Dreaming of living as a professional musician by making money in the industry depends on several factors. One of these factor is having a loyal fan base who can take you from just being a mainstream artists to a more professional musician who makes money from his work.
Why is a loyal fan base necessary?
A large fan base is necessary at some point for an artist to gain fame quick, but it is a loyal fan base that determines how long you will still in the industry. And the success you will accumulate.
A person who is not a loyal fan can purchase your work and lose appetite for it quickly, making that artist to be forgotten soon.
“Think about how many artists have been ‘the next big thing’ only to be forgotten soon after,” said Tom Hess, a touring guitarist, recording artist and a former member of the band Rhapsody of Fire from 2010 until 2013.
However, loyal fans will have value for your product including buying your CD, merchandise and attending all of every concert because they need your autograph frequently as possible.
While it is true that CDs and ITunes sale has drop drastically in the music industry around the world and streaming services is taking the music, making music almost free and giving little compensation to artists, a loyal fan base solve the problem of not making money from your music.
For international artists like Beyoncé, Abele and Taylor Swift they continue to make millions of dollars through the sale of CDs and downloads despite the decline in CDs and download sales.
But these women power to attain such a status is accumulated through their loyal fan base, who are willing to support them in everything.
“If you want to make money with your music, a smaller number of dedicated fans are more valuable to you than large number of casual
fans,” said Tom Hess.
Also, the author of wired magazine Kevin Kelly said: “1,000 loyal fans are enough for an artist to earn a comfortable living. Let’s say you have 1,000 real fans, each spending U$100 per year on your music and merchandise that would equal U$100 per year of income.”
How to Grab Loyal Fans
As veteran Liberian music critic Ernest Bruce put it fans are the real investors in the music industry, and artists have the service to give. So to keep in direct contact with people who begin supporting your career at the early stage is essential to convert them to loyal fans.
Making these newly converted fans feel that they are part of the artist career development, it makes them grow the trust and loyalty over time toward that artist’s career.
The direct contact can be archived via social media, autographs signing and free exclusive items. And when this is done, a fan never regrets to support all your work, talking about your music to colleagues and defending you in the midst of criticism.
Tom Hess added: “So rather than aiming for becoming an overnight sensation with just one single, aim at creating just 1,000 true fans.
This is a realistic goal to achieve, and it will help you make money with your music while maintain a stable music career. You can always grow and expanded from there.”
To learn more about how to build a loyal fan base read one of our previous articles: How to Build a Fan Base: Strategy for Liberian