Modern Musician's Guide to Getting Fans (Online and Locally)

Crowd of Fans at Concert

Today the global stage is literally at the fingertips of every musician. From a local bar gig to streaming platforms reaching millions, opportunities abound for artists willing to navigate both the online and offline music scene.

This guide will walk you through building genuine connections with your fanbase, both locally and online. In doing so, you can solidify their place in the industry and nurture a community that grows organically.

Engage with the Local Scene

With social media and streaming platforms, it's easy to forget the importance of connecting with music fans right in your backyard. A robust and genuine local following can serve as a sturdy foundation for any budding artist, amplifying your growth both online and off. Let's delve into the nuts and bolts of engaging with the local music scene.

musicians playing at a local gig

Attend and Play Shows in Your Local Area

Starting in your local community can offer a hands-on experience for understanding your audience, fine-tuning your live performances, and making memorable impressions.

  • Experience and Learn: Attending local gigs isn’t just about promoting yourself. It’s an opportunity to learn from other performers. Typically you’ll be coming after or before another performance. Arrive early (or stay late) and watch their stage presence, audience engagement techniques, and even how they manage technical mishaps. These experiences can be invaluable as you grow as a performer.
  • Showcase Your Talent: Playing shows isn’t just about getting your music out there. It's about telling a story, connecting with fans, and creating an experience that attendees will talk about and share with others. Remember, word of mouth is powerful, and a killer live show can generate a lot of buzz.

Make Friends Who Are Musicians

In the world of music, networking is key. This isn’t the shallow, business-card-swapping kind of networking, but genuine relationship-building.

  • Shared Opportunities: By making friends in the industry, you might find opportunities to collaborate, share gigs, or even team up for promotional efforts. Perhaps you can open for a band with a slightly larger following, or they can introduce you to important contacts like local radio hosts or event organizers.
  • Learn and Grow Together: Fellow musicians can offer valuable feedback on your music, share their own experiences, and provide emotional support during tough times. Think of them as colleagues in a unique workplace where camaraderie can lead to collective success.

Cultivate a Live Audience

Your local audience can be your initial online ambassadors. They’re the ones who'll share your music, tag you in posts, and bring the online traction that’s crucial in today’s music scene.

  • Engage at Shows: After a performance, take the time to chat with attendees. Thank them for coming, ask for feedback, and encourage them to connect with you on social media. Personal connections can make a fan feel special and invested in your success.
  • Online Engagement: Once you’ve built that local fan base, nurture it online. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of rehearsals, songwriting sessions, or even the challenges you face. Responding to comments and messages can also further solidify your bond with fans.
  • Use Locality to Your Advantage: Local landmarks, events, or even quirks can be highlighted in your posts to resonate with your local audience. As your local followers engage, the algorithms of social media platforms will take notice, showing your content to an even broader audience.

Utilize the Internet Effectively

If we think of your fanbase as a tree, local connections form the roots, but online platforms are the branches that allow your music to spread far and wide. Harnessing the power of the internet can amplify your reach, bringing your sound to fans across the globe. Let's explore how to make the most of the online world.

Craft a Strong Music Portfolio

Before venturing into the competitive landscape of online music, ensure you have a vault of quality tracks. Your sound is your signature, so it’s worth investing time in refining and mastering it. Regularly review your songs, solicit feedback, and be open to making changes. Remember, quality always trumps quantity.

Consistent Releases on Streaming Platforms 

Platforms like SoundCloud and Spotify have emerged as pivotal spaces for independent artists. Regular and consistent releases can keep you in the listeners' radar, ensuring that your music stays relevant. Use tools and analytics provided by these platforms to understand your listeners' preferences and optimize your releases accordingly.

Effective Promotion Techniques

Once you have a song ready, it deserves to be heard. Dedicate resources to promote your tracks, especially during their launch phase. Spotify ads and SoundCloud promotions can boost your tracks' visibility, helping them reach potential fans. Equally, platforms like SubmitHub offer opportunities for your tracks to be featured on prominent YouTube channels, blogs, or even radio stations.

YouTube channels and playlists on streaming platforms can be a huge resource for artists to get heard by potential fans looking for new music in their favorite genres.

Woman networking online

Collaborate and Network Online

Connect with other artists, especially those who complement your sound. Collaborations can introduce your music to another artist's fanbase, and vice versa. Engaging in online music scenes, like forum discussions or social media groups, can also offer exposure and valuable insights.

If you’re wondering which artists are the best to connect with, try looking at the following:

  • “Fans Also Like” or “Similar Artists” sections on your soundcloud or streaming profile pages.
  • The artists your fans follow.
  • Artists who are one step removed in your network. (e.g. you collaborated with artist A, and artist A collaborated with artist B, so you ask A to introduce you to B.)

Engage with Your Online Community 

Interaction is the heartbeat of online success. Every like, comment, or share is an endorsement of your work. Responding to fans, thanking them for their support, and even addressing criticisms can foster a dedicated online community. Not only does this build loyalty, but active engagements also feed into platform algorithms, potentially enhancing your visibility.


In the music industry, versatility and adaptability are paramount. As we've explored, the balance between forging local connections and utilizing online platforms is the key to a sustainable musical journey. Embracing both can set the stage for an artist's longevity and success. 

Stay passionate, stay connected, and remember: your music has the power to resonate, both at home and beyond.

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