Have you struggled with getting new fans? Does it seem like no one is listening whenever you promote your music on social media? Although there can be a number of reasons for this, have you thought about who exactly your target audience is?

Just like any business needs customers, musicians & artists need fans. To build a fanbase, one of the most fundamental steps is to identify who your target audience is.

What people say about you when your not in the room, that is your Brand!

Target your Audience


One of the biggest issues that artists, and musicians face is having the mindset of appealing to everyone. You need to be strategic and mindful of who you are targeting. You spend so much time making great music, so of course, you want to have as many people as possible hear it.

It’s time to focus on growing the right audience and build strong connections with them. The most effective marketing strategy is one where you get specific about who your ideal fanbase is. You’re more likely to find true fans by focusing on a niche or a specific community, rather than casting a wide net of different people. As an emerging artist, you need fans. Not passive fans, but engaged fans who are willing to spend money to support you. If you allow your audience to understand you better as a brand, they are more likely to buy into you.

Why Focus on a Niche

In case you’re not familiar with the word niche, here’s a dictionary definition: “Denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialised section of the population.”

Finding your niche is the key to building a strategy around reaching your true fans effectively. You can better understand there needs, problems, values and cultural signals so you can cater to them as a brand. This allows you to tailor your messaging and presentation in ways that have a better chance of connecting. It’s easier to locate the communities in niches online or locally

because that’s how we humans naturally come together and organise ourselves. Building with niche communities and tribes make it easier to develop stronger relationships. It’s easier for people to relate and resonate with you when they see you as one of them. This allows for more authentic connections to be made easier than if you were trying to reach a broad group.

Most brands start as a niche. If you’re doing something unique and good to a specific audience, you may get recognized and more exposure naturally. With that being said, it all starts with self-awareness and assessing what makes you the unique person that you are. We are all unique with different goals, values, life experiences, passions and interests. As a musician, how can you present yourself and interact with others in a way that creates a favorable public impression that will lead someone in your target audience to take an interest in what you do? What are the signals that will attract your ideal fan and create deeper connections? I believe that building a fan base starts with knowing yourself because I like to think that as artists, you want to connect with others like you and vice versa.

It’s normal to think that your music is the most important asset you have as an artist. It is but it isn’t. Your music is only important if you can actually get people to listen to it, and it’s become increasingly harder to get someone attention for the first time in this new digital world. Many think being a musician means throwing out songs on social media accounts and hoping that something will catch on. How’s that working for you? There’s so much talent out there competing for attention that it’s not easy for musicians to stand out in all the noise. With so many options for music and entertainment, people have to make judgments and decisions about what they may or may not like before actually hearing your music. Part of starting a music career is realising that it starts with investing in yourself first. Whether it’s time or money, you have to be willing to put in the work to learn and get things done.

It is wise for musicians to invest time in effectively communicating what their music is all about, and what makes it special before potential fans hear it.

Project your vision, put out written and visual signals to convince people to take that first step. That’s only half the battle because after they listen to your music, it’s still not guaranteed that they’ll like you as an artist. However, the better job you do of communicating what makes you unique, the more likely listeners will like what they hear. This is why branding and marketing are so important.

What is your Brand?

“Cause people don’t buy music in this day and age, they buy the brand.” – Logic

We tend to think of ‘brand’ only within the context of business, but the concept of a brand can actually be applied to musicians.

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others.

A brand is the essence that makes something or someone distinguishable. It is what makes you unique. You can think of brand as a reputation, shared beliefs or opinions about someone or something. A brand can also represent the emotional and psychological relationship it has with the audience.

A brand is not a tangible or physical thing, but it can be represented externally through symbols like your artist name. Sometimes people will think your logo is your brand, yet your logo is only a symbol or reflection of your brand, but not the brand itself. Your logo represents your identity, but the brand is the meaning or emotional response people get from seeing it.

You can think of a brand as a promise that carries certain expectations.
This promise is essentially your brand identity and what you stand for. Remember, you need to stand for something in order to deliver on your promise. Establishing this early will help guide your decisions based on your vision, the expectations you have put out and through your brand. Think of your brand as a plot synopsis , the full story is what is played out through your interactions with your audience and what you do over the course of your life and career journey. When someone brings up your name, they are going to recall and retell it the way they understand it, which is usually never going to be exactly how you want it to be told. The goal is to bridge the gap between brand identity and brand image through brand alignment.

Brand Components

To break it down, a brand has two general components:
1) Brand identity
2) Brand image
Brand identity is the narrative you establish and have control over. This identity is a reflection of the core values and beliefs that you’ve cultivated through your life experiences. It’s what you stand for.

Brand image is how the public or individuals perceive you.

Do you have a good idea of where you want to go with your career?

You really need to understand what you want to do and have a good idea of how to get there. If you don’t, you need to research and ask people. Set goals and have a plan so you’re not wasting time.

‘If you don’t know where your going any road will take you there.’

Whether you like it or not, being a music artist is like starting a business. Part of the artist development process is learning how to operate your own business and turn that passion into a living.

Keep making music and improving your craft

Your success in the music industry ultimately starts with how good your music is. A good song will always help your career, but you need to keep pushing out good content to build off that momentum.

Don’t fall into the belief that talent alone can sustain you, as there are other factors, like work ethic, character, and promotion.

Your network is your net worth.

When you establish who you are as a artist/brand it is easier for people to identify and distinguish you from other artists.

Basil Reynolds

Coaching Consultant