Every mixing client I have says one thing: I want to grow my fanbase. If that’s you, keep on reading.
Many independent musicians try advanced methods and (deceptive) tactics to get more fans. Be it content creation, paid marketing, street teams, networking events, cold outreach, publicists, or (dubious) agencies. And the list goes on. Some things work for some, other things work for others. There’s no one size fits all. So they work hard and hustle their way to get a few fans here and there. It’s tedious and frustrating to get the ball rolling. I know because they tell me all the time – and I kinda used to be there, too.
Yet, all they really want is to get more fans in less time and with less energy so they can focus on what they do best: producing and innovating music. That shouldn’t be too hard, should it?
Of course, becoming the musician you want to be is a long and rough journey. But it’s worth it once you get there. Yet many independent musicians lack the right focus. Instead of keeping it simple stupid, they think they must do it all – in an extensive way. Thus, they end up stressed out and frustrated.
Last weekend, my wife and I stumbled across a festival in Belgium. We listened to a bunch of different bands and artists. One stuck out that sounded quite nice. That’s all we know about them. We were in a foreign city, we didn’t know how the place/stage was called, and there was no branding or hint how we could find them. Then I searched for the festival on Google and tried to find the band in the festival program. Still no clue. I even asked a few strangers who were listening, too. They didn’t know either. So many missed opportunities.
I took a picture for you. Did I miss any hint? If they only had said something between the three songs we were attending the show before we moved on. But they didn’t. And they also didn’t have a banner, QR codes, website or social addresses, or anything else to find them during or after the show. And the saddest thing of them all: They weren’t the only band who did this. From all the bands and musicians we saw, only one group had a somewhat proper branding.
Where does this leave us here? Next time you do a show – whether online or offline – think about as many simple ways as possible to help people find and follow you. The return on this investment can be incredibly high. In the past, I did this when I was working as a DJ – and I never ran out of clients (aka fans).