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Grow 1000 True Music Fans

artist development fan engagement true fans May 05, 2021

1000 true fans is a proven income model made famous by Wired editor Kevin Kelly. It advocates that if you can get 1000 true fans to spend £100 a year on what you create that you can build a very comfortable existence on £100,000 a year. In music it means that you do not need a hit to survive, be on the best sellers list to make it or to top charts to be a full-time musician.

1000 true fans can build a good financial basis for your music career, they can also act as a springboard to more as these dedicated fans act as your advocates and free promotion.

What is a true fan?

A fan is someone who enjoys your music. A true fan is a dedicated fan that is invested in you. They are essentially primed to support everything do. They like your posts, subscribe to your newsletter, buy tickets to your show out of town and pre-order merchandise.

As you may imagine, there is a catch; cultivating 1000 true fans in Kevin Kelly’s own words is ‘time consuming, nerve-wracking and you may not know where to start’ but, the bottom line is if people enjoy your music then you can build 1000 true fans; that is just 1 person in every 1 million worldwide.

The internet has changed the game for building fans shifting power away from labels and other gatekeepers to DIY musicians but this has also made it increasingly more difficult to stand out amongst the noise. However, there’s a big gap between obscurity and stardom and thankfully today’s music industry allows musicians to take matters into your own hands. It’s making for very exciting times!

Your audience is made up of everyone that knows about you but fans act differently at each stage of the fan journey and you have to treat them differently to move them from casual listeners to true fans.

Top 5 tips to building 1000 true music fans

  1. Put your best foot forward – make sure your online presence is built to work for you, showcase all your best material and ensure your profile is synched up across all platforms.
  2. Plan your fan journey – cast your net wide and think about the way people discover music. Think about your fan experience, make it easy for people to do what you want by removing friction.
  3. Use feedback – listen to what your fans say, solicit their feedback and use all the data you can collect. Use this to guide the platforms you use and the content you produce.
  4. Nurture your relationships – fans are built a few fans at a time with small tailored interactions. Fans want a connection and they buy from people they know and trust.
  5. Commit to sustained and consistent action – you must be ready to put some serious time into your craft and building your career in music. It takes dedications and planning to build 1000 true fans.

If you would like to learn more about building true fans sign up to our 14 week online challenge True Fans for Musicians staring June

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