The world has gone crazy! People are chomping at the bit for normalcy to return. The sad truth in many areas of the U.S. and elsewhere is that we are a long way from returning to "normal." This is a point of stress, anxiety, anger, and more. However, musicians have a unique opportunity right now to seize this moment to find and cultivate their "tribe." An artist's "tribe" refers to those loyal followers that will help build your following, go to your shows, eventually, buy your merch and stream your singles, and most importantly- evangelize on your behalf to anyone who will listen!
Everyone you know is in one place right now - at home… on their phones, on their social media, and on websites. Put yourself on their devices - now!
I know, I know. It is harder than it sounds. That is only slightly true. It IS harder than doing nothing and streaming "Hart of Dixie" on Netflix - (Don’t judge. It was strangely fun!) You need to create things for them to see- consistently, and I don’t mean just text posts about how bored you are or worse yet, political posts. Pictures are good, native videos are better and live-streaming events are the best! All you need for most of this type of content are two things- a phone and a little bit of time! (Do you happen to have those two things right now?)
So, here are 10 Ways to Build Your Tribe While in the Age of Social Distancing!
- Make a Video of Yourself Performing From Home (okay, super obvious. Everyone is doing it right? Why? Because it works!)
- Make a Video Asking for Feedback on a Song You are Working On. Fans want to be a part of what you create. So let them help you with tempo, vibe, etc. Play two versions and put up a survey. Simple. You get immediate feedback and they feel like they helped you create something awesome.
- Do a Live-stream (not pre-recorded) Performance on the Social Media Platform of Your Choice (or all of them!)- Sure, it is way scarier and kind of weird to do all by yourself, but your tribe will go crazy for it!
- Make a Behind-the-scenes Video About How You Tweak Your Amp or Guitars. It doesn’t have to be fancy and it shouldn't be lengthy. There are fans and aspiring guitarists out there that don’t know how to make a guitar make "that" sound. Show them- be their inspiration! (After all, you can't copyright a signal path!)
- Show Everyone Your Pedalboard- tell them how you use it, and why you set it up that way. Where do you put the volume pedal, wah pedal, or your distortion? I watch this type of video all of the time!
- Make a How-To Video. If it is about music - great, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be about anything that you legitimately have an interest in and have a skill in. Building personal connections between you and your fans is the key to this idea. If it is music that builds that closer connection - great, but having a connection with a person because you both love woodworking or rose pruning is still a legitimate connection. That counts! That helps!
- Host a Q&A. You can do it live or record it. If done live-stream, announce it and promote it well in advance. If you are recording it, you can ask for questions to answer over a specific period of time and then announce when the video will be posted.
- Participate in a Virtual Open Mic Night. These are popping up everywhere. Artists are finding new members of their tribe this way. Do it and have fun, if you pick up 1 or 2 new followers you are doing great. What if you pick up 15, 20 or more?
- Record a Zoom Meeting With You or Your Band -sharing stories about their musical inspirations or heroes. Create a different theme for each meeting. Pick a day of the week and a time. Post it regularly.
- Create a Video Teaching the World How To Play One of Your Songs! Why let Marty Schwartz do it? Who knows it better than you? (BTW - I still love you Marty!)
Too much? Guess what? You don’t have to do ALL of these. Pick one, try it, and see what happens! I think you will like what you see, and so will your fans!
Share your thoughts, ask questions, or tell us how it goes below or send me an email.