Photo by kalandrakas
Would you like stark-raving mad fans? You know, the kind that will follow you across the country on tour and/or do just about anything you ask of them. Well, that is not going to happen if you come out the gate barking at them like a rabid Rottweiler.
In a world of push-up bra MySpace friend numbers, silicone Twitter followers and other plastic enhancements for your web presence, it doesn’t pay to be a Cherry. You have over 50,000 friends on a social networking site – so what? It does not mean a thing if you cannot get even 0.1% to pay attention to anything you say. Besides, there are way too many folks that are getting plastic surgery, which has diluted the potency of your hack. Every Ice T must have his Coco, I guess. I say “no, thank you.”
We are realizing that padding the numbers may not be as attractive as we might think, so now what do we do? How do we actually build a real fan base that we can leverage for real financial gains? Easy – all one has to do is be real and (somewhat) approachable.
That is the CliffsNotes version of it and probably not why you read up to this point. I hint at what it will take here on this blog quite a bit. Remember me talking about the Personable Geeks? Well, you just need to concede to being one and you will be well on your way.
5 Steps to Getting 1000 True Fans [in the Internet Age]
BKA How to Become a Personable Geek
This has to be said at the start. In order to be approachable, you have to be modest in character. In order to deal with building a fan base one person at a time, you have to be able to mentally absorb the fact that it takes a bit of time. A huge ego will kill your chances at gaining real fans.
Do unto others…
I am going to keep this simple. The Ethic of Reciprocity is a universal thing. People do not like commercials like they once did. I am sure you are no exception, so cut with the “buy my stuff” approach.
Work on your handshake
This goes with the concept of being a friend first, artist last. You can do this by just taking the time to get to know a person. Introducing yourself, getting their name and offering your hand to solidify the connection is a great start.
Ask “What can I do for you?”
John F. Kennedy’s famous quote from his speech can be used here, but instead of country use fans. Set yourself up to be able to help. I have suggested to a few of my artist friends that they will find more opportunities by giving back to the community than taking from it. We are bombarded with people making requests of our time. Sometimes it is the best feeling just to be asked, “Can I help?”
Be a friend
Once you have established a relationship with your new pals, keep up with them! Make sure you know what is going on in their lives. As a musician, this is a great opportunity to get inspiration for your work. Everyone has stories, so seek out some from the very people you hope will support you. At the same time, fortifying your relationship with a few good people is the most important thing about all this.
In summary, do not be “that guy.” Set yourself apart by being genuine and kind. While this approach is a bit slower than pumping a ton of money into juicing use your sexy attributes, it is the most rewarding and the payoff is bound to be more fulfilling than anything plastic surgery could ever provide.