and music.
Heading to shows and festivals is no longer the top way music fans discover new bands in the digital age of music. Yet, if you can bowl over someone at your show, you will make an ever-lasting impression. To maximise your success with this method, always look for gig and festival opportunities outside your town and city – unless you’re happy to remain a local band.
Whether you’re collaborating with other musicians, photographers for your band photos, video directors for your music videos, graphic artists for your cover art, or big-name producers, all collaborations are a great opportunity to expose yourself to new people and strengthen your fanbase. Keeping your music career 100% DIY might give you a great sense of pride, but ultimately, it can cost you!
Finding new listeners via Spotify playlists may only help you to attract passive music fans, but it can be key to boosting your metrics and getting your future music in more ears. With enough engagement with your former releases, you will increase the chances of future releases appearing in generated playlists, such as Discover Weekly playlists. For your best shot of getting on the playlists with millions of listeners, always claim your Spotify for Artists profile and submit your music to the editorial team.
Before your music starts to be automatically selected for international radio stations, don’t be above submitting your tracks to independent, local and internet radio stations. Their following may be smaller, but there is remarkable strength and passion within every grassroots music scene. Radio stations may not be as important as they used to be in the 90s, but they still have their place in the industry, especially for up-and-coming independent artists on a budget!
Submit Your Music to Blogs and Magazines
Music fans can be extremely fickle. They won’t want to hit play on a track until they see a credible industry figure adding to the hype around it. Submit your music to sites such as A&R Factory to put yourself in front of a readership of millions of music fans, promoters, independent labels, and music publishers.
Pay for Promotion
If you are serious about your music career and know your music has a shot at success if it falls into enough of the right ears, invest in paid-for-promotion if your budget can accommodate it. While some promotors out there will charge you £3,000 for a month-long campaign, this isn’t always the case! Some music promoters are happy to promote independent music they believe in for a nominal fee!
Strengthen Your Social Media Presence
Social media has radically transformed the music industry. Especially regarding how artists can connect with their fanbase. When you are initially growing your fanbase, putting out posts that barely get any attention can feel depressing, especially with how much engagement other bands get. However, with a smaller fanbase, you have a great opportunity to create valuable relationships with your fans!
Pay for Sponsored Ads
If you don’t have enough cash flow to pay for a PR campaign but you do have some to strengthen your position in the music industry, Sponsored Ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube can pay off massively. Sponsored ads can help you advertise new releases, merch drops and tours outside your social media circles. However, for sponsored ads to be effective, you need to research your target audience. Your Spotify data can come in handy here, as it will show you fan demographics.
Interviewing on a music podcast, radio station, or YouTube channel is a great way to expose yourself to new music fans who follow the podcasts, stations, or channels. For shy artists with plenty to say about their music or anything else, they feel passionate about, submitting to interview services that will conduct interviews via email will be less daunting.
Nurture Your Existing Fanbase
Once you have reeled new fans in, don’t expect their support to be unwavering. Regardless of your talent, you should never feel as though you are above the people making your music career a possibility. Where possible, always respond to comments left by your fans. When you get more popular, liking comments will suffice, but until then, always let your fans know how gratified you are for their support. Furthermore, you will want to stay fresh in the minds of your fans, so always ensure that you are posting on social media consistently – not just when you have something to hawk!
Partner with Charities and Other Good Causes
As a musician, you have a platform that stands above most of the population. If there are charities or causes you believe in, use your position to support them. You can donate the proceeds of your singles to charities you want to advocate. Or you can use your social media platforms to fight for what you believe. Do not be afraid of getting political. You might rub some people up the wrong way, but you will also inspire support and respect from fans on the same page as you!
Create Cover Versions of Your Favourite Songs
Many independent artists have shot to relative fame by covering artists and bands that their intended fanbase is already listening to. Even if you hate cover bands, covering other artists’ material is a clever marketing ploy – especially if you then upload snippets of your cover songs to platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, in addition to uploading your cover tracks to streaming services, such as Spotify, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Deezer and Apple Music.
Review by Amelia Vandergast