Being an independent artist means you’re a number of things. You may be your own producer, your own manager, your own booking agent, your own social media manager, and so much more. This could leave you burnt out thinking, “How could I possibly have time to build a fanbase when I have to do all of this other stuff?”
It doesn’t have to be as difficult or time-consuming as it may seem or even be for you. It is all about working smart and efficiently. As an independent artist, there are many easy tasks you can do on a daily basis to gain fans. Here are five that we’ve found to be effective.
You’re probably thinking, “I don’t possibly have the time or energy to live stream every day,” but live streams don’t have to be huge productions. Your goal is to connect with people, so keep it casual and at their level. By showing your personality frequently, you will feel familiar or even like a friend to some people. These people are likely to become part of your fanbase.
If music is your career, there’s a good chance that you’re doing something everyday pertaining to music in one way or another. Whether it’s practicing an instrument, creating beats, recording in the studio, or even just singing in your car; there’s always something daily you could be live streaming.
While every single day may not be possible, aim for 5-6 days a week. They could be as short as half an hour but aim for at least an hour. According to Respect My Region’s CEO and Founder Mitch Pfeifer, “the two most important things, are to be consistent and to be authentic.”
While you may not think your music career belongs on a business platform, it absolutely does. LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with professionals from any industry. And lucky you, a person’s career or industry doesn’t determine whether or not they like music. There is a good chance every connection you make will be a fan of some form of music.
Start by connecting with literally anyone you come across. Bonus if they work in the entertainment industry. More than likely they will accept your request. You can add new connections on a daily basis and it won’t take much effort or brainpower. Now you have another platform where you can share your music and content, and it doesn’t take as much effort as platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
Create simple posts sharing your music and content, as well as announcing any releases or events. Make sure to also post about any press such as interviews or articles written about you. Your posts should be similar content to what you post on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to be authentic but also professional, so only use emojis sparingly and make sure to check your grammar.
A new way to gain loyal fans is through the social media and networking platform Clubhouse. This platform allows you to set up and join rooms with other users and simply just chat through voice only. This is a great way to build genuine connections with people that will likely become fans of your music if you present yourself well.
Join rooms that pertain to your genre, interests, or music in general and just introduce yourself as a musician and contribute positively to the discussion. This works better in smaller rooms as you are more likely to have a chance to speak and a chance to really meet others. RMR’s Chief Operations Officer Joey Brabo said this about Clubhouse recently, “you never know who you will connect with, some of the best networking opportunities can come out of speaking, listening, and sending a DM when you know that person is on their phone.”
Social Media Engagement
Engaging on social media is one of the most beneficial and easiest tasks you can do on a daily basis to gain fans. Instead of engaging randomly throughout the day, set a whole hour everyday dedicated to social media engagement. Don’t go in without a strategy though. It depends on what platform, but generally hashtags will be your most important tool.
My favorite strategy for Instagram engagement is “1,000 Fans in 90 days.” To summarize, you will choose 12 relevant hashtags and engage with 10 posts on each hashtag daily- engaging with 120 posts every day. If you have a 10% success rate, you will gain 12 new followers daily and in 90 days you will have over 1,000 new fans. But don’t just like and comment with some emojis, you must comment on something genuine and relevant to the post. When choosing your hashtags, first think about your target market, and then pick hashtags that your target market would be browsing or using. $1.80 is a great platform that can help you be more efficient with your engagement while still staying authentic.
Support Other Artists
Independent artists know first hand how hard it can be gaining new and engaging followers, so they will be more likely to show their support. Go on hashtags like #indiemusician, #supportmusic, and hashtags relevant to your genre. Follow and engage with other small artists, and more than likely they will follow and engage with you back.
This could also lead to them consistently interacting with your page in the future, especially if you do the same back. Who knows, this could even lead to a future collaboration.
As an independent artist, building your fanbase doesn’t have to be overwhelming and time-consuming. Instead of looking at the bigger picture, focus on the small steps you can take on a daily basis as a musician to gain fans and work towards your goals. Just remember, it’s all about creating an emotional connection in one way, shape, or form.