Building Community: How to Connect Your Fans to Each Other
You’ve worked your butt off to build a large, engaged following of fans. You’ve been replying to comments, getting to know your fans on a personal level, and have built up a great sense of tribe with them.
Now that you have an amazing community, let’s start promoting the “-unity” and help your fans get to know each other! Why is it important, you ask?
Interaction between your fans promotes an even more solid community around your art
Your fans each have a common interest – your work! And because of that, they’re bound to have more in common, too. When you start the conversation, your fans will run with it, and create new friendships amongst themselves. This is a great way to not only promote friendship and camaraderie in general, but this also helps to reinforce the structure of your loyal, interwoven fanbase.
Here are some ways to get your fans introduced to each other:
Encourage conversation between fans
Get them talking to each other. Often this happens organically in the comments sections of videos and posts. Give your viewers a prompt question to answer at the end of your videos, and they will be more inclined to comment.
Another way to get them talking is to have online streaming events where there is a group chat in the browser. People will be sending you questions and messages, but they will also talk amongst themselves. This happens a lot right when the event has started, but you haven’t come on screen yet. You can also host specific online meetups just for your fans in this fashion.
Give them opportunities to collaborate
Do you know of a fan who’s a photographer and another fan who’s a burgeoning musician, and they happen to live in the same city? Connect them!
Do you have a handful of fans who vlog or make youtube videos? Introduce them!
It’s pretty much like playing matchmaker. If you know of two fans who have similar interests and complementary skillsets, introduce them. Even better, challenge them to make something based off of your work, such as a cover video, a reply video, or an interpretation of your work in their medium.
Schedule meetups at Conventions
Your industry most likely has a large scale convention that happens in a major city near you. There’s a good chance that a lot of your fans are going to be there already. It’s a great opportunity for you to meet some fans and for them to meet each other. Encourage them to all geek out together!
Research festivals and conventions in your regional area and see if your art aligns with any of them.
Create General Meetups, Fanclubs & Fan Luncheons
I can guarantee you every single one of your fans has this in common — they all eat food.
Having a lunch meet and greet for any reason at all is a great way for your fans to converse with each other over a meal.
Happy hours at a local bar (or a favorite tour stop) are a great way to connect fans with each other. You can even piggyback these off of bigger events like awards shows and conventions if you’re unable to book an official time slot at the bigger event. You can make these meetups intimate and VIP, or open to anyone.
Speaking Engagements will Gather your Fans
If you do any public speaking, your speaking engagements are great places to bring your fans together. For example if you’re an author, consider going on a book tour to different bookstores. Your fans will share their love of your book, and their love of similar books. When all those bibliophiles are sitting next to each other in the same room, you can bet they’ll get to talking about their favorite reads.
Consider booking speaking engagements where you fans can gather in a place they love. College clubs, brick and mortar retail stores, and collaborative spaces are all places to start.
Run a High Class Retreat
Since you are an artist and you know how to do your thing really, really well, consider running a retreat to teach and inspire others to do what you do. Retreats are incredible memory making opportunities. Guests leave the experience inspired and with brand new friendships they never would have made otherwise.
Running a retreat is also another great way to pull in some income from your art.
Do you have a great community full of fans that stick together? Share your tips with us in the comments.