Building your local fanbase is an important step towards securing your place in the music scene and earning the recognition you deserve. But many artists struggle with how to go about making this happen, especially in these early stages of their career. In this article, we’ll explore 5 Ways to Build Your Local Fanbase as an Artist and ensure that your hard work pays off!
1) Connect with Venues, Businesses and Community Groups
Venues, small businesses and community groups are always looking for talented local musicians to perform at their venues, offer a performance during their events or set up a promotional gig in one of their locations.
A simple email or Facebook message is all it takes. In your message, be sure to include any links to your music (including live performance videos on YouTube) and/or press coverage you may have gotten. Also, don’t forget to tell them when you’re available. If they like what they hear, they might just book you!
2) Perform at Events
If you’re trying to make a name for yourself in music, perform at local events, like talent shows and open mic nights. Even if you’re not competing in a contest, sharing your art with others is a great way to gain exposure—and more fans. And even if you don’t win, it’s good practice!
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Once you get better at performing live, try playing gigs in front of larger crowds. You can also play cover songs on YouTube or Spotify to grow your fanbase online. It might take some time before people start recognizing you on sight, but once they do…they won’t forget! When building your local fan base you want to keep in mind that there are many different types of venues that will be beneficial for different things.
Some venues are better suited for giving out free promotional items such as stickers or t-shirts while other venues are better suited for selling merchandise such as CDs and vinyl records.
3) Offer Free Services
Whether you’re a writer, musician, or other artist, offer free services in exchange for contacts. Offer help with writing resumes, building websites or hosting events—the more you do for people without asking for anything in return, the more likely they are to spread word of your work when it comes time for you to launch your product.
If possible, offer free work at a place where many artists will be able to hear about your offers. For example, if you’re a singer looking to get gigs, perform at open mic nights and put up flyers advertising your services.
You might not land any paying gigs right away, but putting yourself out there is one of the best ways to build connections and a local fanbase. And who knows? You might just make some new friends along the way.
4) Attend Open Mics
Open mics are a great way to network with fellow musicians and start building your fan base. Getting your name out there is one of the most important things when you’re starting out, and attending open mics can help you build that initial foundation.
Plus, it’s also a good chance for you to test out new material and get feedback from other musicians. If you really want to make it in music, then practicing and performing should be your top priorities—and attending open mics will help ensure that happens. You don’t need to go every week, but going at least once a month can keep you on track.
If possible, attend different open mics in different areas of town; not only will it help expose you to more people, but doing so can help grow your fanbase locally rather than just regionally or even nationally.
Most cities have plenty of opportunities for local artists looking to get their names out there.
5) Attend Music Festivals
Music festivals aren’t just fun, they’re also a great way to network with fellow artists. Whether you play one of these festivals or not, it’s important to start getting out there and meeting people who can be instrumental in making your music career a success. Who knows, someone might even ask you if you want to open for them someday! It never hurts to meet new people who are interested in what you do.
Make sure that when you attend a festival, you wear clothing that represents your brand. Don’t forget call cards and other self information materials! You never know when someone will take notice of what you do—and how much potential exposure could come from that encounter.
If possible, make connections with promoters at each festival so that when their next event rolls around, they’ll think of including your name on their list of performers.
Successful artists take a thoughtful approach to their careers. Without a smart strategy, you’ll be left behind by musicians who are willing to put in work and learn from their mistakes.
This is where I leave you, dear musician. The ball is in your court now—all that’s left for me to do is wish you luck! Good luck! (How To Be A Successful Musician: 5 Ways to Build Your Local Fanbase as an Artist)