Your failing at music. Because you can't keep your audience.
Building a fan base comes only after deciding several key factors in your art. Who am I? Who am I talking to? Where do they hang out? What do they want to hear? How do I satisfy them and keep them engaged. Basically find out whom you are targeting.
In the beginning of my journey as a musician I didn’t know who I was talking to. Which led me to get no results. In a result this made me frustrated with music and I actually gave up for a couple of years. Once you decide what your voice is going to be. It will make your journey a lot easier. For example, Trey Songz caters to women who have secret sexual desires, hint the self proclaimed “Mr. steal your girl” title and the adulteress songs he makes (that are dope af). Migos and Gucci cater to the trap and the hood.
These artists understand their target audience and satisfy what they want to hear with in their music genre. How they market, what they say and even what they post about reflects this target market. From the trap houses of Atlanta to the woman in another man’s bedroom, you can please your audience by knowing whom you are talking to. Find out whom you are talking to and try to stay in the general range of what your target audience wants to hear from you.
Don’t market your POP music about raves and party foam in a Bankhead, GA barbershop. Your target audience is not there. It is going to frustrate and discourage you that no one is responding to your music.
Now that you have figured out whom you are talking to. Another way to start from ground zero. Start featuring on other established indie artists who are talking to the same general audience. Like how Trey Songz and Chris brown did a tour together. They both helped the other gain more and a different fan base that where not as expose to their music.
Hold competitions and raffles to build buzz about your music. Giving incentives to your fans will make people want to support you and even make it fun for them. Each fan should be gaining you ten other fans. Now don’t be a jerk or overbearing about sharing. No one likes a spammer. I am guilty of this a lot. I had to learn to chill. Let the people make the choice to listen from your marketing or unique promo.
Again once you built your self up with fans. Keep thinking of new ways to keep them engaged with photos, videos and tweets. Become other people’s fans. Don’t be selfish you are not Michael Jackson… yet. Like some photos, share some other artists songs and comment on some art you like. This will bring positive energy.
Most of all is consistency. Fans and even haters respect consistency. Don’t give up. This is not an overnight path. Do your research, make a plan and stick to it.
Remember your fans are everything. You are nothing with out your fans. Peace out.
If your beat sucks, you suck. Before you come at me with the pitchforks and torches hear me out. I said this in a previous blog. That as “independent artists we have a depressing job making random people believe in our music the way we do ourselves.” I can safely say if you are rapping or singing on a wack beat. You just made that job, that much more difficult.
Ok so you got a song. But is it really ready? As an indie artist we have a tough and almost depressing job. We have to make random people listen and believe in our music the way we do ourselves. In this day and age gaining a true fan is a job with in itself. And we must do this all with out a machine constantly marketing and promoting our music like other big artists. When every one is on the path to stardom how do you gain fans?
So where do you start? My opinion after doing a lot of trial and error you start with the development stage. You may think you are the hottest artist or best performer but chances are you have a lot of room to grow. You and your product whether it is a single or an EP or a mixtape, it has to be worthy to be bought or listened to. Go to a professional. I know it’s expensive. But I want you to look at some of the stuff I went through trying to be cheap.
I have a song call “sex maniac” I released it in 2012. It was massively successful for an indie with no promotion or any fan base. I released a video on YouTube and got 6,000 organic views in 3 days. Shot it with some friends and they did everything for free. Then, I took it to the radio station while the momentum was hot. They listen to it. Guess what they said? This is a hit song. But you didn’t get it professionally mastered. We cannot play this on air. I lost heart and never got it mastered. Never went back.
Moral of the story, Have the proper order to the things you do. Here are the proper steps to releasing and pushing a song.
1. Vocal training vocal lessons if you are singer.
2. Go in the studio with a plan even if you don’t write have a good plan to have more time for fewer songs. So you can critique everything in detail. Don’t go in there trying to do an album in two hours.
3. Get a professional beat that can be tracked out by the engineer. Go to a real studio one with notable artist placements.
4. Record good work. Don’t just rely on the producer or engineer to fix your flaws. Give the best takes.
5. Listen to your song on your phone. In the car and even test it in a club with big speakers. See how you want the engineer to turn up or turn down in the mix.
6. Get the song Mixed professionally. So be prepared to spend $200 to $300 7. Get the song mastered professionally $199 for 1 track $35 per version (e.g. Clean, dirty, Acapella, show version)
All these number just estimate prices. But I just want you to be prepared to pay $500 for one good commercially ready song. It can be sold and marketed anywhere because it is professionally done. No one wants a hit song that has to sit on the shelves because you avoided one minor step. STOP BEING CHEAP! Who wants to buy a cheap song?? Do you?
Oftentimes people judge you as an artist by the quality of your music. If as an artist you are producing crap music, people will overlook you and they will not support you. Even if people are your the best of friends they will not buy crap. Compare your track quality to the quality of the biggest artists. Now ask yourself. Can my track be included in this market? Even though you are a musician you have to remember this is a business.
Now you got a good song. What to do next? I’ll answer this in the next blog. Building a fan base.