[This article was written by Dave Kusek, founder of the New Artist Model, an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers, and songwriters. He is also the founder of Berklee Online, co-author of The Future of Music book, and a member of the team who brought midi to the market.]
Today, there are countless ways to get your music out there. Simply putting your music up on YouTube, Facebook, or an internet radio will help fuel organic discovery. However, as you probably already know, this process can be slow and tedious. You may only reach a few new people and these impressions are often one-off with no opportunity to reconnect. For the most part, these platforms excel at keeping your current fans informed and engaged, but when it comes to actually growing your fanbase they tend to be more of a passive approach.
If you want to get more fans, you need to be taking a more active approach. Fluence is a platform that allows you to actively submit your music and videos to influencers and curators for feedback. If they like your music, they may share with their following or give you a great opportunity to be featured on their blog or play a show.
I’ll be hosting a free webinar with Shamal Ranasinghe, founder of Fluence, on Thursday, January 29th at 1PM EST. We’ll take you behind the scenes and even show you some strategies artists are using to grow their fanbase and get new opportunities with Fluence. I hope you’ll join in the webinar live or signup to watch the replay, but for now, let’s take a look at 5 ways to actively grow your fanbase.
1. Get your Music in Front of Relevant Influencers
Despite all the online tools for mass marketing, the music industry is not a mass-email business. Influential industry people and music curators like DJs and bloggers are constantly inundated with emails from artists pitching their music, so if you want to be successful your outreach needs to be personalized and authentic. This means doing your research, writing personal messages, and only sending your music to people who would actually be interested in hearing it.
Fluence allows you to sort through all the influencers on the platform to find people that are already predisposed to like your style of music. You can sort by their genre preference and then choose to send your music to only radio DJs or music supervisors. This more curated approach will increase your likelihood of success.
2. Get Feedback from Experienced Professionals
No matter how many of these strategies you use, if the quality isn’t there you’ll have a hard time getting more fans. Especially when you’re in the early stages of your career, getting the songwriting, recording, and mix perfect can be difficult, and it really takes years and years of experience to get right. Any successful artist in the industry will tell you that the fastest way to learn and improve is to get feedback from people with more experience.
With Fluence, you can send your music to experienced music industry professionals for feedback. You only need to head over to the Fluence platform to see just how detailed this feedback can be. Producers and engineers can tell you about little tweaks that could make a world of a difference in your sound, and publishers can help you out on the songwriting, lyrics, and arrangement.
3. Get Your Music to a Relevant Audience
Sharing your music with anyone and everyone won’t get you very far. After all, people generally have pretty specific musical tastes. Instead, you want to get your music in front of an audience that is already inclined to like it.
Music industry influencers and curators tend to have a fairly niche audience. For example, a radio DJ at an EDM station will be followed by people who like EDM, and a music blogger focused on progressive rock will have a similarly niche following. With this in mind, if an influencer shares your music after finding it on Fluence, you have a much better chance of resonating with their audience.
4. Harness the Power of a Trusted Recommendation
Every day we receive more product recommendations than we can process, and often our minds automatically block them out. To avoid being overwhelmed, we tend to put more weight on recommendations we get from trusted sources – be it friends, family, our favorite blogger, or an influential music industry professional.
Influencers and curators on Fluence are trusted sources for their following. People are more likely to give your music a chance if they see their favorite blogger send out a tweet than if they simply stumbled upon it while browsing the internet. This means that Fluence can help you make a much bigger impression on an audience.
5. Use Your Connections to Get Great Opportunities
As we saw above, the music business is a really personal industry, and often your opportunities will come from the connections you make. On top of that, opportunities like getting your music played on the radio or featured in a show or movie can put you in front of a new audience of potential fans. Although Fluence influencers are not paid to share your music with their following, if they like your sound enough they likely end up doing so.
Fluence artist Zach Hurd got his music played on an LA radio station and performed at a show in Hollywood after he connected with Valida Carroll, a DJ at KCRW and host of the “Desert Nights” series. Similarly, CMBSTN, an indie group out of Sweden, was featured on many music blogs after they were discovered on Fluence.
As you can see, Fluence can open up some incredible opportunities for independent artists, but there’s even more to the platform than I covered in this article. We will lay all of this out and more in a FREE webinar with Shamal Ranasinghe of Fluence. He’ll be giving you a behind the scenes look at Fluence. I hope you’ll join us and get the specific strategies you need to start growing your fanbase and getting great opportunities.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can create a plan for success for your band or career, check out the New Artist Model, the alternative online business school for independent musicians, songwriters, producers, managers and new businesses.