We live in an attention economy. And there are more artists today than ever before. So you really have to focus on engaging with your fans, connecting with them in a way they won’t forget.
What Fan Engagement Does
Fan engagement is not just about popularity. It’s about building a community around you and your music. This community becomes a driving force behind your success, supporting you throughout their career.
And by fan engagement, I mean real connection with other humans (as much as we can in today’s digital/social media age). When your music hits them deeply, they’ll want to connect with you. Open up and allow that connection.
Here are some of the benefits of truly connecting and engaging with your fans…
Finding True Fans
Nurturing a connection with fans can turn them from casual listeners to true fans. A true fan is someone who will most likely follow your journey for life and support you along the way. This is what you need if you want a sustainable music career.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is the best way for you music to spread. And when someone feels a deep connection to not only your music but also you, they’re most likely to share you with their friends.
Feedback and improvement
I don’t think you should ask fans for help writing or producing songs. But I do think you can put song ideas out there to gauge how people react and use that information to decide what to do with the song.
You can also ask fans to vote on which of your finished songs should come out next.
And you can also zoom out and look at which of your released songs resonate with people the most, which can direct how you create going forward. You can look at stats like song saves, playlist adds, comments and DMs about the song, and overall streaming numbers.
Crowdfunding and support
When you connect with fans, they’re more likely to financially support you. Many indie musicians rely on crowdfunding to fund their next album, and many artists rely on fan subscriptions to make ends meet. Engaging with your fans creates a supportive community that may be more willing to contribute to your success.
Social media presence
In today’s digital age, social media is the main way for musicians to connect with fans. So it’s important to post regular updates, share your music (even if it’s not new), and respond to every comment and DM.
Fans who feel connected to you are more likely to go to your live performances. A strong turnout at gigs not only makes the performance more fun, but it reminds you why you do music in the first place. This is where you can connect with fans in real life, and there’s nothing like it.
True fans are more likely to buy your merch, especially at your live performances. For many artists, merch is one of the main ways they make money.
Simple (But Effective) Ways To Connect With Your Fans
Here are three methods that will help you better connect with your fans. These may not be easy at first, but they are straight-forward.
Let them see you
There are tens of thousands of songs uploaded to Spotify every day. The market is saturated with mostly indie musicians. So for someone to really connect with you, you have to do more than just post your music and hope for the best.
You have to show people who you are. Show your personality. Show your sense of humor, or lack thereof. Share some of your life.
You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) share every single thing that’s happening in your life. But show enough of it online that people can see you as a real human. Whether it’s through your Instagram captions, TikTok videos, or however else you interact with fans, be authentic to yourself.
Respond to everything
I’ve lost track of how many times someone has followed me on social media after I respond to their comment.
People want to feel seen. So when they take a minute to drop a comment on your post, it’s only respectful to take a minute to respond. This goes a long way, especially when your fanbase is still small.
When someone DMs you, you need to respond. It takes even more guts and effort for someone to write a private message saying how your music has affected them. The least you can do is reply with gratitude.
It all starts with the music. Usually, people connect with your music first and then you. So by releasing music consistently, you’re keeping your fans happy (gradually turning them into super fans) and you have a better chance of finding new fans.
Right now, the internet is run by algorithms, whether it’s social media platforms or Spotify. Consistent releases give you more of an incentive to share content, which drives online engagement, encourages fan connection, and helps you find new people.
Also, Spotify loves when you release music regularly, making it more likely you land in people’s Release Radar, Spotify Radio, and the other algorithmic playlists.
As an indie musician, it’s more important to connect deeply with the fans you do have than to try to get as many casual listeners as possible.