Gain REAL Fans: 5 Steps to Getting to the 1000 True
i got (1000 true) fans by kalandrakas

Photo by kalandrakas

Would you like stark-raving mad fans? You know, the kind that will follow you across the country on tour and/or do just about anything you ask of them. Well, that is not going to happen if you come out the gate barking at them like a rabid Rottweiler.

In a world of push-up bra MySpace friend numbers, silicone Twitter followers and other plastic enhancements for your web presence, it doesn’t pay to be a Cherry. You have over 50,000 friends on a social networking site – so what? It does not mean a thing if you cannot get even 0.1% to pay attention to anything you say. Besides, there are way too many folks that are getting plastic surgery, which has diluted the potency of your hack. Every Ice T must have his Coco, I guess. I say “no, thank you.”

We are realizing that padding the numbers may not be as attractive as we might think, so now what do we do? How do we actually build a real fan base that we can leverage for real financial gains? Easy – all one has to do is be real and (somewhat) approachable.

That is the CliffsNotes version of it and probably not why you read up to this point. I hint at what it will take here on this blog quite a bit. Remember me talking about the Personable Geeks? Well, you just need to concede to being one and you will be well on your way.

5 Steps to Getting 1000 True Fans [in the Internet Age]

BKA How to Become a Personable Geek

BE HUMBLE
This has to be said at the start. In order to be approachable, you have to be modest in character. In order to deal with building a fan base one person at a time, you have to be able to mentally absorb the fact that it takes a bit of time. A huge ego will kill your chances at gaining real fans.

Do unto others…
I am going to keep this simple. The Ethic of Reciprocity is a universal thing. People do not like commercials like they once did. I am sure you are no exception, so cut with the “buy my stuff” approach.

Work on your handshake
This goes with the concept of being a friend first, artist last. You can do this by just taking the time to get to know a person. Introducing yourself, getting their name and offering your hand to solidify the connection is a great start.

Ask “What can I do for you?”
John F. Kennedy’s famous quote from his speech can be used here, but instead of country use fans. Set yourself up to be able to help. I have suggested to a few of my artist friends that they will find more opportunities by giving back to the community than taking from it. We are bombarded with people making requests of our time. Sometimes it is the best feeling just to be asked, “Can I help?”

Be a friend
Once you have established a relationship with your new pals, keep up with them! Make sure you know what is going on in their lives. As a musician, this is a great opportunity to get inspiration for your work. Everyone has stories, so seek out some from the very people you hope will support you. At the same time, fortifying your relationship with a few good people is the most important thing about all this.

In summary, do not be “that guy.” Set yourself apart by being genuine and kind. While this approach is a bit slower than pumping a ton of money into juicing use your sexy attributes, it is the most rewarding and the payoff is bound to be more fulfilling than anything plastic surgery could ever provide.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Better, Faster, Stronger Fan Connections

Get continued advice and tips on how to improve your music business through the email newsletter.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This entry was posted on Monday, October 26th, 2009 at 8:30 AM and is filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • contakt

    I agree with your 5 steps and am truly sad how many folks lack many or all of these traits, specifically hip-hop artists.

    It’s interesting though, in my opinion, these traits are crucial to creating ANY kind of relationship in any capacity of business or pleasure.

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Contakt, thanks for your comment as well. As I flesh out my thoughts on this subject, a lot of this will be an attempt to enlighten artists to be a bit more enterprising, much like business-ey types do. Artists can no longer see their art as the only contribution to the world. There’s enough art out there, so folks need to find ways to distinguish themselves.

  • contakt

    I agree with your 5 steps and am truly sad how many folks lack many or all of these traits, specifically hip-hop artists.

    It’s interesting though, in my opinion, these traits are crucial to creating ANY kind of relationship in any capacity of business or pleasure.

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Contakt, thanks for your comment as well. As I flesh out my thoughts on this subject, a lot of this will be an attempt to enlighten artists to be a bit more enterprising, much like business-ey types do. Artists can no longer see their art as the only contribution to the world. There’s enough art out there, so folks need to find ways to distinguish themselves.

  • 3rdEye

    Love the content…this really should be a small handbook or guide for new musicians. If you do some research, flesh these ideas out, and add a couple of more ideas (technical things like you like to do), then this could be excellent material.

    I especially like the part about humility. People have such an ignorant idea about humility. It doesn’t mean you’re not confident or sure of yourself but that you’re unassuming and dignified – sans the attitude. Keep doing your thing young GAM’ster.
    .-= 3rdEye´s last blog ..NFL Week 7 =-.

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Hey 3rdEye, thanks for your comment. Something like this is definitely in the works. I try to practice what I preach here at Frying in Vein, so content is king. I will be joining the royal court soon, if you dig what I’m saying.

  • 3rdEye

    Love the content…this really should be a small handbook or guide for new musicians. If you do some research, flesh these ideas out, and add a couple of more ideas (technical things like you like to do), then this could be excellent material.

