our team

services

SANCTUARY

Aenean tellus urna, vehicula quis quam vel, finibus sollicitudin quam maecenas mollis risus eu purus faucibus efficitur.

True Fans are the answer to your music career woes (& why your friends/family might not "get it") [Level 1 - Fans]
Written by:
Emily Plazek

You might be here because you were reading Level 1 - Fans and you didn't know what True Fans were. Well, here you go:

The Goal to get to Level 2: 1000TF

This right of the pyramid is the "Fan" side -- it's about building a dedicated fan base, specifically 1000 “True Fans” (also called “Superfans”) in order to hit your “Tipping Point” and rise to Level 2. We abbreviate it as 1000TF. Let's explain what that all means:

In a crowded room, do you find the "Superfans" who truly want to follow you, or do you try to get everyone to pay attention? What's more valuable?

Hit your Tipping Point and stop worrying about "getting fans"

Tipping Point is a Malcolm Gladwell concept that explains how economies of scale work in someone becoming a “celebrity” or mainstream-popular figure.

Economies of scale is a “a proportionate saving in costs gained by an increased level of production,” meaning that you’re no longer fighting to win over each fan one by one. You hit a certain point where you’ve achieved different types of fans (mavens, connectors, and salesmen, Malcolm explains) that help the word-of-mouth about you spread like a virus, with much less effort of your own than before.

Some bands/artists spend most of their time on one or two activities that they think they “should” do -- so this section is dedicated to throwing out those preconceived notions, and helping you narrow in on activities that have big bang for your buck in terms of gaining fans.

What is a True Fan/Superfan?

True Fans/Superfans are people who would pay (time, money, and energy) to listen to your music, go to your show, buy your music, and be a part of your fan club. In this world of streaming, superfans are harder to grab because we’re used to jumping between songs in an unlimited library. Often we turn to playlists curated for us, or by an algorithm (think Pandora) based on what we like, so we don’t even have a hand in making the playlist - that makes it even harder to nerd out on one artist and become a superfan.

This is different than past generations of saving up allowances to buy an album (CD or record) and superfan-ing out on that album (the pre-Netflix binge form of entertainment). Also, since social media opened avenues for artists to reach fans without a label’s help, labels no longer determine who we’ll listen to; so the noise is louder-- now there are seemingly endless options of music to listen to. That’s pretty fun as a consumer of music, but poses some tricky challenges as an artist trying to get your music in the right hands.

That doesn’t mean you aren’t going to find fans who will nerd-out on you and become superfans-- it just means you have to think wisely about how you’ll do it, because you can’t play the numbers game the way labels can, pouring money into their “next big thing.” Everything in this Level 1 - Fans will teach you how to gain true fans effectively, not waste your time on wishy-washy “fans.”

Kellee Maize and her Nepal Superfans

How do I get them?

1000 isn't that many. Building to your goal of 1000TF isn’t a hard and fast number to follow; as in, you can’t rely on solely your email list or social media stats to hit 1000 and finally you’re there -- because not everyone that follows you is a True Fan.

So we suggest you go after the social media platform goal of at least 10,000 followers per platform because that’s what companies look for as a minimum for Lifestyle Branding activities (see Level 2 - Money). However: don’t try to game the system and buy followers, because you’re just wasting your own time, and you’ll have a much harder time gauging how many of your followers are actually superfans-- or potential superfans, if you put the time and effort into converting them.

The First Circle Conundrum - why your friends/family might not "get it"

Don’t be offended if your first degree of separation in your life (family, friends, colleagues) doesn’t like your music. Seriously, don’t take it personally-- it’s something we at MIC coined the term “First Circle Conundrum” to describe.

People already in your life see you as a cousin, a coworker, their mall-walking buddy -- so trying to get them to re-define you in their minds is pretty near impossible. They’ll never see you the way a stranger who becomes a fan would see you, and that is a-okay. They’ll love and support you in other ways, just not that specific fan-way -- so don’t put that pressure on them, or be offended when they don’t become token superfans.

Comedian Pete Holmes shares some great anecdotes about this in his "You Made it Weird" podcast. We pull from non-music influencers in the entertainment realm to make our IMBM research well-rounded -- and he shares how he handles situations like parties or phone calls where his family members "don't get" his comedy career. His response: "It's not for you, don't worry about it." Here's a good example of one of those episodes, when Pete interviews Sarah Silverman.

Let’s get back to the activities you do to gain a following... read Level 1 - Fans, here!

