Top tips for developing 1000 true music fans

Blog by Thirty Plus One under Selling & Distributing Your Music

This blog is contributed by Thirty Plus One, a community of independent music managers and artists at the development stages. Their membership is built on the principles of collective power and the value of collaboration. In order to re-distribute influence, their members pool funds, skills and experience so they can all connect to the best advice, people and promotional tools.

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 bestsellers list to make it or to top charts or awards 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 you do. They like your posts, subscribe to your newsletter, buy tickets to your out of town shows 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; 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 and 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
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.

Plan your fan journey – cast your net wide and think about the way people discover music and your fan experience. Make it easy for people to do what you want by removing friction.

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.

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.

Commit to sustained and consistent action – you must be ready to put some serious time into your craft and career in music. It takes dedication and planning to build 1000 true fans.

If you would like to learn more about building 1000 true fans sign up to Thirty Plus One’s 12 week online challenge – 1000 true fans for musicians starting in June.


Find out more about Thirty Plus one's 1000 true fans for musicians challenge


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