    I especially like the part about humility. People have such an ignorant idea about humility. It doesn’t mean you’re not confident or sure of yourself but that you’re unassuming and dignified – sans the attitude. Keep doing your thing young GAM’ster.
    .-= 3rdEye´s last blog ..NFL Week 7 =-.

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Hey 3rdEye, thanks for your comment. Something like this is definitely in the works. I try to practice what I preach here at Frying in Vein, so content is king. I will be joining the royal court soon, if you dig what I’m saying.

  • Derek Nicoletto

    Excellent tenets. It’s true…it’s hard to know how to balance on that line of “Here’s what’s really fun going on with us, join the party!” and “I’m an annoying fuck! Look at me!” Admittedly, I tend to be very excitable. But with the years in Telling on Trixie, I learned that the best fans are the ones I never knew, but that I spent time to get to know. They are the ones that have followed me from ToT’s breakup into the new project, Derek and the Darling. In your blog, you talk a lot about MySpace screamers. I always keep those people in mind when I’m about to share something. It’s just good to think…How/How many times/on what sites/in what manner would I like a band I’m (very/marginally/not really) into shared with me.
    I don’t always do everything perfectly, for certain. But it’s really great you (and people like Ariel Hyatt, a God-send) point this shit out to musician. Because it’s a shame to make a bunch of solid music and then turn people off with irritatingly-approached self-promotion.

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Hey Derek,
      That is one thing that a lot of us [social media champions] do not mention enough – how tedious all this stuff is. It is a necessary evil though. I wish we still had the easy “plug-and-play” models to work with in developing our artistry/products, but they just are not available to us like they used to be.
      And you are right, it is a shame when talented people shoot themselves in the foot in the digital space, because they don’t take the time to “Listen, Engage, Share and Help.” The funny thing is, the process works in real life (IRL) too! That’s another blog post though. LOL
      I am glad to hear from those out there that are trying to figure out how to do it right, especially when they can say “it works!” after doing it. Thanks for your comment and stop by any time!

  • Derek Nicoletto

    Excellent tenets. It’s true…it’s hard to know how to balance on that line of “Here’s what’s really fun going on with us, join the party!” and “I’m an annoying fuck! Look at me!” Admittedly, I tend to be very excitable. But with the years in Telling on Trixie, I learned that the best fans are the ones I never knew, but that I spent time to get to know. They are the ones that have followed me from ToT’s breakup into the new project, Derek and the Darling. In your blog, you talk a lot about MySpace screamers. I always keep those people in mind when I’m about to share something. It’s just good to think…How/How many times/on what sites/in what manner would I like a band I’m (very/marginally/not really) into shared with me.
    I don’t always do everything perfectly, for certain. But it’s really great you (and people like Ariel Hyatt, a God-send) point this shit out to musician. Because it’s a shame to make a bunch of solid music and then turn people off with irritatingly-approached self-promotion.

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Hey Derek,
      That is one thing that a lot of us [social media champions] do not mention enough – how tedious all this stuff is. It is a necessary evil though. I wish we still had the easy “plug-and-play” models to work with in developing our artistry/products, but they just are not available to us like they used to be.
      And you are right, it is a shame when talented people shoot themselves in the foot in the digital space, because they don’t take the time to “Listen, Engage, Share and Help.” The funny thing is, the process works in real life (IRL) too! That’s another blog post though. LOL
      I am glad to hear from those out there that are trying to figure out how to do it right, especially when they can say “it works!” after doing it. Thanks for your comment and stop by any time!

  • http://www.isaacthompson.com Isaac Thompson

    Very true, sad the most of us looks for the fast fan. But as they say “from nothing, comes nothing”.
    Problem with all this is you have to actually care, not just pretend to care to get “real fans”.
    Most of us are looking for what we can get, it’s sadly human nature. Even in music I feel we should be giving more than we’re taking, what’s the point if we’re not? Even if we never talk to our fans I think they feel it if we give..
    Thanks, for standing up and saying this.
    Isaac

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Isaac, thanks for your comments. I take it as a compliment!

      Relationships take work, just like everything else. If you are not really into it, they will suffer. There are countless stories of music acts abandoning their fans and how it was detrimental to their livelihood. People need to keep that in mind always!

  • http://www.isaacthompson.com Isaac Thompson

    Very true, sad the most of us looks for the fast fan. But as they say “from nothing, comes nothing”.
    Problem with all this is you have to actually care, not just pretend to care to get “real fans”.
    Most of us are looking for what we can get, it’s sadly human nature. Even in music I feel we should be giving more than we’re taking, what’s the point if we’re not? Even if we never talk to our fans I think they feel it if we give..
    Thanks, for standing up and saying this.
    Isaac

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Isaac, thanks for your comments. I take it as a compliment!

      Relationships take work, just like everything else. If you are not really into it, they will suffer. There are countless stories of music acts abandoning their fans and how it was detrimental to their livelihood. People need to keep that in mind always!

  • http://celticways.com John of Celtic Ways

    I try to make it my first thought “how can what I know and do help the person I am contacting do what they do better” – “what’s in it for them?”. We generally do not directly target our music to get more listening fans. We look for people who may find our music a good soundscape for what they do such as in restaurants, healing circles, film clips etc., and luckily their audiences asks where the music comes from and that gives both of us an extra income stream.

