The 2nd main reason it’s hard to draw new fans revolves around the word “Perception”. Perception includes, in part, the Artist’s perception or view of their “job”, and how it affects the potential fans perception of the “Unsigned Artists Scene”.
Now, let me say here, the problem of perception and the answers to this problem do not lie totally on the Artist’s shoulders, but also fall on the Artists’ Managers, Venues, Promoters and Fans, which I will also cover later and throughout…
It should be made clear here, that Artists should still care about attracting both the over 21 crowd as well as the younger potential fans. For everyone, even those over 21, there is still the need to discover something new and different, something “to do” that people will know will at least be a lot of fun; an escape.
And one main perception problem I see with Artists is that most do not think about, or they have a very narrow slant on: “The Big Picture”. Too many Artists believe their job is to just write and learn songs, practice them, go out and sing and play them.
An Artist’s actual performance aim should be to entertain people, to help people escape from reality, that is, to help them forget about their busy and/or crazy and/or problematic and/or boring life, to grab them and take them with the Artist on a mini-vacation - that both the Artists and the Fans will remember even after they leave the show…
So, I have the following questions for you Artists:
1. “Why should your potential fans really want to come to your shows – even if they knew you existed?”
2. “When they DO get to see you, what will make them not only want to see you again, but also want to buy your CDs and Merchandise?” And…
3. “Will they love you so much that they will desire to tell others, through word-of-mouth, print, internet or however, “You Gotta See This Band!” ?
Yes, what are YOU, the Musical Artist/Group/Band offering them that’s special and really stands out? What is so unique about you that can grab their attention and keep them as fans.
Well folks, with the advent of all this computer and networking technology, you’re not only competing with a ton of other Artists, you’re also competing with quite a few other forms of diversions, entertainment and escapism.
Now, let’s not forget, there’s always the basics, because as they say, “You can’t polish shit….” You obviously have to be talented as Songwriters and Artists…
But when you practice, what else are you doing besides learning songs? Whether you know it or not, you are developing [hopefully] your own “Sound”. A Sound that [hopefully] makes you sound like YOU, and no one else. That when you hear the first 15 seconds of a Performance, you are not just grabbed in, but they also know who you are!
Your Sound makes up one integral part of your overall “Image”. And, your image is a major point to consider and develop. Your image could be described as: What you play, the way you play it, the way you come across to people, and the way you look.
Therefore, although during practice music is usually the main area of concentration, there are other just as important considerations that most Musicians don’t think about. For example, does your Group look “wasted”, dead, or very much alive? What does your equipment look and sound like? What kind of relationship do you wish to develop with your audience? Are you just Singing and Playing, or Performing, communicating with your audience and drawing them in to you?
Simply put, what will affect your potential fans perception of you? That once they know you exist they will talk about you to no end.
But there’s one more very important Perception Factor that must be overcome that is necessary to draw your potential fans out of the closet so that you actually have the chance to give them a chance to get to know and love you…
Stay tuned for Part 3…
David J. Spangenberg
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