Fans are the single most important element of a professional and satisfying career in music. Without fans you’re an amateur!
Two things I have noticed in successful musicians are that (1) their goals are clearly defined, and (2) their audiences are even more clearly defined. If you don’t know your fans, how are you going to market your music to them?
In this chapter I have put together links to free tools, with suggestions of ways to use them for developing the profile of your “Super Fan.” And by Super Fan I mean the fan who is going to buy all your music and merch products, attend as many shows as he or she can, rave about you to friends, join your street team, call in to the radio to request your song, leave reviews, talk about you online, blog about you, contribute to crowdfunding campaigns, and so on.
Start by identifying at least five bands that are embodying the goals you have set for yourself. Don’t pick big household names, because they will have too many fans who are not exclusive to their band. Start by picking local acts you like who have a good following both off- and online.
If you don’t know who you sound like, start off by asking other people. If you find categorizing and comparing your music to that of others to be difficult, you can also use the tools in this chapter to help you search for similar bands.
A good way to begin to know the profile of your Super Fan is to con- sider what you already know about your existing fans, find out more about the fans of artists who are similar to you, and then look for overlaps. More established artists will have a clearer understanding of their fan base and you can use the available tools to tap into that information. I suggest that you write out a profile of your Super Fan, using as much information as you can acquire.
My descriptions below may not provide sufficient information on their own, especially if you do not have prior knowledge of how the platforms involved work. But I have listed links to all the sites mentioned so that you can educate yourself as well as start accounts and put them to use. The most important thing is to get your mind working on these kinds of concepts and ideas and how they can be used to serve a specific purpose. Of course, there are countless websites that can help you profile your fan, and I suggest you look further than just the ones listed in this segment. Note that this way of doing things may not be to every musician’s taste, but it’s always better to know what’s out there than not to know.