First, know that a large, sincerely devoted fanbase doesn’t happen overnight but the best part about this program is that you can start with just a hand full of dedicated Mega fans and grow from there.
Remember our first goal is just 1,000 Mega fans.
With this goal in mind, let's look at past socialmedia drivensuccesses and learn how to make these strategies work for you.
Every popular artist that launches out of their micro-niche has a few things in common: clarity, consistency, authenticity and gratitude.
These are the 4 qualities your music brand needs to build a loyal fanbase.
Clarity in branding means the clearness or accuracy in the message for your product (you and your music).
Look at artists like Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Beyonce, Drake. The list goes on and on. It really doesn't matter which famous artist becomes your example because they all are doing this exact same thing.
You know exactly what you’re getting when you look at these artists' album cover or click on a music video.
The idea of who each artist is is crystal clear. There is no hidden talent nor any question about who they are. That makes it easy for fans to connect with them.
Taylor is a girl’s girl who’s had her heart broken (one too) many times. Minaj is an over-the-top rap icon and sex symbol. Their music conveys this, followed by their image and manner of dress.
Rihanna is another perfect example. Her sexuality and attitude are big parts of her brand.
If you’re in a rock band, you can’t bounce from eyeliner and dyed, hair one week, to looking like a pop boy band the next.
Consistency in brand comes from knowing yourself and knowing your audience.
Knowing your audience is an important part of your branding and social media strategies. You need to understand what part of your skills and story resonate with your audience best.
Knowing yourself, on the other hand, is an important part of keeping the music, brand, and message consistent. If you don't start with the truth, you will never be able to build consistency.
Plus without really knowing what your story as an artist is, you’re going to lack the third thing you need to build a following: authenticity.
Would Beyonce’s Lemonade have been as ground-breaking if we didn’t believe Bey actually felt so betrayed? If the hot sauce-in-the-purse and braid-wearing came off as fake or forced, the album wouldn’t be the same. And while the Queen probably doesn’t carry around some Tabasco in her Louis Vuitton, she seems like the type of woman who might or could have done so. That’s important. It separates her music and brand from artists whose rebranding efforts aren’t as strong.
Now let's look at the final piece of the puzzle...
You must always focus on giving your fans the gratitude they deserve.
Gratitude is actually what you crave on social media when you are looking for a like, a play, a share, and a purchase so let's give fans exactly what you expect from them in return.
Taylor Swift has a massive fan base because she’s mastered the one skill most people spend their lives ignoring: gratitude.
She expresses gratitude with consistency and focus. She uses the words “thank you” more than any other phrase in her vocabulary and she goes out of her way to show her fans how grateful she is for their love and support.
A couple of years ago, Swift held a meet-and-greet for her fans where she stayed for 13 hours and met every single person who showed up to see her. Thirteen hours! How many celebrities do you think would do something like that?
She invites super fans to her home for parties and sends them surprise messages on social media. This is all part of what makes Swift special and what makes her fans love her and support her.
I’m not saying you have to be the kind of brand who invites fans to your home, I’m just demonstrating the extreme ways that artists are going out of their way to show appreciation.
1. Go above and beyond … and then go another mile
Mega fans will follow you anywhere if you always meet them halfway. When someone comments on your social media post, answer them back with something of value. Strike up a conversation and visit their page when you can.
Thank them for coming to a show or being there for your live stream. Treat every fan like they are golden and they will be there for you.
"I’m always gonna wanna go the extra mile for my fans because I can’t believe the extra thousand miles they’re going for me every day,” Swift said in the HUB Network documentary series, Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless.
If you want to grow your fan base, you have to figure out where your fans are and meet them there. Find ways to go above and beyond for them.
If your fans are all hanging out on Instagram, that’s where you need to be.
Host a series of live streams and leave personal messages for them on IGTV and in stories.
Invite them to join in on post discussions or tag them on something they may like.
Randomly record a personal message Dm for Mega Fans who keep showing up for you.
Post special content you only share in that one place and talk about it everywhere.
Host special live streaming events for fans on your social media page and then leave a special gift for them on your website and in your newsletter.
Go out of your way to show your fans you appreciate each and every one of them.
This doesn't need to be done in one night of course, but you can certainly honor everyone over time and also come up with special experiences that resonate with those who are your Mega Fans.
The more you do this, the bigger and faster your fan base will grow.
Reward your super-fans
Swift wanted a way to thank her super-fans, so she put together a T Party event that would happen after the show every night she was on tour. Each night during the concert, her crew went out into the crowd to find the craziest Taylor fans and give them passes to the T Party.
When the show was finished, the super-fans went backstage to the T Party area, which was a Moroccan-style tent set up like a living room with ping pong, TV, and pizza. Swift showed up shortly after the guests arrived to hang out, meet everyone, sign autographs, and thank them for being there.
“The T Party is a way for me to get to meet people after the show … who I just felt so grateful to have on my side. The T Party room gives me an opportunity to say that to them and to give them a hug,” Swift said in the same documentary series.
This is probably not necessary for you as of yet unless you are planning an awesome release party or perhaps you have fans who try to follow you from venue to venue locally.
You can plan special online experiences easily with a little imagination using the helpful tools that social media offers.
If an album or song is resonating with people, then you could..
Tell your super fans that you are going to perform a 20-minute live set on Instagram on a set date just for them as a personal thank you for helping to share your music with a wider audience.
If a fan says they can't make it out to your gigs, what are telling them that you are setting up a special live stream of the next gig just so they don't have to miss it. Then mention their name on the live stream or make a sign with your Mega fans usernames on it.
Give the Mega Fans a special uncut version of your song before it’s released.
Record a special video or audio message for your super fans then send it to your email list with a special thank you letter telling them how they make you feel and when you noticed them. Mention names.
These efforts mean so much. The important thing is that you make them feel special, noticed and valued.
Do you have super-fans?
You know, the people who buy everything you put out there and will drive a ridiculous distance to see you perform?
Do they share your music or make special banners or fan pages for you?
Show your super-fans how much they mean to you by personally reaching out to them and offering up something of value like a signed copy of your CD, a digitally signed image.
When you show your fans and especially your Mega Fans—how much they mean to you, you’re stoking the fire of building an incredible fan base and when you do it publically, your breeding more Mega Fans.
Find ways to surprise people
How do you show up for your fans?
Is there a way you can surprise them?
One way Swift showed fans how much they mean to her during her “Fearless” tour was she would pop up at the back of the arena during the intermission of the show and play one of her songs on the landing of the stairs, surrounded by fans who weren’t able to get seats up front.
Then she’d continue the show for a little while on a stage near the back of the arena before eventually going back to the front stage. She did this so the “worst seats in the house became the best seats in the house.”
For example, if you’re on a blog book tour, do your reading, sign autographs, and then invite everyone who showed up to meet you at a restaurant nearby for dinner. Bonus if you pay for everyone’s meal.
There are literally thousands of ways you can go out of your way to make your fans feel loved and appreciated. Practice gratitude in your life and in your business, and in no time you’ll be on your way to growing a fan base filled with amazing Mega Fans.
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