Gathering an audience is a great feeling – now it’s time to keep them engaged. Once you’ve built a following, it’s important to keep them interested so they keep coming to your shows and spreading the word about your music. When you stay on the top of their mind, your audience is more likely to spread the word. Word of mouth is the most trusted form of marketing; in fact, 8 in 10 trust word-of-mouth recommendations completely or somewhat, making it the most trusted form of advertisement.
We’ll break down some ways to keep your audience engaged by interacting with them in person, online, and working with the venue. Audience engagement will look a little bit different if you are a DJ versus a music composer, so we’ll note the differences as we go along.
We’ve already covered attracting an audience online, which is a great place to start if you are still building up your first fans.
1. Use Your Performances
While you are performing, whether it’s a large show or a small gathering, use the time to talk about what’s next. Maybe you put on a monthly show or are releasing your first music video on Monday. Whatever it is, make sure you tell your audience what’s going on and what they can expect.
If you are a DJ or performing again soon, let your audience know when the next show is. If you are a composer or creator, you should talk about when your next song is dropping and what else they can expect from the next few months.
As a good rule of thumb, let your audience know what’s next for you three times during your show unless you are playing a very short set.
2. Engage, Engage, Engage
Especially when you are starting out, engaging with fans is important. Many fans want to get to know you, and they’ll stay after a show to say hi. After a show, make sure you are taking some time to talk to anyone that comes up; they might have a request for your next show or just want to get to know you better.
Another avenue for engagement is all of your social media accounts. It’s important to respond to every comment and review, negative and positive. Here are a few best practices for social media engagement:
- Respond as soon as possible. It’s best to do so within an hour, but that can be demanding. If you can’t respond quickly, make sure you respond within 24 hours.
- Take time to respond to all reviews. Thank the positive reviewers, and engage with negative reviews, acknowledging the feedback. You might not take the negative feedback and change anything, but potential fans will look at your response and take it into account.
- Have fun, and be yourself! Customer service fails if you aren’t genuine. Make sure you are responding in your own voice (unless you perform with a persona, then respond in persona).
3. Working with Venues
A good way to lose an audience is for you and the venue to be working in opposing directions. Make sure you work with the venue to find out exactly what they expect you to be responsible for and what they will do. Venues want to pack a room but may still expect you to help promote the show, create posters, and more.
When you are in lockstep with your venue, you’ll know what you need to do to draw a crowd and what they are doing to support your performance.
4. Expect the Unexpected and Roll with It
Something unexpected is likely to happen during any performance, and you never know what opportunities might arise to create a memorable moment with your audience.
You might remember when the lead singer for John Coffey caught a beer that one of his fans threw his way, took a drink, and threw it away. That’s a moment you don’t have to be a fan to remember. These moments can make a performance a spectacle.
This is also true online. You never know when the right opportunity will let you engage with your audience and allow them to see a side of you they wouldn’t otherwise.
5. Create a Spectacle
Word of mouth is the most effective way to draw new fans, but it takes something to get them talking. Adding great visuals to your performances can help draw in your fans. Think about Elton John with his spectacular style or Hair Bands and their… hair.
Luminant Music helps you create a spectacle by visualizing your music live while you perform, or you can produce your own videos for performances or online.
Get Your Audience Talking
If you can follow the four tips above, you’ll be on your way to a more engaged audience, which will help spread the word of your music and performances. When engaging with your audience, make sure you are authentic and let them see who you are. People resonate with other people and love to meet the people behind some of their favorite music.
Are you interested in visualizing your music? Sign up for 14 days free of Luminant Music and start exploring your options.