Every musician has to start somewhere. With no connections and no existing fanbase, how do you get people to notice you? Building your fanbase locally can be a good way to kickstart your career as a musician. Here are 6 ideas to get you going.
1) Fund Raiser Events
Reach out to local sports teams and clubs looking to fund raise, and help them set up a fund raiser concert at a local venue with you and other local artists. They sell tickets and keep a piece of the pie, while you, the venue, and the artists you’re playing with get exposed to a new audience.
2) Gig Smart
If you’re a heavy metal artist, and you play with someone who’s in the singer/songwriter scene, you won’t be doing yourself any favors. If you collaborate with artists with a similar music style, their fans may become your fans as well.
3) Partner with Local Businesses
If your audience is similar to that of a local business, ask them if they’ll play your music in the background. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even sell CD’s and tickets to upcoming events.
Many businesses get their background music from paid services that offer music for business use, like Dozmia (which you can add your music to here). Submitting your music to these services, or convincing them to include your music in a playlist used by a large number of businesses, can result in quick growth of your fanbase.
Don’t forget to add your music to Shazam so that customers of the restaurants or retail stores who play your music can easily identify and buy your songs.
4) Collaborate with Other Musicians
There are more ways to work with other musicians than just gigs. Put together an album with other artists in your area. Fearless Records has success in this. They get similar artists to create covers of popular songs for their Punk goes Pop series. The combined fanbase of the artists on the album result in a large number of people hearing it, along with the fact that the covers attract completely new listeners. Collaborating with other musicians on a music video is a great way to increase it’s exposure on social media.
5) Target Paid Ads Locally
Target your online advertising locally by running pre-roll YouTube video or Facebook ads. Both websites give you tools to specifically captures the attention of your home town or local city.
6) Reach Out to Local/College Radio Stations and Bloggers.
If you live in a small town, local radio stations may be open to playing music from local artists. If not, try college radio stations. Either way, it’s important that you develop an understanding of radio promotion strategies.
Bloggers and local publications may be interested in an album review, interview, or doing story about you if you have an interesting background.
For more on reaching out to music bloggers, check out this article: 6 Tips for Reaching Out to Music Blogs to Get Your Album Reviewed
Building your fanbase locally can be challenging and time consuming, but doing so can set you up for future success. Venues will want you to open for bigger artists, and you can gig-trade with artists in other areas, which I’ll talk about in a future post.