Every musician needs to build a community.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a struggling artist trying to promote on a budget, or a veteran in the music business, anyone can benefit from building a community.
The future for marketing will be in community building. And, the type of community artists need to build needs to be online.
Having the internet gives you distribution power. You don’t need a label to do your marketing or distribute your music. What’s great about a community is they can help you both distribute your music via social media and word of mouth.
Before building a community though, you need to understand it takes a lot of time to build one if you’re a new artist. Think of an online community as a long-term asset. You’re planning for the long game when building a community.
How do I build a community?
There are different platforms you can use to do this. The first way you can build a community is through your own website.
Start with your own website because you can put whatever you want on there. No one can take it down beside yourself, and you aren’t limited to censorship or other rules.
You can also build an email list which is another asset you can build. This allows you to bring your community back whenever you want. Just don’t spam people with useless information, you need to actually provide a lot of value in each email or else people won’t open it.
If you can’t get people to your site, we recommend trying another platform where people have experience, like Discord, Instagram, etc.
Another place you can build a community is Discord. This is a great place to build a community because there are a lot of tools you can use to moderate.
There are what are called “bots” that can censor language and prevent people from attacking each other. There are a lot of bots on Discord that can do many things. It’s important to not have too many though, or else it clogs up your community.
Building a community on Discord lets you get more personal with fans too. Letting fans message you and you responding allows you to build a connection with them. Another byproduct is they’ll build relationships with other people. This will make them want to stick around longer.
If this seems like too much work, you can also build an audience on Instagram.
Instagram is no secret for artists. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t mention it. It’s a great platform for connecting with fans. You have tools like stories and Instagram Live for fans to see your daily routine or see you work behind the scenes.
And, you obviously have pictures and videos you can post too. Instagram has a lot of users which means you shouldn’t have a problem building a community there. Having a platform with a lot of users means other people can discover your work.
To optimize for Instagram, make it a priority to engage with your followers. Treat it as a community and you can have a lifelong fan if you just take the time to respond.
One downside you have to watch out for is ownership. If you have a good community on Instagram, figure out how you can take them to a platform where you have more ownership. One day you might wake up and your page could be gone without explanation. Instagram usually doesn’t do this unless it’s really bad, but, it’s better to be safe.
When building an online community
You need to prioritize the platform you choose to build a community by ownership. This is why we started out with websites. You have full ownership of a website.
Another key thing to question is which platform serves you the best. A musician can do great on YouTube, but you can’t connect with the fans as well in comparison to another platform like Discord. Understand what you need, and understand your audience.
Whichever platform you choose, take the time to cultivate a community. Not only will they help you with distribution, but you get a good understanding of what type of person likes your music. Building a community is something every musician should focus on if they want to build relationships with their fans.