a music fanbase at a live show

16 ways to build a music fanbase

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I watched over 50 YouTube videos on how to expand your music fanbase and summarized all of them in these rapid-fire tips. Let’s get to it.

Ready to build a music fanbase? These 16 tips offer a great place to start.

1. Have a clear vision

Do you want to blow up your fanbase just so you can be insta-famous or are you doing this for the love of your music and a love of a cause so you can make the world a better place? The latter is a better recipe for a long music career.

2. Target your market

Don’t just jump in and hope that you land in the right place. Learn how to identify and then carefully target your market so you get in front of the people who want to hear you. Do not preach to the wrong church. This takes a lot of work, but it will help to increase your fan base dramatically.

3. Study your competition

You need to understand you competition. One way to do this is study someone who has blown up on social media and figure out the things they did right and emulate them. Also note the things they didn’t do so you can develop your own competitive advantage and uniqueness.

4. Set measurable goals

Going from 0 to 100 followers on Instagram in 30 days is a very specific, measurable goal that can motivate you. You can manage your progress and adjust immediately if you’re not exactly on course. This is an example of a good, measurable goal.

5. Work on your brand

You need to get your music tight. All your social media banners need to be consistent and look good. You need an interesting and compelling narrative about yourself to get people to care. First impressions really do matter in building a strong fanbase.

6. Post great content

Don’t just throw up social media content for the hell of it. Make sure it serves a benefit to your audience — it entertains them, makes them laugh, educates them, etc. Also, provide high-quality graphics and video, and make sure you’re native to the platform. For example, on Facebook, don’t just post a link back to YouTube — actually embed the video into Facebook, because the algorithms like that better and you’ll grow a lot faster.

7. Don’t oversell

If you are always pushing for a sale, you’ll get stale real quick. Establish a nice balance between give and take and your fans are going to appreciate you much more.

8. Establish a smart keyword and hashtag strategy

Don’t just go for the most competitive hashtags — you’re just going to get buried. There’s a great browser extension called TubeBuddy that can help.

9. Be consistent on social

Disc Makers guide to Making A Great MasterIf you want to grow, you have to do this daily. Some people say you have to post twice a day on Instagram, you have to do at least four reels per week, you have to do one story every single day, and you have to do an IGTV at least once a week. That’s a lot, and whether you follow something that intense or not, you have to establish a consistent routine with your social activity.

10. Maximize your efforts

You need to learn how to take the content you create for one channel and repurpose it in a way that’s native to other platforms. You can also get brand partners to post your content on their sites as well or get fans to create content to post on their platforms.

11. Engage with your fans

You have to respond to every single comment and like on your socials. You also have to reach out and take the initiative and try to start a conversation with other people by posting on their socials as well. If you’re not talking, you’re not building.

12. Create super-fans

This can be done by doing something extra special for a couple of your biggest fans. Give them backstage access, let them come up on stage and play with you — or call them on the phone. This can turn fans into evangelists who will spread the word and help you grow your fanbase.

13. Get controversial

Controversy gets people talking. Just be careful not to piss off the wrong people, because that could have the opposite effect.

14. Advertise

Invest a little bit of money into Facebook and Instagram boosts. Even $5 a day can help build your fanbase. Be sure to have strong headlines and strong calls to actions. Over time, you’ll get better at advertising and your advertising costs will go down and you’ll reach more people.

15. Collaborate

By collaborating with other artists, you get access to their fanbases, and they get access to yours. You can do this by playing shows together, writing songs together — there are many ways to collaborate.

16. Leverage your surfaces

Post your website URL and your social handles everywhere. Your website should link to your socials, your socials should link to your website, and you should display all of it when you’re performing live. If you want people to become part of your tribe, they have to know how to find you.

Did I say 16 tips? I actually cover 33 in this video! Check it out.

Want more music career advice? Don’t just read it… watch the videos on Bobby Borg’s YouTube channel.


Bobby Borg is the author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician (Second Edition), Business Basics For Musicians (Second Edition), and The Five Star Music Makeover (published by Hal Leonard Books). Get these books at any fine online store in physical or digital format. Learn more at www.bobbyborg.com.


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