Do you know the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time...
Building up a fanbase is the same thing, you can only do it one fan at a time. There are no secret hacks you can use to gain fans, only strategies that you can scale and iterate on.
1. Permissionless Collaborations
With the internet you no longer need to get permission to collaborate with others. It has democratized access to people, information, and the ability to share your creations with the word. Most platforms even encourage it through allowing you to easily:
Repost others content to your feed or story Remix others content to make it your own (music sampling) Duet others content to make it your own (collaboration)
All of these are forms of "stealing like an artist" in the wise words of Picasso. They all also can be used to gain more exposure from a similar audience to create a fan.
2. Find The Spokes For Your Hub
This next strategy was created by Alex Lieberman who helped to co-found and grow the Morning Brew to over 4 million newsletter subscribers and $50 million in revenue in 2021. Similar to a bike, in every market there are "hubs" for traffic and there are "spokes" that lead all the traffic to the hub. For your market you want to find as many spokes as possible that you can lead to your hub.
Examples of some spokes might be:
Marketplaces such as Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, Beatstars, etc. SEO optimization for keywords on website and posts Pitching to playlists Spotify or music curators
These are just a few examples of spokes that you can use to drive traffic to your hub and turn your next viewer into a fan
3. Make A Genuine Comment
Please do not leave those half assed emoji comments, or ones that look like this:
When you see 100 comments like this a day, they will just roll off and have zero impact. This comment tells me nothing about the post it was commented on, and makes me feel like the commenter put in no effort.
A rule of thumb I like to use for this is that the comment should be able to stand on its own and be able to tell you something about the creation. For example:
From this comment you know the post includes a guitar, a trumpet, and is a collaboration. The crazy thing is both of these comments were left on the same video. If you saw these side by side in your inbox, who's would you be more excited to see? I'll let you decide that one...
4. Publish Content (Start With One Platform)
Of all 5 this is the most well known strategy, yet many still will overlook it. Simply put, the more you publish content on social media platforms the more likely you are to grow your audience and create true fans. The platforms reward engagement so the more you post the more it will send traffic to those posts.
Social Media doesn't punish you for posting more, so keep on posting until you find something that resonates with the audience and stick with it! One single post isn't going to make a difference, so don't get discouraged when you get 1 like after a week.
The first post you make probably won't gain much traction, but once you have 100 posts on your feed the ball will start to roll much easier.
“Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.” - Buddha
5. Dream Direct Outreach
The last method we will cover is the most powerful and straight to the point. It can also help you to grow the quickest if done correctly. Its directly reaching out to your dream fans, and also dream collaborators (the latter is more useful).
One of my favorite collaborators and best online relationship came from someone sending me a cold message on Instagram asking to be a guest on his podcast.
Not only did we shoot this episode (which was amazing), but it kicked off us working together on sample packs, a podcast, and a music project which, in turn, let us exchange audiences. He got new listeners and fans of his podcast, and I got to reach out to his existing listeners for them to become my fans.
A few examples of ways to do direct outreach are to use:
Cold messaging (social media, and SMS) Snail mail (if you can get their address - this is more for local business or venues you would want to play at)
It's amazing to me how a single message can lead to such an abundant and synergistic friendship. Think about it you are only 1 message, or 1 outreach away from your next connection and reaching your next fan.
Did you find this framework useful?
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Learn ways to build up your audience Release music consistently to raving fans Create opportunities for yourself online Be apart of a exclusive community of like minded producers working towards the same goals
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