Pursuing a career in music can be difficult for a wide variety of reasons. It can also be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences of a person’s life. So, it’s a mixed bag, needless to say.
One of the biggest obstacles aspiring and even on-the-rise musicians face is finding a properly sized audience. If one hopes to ever find commercial success and stability making niche music, you need to find people out there willing to pay for records, merch and concert tickets.
How can you get your music in front of the people who might respond to it the most? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
The Benefits of Thinking Smaller
Why is it a good idea to create niche music, or music that appeals to a smaller audience? This is a question that comes up to artists across all fields, where the conventional business advice might be to try and build as vast of an audience as possible.
However, going after a smaller and more specific group of people as your target audience can be one of the smartest things you can do as an aspiring musician. Looking for as wide of an audience right away can be the worst, and yet it’s a mistake that many people seem to make.
Focusing on a niche market will help you to better take advantage of certain opportunities. It will help you to better connect with those who will really find some sort of passion in the music you are creating.
We can use an outlandish example to get this across. Imagine that you play music that is as niche as electronic-polka. There is likely not a huge mass audience out there that is interested in electronic-polka.
However, it’ll be much easier for you to identify who the fans of that kind of music are, where they tend to go, and what venues and organizations support that kind of music. You will know where to place yourself to get noticed, which is more than half of the fight.
At the end of the day, for any aspiring artist, it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond than the inverse. Climb to the top of a smaller ladder and you’ll have a better shot at being noticed by a wide audience.
Determining Your Brand & Niche
Maybe you don’t consider yourself to be that niche of an artist. The music you’re making doesn’t feel confined to any sort of specific genre that isn’t broad or mass-appealing. Our response would be: look a little deeper.
If you’re making quality art, there’s a good chance there’s at least something a little specific about it. You might need to take a step back and perform some self-analysis. What makes you unique and what sets you apart from other people playing the same type of music?
Consider your sound, but also consider your influences, how you dress, what subject matter you explore, and where you’re from and are currently located. All of these factors contribute to a niche you might be able to take advantage of. If you’re from the South and perform hip-hip, maybe you could be a Southern rapper instead of just a rapper.
It’s these little pushes towards specificity that can help to make you stand out in people’s minds. These little nudges can help you to find a better sense of community and audience.
Engage With The Existing Community
Once you’ve determined who the potential audience is, your job will be to form a meaningful connection with them. That means getting out of your shell and out of your home and going to interact and mingle with them.
Who are the other existing artists that are reaching for a similar niche? Go to their concerts and see where they are playing. Who are going to these shows? Make friends in the crowd, talk to the opening acts, and embed yourselves deeper into this world.
You should make yourself a constant presence at any musical event that feels directly related to your specific niche. If you take the time to connect with other people who are passionate about what you are also passionate about, you’ll be well on your way to building an audience.
It doesn’t all have to be in-person either. After all, you can’t be everywhere at once. That’s why a little Google search can be in order. There might be a number of online communities interested in your niche genre of music as well. Music culture has really thrived in online spaces over the past two decades.
Look into Facebook groups, online forums, and social media trends.
Who’s talking about and sharing music like yours online? These are the types of people you want to connect with and make friends with. This is your audience. Take the time to form a connection with these communities before trying to get them to share your work. No one wants to connect with someone who is completely self-obsessed, after all.
Once you’ve integrated with the community, you’ll find that people will be happy and excited to share your work and provide opportunities for you. You’ll be well on your way to true success, all thanks to your niche audience.
Advantages of Playing Niche Music
If you’re playing niche music to a small audience, you’re actually on good footing to really expand the scope of your musical career. The above reasons can illuminate why.