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Wednesday
Feb122014

How to Find Your Audience: A Step-by-step Guide for Musicians (Plus a FREE Template)

Who do you make music for?

Is it just for yourself?

If you’re happy if no one (outside of your family…) ever hears what you create, that’s great - you can stop reading now.

But in my experience, most creators want to be recognized for their art.

So if you want find and grow your audience, be recognized for what you create, and make money as an artist, you need to think about WHO your music is for.

Unfortunately, this is something most independent musicians don’t do.

They make music for “anyone who wants to hear it”, which quickly turns into making music that no one ever hears (or cares to listen to…).

Don’t make this mistake.

Just take the time to answer this basic question:

Who Are Your Fans?

And the best way to answer it, is by creating a fan profile.

The goal is to uncover what your fans have in common and why they (should) care about what you do.

Here’s how you do it:

Collect Some Basic Facts And Fan Interests

First, collect some basic facts about your fans, like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location

This kind of information doesn’t tell you that much about your fans yet. BUT it might turn out to be useful, so you should be aware of it - write it down!

Next, think of your fans’ interests:

  • What other bands do they like?
  • What’s their favorite magazine?
  • What type of movies do they like?
  • Do they watch sports?
  • Do they follow MMA?
  • Where do they buy clothes?
  • Do they have tattoos?
  • Do they love to go out, drink and party?

When you think about your fans’ interests, make sure to think OUTSIDE of music:

Non-music interests are a great way to target and reach your audience. They’re also a powerful way to connect and build a relationship with your fans (think: fashion, design, humor, sports).

Use what you collect as a source of inspiration for creating engaging content that will get attention from the people you actually want to reach.

Dig Deeper: What Do They Really Want?

If you want to dig deeper, ask yourself WHY your target audience cares about the things they do.

To find out what really motivates them, answer the following questions:

  • How do they like to view themselves?
  • How do they want to be perceived by others?
  • How did they grow up?
  • What are their beliefs about the world?
  • What is their attitude towards…
  • What do they want to achieve in their life?

Answer these types of questions and you’ll gain valuable insights to help you build a more engaged, supportive and loyal fan base.

Just take a look at this comment on Iggy Azalea’s YouTube channel and you’ll see what I mean:

“Who cares if this song sucks, it’s message is inspiring! She moved to the other side of the world, had no money, she knew no one, and she made a fucking career from nothing”

To turn casual listeners into loyal supporters, figure out what it is they really want. And then engage them with an inspiring story that taps into their beliefs and aspirations.

Useful Tools

First of all, it’s important you capture and WRITE down what you discover (you can download my ready-made template)

But how do you answer all of these questions?

While some of your answers might very well be intuitive - or come from simply asking your existing fans - I suggest you do some research, too.

Here are my favorite tools:

1. Facebook Graph Search

Facebook is a powerful research tool to discover your fans’ shared interests. Check it out - type something like this into your Facebook search bar:

  • “Pages liked by fans of Machine Gun Kelly who live in San Diego”
  • “Movies liked by fans of Umphrey’s McGee”
  • “Favorite interests of fans of Bora York”
  • “Websites liked by fans of Haim”

Pretty cool…

2. Beluga Analytics

Beluga is Grooveshark’s open analytics platform.

The service is great to research fan demographics like age, gender and location. But a lot of other interesting information about lifestyles and music habits is available, too.

3. Twitter Search And YouTube Comments

Finally, I recommend searching on Twitter (or a service like Topsy) and reading comments on YouTube.

Read through the Tweets and comments and notice how fans talk about their most loved - or most hated - artists.

Chances are you’ll stumble on some marketing gold, like the Iggy Azalea comment above.

Why Am I Doing All Of This, Again?

What makes the world go around - and the dollars circulate - are our differences in tastes, opinions, beliefs, skills etc.

That’s why…

“The key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

(Ha, I had no idea this quote is credited to Bill Cosby. If you agree, Tweet it!)

So don’t make music for just “anyone who wants to listen”. Take the time to describe who your music is for.

Seriously, do this now! Just write it out on a piece of paper or use my ready-made template.

So who are YOUR fans?

Leave a comment and share your findings

 

***

Hi, I’m Lukas and I have two passions in life: music and marketing. If you’re a talented musician, I want to help you reach and engage more fans - with proven marketing strategies - so that you can have a successful career in music.

***

How to Find Your Audience: A Step-by-step Guide for Musicians (Plus a FREE Template)

Reader Comments (2)

This is very informational... I learn everyday... But this one points out this that I'm doing good and not doing... Just signed up for the Template... Looking forward to it..

February 13 | Unregistered CommenterSir Ace

This post was very interesting and useful. Following comments on YouTube and Twitter I would have never done that. THanks

July 19 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

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