All artists might already be swimming in the social media sea; they have already befriended thousands upon thousands of people on MySpace and Facebook. Moreover, they are already spamming every denizen on the web with posts and message about how great they are and how people should vote for them on the latest Facebook competition. Somehow all those people who think this is the way to deal with social media are mistaken. They tend to miss the point completely.
An up and coming artist will need to work hard on earning their true fans. Even 1,000 true fans is great and will be able to sustain the artist on a pretty good living standard. That might be a surprise, but a true fan is the person who will not only buy the artist’s work, they will buy the special editions, attend the gigs and if, given the opportunity, would buy the kitchen sink as well. So, if we say that a true fan will contribute a $100 of their income per year towards that artist, the artist will be making a $100,000 a year.
So how to earn those true fans?
Tip 1: Do the basics
- Create a website for yourself.
- Create an email subscription list for the fans to be notified with your updates.
- Go ahead and create profiles on all the social media sites.
- Create a Google alert for your name.
- Reply to messages and comments you receive.
- Keep it all fresh.
This is the least that an artist can do to have a presence in social media. In a medium that is defined by noise, you have to be louder and clearer than the others to get through to your audience. In order to have a shot at doing that, the basics need to be done well.
Tip 2: Siphon the conversation to your own website
Link all your profiles to your website and advertise the special features and privileges available exclusively on your site.
The point is to get the maximum number of die hard fans to interact with each other and with the artist. This way they will develop a sense of belonging to a bigger group of people and they might inspire the artist by the projects they do on their own. Allow them to own a piece of the website and contribute to it, we are all curators on the web.
Tip 3: Find your niche and embrace it
If your art speaks loudly to a group of people or a niche, reach out to them on their own turf. If you create art that appeals to ballet dancers for instance, go ahead and let them know who you are on the (inter)mission. If you think your music is a mix between christian rock and goth music, then by all means give Christian Goths a shot. In general, Ning tends to be quite a good place to start looking for your niche.
Tip 4: Get Personal
It’s one thing for your fans to love your work, but it takes their love to all new heights if they feel they know the real you. When an artist gets personal on his space, it will give dimension to his/her art; by talking about where the artist comes from, what’s on his mind, and what he is up to, a personal bond between the fans and their idol will be developed. Use podcasts, videos, photos, and blog posts; it will keep the content fresh and give the fans a reason to keep to come back and interact with others on the site. It might turn into another source of income as well, Kevin Smith’s blog was so adorable and loved by fans that he collected his best posts about nothing into a best selling book.
Tip 5: Collaborate
It has never been a better time for collaborations. The artist is no longer restricted by medium or border, some of the most interesting web collaborations have been the least likely ones. By collaborating you are exposing your art to a completely different fan base and you never know, it might sit with them well enough for them to turn into true fans as well.
If you are an artist, we would like to hear from you how do you use the web? As a fan, how do you discover new artists? Let us know your side of the story.