Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

April 30, 2010

Surprising News About Attracting New Fans

You know you need to build a fanbase to be successful with your music. Therefore, the more fans you can acquire, the better. Right?

Well ... maybe. Or maybe not -- according to Tom Hess, a music career mentor and touring guitarist.
Hess just published the results of a study he conducted among his circle of musician friends and clients. He identified six common mistakes that musicians make.

Two of them really caught my eye. First this one:

Mistake #1: Trying to "get one's name out there." The main goal of most new bands and musicians is to get their music heard by as many people as possible. "Although this may seem logical, it is the wrong approach to take," says Hess. "Before trying to be seen and heard by a lot of people, it is often more important to focus on 'converting' the people who hear and see you into becoming actual fans. This conversion is the first key to your promotional success."

Then this one:

Mistake #4: Focusing too much on acquiring more new fans, rather than making the existing fans more loyal. This is particularly true in the beginning of a band's career. "The number of fans a band has is only of secondary importance compared to the number of intensely loyal and fanatical followers. Increasing the number of people in the second group will increase the number of your overall fans through powerful word of mouth," says Hess.

I agree, for the most part. While I wouldn't suggest you turn fans away or water down your fan acquisition efforts, Hess makes a great point about "conversion" and realizing that not all fans are created equal.

Absolutely. All of your public exposure activities should be focused on more than simply getting your name out there. Your goal is to engage people and pull them invitingly into your musical world. Then build an interactive relationship with them.

That means simply asking random visitors to check out your music isn't enough. But you could ask them to listen to a song and get on your mailing list. Or listen to four songs and rate them. Or enter a contest. Or ...

And as I've written about before, you should keep your radar up for those Ideal Fans who are your true early adopters. And give all your fans the tools to help you spread your music to more people.

Those intensely loyal followers are the True Fans who will have the greatest impact on your growth and success.

Yup. Focus on the quality of the fan relationship as well as the overall quantity of fans you have.


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posted by Unknown @ 12:37 PM   2 comments


At May 1, 2010, 6:18:00 PM, Anonymous Leanne Regalla said...

Hey Bob,

I agree with most of this as well, but I am surprised that it's not more common sense to people.

I think the key to winning over the true fans is a great live show - the stage presence talked about in point #3.

At May 4, 2010, 7:19:00 AM, Anonymous post hardcore said...


I also agree with what you say. It reminds me of those bands that would use Myspace bots to add lots of friends to their page at once.

At the end of the day, they never realized that those were just numbers that were not really impressing anyone anymore. And even when those bands perished, no one followed them loyally.

Good points made!


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