The most important thing an artist can do is build their core fanbase.
The most important fans will be an artist’s first 1000 true fans. The more engaged they are, the more successful an artist’s career will likely be. In fact, if you want to simply make a good living, all you need is 1000 true fans.
Back in the day, an artist built fans by creating music, getting played on the radio, being properly displayed at record stores, performing on TV, and touring to support the release.
Today, artists create music, release digitally, and build their fans via social media. They tour, sell merch, and create experiences of their brand for fans to consume or experience.
Press and TV looks are merely credibility anecdotes. Unless these moments are shareable enough to spread feverishly on social media, they won’t be seen, except in an artist’s EPK.
While this may hurt the heart of pure music fans, in many ways, fans are as much, if not more, engaged with an artist’s personality via social media than they are connected to the music itself.
We have never had such enormous transparency as we do with streaming and social media. It’s easier than ever to tell “what’s” moving. However, the information is disseminated across so many different formats and platforms making it at times difficult to tell whether an artist is going to break wide open, and even more challenging to know when.
So how does an artist get “there”?
By doing the most important thing an artist can do: build fans. There is no stat in the world as powerful as how many “engaged” followers an artist has – These fans will stream, buy tickets, and share an artist’s message with the world.