Posts Tagged ‘ fan base ’

Making Moves – Building a local following

Building a local fan base has been tough because I didn’t grow up in New York, so I’m kind of starting fresh. Figuring out where to begin has been difficult. I’ve realized though that I have been thinking too big picture. It’s better to focus on smaller fish in the beginning, find exposure to different circles and try to bring people from those circles together.

I recently spit a few bars at a cypher during Barrelhouse Bklyn’s Yo Barrelhouse Raps BBQ. It felt great to introduce myself to such a tight knit group of people. Barrelhouse has, over the past few years, successfully harnessed a Brooklyn based movement of talented rappers, and true hip hop fans, with a lot of positive energy. Here’s a video from the event. I was the lone whitey in attendance, ha…

I’m grateful to have linked up with Barrelhouse and am looking forward to teaming up with them in the future. I’m still working out the details but, if all goes well, Chi Guy will be hosting its first NY shows with Barrelhouse promoting. The first show will be before the end of August.

Like I said in the beginning of the post, I am trying to bring a few different circles together with these concerts to build a solid core of Chi Guy followers. So far the concerts look like me performing (either solo or with a band behind me, The Classical Movement), Scienze and Kris Kasanova (two rappers who I was introduced to by my peoples at Barrelhouse who perform with live instruments behind them), and two electronic/dance DJ sets TBD. The hope is that the hip hop crowd will mix with the DJ crowd well. And who doesn’t like to see hip hop with live instruments?

Getting More Out of Your Fans

In line with much of what I have been talking about in my Making Moves section, this article on The DIY Musician Blog offers a guide to artists on how to get more out of your fans. It’s like customer service from an artists point of view. I agree with most everything in this article and I think it’s very useful. Before you can employ these techniques you need to take a look at your fans and ask what their commitment level is (whether they would buy a ticket to your show, buy merchandise, or listen to everything you put out, etc.). Because my fan base is at such a beginning stage and is so small, it’s hard to separate them into different groups. But I can still use many of these tips to get more out of the fans I do have.

The full article: How To Increase The Dedication Of Your Fans, vol. 1

Here are some key points:

Instead of trying to cater to the needs of every type of fan, we will be specifically focusing on two actions: turning all of your passive fans (i.e. friends, bandwagon fans, listener and hobbyist) into committed fans, and then turning your committed fans into super fans.

Turning Passive Fans into Committed Fans

The problem with passive fans is that they lack interest. Of course, there is some level of interest in you, your music, or even your presence either online or off, but there is lack of need and desire to stay connected with you on a regular basis.

Listen To Your Fans — Of course, the purpose of this is to hear from your more passive fans, who are typically less involved than your other fans, so you want to make sure that you package this with something of value, maybe a free EP or unreleased track.There are literally hundreds of questions that you COULD ask your fans to better understand what they are looking for from you. But it is important to keep in mind that you don’t want to overwhelm the fans either, as asking them for too much will just drive them away.Once you have calculated the results and have discovered what your fans most desire from you, you must do two things. First, thank them! Second, act upon the results.

Direct Interaction Between Artist and Fans — Though it may be more time consuming, you should take every opportunity to network one-on-one with your fans. A single committed or super fan will spend more money on you than 100 passive fans so it will actually greatly benefit you to network on such a small scale. Talk with fans after shows, respond directly to fans on social media sites, or host live fan sessions on UStream.


Turning Committed Fans into Super  Fans

Empower the Fans — This can most easily be accomplished through a street team. A street team is a team of fans that receive missions based on different promotional strategies (both online and off) and are rewarded with exclusive benefits. Reverbnation offers a FREE street team program and there are many fantastic guides that can be found by a simple google search.

Exclusivity — The idea of alienating a portion of your fan base is consistently one of the most difficult concepts for artists to grasp. However, creating a sense of exclusivity is one of the most effective strategies you can put in place to convert committed fans to super fans. You must create a distinction between insiders and outsiders. This will create a sense of belonging and pride for those already inside and a stronger sense of desire to become an insider by those who have been left outside. Exclusivity can be achieved through contests, special mailing lists, or exclusive fan groups.


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