Are Fans Your Band’s Friends or Foes? (Part 1)

Your Fans: Are they friends or foes?There’s a recent music-related survey (Yes, ask anyone who knows me, I actually enjoy tearing apart the results of almost any type of survey) and it asked hundreds of people linked with the entertainment industry to answer one basic question:    what do you believe is the most important thing for any band or artist to do?

The answer may surprise you…

If you think they responded with  a) connect to a great booking agent, b) partner with the venue and other bands on the bill to promote your show, or c) learn everything you can about social media; you’d be correct. But the overwhelming answer??

Make your fans, your friends. 

I’m not surprised. Thinking about many of my own experiences at shows, some of the best revolve around hanging out with, or getting to know the musicians behind the music. But why should this be important to you as an artist? The comments included with the survey responses may help reveal the power in making these types of connections. Here’s a sample:

-You don’t have to stay after every show to meet the people who came out in support of your band, paid money to get in to the venue, or just wanted to check out your music. But you should..!

-Figure out who likes your music, and get to know them. Learn more about them by using email and social media in a personal way.

-Find ways to communicate with those who love what you do. And be honest with your fans. It will make them your friends and lead to even more fans you’ll soon be calling your friends.

-Engage with as many people as possible at your show. They will be your best salespeople for your next show!

-Play to your fans/friends as if there’s 2000 people at the show, even if just 6 are there. The 6 will tell everyone about their amazing experience.

The comments on the fan-based effort continue, but you get the idea.

Make memorable for your new friends

It all comes down to being an amazing artist, who isn’t afraid to take a show and turn it into a personal experience for your fans; taking photos, signing autographs, or simply hanging out. It will be something they’ll never forget– and you’ll end up being rewarded for it.

Note:  Stay tuned for part two of “Are fans your band’s friends or foes?” blog post. I’ll share what one long-time, internationally-touring band told me about spending time with their fans. And you may be surprised to learn, their own interaction continues to grow, more than 30 years after their career began!

photo credit: familymwr via photopin cc

Teri Barr is a multimedia feature writer, radio host, and award-winning journalist. She has work appearing regularly in local and regional publications, along with producing news and webcasts at the national level. If she's not on assignment for a project, she may be banging on her drums, hunting for the next road trip to enjoy a live show with her husband Brian, or snuggling with their cat Harrie-Yeti. You can find her on twitter, facebook, and at http://teribarr.wordpress.com

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