The age of the Do-It-Yourself music artist is in full swing. The 21st Century music economy is one in which artists at so many different levels can find success in many different ways. But one thing that has remained the same and probably will continue to is the need for a strong, substantial fan base. That being said, the power and influence of fans has grown leaps and bounds beyond just being part of a Fan club, a Fan page, etc. In this sharing economy, it’s more important than even to know you’re market and your demographic, because you’re trying to convince them that they should continuously care about your music. No easy task in the least. So here are a few tips from California Music Industry Summit that might just help you, as an artist, effectively identify your market and demographic as an artist.
1. Start by being the real you!
This is the age of transparency, and whether you like it or not, fans will eventually want to know more about you, your life, your goals, and why they should invest their time in you. So, to start off on the right foot, it’s always a good idea to just being yourself and inviting fans into your real world.
2. Know what you want your music to say.
Both you and your music are a product and a brand, and they have to be genuine if you’re going to get the support of fans. Hone in on what you want your fans to take away from your music from the very start.
3. Closely identify who is coming to your live shows.
You can’t just leave this up to your manager anymore, assuming that you actually do have one. Get in the mindset of a business person as best you can: scan the crowd, gauge the audiences’ reaction to certain songs, look at who’s buying merchandise, build a relationship with the venue owners and do whatever else you have to do.
4. Develop relationships with artists similar to you with more success.
There may very well be an artist closer to you than you think that has been in your shoes before. Contact them. Build a rapport. Be cordial and about your business. Yes, this is a competitive field, but you have to be strategic and gain any advantage you can. What better way that to try finding a mentor?
5. Be a sponge when it comes to information and constructive criticism.
Yes, this is definitely not as easy as it sounds. We know that all criticism isn’t constructive and all information isn’t good, or valid. But the more you listen to fans, potential fans, friends, rivals, etc., the more information you have at your disposal to get better as an artist and a brand.
In 2013, it will be crucial that indie artists do their best to identify and cater to their market and demographic. The music landscape is only getting more and more flooded and cut throat, so take good advantage while you can. And this can be a starting point!