How To Build A Fanbase From Scratch

To grow your fanbase as an independent, you'll need to have a social media, Spotify and live show strategy. We explain what to do and how to do it.

How To Gain More Fans As An Artist?

Your #1 job as an independent artist is to build a fanbase for your music.

Why? Because without fans, your music will not be valued and you won't get opportunities to perform live or go on tour.

We aren't going to sugar coat this for you. You will not be able to avoid building a fanbase and that should be your focus after producing your first song.

Think of growing your fanbase similar to a business marketing their goods or services. Without marketing, you won't make enough revenue and without a fanbase, you won't make money from your music.

And if you don't make money from your music, it's just hobby!

How Do I Grow My Music Fanbase?

If you're just starting out, you probably have no fans or have friends and family who love your music. That's ok, most artists start with the people closest to them.

But, eventually you'll need to find fans outside of your close network so that you can continue to grow as an artist.

This is because your family and friends will eventually drop off a little and will listen to your music less and go to your live shows less frequently.

The best way to grow your fanbase is to stay in front of their face (we call this "face-time") so that they remember you and your music.

To stay in front of their face, you should post different types of content online on different platforms and perform live at least once a quarter.

How To Build A Fanbase On Social Media?

grow Spotify monthly listeners

Social media is very saturated now. In the early days, it was a lot easier to get noticed.

But now, you'll need to consistent put out great content for months or years before building a huge following.

Each platform also has its unique algorithm which makes it even harder to dominate them all.

Try to focus your attention on the platform that is easier for you to maintain consistency whether that's Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter... etc.

Instagram

  • IG is a very visual content platform. Post great photos, videos, add music and tag people to interact with your post.

TikTok

  • TikTok is short form video. The best content is show clips of entertaining dances, skits and jokes.

Twitter

  • Twitter is all about interacting with others and posting content that educates, entertains or shocks people.

YouTube

  • YT is great for longer form videos, educational content, mini documentaries and personal vlogs.

Facebook

  • Can't believe your using this! But it's community-based and word of mouth can be great when posting your content.

How Do I Grow My Fanbase On TikTok?

You'll need to be careful of TikTok because it can make you go viral instantly with a 10 second clip of your song but you may not be able to harness it.

There are many artists that struggle to take advantage of TikTok virality and end up fading away once the views disappear.

Vox released a documentary on YouTube about what happens when songs go viral and if these artists become famous or sign a record deal.

They looked at data of songs that went viral in 2020 (about 1,500 songs) and determined if the top songs on Spotify were from new artists or established ones.

After narrowing down the list to 120 artists that went viral on TikTok in 2020, they looked at a cohort to see what happened when they went viral.

  • viral songs do correlate with a huge spike in Spotify streaming of that song
  • you're more likely to be playlisted if your song goes viral on TikTok
  • you're other songs are more likely to be added to a Spotify playlist

85/15 split record deal

As you can see, TikTok has a huge influence on what music is listened to today and plays a big part in music culture.

To grow your fanbase on TikTok is a numbers game. You'll need to produce enough content (videos with your music) and hope that one of your songs goes viral.

Will I Get A Record Deal If My Song Goes Viral?

It's more likely today than ever before to be offered a record deal if you have a song that went viral.

Record labels today basically sit on top of Spotify and watch it like a hawk. They want to be the first to notice a song go viral and try to find the artist who made that song.

They may offer you a $1 million dollar deal for that song. Now, if you received $50,000 from Spotify streaming your song then $42,500 would go to the label and you get to keep $7.500!

This is an 85/15 split in favor of the record labels. This is why we always recommend artists to stay independent and own everything.

How Do Rappers Build A Fanbase?

Before songs were pirated when CDs were popular, artists would sell their music directly to their fans hand-to-hand.

Sounds crazy right? If you're under 30 this is pretty ridiculous and super manual. But it worked.

Now, you'll need to harness the power of social media to help build your brand and get an audience.

The option of going on tour to build your fanbase is out of reach for almost all independent artists. This is because the live music industry still has gatekeepers.

This is what Qoncert is trying to change by opening up live music touring for local independent artists without labels, managers, booking agents.

Can I Build A Fanbase As A Touring Musician?

Live touring musicians build a fanbase

Yes, but the hard part is getting live shows. As a new artist that doesn't have a huge fanbase most booking agents and venues won't take a chance on you.

Think about it, they want their venue packed full of people and if they have no proof you can bring 200, 300, or 500 people it's unlikely you'll get through that door.

Another option is to buy onto a tour and this can work really well. We've worked with an artist that paid $10,000 to get on a 20 date tour and it helped him but he couldn't harness it.

Why? Because he didn't have the marketing machine behind him to take advantage of the exposure.

To build a fanbase by touring you'll need to have a strategy of getting in front of new fans, collecting their contact info, engage with those fans and monetizing them in some way.

This is really hard for an independent artist to do all on their own which is why it's important to have a team helping you from the ground up.

How To Get 1,000 True Fans?

You've probably heard the saying "all you need is 1,000 true fans to pay you $100 and you'll make $100,000 a year."p

Yes, this is true but do you know how hard it is get just one person to part ways with a $100 dollar bill? Really fucking hard.

So it sounds great but making it happen takes a lot of work. I've seen a number of artists successfully do this and they were spending most of their days doing the following:

  • creating content for multiple social platforms
  • commenting and replying to comments
  • working with other artists
  • live streaming and connecting with fans over video
  • producing new songs weekly/monthly

If you can't (or won't) keep this type of work ethic going, don't even bother trying! It takes real work and dedication even when things aren't going so well.

What Is The Best Platform To Build A Fanbase?

The social platform you choose will depend on your personality.

Are you outgoing? Maybe you'd be better at TikTok or Instagram where you can be on video and post new photos daily.

Are you an introvert/ Maybe Twitter posts are easier for you and starting a podcast where you don't have to be on video.

Are you a great video editor? Maybe YouTube is your thing where you can create highly edited and entertaining videos.

It all depends on what you prefer and can continue to work on when things get tough. And they will get tough!

Perform Live
Tour Independently

Download the Qoncert app to find local shows in your city to perform, gain new fans and make serious money. 🎤🤘🏽🔥

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