Fans: Building A Relationship With Your Fans
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Your fans are the reason you are still able to go out there and kick it. They are your support system, your music force, your inspiration, and the people that give your work meaning and purpose. If this is not how you feel about them, then you have a serious problem with your attitude.
For me personally, they are extremely important. And trying to have a good connection and communication with them is something that should mean a lot to you, and be a part of your agenda. In the past it wasn’t as easy to interact with your fans. You know, people just heard you on the radio, then waited for an exclusive interview, and if they were lucky to see you and greet you on a gig, that would be great.
But today we have social media and all of these other things that bring us closer to people in general, and you can use them to connect with your fans.
Involve your fans as much as you can
You’re working on a new EP cover? A new poster or merch? Hear them out, ask them for their opinion. Hear their ideas. Just as they keep track of you, you keep track of things you guys have in common, as much as possible. Create a hashtag on twitter through which they can send you ideas about something you can work together on. One good example I can think of now, is Aphex Twin’s video for the track CIRKLON3. The video was made by a 12 year old fan from Dublin, and he showed his appreciation through making it the official visuals for the track.
Stream small live concerts
You have Facebook, Youtube, YouNow, all these places where you can do live stream events. Sit down every once in a while and play something for your fans. Make a small event a few days before you do so, gather your little crowd and jam. This will be a great moment in everyone’s day, I am sure.
Reward your fans anytime you can
When you have the opportunity to, reward your fans with giving away merch, for example. When you have a gig, throw in a couple of free tickets that can go to someone. This is a nice gesture to show them that you truly appreciate them and you want to make them happy. Send them something signed from you, add a personal note in there. Make them feel appreciated, just like they deserve to be.
Engage with them during live shows
You’ll see a lot of your loyal fans on your live shows, and if they have the opportunity to approach you and tell you how much they appreciate you and inspire you, they will. So, give them that chance. Stay a little bit after the show, have a little chat with as many of them as possible. Have that organic approach, you’re just human, after all, and being humble and approachable to people is important. Fans don’t just look up to your music and your great guitar, or vocal, or drum skills. They look up to you for the personalty that you have and the way you treat them.
I know a lot of artists out there who may not have the biggest fanbase, but they have the most loyal fanbase that you will ever see. An example that comes to my mind is MC Chris. He uses every opportunity he has to interact with his fans on his Facebook page as much as he can, and he is doing an amazing job at it. The way he treats his fans has always impressed me, since it is such a rare thing to see today. But, many times on his Facebook posts, you will see fans talking about how nice he was to them when they met him on his gig. This is truly inspiring to me, as many just don’t really find the time to approach their fans like this.
Your personal life is your personal life
Yes. Fans will be curious about it, but you don’t owe anyone sharing details about you that you want to stay personal. Many, many artists out there involve and share their own personal events, drama, or simply personal life, thinking this is a way they will relate to their fans. If you’re gonna do it, please do it carefully. You never know who’s watching, who’s reading, and what intentions they might have. So, be careful. Your art is more than enough to help you engage with your audience. You don’t need all that stress, or that feeling that you have to go further than that.
Please remember that your fans are people that look up to you, and they just want to see you grow because they love what you do. That is an amazing thing and you should appreciate it equally enough when it’s just 20 of them, 2000 of them, or 200 million of them screaming and cheering for you. Love your fans and treat them right, be honest to them and take a moment to show them your appreciation.