WINNING THE HEART OF YOUR AUDIENCE - PART 3
Walking out on stage to a packed house, having a youtube video go viral, or getting a nice fat royalty check from iTunes is what every artist or band hopes for. They are the moments that bring a happy tear to your eye and keep the dream alive. Unfortunately, as most artists know all too well, these things can be few and far between. Much more common are the shows you promoted for months yet only a handful of people show up... or the social media posts and Song releases that go unnoticed and unshared by your network. One can make your spirit soar, the other is a pit of despair, but both offer an opportunity for an important skill to be learned...
Whether mountain high or valley low in the journey of your artist career, in everything that occurs you have a choice find something to be grateful for... and outwardly proclaim it. Gratitude is a force of nature that the music industry thrives on. You can move mountains and open doors you once thought impossible by taking the time to be intentional and creative in the ways you thank people that are supporting you, no matter in how small of a way.
If you aren't doing these things or something like them every chance you get, you are missing a very big opportunity to grow your fanbase, career opportunities, and more importantly your personal character.
1. A planned "Thank You" at every show. This doesn't have to be a Grammy acceptance speech, just something simple and authentic. Thank the audience, the venue, and please, please, please don't forget to thank the sound engineer.
2. When meeting your fans at a show, I have found a very simple yet powerful thing an artist can do to win over a potential fan. When talking face to face after a show, the conversation always leans toward focusing on you and how amazing your show was (or else they wouldn't be talking to you). Before they say anything about you, look them in the eye, shake their hand, smile, and ASK THEM THEIR NAME. It is a proven fact that psychologically, a person feels more valued when addressed by their name. This shows them that who they are is important to you, and it supersedes anything they want to say to you. When they follow you on social media, which they most likely will if you've done your job, then you will remember who they are and can personalize a thank you message.
2. Personalized "Thank You's" to specific people that support you behind the scenes. This could be hand written notes, social media shout outs, or even better, a phone call. Remember to not just thank the people who you think can do something for you, but also those who are just really big fans. Make them feel appreciated and special and they will be even more excited to share about your music.
3. Respond quickly and thoroughly to every bit of correspondence you receive. This is a challenge for a lot of artists, which surprises me. It is so easy to do given the convenience of technology. Your responses to social media posts, messages, likes, and shares should be within minutes or at least same day. If you receive correspondence for an industry opportunity, whether it is a fit or not, respond right away with a professional response and thank you.
Showing gratitude is a choice, and choosing it will take you far in your career. On one hand it will keep you from becoming the jaded, cynical artist who blames his lack of success on others. One the other it will keep you from becoming the entitled rockstar that forgets who he owes his success to. Overall your authentic gratitude toward everyone you come across both personally and professionally will draw people to your cause and create a meaningful and satisfying music career where your fans feel like they are family.
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