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Ditto Blog

Building Fans and Industry Contacts

How often should you get in touch with your Fans and industry contacts? What triggers can you use for your communications? Here are ten tips to help you get it right.

1. Be Proactive

Successful artists aren’t built by people who sit around waiting. Be the one who initiates contact and keeps the relationship going. If you want to build your fan base and make good connections, it’s up to you to make the move.

2. Be pertinent.

Before getting in touch with anyone, think about why you’re speaking to them. What do you want from them and what do they need that you can offer them in return? This should influence the channel you use and the format of your message. For example, picking the relevant sessions and websites for your sound. If you’re an urban artist, channels such as SBTV or Grimedaily would be more suited in gaining exposure than channels like BalconyTv or PitchforkTV

3. Be consistent.

We all have friends who get in touch only intermittently. They’re friends, so it’s ok. But, admit it, it can be annoying, can’t it? When dealing with fans and industry contacts, don’t be that friend. For example, if you use Twitter or Facebook, daily communication is a good idea. If you start updating your blog twice a week, stick at it. If you’ve promised someone a reply to a message by a certain date, send it. Be reliable and people will trust you.

4. Pick your moments.

Think of communication as a campaign or series of campaigns. When’s the best time to communicate? Where are the majority of your fans? When are they likely to be fairly quiet and have time to respond? These should all be factors in the timing of your communications.

5. Sell yourself.

The most memorable and most famous artists are not just the ones that make the best music, they’re the ones with a story e.g. Bon Iver. Other ways to sell yourself is to attend other people’s gigs, and getting into the local music scene. Put yourself out there and find reasons to make contact.

6. Be responsive.

Make it easy for people to contact you using the appropriate channels – ie, a band email address, Twitter handle and so on. Give them choices so they can use their preferred communication channel.

7. Don’t expect immediate results.

The general rule of thumb here is that whoever you’re contacting, for whatever reason, don’t expect a response first time. There are a dozen reasons why people may not have responded to your message. Be patient and gently persistent – trust is the most important aspect of any relationship and it takes time to develop.

8. Make the time to communicate…

Think of communication as an operational task and build it into your schedule. For example, this could be 20 minutes a day for social media or half an hour each evening to respond to queries. If you’re organised about it, it needn’t swallow up other jobs that are demanding your attention.

9.…but prioritise – don’t try to do it all.

Some things require an immediate response; others don’t. Some communications produce better results, so focus more attention on these. You can only do so much. What are the most important and effective means of communication?

10. Keep track.

If your fan base is steadily building, it’s important to keep track of your communications with them. Some form of relationship management is essential. You can use data from social media such as Facebook to analyze trends revealed by your communications and refine your approach by learning more about what your fans and contacts respond to.