1. Ask more questions
When you want a response from someone, you ask a question, and it’s no different with social media. We’re all guilty of posting statements on social media and wondering why no one is commenting or replying. You can actually revamp most of your regular social media posts to include a question every now and then. Instead of saying, “I have a gig this weekend,” post something like, “I have a gig this weekend! What are your plans for the weekend?” In this case, you’re still getting the information out, but you’re doing it in a more engaging way.
Try out this strategy: Instead of just posting a new cover song to YouTube, try to get your fans guessing what song it will be. To make it more fun, tease a few hints to keep the conversation going. To help drive responses, you could turn it into a contest. Offer the first person to guess correctly a Skype call or a privately streamed concert.
2. Give shout-outs to specific fans
A lot of fans will want to get to know you, but if you take the time to get to know them, it can make a huge impression. You don’t need to know their whole life story, and you don’t need to spend hours talking to them on the phone, but if you spend just a few minutes each day learning something about them, it could mean the world to your fans.
As we saw above, contests can be a great way to incentivize people to share, but contest prizes don’t have to cost you a fortune. Try asking your fans to share your page in exchange for a special message directly from you. For everyone who shares, go over to their Twitter page, find something out about them, and send a picture or video with a personal message.
You could also use a similar strategy for your cover songs. While you should be covering popular songs to attract new fans, you can also use covers to build a more personal relationship with your fans. Simply ask your fans what their favorite song is, make a list, and be sure to note the fan’s name associated with each song. As you make your way through the list, give your fans a shout-out in the video.
3. Get fans involved in your creative process
Creativity is a very personal thing. It comes from within you as an artist, and it’s important that you make creative decisions yourself. But it can be fun, energizing, and motivating to involve your fans in the creative process. Not to mention it also gives fans a really unique and powerful experience to see their thoughts become a creative work.
Social media is an amazing tool for real-time, direct feedback, and you can use that to create a fan-sourced song. Ask your fans which title they like best, which lyric line they prefer for the chorus, or their opinions on certain topics from the song. You could even create polls in Google Forms to keep track of your fans’ answers. Obviously, you shouldn’t do this for every song, but it can be a fun way to get your fans involved and challenge yourself creatively every now and then.
If you’d like more strategies like these, you can download this ebook for free. It will take you through some of the best strategies for indie musicians to help you grow your fanbase and your career.
And now for Beat & 3 from the fabulous Rich Eckhardt.
I’ve seen it over and over and over. Don’t play bored and don’t play busy! Some of the best musicians of all time are just as well known for what they don’t play as for what they do play. When Dire Straits exploded on to the scene with their 1978 hit Sultans of Swing all the scuttlebutt was about what Mark Knopfler didn’t play rather than what he did. Breaks, rests and laying out aren’t your enemy. Think of them as a way to add emphasis to what you are playing rather than feeling like you’re being underutilized by not playing.
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