Contrary to some preconceived notions, no artist can pass from the shadows into the spotlight just by snapping their fingers. Also, getting a good song out there is not enough anymore, and there is no point in making buzz just for buzz’s sake if you want to build a solid and lasting reputation. Finding your own identity as an artist and bringing together an audience around your project is a long-term process.
Indeed, you have to remain authentic, but also use the right methods to capture the audience that corresponds to you and understand what it expects from you. Knowing your fans allows you to interact with them as well as possible, but also to develop a better communication strategy in order to gain visibility- and especially notoriety. Here are some tips to help you target your audience as a musician.
1. Don’t try to please everyone
It is a question of not spreading out in order to satisfy as many people as possible. Your musical project must embody and project your own voice. This is what will make you a unique and original artist. Forcing oneself to conquer all hearts and minds is often a waste of time. It is up to you to discover your own identity in order to remain coherent and authentic. This is how your audience will identify with you. And it is also in this way that you will be able to implement your positioning and development strategy. Here are the questions you should ask yourself before targeting your audience:
- To which musical genre(s) does my music correspond?
- Is my project strong enough?
- Am I able to easily communicate about my music?
- What are the values/emotions I want to convey?
- Is my music for a niche audience or a more popular one?
- How do I set up a visual identity in line with my project?
- What are my ambitions?
Once you have found your positioning as an artist, it will be easier to find the right audience for you.
2. Engage with a community
In order to better understand the audience you are engaging, there is nothing better than meeting the professionals and enthusiasts who correspond to your musical universe. Go to concerts, fairs, forums or any other musical event aligned with your style.
Take every opportunity to interact with the audience, musicians and even other fans. In short, you will meet people who share the same passion as you. This will not only open you up to new perspectives, but also broaden your creative field.
3. Find online discussion groups related to your musical universe
There are many Facebook groups and forums specialized around specific musical genres that have thousands of fans and insiders. These groups are an opportunity for you to get an overview of trends, listening habits, and news, but also it is an occasion to support other musicians who are in the same boat. Sharing and discovering new music on these networks is an excellent way to exchange, share, and discover other worlds.
It is the best way to maintain contact and be active and dynamic around your musical project. These groups often bring together thousands of people eager for new things and potentially receptive to your musical productions.
Our advice: do not hesitate to give before asking (and therefore receiving). Sharing the bond of an artist you love without asking for anything beforehand can be an opportunity to create strong bonds. And one day, you may get something powerful out of it. Our slogan?
“Give, give, give, give, receive.”
4. Find the most famous artists in your musical genre and use them as a reference
Finding reference artists allows you to have a base and determine in which direction you want to go. Take for example Coldplay as a pop-rock reference. Start with accessible artists and adjust as you go along according to your stage of development and your ambitions.
The purpose here is to analyze:
- What types of social networks do they communicate on?
- How close are they to their fans?
- How do they communicate with their fans?
- What aesthetics do they adopt?
- On which types of media are they featured?
- What other artists are their fans listening to?
In short, it is a matter of figuring out how they got to the level they are at. Review their audience and the different communication strategies they implement. Indeed, it should not be forgotten that beyond talent, an artist must necessarily be a good communicator to be able to gain recognition and visibility.
5. Be active on social networks and build your own visual identity
To stand out and spark interest, you have to attract the eye. Proposing a striking visual identity is the best way to stand out and reach your audience with a particular imprint. Even if music remains the raw material, it is an element not to be neglected. A striking aesthetic builds loyalty and engages your audience.
6. Use data analysis tools on social networks and streaming platforms
It can be scary at first, but some social networks, including Spotify and Apple Music, have developed easy-to-use tools to better understand your audience.
On Facebook for example, you can access the statistics of your page [Tip: add /insights/ at the end of the URL of your Facebook page]. In the “People” tab you can discover the distribution in terms of Gender / Age groups / Countries / Cities of people who like your page.
On Spotify for Artists in the “Audience” section, you can also find the countries and cities where your songs are most listened to, their age group and gender, as well as artists that your audience also likes. Apple Music For Artists offers the same option, also adding data from Shazam. All of this data is essential to better understand your current audience and adapt your strategy accordingly!
7. Finding the right channels for promotion
To promote their music, artists have only two main solutions today:
- Hire a press officer (~1000-2000 euros per month) which is often expensive for musicians who do not always have the contacts or the means, and with results that do not always match their expectations and the investment made.
- Send hundreds of emails to media and musical influencers (such as blogs, playlists, webradios and specialist journalists) themselves. This is certainly free, but a monumental waste of time in the artist’s creative work. And above all, as the media are overwhelmed by emails, artists do not receive answers, which is often the source of great frustration.
The media, labels and other musical influencers are overwhelmed by emails from artists and their representatives (press officers, managers, labels) every day (between 100 and 500 every day even for small blogs).
Indeed, they offer the best pathways to promote your music with guaranteed feedback. These opportunities will allow you to boost your visibility and gain legitimacy!