Being in a band or being an artist isn't simply about writing and performing songs. In our culture, there's a whole image and presentation that goes along with that artist status. It requires you to be a bit of a politician to and with the media. It also requires a similar sort of finesse with fans, but in a much more direct, intimate, and sincere way.
You have to shepherd and care for your fanbase. It is precious and it is priceless. You cannot neglect it or take it for granted, because without it, you are nothing. Fortunately, there are four insanely easy ways to show your fans that you really, really care about them.
Make sure to communicate with fans directly via social media. Nowadays, the divide or chasm between bands and the fans is much smaller, and it continues to shrink. You can make your fans' day by simply retweeting something that they tweeted about your album or songs, or by liking an Instagram photo. Go a step further by making a comment in that same social media correspondence. You can even make 'em feel like a million bucks by throwing them a follow.
It's so easy, takes little time, and makes them happy. You can bet that they will never, ever forget that interaction with you. It's a low-effort but high-impact way to make a forever impression.
2. Give them post-show love
When you have a meet-and-greet or a signing, honor every autograph request and sign something for every kid who waited in line. But during an impromptu hang session, like when you're swarmed by fans near your bus after a show, take several minutes to shake hands, do a selfie, and give 'em all hugs.
You may be tired. You may be sweaty. You may be hungry. But you are there, exhausted from performing to a packed house, because of them. You can sleep, shower, or eat later.
3. Don't gouge them
Keep your prices manageable. Make sure your merch isn't too expensive, especially if your fanbase is comprised of teenagers with limited income. Make sure you give them options that are affordable. They want to support you. Plus, they are basically serving as a marketing source for you by wearing your band name, logo, photo, or album cover on their person! Help them help you.
4. Stick up for them
At shows, make sure you make eye contact with, high-five, or interact with your fans as you reach into the crowd. Yes, we have learned from many situations that safety has to come first. But make sure you exchange non-verbal cues with your fans. Keep your eyes open to what's going on the crowd. If a fan is getting roughed up in a pit or a girl is getting groped, speak out. Stand up for her. Call out the jerks. Be rad. Be present. Connect with them with your eyes.
See how easy it is to show the love?!
Amy Sciarretto has 20 years of print and online bylines, from Kerrang to Spin.com to Revolver to Bustle, covering music, beauty, and fashion. After 12 years doing radio and publicity at Roadrunner Records, she now fronts Atom Splitter PR, her own boutique PR firm, which has over 30 clients. She also is active in animal charity and rescue.