3 Ways You Can Get More Music Fans And Promote Yourself In Them Music Industry

By Tom Hess

Are you looking for effective ways to promote your music and develop a following of fans? If so, you are not alone. For most musicians, understanding how to promote their music and gain fans seems like an unsolvable puzzle. In fact, I get asked questions on these topics all the time by musicians who I train as a music mentor. That said, learning how to solve this puzzle and promote your music successfully is crucial to your extended success as a professional musician.

However, the truth is that there is no all encompassing answer on the topic of how to promote your music. This is because you or the band you are playing in are likely facing many unique challenges that would need to be overcome before you could gain more fans and effectively promote your music. The good news is, whether you are just starting in the music business or are a seasoned pro, being able to get more music fans and promote your music really comes down to reaching the following three goals:

1. You need your music to be heard by more people.
2. You need the people who check out your music to give you some kind of support (either by buying your music, coming out to your shows, purchasing products your release, etc.)
3. You need to turn your fans into FANATICS to where they will tell others (on their own) about how great you and your music are.

Regardless of what your specific musical goals are in the music business, the three goals listed above are the main factor for building a relationship between you (as a musician) and your fans.

Even though these goals are separate from one another as specific achievements, they are all connected together. Once you are able to reach success with one of them, your potential to achieve the others with increase greatly. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you can make progress to take your music career in the direction you want.

To successfully promote your music to more fans, you must begin to think in a creative and strategic manner rather than simply taking random isolated actions (most bands make this mistake continuously). In other words, instead of looking for a general, all encompassing formula that you can copy to get more fans, you must train yourself to think like a successful professional musician. When I train musicians in my music careers development program, I show them how to creatively come up with ideas to get more music fans in a way that relates to their own specific music career. When you understand how to think in this manner it will be much less difficult to effectively promote your music.

However, before I discuss this in more detail, you will be able to get much more benefit from reading this article if you take the time (right now) to assess your current understanding of how to attract music fans. Take this free test on musician career promotion right now before you read through the rest of this article. Open a separate tab in your browser now, finish the assessment and then come back when you are done.

(Click on the link above and fill out the test FIRST, before you continue reading this article.)

Now that you have measured your current music promotion abilities, I am going to show you a few ways to promote your music. While you are reading, try to think creatively and focus on the ‘style’ of thinking that makes up the foundation for these ideas rather than just the ideas themselves. This will help you to better understand what makes them effective and how you can use them in your own music career.

Promoting Your Music Objective: Get more people to hear your music

Solution #1: Release music with other musicians on a compilation album. While releasing a compilation record with other artists, you not only release your own music, but the songs of others. This is important because once you do this you are able to promote your music to both your fans AND the fans of every other musician on the record. Remember, your main objective here is not necessarily to make a lot of money; but to utilize the album as an inexpensive tool for gaining much more exposure to new fans than what you would gain on your own. Later on, you can get maximum leverage out of this by promoting your own records, products or merchandise to your new extended network of fans. This idea of using one action to produce MANY benefits is one of the many success strategies that I train musicians to use in my Music Careers Mentoring Program.

Solution #2: Team up with the other musicians in your local area. Many musicians make the mistake of considering all other local musicians as “competition” rather than a great opportunity for leverage. Instead of doing this, work together with one or more bands in your area (with a similar style to yours) to get more fans to see you play and listen to your music. One idea to help you do this is to set up a performance with you and one or more bands at a specific club/venue in a combined effort to bring in as many fans as you can. By doing this, you will not only build rapport with the owner of the place you are playing at (because you’ll be bringing in more business), but you will gain the chance to promote your music to the fans of other bands. This idea may seem like common sense, but you’d surprised at how many bands never think about this (or actually go through with it). Additionally, a lot of bands do not get much out of this idea because they play with bands who are of a totally different musical style or work together with bands who do not put out a good effort to promote the show to their fans…and the main benefits they seek to gain out of the performance are lost. If you are collaborating with a band who is not putting out much effort to contact and attract their fans, simply don’t play with them. A popular example of this idea is how smaller bands will approach bigger bands and request to perform as an opening act. However, it is not necessary to find a highly successful band to make this work – simply look for musicians who are dedicated, ambitious and willing to take action.

Promoting Your Music Objective: Get your fans to take the next step

Solution #1: Give people a good reason to become your fan AND purchase your music. People who are successful with their music promotion efforts understand how to get their fan base to purchase their music rather than download it (without paying) while also making them into loyal, returning customers. One way to do this for yourself is to create a valuable incentive that can only be attained by the people who actually buy your music. In order to effectively do this, you should create something that is not easy to reproduce digitally. For example, some kind of merchandise item, a backstage pass, a special event ticket, etc (that is only available once the fan can prove to you that he or she purchased your music) are some great methods for achieving both of these goals at the same time. The point here is to get your to understand the idea of using one method of music promotion to accomplish multiple goals at the same time and bring you closer to your fans.

Solution #2: Know and understand who your current fans are and what they want. The best way to get the most out of your music promotion is to promote yourself to those who already know you and support you anytime you begin a new project in your music career. Most musicians worry about not having enough fans for their music, but at the same time they don’t really know who their fans are or how to get into to contact with them. Rather than figuring this out, these musicians spend a lot of time promoting themselves to the general public. The truth is, there is certainly nothing wrong with promoting music to the general public; however, this method for advertising is expensive and very time consuming. That said, make sure to find an effective way to stay in contact with your fans at all times. This will greatly improve the results of your promotional efforts.

Promoting Your Music Objective: Changing Casual Music Fans Into True Fanatics

Solution #1: Create unique events around your music that encourages your fans to interact with you in ways other than just listening to your songs or coming to your shows. There exist many different ways to do this (limited only by your personal creativity); however, no matter what you do, your main goal should always be to expand upon the relationship you have with your fans in order to close the gap between you are your fans.

Solution #2: Reward your greatest fans with unique items and attention that casual fans do not have access to. This can easily be tied together with the point made in solution #1 above or as an independent idea on its own. If you want the fans of your music to take initiative in a specific way (such as spreading your band’s reputation or music to their friends), think of things that you can offer to them that will really get them enthusiastic about what is going on beyond your music. When you do this, offer something that really helps to spread your band’s image as opposed to merely offering cash or “free t-shirts”. Go the extra mile to really offer your most loyal music fans something special.

As you have read, once you take a more detailed approach to understanding specifically what it is that you want to do when it comes to “gaining more music fans”, it’s a lot easier to understand specifically which action steps you must perform to make this happen. The majority of musicians only think about improving their music while trying to appeal to the general public, but doing this is only one aspect of musical promotion. Of course, your music is important; however there are aspects of your music career that you must work on in order to effectively get more fans for your music. As soon as you begin focusing on these aspects, you will start to gain much greater results in your music promotion efforts.

Start getting more music fans by assessing your current music promotion abilities with this musician career promotion.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Hess is a recording artist, online guitar teacher and a music career mentor. He plays guitar for the band Rhapsody Of Fire. Visit his musician development website to become a better musician, get free music industry advice, music career tips and professional music industry advice.