Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
Music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for independent songwriters, musicians and bands.
Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros
January 30, 2013
100 True Fans? Is Small Really the New Big?
What if I challenged you to think smaller instead of bigger about your music career and your fan base? What if your goal wasn't to reach a mass audience but to cultivate a small, dedicated core group of people who love and support you?
Please don't jump to an early conclusion about what I'm saying here. There's more to it ...
You may have heard the news: The unit sales figures of bestselling albums in recent years are much lower than they used to be. There are fewer "household name" stars and hits these days.
However, there are also more people consuming and enjoying music than ever before. It's just that the attention of consumers is now spread out over a wider variety of styles and artists. It's a fractured marketplace.
As part of this evolution, thousands of independent artists are now doing well serving niche audiences. But most of the success stories you hear about (like Karmin, Pomplamoose, Jonathan Coulton) are at the upper end of the indie scale.
At the same time there are countless artists who do well under the radar catering to distinct (albeit smaller) groups of people. Some serve yoga instructors or massage therapists; others attract environmentalists, car enthusiasts, Harry Potter fans, or cat lovers.
How Low Can You Go?
Kevin Kelly wrote a popular blog post in 2008 called 1,000 True Fans, which described this new world of artists who cater to specialized clusters of supporters. But let's take it down a notch even further.
How cool would it be if your goal was to see how SMALL of a fan base you could develop and still make a difference (and even make a living) with your music?
If that was your goal, your actions would be quite different ...
If growing your career wasn't about attracting the masses, you would spend more time cultivating individual relationships with fans. You would serve and repeatedly thank your small but dedicated support group on a regular basis.
You would regularly get their input on new projects you worked on. They in turn would feel more special and connected and be more likely to show up and support you.
The funny thing is, catering to your tribe of early adopters in this caring and authentic way might just lead to positive word of mouth. And that could end up growing your audience exponentially ... without you ever having to be concerned about "the masses."
As Seth Godin has written, small is the new big. Would you be willing to build your music career in this "less is more" manner?
P.S. Speaking of Seth, the idea for this post came to me while listening to a great interview that Krista Tippett did with him. Listen to it here.
Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.
Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.
Connect with Bob on Google+
FREE Music Tips Ezine
- Get Bob's Free Music Marketing Tips by Email. Find out more.
What About Bob?
Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
Guerrilla Music Marketing Online
129 Free & Low-Cost Ways to Promote & Sell Your Music on the Internet
Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook:
201 Self-Promotion Ideas for Song-
writers, Musicians and Bands on a Budget
- Killer Music Press Kits
- Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition
- Killer Music Web Sites
- DIY Music Marketing for the Serious Musician
- How to Tap Into NACA and the Lucrative College Music Market
- Online Music PR Hot List
- How to Use Video to Promote Your Music Online
- 55 Ways to Promote & Sell Your Book on the Internet
- How to Publish Your Own Indie Book
- Unleash the Artist Within
Connect with Bob on
- Create Quick, Easy Music Videos for Free
- Best Music Marketing Blog Posts of 2012
- Choose Your Price on This "Music Marketing Power P...
- A Secret I've Been Keeping for 40 Years
- Music Biz Disappointments: When Bad News Turns Goo...
- Music for Kids: How to Promote & Sell It
- 10 Ways to Rock Your Facebook Music Fan Page
- Holiday Music Marketing Tips & Success Stories
- 5 Simple Ways to Get More LIKES on Your Facebook F...
- My Best Music Career Advice EVER!
Favorite Music Blogs
- DIY Musician
- Music Think Tank
- David Hooper
- Ariel Hyatt
- Derek Sivers
- Brian Thompson
- Michael Brandvold
- Artists House Music
- Bob Lefsetz
Copyright 2004-2013 Bob Baker