July 21, 2021

Building and using a music community to help raise your exposure as an artist

What is a music community?

Your music community is your supportive network. Music communities are your executive network, creative team, musical collaborators and your fans. They:

  • Are passionate about you and your work
  • Engage with your online and offline presence
  • Help share you and your work with others
  • May help fund your work, products, shows and more.

How to get more music fans and listeners using your music community

Music industry advice about music communities often focuses on how to build a fanbase. Additionally, there is advice for how to promote your music.

In this article, we’re going to be talking about more than how to get more Spotify listeners. We’ll go into deeper ideas about lesser-considered elements of your music community.

When building a music community, look bigger and wider than Spotify listeners and followers. Understand that every contact you have forms part of an ecosystem.

Importantly, you should develop this ecosystem to operate itself without constant input from you. It takes a long time to build.

This article will share some ideas to start building your music community. Besides this, it will also give you advice to help grow and nurture your music community to work passively. The strategy should you get more fans, without having to promote yourself directly.

The difference between listeners and fans

It’s important to recognise that listeners and followers don’t fundamentally mean fans.

In the age of Spotify and social media, it’s very easy to get lost in the hype of trying to get more followers. But followers don’t guarantee any form of income.

It’s very common for the media to encourage artists to pay in various ways to get followers. Social media advertising campaigns or using music promotion companies are rife. Working this way isn’t always a bad idea. But, you will be working at a loss if you’re not aware of how to make money back from your followers.

Unfortunately, streaming royalties haven’t been enough for most artists to make a profit to date. Luckily, there seems to be some hope on the horizon (starting in the UK at least) to improve this.

Fans are people who actively watch for what you’re doing new. They will buy your merchandise and come to your gigs. Fans are often the top streamers of your songs, even though they probably own the CD or vinyl too.

The difference between fans and listeners can defined like this:

Listeners will generally cost you money, whereas fans will earn you money.

Your mission should always be to turn listeners into fans.

The highest level of a fan is a “Stan“. If you achieve this level of fandom, you’re a monarchy-level artist.

King and Queen of the music community

So, why does your music community matter?

Music communities go beyond the idea of artist to fan, artist to business, artist to artist or artist to music executive. Your music community will tie all these relationships together into an ecosystem. This works together to benefit everybody involved:

  • Artists benefit by having a network around them that supports them and recommends them to others
  • Fans benefit by feeling a tribe of other fans around them. They feel a sense of belonging. Fans feel included by having a direct relationship with artists they admire
  • Businesses benefit because music communities are pockets of highly-engaged segments of cross-interest marketing targets. These are likely to respond positively to marketing from brands endorsed by artists they admire
  • Artists benefit from collaboration and cross-promotion opportunities
  • Music executives benefit from all of the above. Communities help with their commercial objectives to support the artist and expose the music.

Music scenes

Music scenes are sub-communities within music communities.

Scenes typically revolve around a group of artists who have something in common, as opposed to just one artist.

They are extremely powerful. They create culture that extends beyond just the music and can involve:

  • Political movements and idea-spreading
  • Fashion trends
  • Artistic trends whereby particular artistic styles, depictions or expressions represent a scene
  • Film that supports the culture of the scene.

Scenes used to happen because like-minded people used to hang around places and nurture ideas that turned into culture. These were typically places like coffee shops, art galleries, clothes stores, music venues, clubs and street corners (which subsequently became prolific). They discussed art and culture and then created. This often resulted in artworks that were comparable.

Culture Club music scenes

To create a music scene, you first have to find your tribe. These people (creators) need to be extremely like-minded to you. They will likely already make music which is comparable to yours, or at least have similar influences.

One way to quickly and easily find and spark with artists who have similar influences is to use Vampr. Vampr shows all the artists that a Vampr user has listed that they like on their profile.

Sparking a conversation about your shared interests is a great ice-breaker. Start a scene on Vampr now!

In our next post, we’ll outline 8 ideas to build a music community online. Keep an eye on our socials for that soon! ✌

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