5 Tips to Build Your Online Following

This post is specifically aimed at musicians but can be adapted and used for anyone who needs to build an online presence. The key to achieving longevity in your chosen field is to engage with your audience and here are five tips on how to achieve this.

Share content…a lot.

Creating good content is important but in order for it to be noticed, it needs to be shared…a lot. How many times is a lot? At least eight times is the optimum number for content to be seen and acted upon. Don’t share all at the same time, play around with the days and times you post. Take note which days and times get the most response and ensure you post at those times in future.

Interact with audience

When you post, make sure you hang around on your chosen social media app and interact with those who engage with those posts. Reply to their comments, thank them for liking / retweeting, return the favour when they follow you, invite them to sign up to your list. Just be careful to not do this too quickly though – nothing is guaranteed to put people off faster than being seen as too ‘salesy’.


For further interaction, ensure that you always have something to ‘giveaway’ to your audience. Ideally, it won’t be a physical something, but should always be designed to encourage your audience to become more engaged with you. Ideas could include links to unlisted YouTube videos of rehearsals, watch parties, polls to decide the next song you sing, snippets of new songs.

Make Connections

All the above tips are about connecting with an audience and so this fourth tip is to capitalise on those connections. The ultimate aim of making music is to sell your music and, to a certain extent, yourself. Keep this in mind when posting on social media and remember that you are training your audience to follow you, so make sure that they do!


Perseverance is not a glamorous word, being associated with plain old hard work. However, perseverance is the one thing that you will need above all else to succeed in any business, whether it be music or otherwise. There will be plenty of setbacks and wrong turnings but everything is a learning experience and as long as you don’t give up, you’ll succeed.

Keep going with these and soon, it will become a habit that pays off – give it a go!

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Why You Need Fan Engagement

Fans are what making music is all about; everyone needs fans to buy their music. Fan engagement is one of those phrases that gets bandied about a lot when talking about releasing new music but what is it? I’ve been writing about music and working with fans for several years now and, in my first blog for a while, this is my take on why fan engagement is absolutely necessary to make a living from music.

Making and releasing music without fans to hear and buy doesn’t make sense. Making and releasing music without promoting it doesn’t make sense either. You would also think that making and releasing music without engaging with potential buyers wouldn’t make sense either, but that is exactly what happens across the music industry today.

I’m asking the question, therefore, what is fan engagement and why should you do it? Starting with what it isn’t, fan engagement is not just about posting updates about your music and ways in which fans can part with their money. This approach is just broadcasting and has no personal touch – eventually you’re just talking to yourself, and not in a good way.

If at this point, you’re tempted to say “everyone does it like this”, please don’t. This approach may be standard, however, in a world of sheep, would you rather be just another woolly sheep ambling along behind, or would you rather be a cute chihuahua leading by example?

Being a chihuahua instead of a sheep in the world of fan engagement means that you have to take those two words and really understand them: real fan engagement needs real engagement with fans. In today’s world of streaming, fan loyalty is an important factor in music sales, so ensuring that fans stay loyal is a huge advantage when releasing new music. Loyal fans feel important and when they feel important, they will support everything an artist does – every artist needs a core group of fans like this. And you don’t have to be a mega selling artist to have a core group of fans.

Engaging with fans is the lifeblood of maintaining longevity in the music business; if you want a long lasting career, then good fan engagement is what you need. Think about what happens when posting updates on social media channels – stick around after posting and engage with fans. By engage, I mean reply, like, share, retweet, comment. Spending five minutes doing this every day will mean that fans feel important and will be inclined to support your music time and time again. You’ll also gain a huge amount of knowledge about what your fans do and don’t like, which in a world where money talks is like gold dust.

Next time you think about engaging with your fans, ask yourself one question: am I a sheep or a chihuahua? In my next series of blogs, I’ll show you why it’s important not to be a sheep!

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