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      John, that is a great approach. I know it works, because I apply it to my every day affairs. I have benefited greatly. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://celticways.com John of Celtic Ways

    I try to make it my first thought “how can what I know and do help the person I am contacting do what they do better” – “what’s in it for them?”. We generally do not directly target our music to get more listening fans. We look for people who may find our music a good soundscape for what they do such as in restaurants, healing circles, film clips etc., and luckily their audiences asks where the music comes from and that gives both of us an extra income stream.

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      John, that is a great approach. I know it works, because I apply it to my every day affairs. I have benefited greatly. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.donkeybox.co.uk Atul Rana

    Indeed indeed, musicians have that dream of hundres (if not thousands) of fans enjoying and singling along to their stuff. But what they gotta realise is that you have to connect with each and every single person first, either through your music or something else. When you gradually one by one connect to each person, make your music part of their memories and soundtrack to their lives you will start seeing a difference. Until then…

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Exactly, Atul. We need to remember this is WORK. This is not a walk in the park, if you are looking to be taken seriously. Building and sustaining relationships is not something to take lightly. Thanks for your comment!

  • http://www.donkeybox.co.uk Atul Rana

    Indeed indeed, musicians have that dream of hundres (if not thousands) of fans enjoying and singling along to their stuff. But what they gotta realise is that you have to connect with each and every single person first, either through your music or something else. When you gradually one by one connect to each person, make your music part of their memories and soundtrack to their lives you will start seeing a difference. Until then…

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Exactly, Atul. We need to remember this is WORK. This is not a walk in the park, if you are looking to be taken seriously. Building and sustaining relationships is not something to take lightly. Thanks for your comment!

  • G.

    Hubert, you make some good point, but I wonder, then, how do you gently steer these new found “friends” to your project? Because as many indie artists have experienced, many of our “friends” (on and off line) assume we have the type of relationship that has earned them a free copy of our projects. I understand that we should not be pushy, but what’s the best way to just let new “friends” know we have a project for sell, and it’s important that you buy it?

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Hey G, thanks for your comment and question.
      The answer to your query is not cut-and-dry. Frankly though, if your “friends” expect you to work for free all the time, I would question their friendship. That said, I do not see why you cannot offer a free [possibly lower quality] version for “friends” and the curious. It is a great way to get people to help get the word out to the masses. The steps I propose is essentially set to help you build natural, INVALUABLE word of mouth.
      Oof, I could go on and on about this. I think I’ll save some for a future blog post. Thanks again, G. This is stimulating.

  • G.

    Hubert, you make some good point, but I wonder, then, how do you gently steer these new found “friends” to your project? Because as many indie artists have experienced, many of our “friends” (on and off line) assume we have the type of relationship that has earned them a free copy of our projects. I understand that we should not be pushy, but what’s the best way to just let new “friends” know we have a project for sell, and it’s important that you buy it?
    .-= G.´s last blog ..G504: @DannyDee @adam_whitaker @OriginalNajeema @Somaya_Reece @Goapele @shamara99 @MegaRan Afternoon, tweeps. What’s the good word for today? =-.

    • http://fryinginvein.com Hubert Sawyers III

      Hey G, thanks for your comment and question.
      The answer to your query is not cut-and-dry. Frankly though, if your “friends” expect you to work for free all the time, I would question their friendship. That said, I do not see why you cannot offer a free [possibly lower quality] version for “friends” and the curious. It is a great way to get people to help get the word out to the masses. The steps I propose is essentially set to help you build natural, INVALUABLE word of mouth.
      Oof, I could go on and on about this. I think I’ll save some for a future blog post. Thanks again, G. This is stimulating.

  • Pingback: Want Music Biz Success? Lead By Example! | Frying in Vein

  • Pingback: #1 Music Industry Secret to Success – Be Yourself | Frying in Vein

  • Janice

    We generally do not directly target our music to get more listening fans. We look for people who may find our music a good soundscape for what they do such as in restaurants, healing circles, film clips etc.

    • http://fryinginvein.com HubertGAM

      Interesting, Janice. What is the name of your band?

  • Pingback: How to Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

  • Pingback: 4 Basic Steps to Optimizing Fan Conversion

  • Pingback: SMART Music Business Goal Recommendations for 2012

  • Pingback: #1 Music Industry Secret to Success - Be Yourself

  • http://twitter.com/PTheWyse Praverb

    Thank you very much for this post. I love the step that revolves around being a friend. A lot of artists are afraid to share their personal lives. My favorite artists are transparent. Their music is a reflection of their life.

    We have to be communicators but at the end of the day we should also be great listeners. Thank you Hubert!

    • http://fryinginvein.com/ Hubert Sawyers III

      You’re welcome, @twitter-18748949:disqus. Glad you are got value from this post.

      • http://twitter.com/PTheWyse Praverb

        Of course about to follow you now on Twitter…salute!