Want to become successful in this industry?
Then here’s a fact that you have to accept: You need fans.
You read that right. Talent isn’t everything if we’re talking about career with a capital C.
But don’t worry. You really don’t need a lot—a few superfans is all you really need.
Soo…who are your fans?
Well it could be everyone, but you have to make sure to have a target audience.
After all, you have to turn others off if you want to truly turn others on.
Now there are a variety of fan classifications and in this article, we will be talking about some of them.
THE CASUAL FAN
First off, is the casual fan.
We can compare them to an acquaintance or a casual friend. They are those fans that will know your name, but not every song you release or the name of your dog.
They know your face, sure, but they’d probably never wear your merch in fear of people thinking they’re pretentious.
This type can be further categorized into three—The Browser, The Observer, and The Curious.
Given these three sub categories, you’ll have a rough idea of what to do to turn them into a fan.
The Browsers, you have to make contents that are very engaging. They will be your most casual music listeners since most of them would have just stumbled on a content of yours.
They enjoy it on a very casual, superficial level…then get bored or distracted, eventually moving on to another artist.
To ensure they stay and get the urge and want to learn more about you, you have to make sure that your music, videos, and other content are always engaging. And how do you do that? By truly getting to know your fans.
It would also be best to build a relatable image right from the start because what do fans like about their favorite artists?
It’s the connection they feel.
As for the Observers, there’s nothing much you can do but hope that the music you’ve put out is to their taste.
These fans are those who lurk around your music not committing too deeply, waiting for more music from you.
And for the Curious, you’ll just have to make sure that everything about you, your music, your content, and even yourself is worth being a fan of.
They will be the most eager ones and would definitely be more involved than the other two.
One more push and they might become your fan, so you have to make sure you encourage them through everything I’ve mentioned above, and more.
THE LEGIT FANS
Next on the ranking is the fan and when we compare it to the levels of friendship, they are your close friends.
These fans are those that like and support you.
Unlike casual fans, they’re invested in you and would spend money, time, and effort on you. They most probably know your whole discography and have your social media accounts followed and subscribed.
It’s not that hard to turn your fans into superfans especially since they’re alike in many ways.
There’s a very thin line between the two but what separates them is how often they buy your merch, album or tickets, as well as how much time they spend going through updates and contents about you.
Bear in mind that fans can still get bored so you have to make sure that you still feed them with music and updates.
It doesn’t have to be a full blown comeback or a fanmeeting. Maybe a TikTok video challenge or an Instagram live would do.
Lastly, we have the superfans which you can consider as your intimate friends who are willing to ditch anything just to see you.
Even when all you have is a parasocial relationship with them, you won’t help but feel closer to these types of fans than any other types.
They’re the ones who, even after a long hiatus or rest, would still be there when you return to the scene. Just like intimate friends, your bond with them won’t be easily tarnished even without much communication.
However, these fans might still get swayed or snatched by other artists so we suggest not leaving them dry of content for a long time. You can still try giving them updates even if you’re on your well deserved break.
As previously mentioned, fans and superfans are almost the same so both can be further categorized into these three subtypes: the engaged, the advocate, and the purchaser.
For the Engaged, what you need to do to trap them into your web further is to throw them engaging content.
It would also be great if you try having conversation with them, through lives, comments and likes on social media platforms, and more.
You might also want to try sharing funny moments with your members or fellow artists. These types of fans want to be involved, so let them in.
The Advocates are those that follow their favorite artists’ social media platforms, have their albums saved on a music streaming platform, and search for news about their artists on the internet.
They might just be the most chronically online fans since they actively follow their faves’ schedule or activities.
The best way you can keep an advocate fan in your net is to give them updates of your official activities or even when you’re on your rest day.
It would also be best to put out a lot of content for both engaged and advocate fans because these fans tend to binge watch or reminisce about old times and rewatch content.
Most Purchasers also belong to either one or both previously mentioned subtypes because how would they be purchasing anything from you if they don’t feel involved or don’t actively follow you, right?
But the best way to have these types of fans continue to be purchasers is to continue to have great and unique merchandise as well as great performances.
They would want to spend money on merch and concerts that are worth it. If the merch and performance are mediocre then expect them to not spend a single penny.
There you have it, folks.
But don’t get too carried away. As much as fans are hooked with your image, personality and other things, you have to make sure that you also have great music to offer them.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.