One of the biggest problems DIY musicians face is their inability to motivate their followers into any sort of action. Most DIY artists use social media only for promotional purposes (posting gig details and Soundcloud links etc.) and there is very little effort to build a community.
Creating a community should be one of the things every DIY artist strives for. A community of like-minded individuals with a strong connection is a powerful thing to be involved in. As the leader and head of your own community, you can be in a good position to motivate your audience to come see you at a show, buy your merch etc.
Here’s some tips as to how you can start to build your own community.
You Need To Define Your Interests
Communities are groups of people who share common interests. Your job is to asemble a group of people who have a range of shared interests of which your music is just one. You should be be looking to highlight and bring to the fore topics and interests which resonate strongly with yourself and your audience.
Other than music, what is really important in your life? What makes you happy? It could be craft beer, sport, classical literature, burgers, classic rock, gardening, fell walking, trash TV, Marvel films, the genius of Lennon & McCartney…anything that you love.
Share your passions with your audience and as you do so you’ll find which ones resonate and ‘click’ with your fans. When that happens, you can double down on the those and you’ll find yourself talking to your audience about those topics rather than yourself all the time.
In doing so your social media content become less ‘self centred’. You’ll become more of a curator of the passions you and your fans enjoy. You’ll be talking about your shared interests, accentuating the connections that exist between yourself and your audience and you will create a community of like minded individuals. Then when you play a show, that live event comes a place where that community can come together and enjoy one aspect of their connection, your music.
You Need To Engage Your Community
Once you have found out which interests are shared with yourself and your audience, don’t treat your social media as a one way street. Ask questions, seek your community’s opinions and thoughts. Start topics where community contributions are encouraged.
If you and your audience are into craft beer, you could ask “What is the best IPA you’ve ever had?”, “What is the most expensive drink you’ve ever bought?” “Where was the roughest drinking establishment you had the misfortune to step into!?”.
Listen to your audience, reply to their answers, make them feel valued. Everyone wants to be listened to, not ignored. Comment on people’s replies. Here’s a question I raised on my band’s Twitter account recently.
It was a food topic that was part of my brand. Everyone could contribute to the topic.
Give Your Community A Name
Justin has his ‘Beliebers’, Gaga has her ‘Little Monsters’, you should have your own name for your audience as well. It helps set them apart from non fans and is a good practice.
Give Them Their Own Space
Facebook is pushing the use of ‘Groups’ at the moment where users can create communities of users separate from a main Facebook page. You can use Facebook groups to create a community of ‘superfans’ where you can give special attention to the people who really love what you do.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?