How to Truly Grow Your Fanbase

By: Carley Varley

If you are a musician like me, you dream of having a huge fan base who love and listen to your music. Growing this fanbase organically can prove very difficult at times and it is a grind, especially if you are on a budget or lack the hours to put into gaining fans.

music blog for acoustic songwriter Carley Varley
Carley Varley

I have been a musician for coming up five years in 2023, I am still learning everyday how to have an impact on my audience and how to turn a person who listens to your music once into a dedicated fan. Today I am going to discuss what I have learnt in the past few years and I’m also going to chat about the best ways to keep your fans engaged to ensure that your fanbase keeps growing. 

1. Be Personal

Its true, the more you know someone, the more you care about what their up to and you become invested in their life. Being personal on social media and in person can really help grow your fanbase.

As simple as it sounds, being yourself is always the best way. Make jokes you find funny, quote shows you love, wear clothes that you find cool and release music that you enjoy making. You have a fanbase, its just finding those people.

Singing songs that are personal to you, chatting about topics that are personal to you will attract those who love what you are singing or saying and they will become fans with time. Be yourself, be personal and your fanbase will grow.

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2. Giveaways

One thing I love doing as a musician is giveaways. If a fan pre-saves my song then they get entered into a competition to win merch or a voucher. I also love gifting fans with tees for free to thank them for always listening to my music or commenting on my social media posts. It’s a nice thing to do and it will keep your fans engaged and thank them for their dedication.

I’d highly recommend doing this and treating your fans like people rather than numbers. Its easy to get caught up in looking impressive on social media, there is nothing wrong with wanting a huge fanbase, but the people who are your fans are important. Giveaways insure interaction, they insure people enter because lets face it everyone loves free stuff!

It also allows people who lets say normally wouldn’t pre-save your song, to pre-save it, listen to it and possibly become a fan. It is important to give back to your fans and if you don’t give away merch regularly, doing a giveaway every now and then is a great idea to grow your fanbase.

3. Reply to Your Fans Online

Responding to people’s comments online is a great way to gain a fan. Just think if you see something online that you like enough to comment, you must be pretty invested and so if the creator replies to you and is nice and takes the time to interact with you, they may then feel a connection and come back or go away and listen to your music.

I will sometimes even message my fans on Instagram if they reply to my story to thank you, small gestures go a long way so make sure that you communicate with your fans. Show them that you are thankful for them.

4. How Consistent are you on Social Media?

Consistently posting on social media is more important than you think, making sure that you post every week and creating posts that your fans can engage with is so important. This is something that I am still working on even now, I sometimes forget to post or I find myself posting anything I can find rather than thinking ‘How can I engage my fans with this post?’

Posting regularly builds a relationship with those online and can convert casual followers into fans, so keep posting and post with your fans in mind. Did they love your new song and comment that it was amazing? Post a little snippet of another song you are working on, or do an acoustic version, it shows that you are listening to your fans and providing them with content that they crave. 

5. How to Cultivate Organic Engagement

How often do you truly engage with your fans at your shows?

Say hello to people at your shows, who have stayed to listen to you. Engaging with people in person is the best way to make true fans quickly. I have performed at hundreds of events over the past few years, and I can say that this is the best way to build a fanbase.

Performing and meeting people, making sure to say hello and thank people in person is key. Depending on how big the show is too, you can end up gaining hundreds of fans, but it’s building up a reputation to get to that point. Start off with smaller shows, release singles and then build your way up to a bigger shows, more songs and then a bigger fanbase.

It’s all learning and building it from scratch can be very difficult but if you work hard you can build an amazing fanbase. Make sure to focus your content, be personal and post stuff that’s important to you. Make sure to engage with your fans at events, chat to them online and run competitions that they can be a part of. Please share this article with new music creators who could benefit from this.

By: Carley Varley

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