How to understand your fanbase?
Fandom is an artist’s bloodline. A fan is someone who supports you and your musical journey in different ways such as buying your concert tickets, streaming your music, and buying your merch. Thus, every artist needs to have a fandom in their musical career. Often enough, artists jump into promoting their songs before getting to understand their fanbase. However, it’s best practice to build a relationship with your fans by understanding who they are before heavily promoting your songs.
More than simply the relationship between an artist and a fan, you want to build a connection with your fan. They become fans because they empathize with your value and musical identity. Thus, it is also important for you to have a musical identity, check out our article on how to build your identity. After establishing your identity, to connect with your fan, you need to understand who your fan is by building your fan persona.
What is a persona?
A persona is a semi-fictional based on your ideal fan. This notion is usually used in user research for marketing campaigns with the main goal of understanding the people we will communicate with. A persona is more detailed than simply gender and age. When building a fan persona, you should be as detailed as possible.
You can start by giving your fan persona a name and build up details surrounding them as if they’re a real person. At the end of the day, keep in mind that a persona is simply a generification of the crowd that you want to target and build a connection with.
Why do you need a persona?
Most of the time, the idea of finding new fans can be daunting for artists. However, having a fan persona will act as a guide on your journey of cultivating your fanbase. For an artist, by identifying your fan persona, you will have a better idea of who you will be talking to which increases your chance of converting them into a fan.
You don’t want to communicate in a too generic manner - meaning there isn’t a unique voice in your musical identity that would reach the right audience. This would prevent you from standing out from the already crowded music industry.
By communicating in a way that appeals to your persona, not only can you section your music audience to someone that would support your career but also helps you to cut through the noise. Check out our article on targeting the right audience for your music.
Ultimately, having a fan persona helps you to better understand your fan and what interests them to listen to your music. By understanding their listening journey, you can better accompany them through the process which eventually leads them into becoming your loyal fan. At the of the day, the relationship of artist-fan is built from the feeling of connection which having a persona can play a big part in forming that connection.
How can you build a persona?
Pinpoint common traits
When brainstorming for your fan persona, think of the most common traits that your audience might have if they’re into your music. Whether they listen to it during their commute, do they go to live music, do they prefer to communicate through live streams, or if they are a fan of your music’s genre. Look out for the shared traits that your listeners might have. Here are some of the key factors to define a persona:
- Music audience demographics(age, gender, and income)
- Geographic location
- Listening habits
- Fashion style
- Music genre
- Music style
Look for reference
Every artist has an inspiration that encourages him or her to become an artist. For instance, if you’re a hip-hop artist, you might want to become the next Kanye West or Kendrick Lamar. To build your persona, you can look up what kinds of fan persona your inspired artist has. A scroll through their fanbase on the Facebook group, Twitter, or Reddit thread would help you to define who their fan persona is.
You can also look up big artists with a similar music style to yours using the same method. The key here is to look at the common trait amongst the fans and see what type of language these artists are using to communicate with their fans. By pinpointing the pattern of other artists’ fan archetypes, you will have a better understanding of which fans will also into your music.
Ask a fan
What is a better way to understand a fan than simply asking a fan? One-on-one conversations with your fan will help you gather more in-depth information for building the fan persona. The conversations will also allow you to ask more abstract questions such as why they listen to your music in the first place and why they choose to support you. These types of questions can create content for your persona that only be answered by asking your fan.
If you don’t have a solid following on social media such as Facebook or Instagram that you can just slide into their DMs, you can start by asking your friends and family. Even though that can be biased since they know you personally, asking them still gives a rough idea of why people opt-in for your music.
After finalizing your fan persona, it’s time to kick start your music promotion to target your fan by sharing and promoting your music. To learn more, you can check out our guide on music promotion. To help you build a loyal fanbase, you can run ads for your music using music promotion services like Base for Music - generating sponsored campaigns across social networks such as Facebook, TikTok, Youtube, and Spotify.
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