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Grow your fan base by niche marketing

Updated on August 22, 2013

Key Points

  1. if you don’t know what your organic fan demographic looks like, start taking notice and talking to people at your gigs to work it out.
  2. Consider how best to market to your fan demographic. How can you personalize your marketing to make them feel like one of your tribe?
  3. The magic number of fans you need at your gigs before you can expect some success.
  4. We are all tribal!

Why niche marketing works

The internet has put an end to the mass marketing of old. Now people are looking for special, unique, and resonating products, services and entertainment.

The world is bombarded with information, and we have far less time to make far more decisions than ever before.

Every band wants to increase their fan base with the goal of pulling more heads to gigs and selling more music and merchandise, but how do they get above the enormous amount of information pitched to us everyday?

The answer is to market to a smaller niche of people who are more likely to want to hear your message. Stop spreading your marketing wide and start narrowing it to the people who are likely to care most about what you’re doing.

Find your fan demographic

To niche your marketing you need to aim for a particular group of people, let's call them your fan demographic.

Answer the following questions:-

  • Who cares about your music now?
  • What age are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are they into other then music?
  • How do they communicate?

If you don't know the answer to these questions, make that action step #1 to start finding out about the demographic of people who are consistently coming to see you.

Once you've discovered your niche demographic, consider how to bring those people into the fold; how to make them feel like they’re part of your band’s tribe.

If your current fan base is made up of neighbours, and sisters and a few friends then perhaps this exercise is a little premature. As soon as people start coming to see your band that you’re not personally connected with, start researching!

You need to know who they are, what age they are , where they live, where they work, what else they are into, what other music they like, where they go. Another important piece of information is how do they communicate? Are they Twitter people, Facebook people, mailing list people or do they prefer email communication? How should you communicate with them?

You could be surprised by your demographic. They could be 32 year old, Crust pizza-eating accountants from South Melbourne. You might find that they’re 45 year old designers who eat organically and hate Twitter. Perhaps they are 19 year old girls in expensive dresses bought by their daddies and they have their own YouTube channels on make-up.

Even if there is an element of surprise, don’t alienate people. Be open-minded!


The Magic Number for success

In my experience of booking bands into venues, there’s a natural barrier at about 10-30 heads for an average band doing average marketing. And I say ‘natural’ because that’s how many friends and family members typically show up to support the band.

How many heads at gigs do you need before you feel like you’re really achieving some success?

At a recent music industry summit, Artist Manager - Greg Donovan reported that the number is one hundred. If a band can consistently pull one hundred heads to their gigs, the hard hitters of the industry will know who they are. They’ll take notice.

We are all Tribal

We are all Tribal

Remember that we all hang out in little tribes – all of us – depending on our age, our demographic, where we live, and what our interests are.

We all have little tribes. What you need to do is infiltrate those little tribes that you know consist of the demographic most likely to dig what you’re into.

How to Market your Music


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    • AntheaPalmer profile image

      AntheaPalmer 4 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for your feedback. Yes, I could talk about the industry all day.....sometimes I do. Appreciate you taking the time to watch and read.

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Very sound advice about niche marketing. I agree making things too broad can limit your success. I also like the tribe analogy. Great read and video, it is obvious that you are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about the music industry.