We all know that building a fanbase is one of the hardest things for a new indie band to do. In today’s world it is no longer just make great music and the fans will come. There is too much competition. Not only in other bands, but in other entertainment opportunities. Let’s face facts, people do not just go to the clubs anymore without knowing which bands are even playing, hoping to find a gem. Many music fans will just sit on their computer, home alone, scour the internet, and listen to music in the comfort of thier own computer chair. This is the curse (of the otherwise great for indie bands) internet!
The main purpose of this article is to identify potential new fans. Take a listen to your music and try to identify the perfect fan. Why do they want to be a fan of your music? This is where you will find your target audience.
Take a good look at the current fans that you do have. What similarities do they have? Are they tattooed or muscular or shy? Where do they hang out when not at one of your shows? What other bands do they listen to? What do they do with their free time? These are the questions to ask yourself, and if possible, ask the current fans that you can speak with. They will be more than happy to answer your questions and in fact will feel special that you considered them important enough to value their answers. This is where you build a strong artist-fan relationship. Put them to work for you.
Using these answers determine ways to find people similar to your current fans that have not had a chance to hear your music yet. Find the niches where you will find these new fans. Define your buying audience as narrowly as possible. If many of your fans have tattoos, go to some local tattoo shops and speak with people there, especially the people that work there. Maybe the shop would play your CD in the store. Maybe you can play a show right in the shop to benefit both the tattoo parlor and your band. Find opportunities where everybody wins.
Now find media outlets that cater to your target fan. Which magazines or websites do your potential fans read? It does not have to be a music related media outlet, in fact it is better if it is not. This will make for less musical competition in getting your band featured in that magazine or website. Find the editors of these media outlets and pitch them your music. Have a story and explain how your band could be a benefit to them. Tell them many of your fans speak very highly of their articles and suggested you approach the magazine/website for a feature article. It is much easier than you think.
The bottom line is that there are opportunities to find many new fans in places besides the venue you play your Saturday night gig at. Use these sources and alternative venues to reach these fans and turn them on to your music. Then they will be at your next Saturday night gig and you will build the buzz you have been trying to.