Connecting With Fans Is About More Than Getting People To Pay Attention To You
from the a-connection-goes-beyond-first-access dept
Both of these appear to be cases of cargo cult copying, where someone tries to copy just the superficial outwardly obvious aspects of what others are doing, without taking the time to understand (1) the deeper underlying reasons why they work for some or (2) recognizing how that might (or might not) apply to what you're doing yourself. Connecting with fans isn't about "oh just give away content for free," or "oh, put up some comment forms." It's about actually figuring out what your community wants, interacting with them, and giving them what they want. It's about actually participating in some manner.
I was thinking about all of this as I read an interesting blog post by Marcus Taylor, where he explains the process by which he became a fan of the singer Jason Mraz, who had that catchy hit single last summer that many of you probably heard. But just hearing a catchy hit song being played over and over again isn't enough to make someone a true fan. Taylor points out that it went way beyond that, and took him not just listening to much more of Mraz's music via various online offerings, but then coming across some interviews with Mraz, where his personality shines through. Taylor points out that it took some time, but he finally realized that he didn't just like Mraz's music, but he liked Mraz -- and that made the jump possible. From there he comes up with a short list of "ways to make fans fall in love with you":
- Be yourself -- Most people despise a fake personality and can smell it a mile off, be your self and people will appreciate that.
- Be transparent -- don't hide the fact that you're a small local band if that's what you are -- if you're honest and likeable then your fans will be more inclined to help you get to the next step.
- Be professional but not too serious -- After all, life's too short for being too serious and worrying about everything, have fun but remain professional.
- Leave breadcrumbs everywhere -- better yet, leave breadcrumbs that show off the points above and give your fans a good reason to love you. Remember not all fans react to the same mediums as strongly so keep producing images, videos, and text content to bait them.
Along those lines, this upcoming Tuesday, at the a2n conference in Berlin, I'll be leading a brainstorming session generating ideas for musicians to better connect with their fans.