How To Build A Fanbase

Written by Patrice on December 14, 2014

If you’re an artist of any kind or in business for yourself, you may have heard or read how important it is to build a fanbase. Many think that a fanbase is measured by the number of likes and followers you have on social media, but honestly, the best way to measure is by your sales. A person can have a million followers, but only a small fraction of that number actually purchase what you’re offering.

If you want to catch the eyes of the major players in your industry, it is important that you have a solid fanbase that is willing to back you up. Here are a few things you can do to begin building that base:

Put out great work

Don’t be fooled by the oversaturation of mediocre work that is getting a lot of attention nowadays. Always strive to be authentic. In a sea full of mediocrity, know that it is okay to stand out by being your authentic self and put out your best work. Don’t follow the crowd. Follow the beat of your own drum. People will love you more for it.

Be visible

It’s hard to build a fanbase if no one knows who you are. Take the time to step outside of your comfort zone and attend events where your targeted audience or potential friend are more likely to be. As artists or even business owners for that matter, it is easy to get sucked into the trap of attending events where your friends or other creatives will be. If your goal is to produce work for other creatives who are in the same boat as you, then by all means, go for it, but I doubt you will get very far. Put in the effort to reach out to other professionals who could potentially use your work or creativity. Build strategic partnerships with those who have a need for what you do.

Engage with your audience

People enjoy doing business with people they like and who they’ve built relationships with. Many business owners and creatives suffer with the narcissistic syndrome where their only focus is what they’re currently working on, instead of what their audience is working on and finding ways that they can help. Social media was intentionally created as a way for people to keep in touch and be social on-the-go. It wasn’t a promotional tool, although people with large egos may have made it into that. But the sole purpose is to be social and engage with people who want to follow you and get to know you. As a business owner or creative, you must take the time to engage with your audience. If you do, they will be more prone to support you financially by purchasing your work.

Be Consistent

We’ve seen a lot of artists and business owners rebrand themselves or change careers over the years. As we evolve as people and as a society, it’s okay to change things up, but never lose sight of who you are and what you’re known for. At Bassline, our #1 focus is preserving your authentic self and ensuring that everything that bears your name is consistent with your authentic reputation. You don’t want to confuse your targeted audience by being one way today, and then doing something completely opposite tomorrow. People will begin to follow you and support you as they’ll see that you are consistent across the board, which equates to them knowing that they can trust in you. Being consistent will bring you solid fans.

It is easy to fall prey to scams or companies promising to get you a thousand likes and/or followers in a day. Please don’t be so naive. Sure it may look good that you have a lot of followers, but the real proof is in the “sales pudding”. Whether it is album sales, product sales, art sales, or even ticket sales. Your ability to convert those people into buying customers is what matters the most. Work hard at building a solid fanbase that will promote longevity in your career.



Inspired by this post, our Founder Patrice K. Cokley had the pleasure of speaking with Yann Ilunga, Founder and Host of the podcast The Jazz Spotlight where they dug a bit deeper into how to build a fanbase online and offline and how to engage/grow your current one. Check out the full post and podcast episode HERE.

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