True Fans are the answer to your music career woes (& why your friends/family might not "get it") [Level 1 - Fans]
True Fans are the answer to your music career woes (& why your friends/family might not "get it") [Level 1 - Fans]
MIC is my baby.

You might be here because you were reading Level 1 - Fans and you didn't know what True Fans were. Well, here you go:

The Goal to get to Level 2: 1000TF

This right of the pyramid is the "Fan" side -- it's about building a dedicated fan base, specifically 1000 “True Fans” (also called “Superfans”) in order to hit your “Tipping Point” and rise to Level 2. We abbreviate it as 1000TF. Let's explain what that all means:

In a crowded room, do you find the "Superfans" who truly want to follow you, or do you try to get everyone to pay attention? What's more valuable?

Hit your Tipping Point and stop worrying about "getting fans"

Tipping Point is a Malcolm Gladwell concept that explains how economies of scale work in someone becoming a “celebrity” or mainstream-popular figure.

Economies of scale is a “a proportionate saving in costs gained by an increased level of production,” meaning that you’re no longer fighting to win over each fan one by one. You hit a certain point where you’ve achieved different types of fans (mavens, connectors, and salesmen, Malcolm explains) that help the word-of-mouth about you spread like a virus, with much less effort of your own than before.

Some bands/artists spend most of their time on one or two activities that they think they “should” do -- so this section is dedicated to throwing out those preconceived notions, and helping you narrow in on activities that have big bang for your buck in terms of gaining fans.

What is a True Fan/Superfan?

True Fans/Superfans are people who would pay (time, money, and energy) to listen to your music, go to your show, buy your music, and be a part of your fan club. In this world of streaming, superfans are harder to grab because we’re used to jumping between songs in an unlimited library. Often we turn to playlists curated for us, or by an algorithm (think Pandora) based on what we like, so we don’t even have a hand in making the playlist - that makes it even harder to nerd out on one artist and become a superfan.

This is different than past generations of saving up allowances to buy an album (CD or record) and superfan-ing out on that album (the pre-Netflix binge form of entertainment). Also, since social media opened avenues for artists to reach fans without a label’s help, labels no longer determine who we’ll listen to; so the noise is louder-- now there are seemingly endless options of music to listen to. That’s pretty fun as a consumer of music, but poses some tricky challenges as an artist trying to get your music in the right hands.

That doesn’t mean you aren’t going to find fans who will nerd-out on you and become superfans-- it just means you have to think wisely about how you’ll do it, because you can’t play the numbers game the way labels can, pouring money into their “next big thing.” Everything in this Level 1 - Fans will teach you how to gain true fans effectively, not waste your time on wishy-washy “fans.”

Kellee Maize and her Nepal Superfans

How do I get them?

1000 isn't that many. Building to your goal of 1000TF isn’t a hard and fast number to follow; as in, you can’t rely on solely your email list or social media stats to hit 1000 and finally you’re there -- because not everyone that follows you is a True Fan.

So we suggest you go after the social media platform goal of at least 10,000 followers per platform because that’s what companies look for as a minimum for Lifestyle Branding activities (see Level 2 - Money). However: don’t try to game the system and buy followers, because you’re just wasting your own time, and you’ll have a much harder time gauging how many of your followers are actually superfans-- or potential superfans, if you put the time and effort into converting them.

The First Circle Conundrum - why your friends/family might not "get it"

Don’t be offended if your first degree of separation in your life (family, friends, colleagues) doesn’t like your music. Seriously, don’t take it personally-- it’s something we at MIC coined the term “First Circle Conundrum” to describe.

People already in your life see you as a cousin, a coworker, their mall-walking buddy -- so trying to get them to re-define you in their minds is pretty near impossible. They’ll never see you the way a stranger who becomes a fan would see you, and that is a-okay. They’ll love and support you in other ways, just not that specific fan-way -- so don’t put that pressure on them, or be offended when they don’t become token superfans.

Comedian Pete Holmes shares some great anecdotes about this in his "You Made it Weird" podcast. We pull from non-music influencers in the entertainment realm to make our IMBM research well-rounded -- and he shares how he handles situations like parties or phone calls where his family members "don't get" his comedy career. His response: "It's not for you, don't worry about it." Here's a good example of one of those episodes, when Pete interviews Sarah Silverman.

Let’s get back to the activities you do to gain a following... read Level 1 - Fans, here!

Follow us on our Social Networks

Subscribe to get our latest news