Are you a creator? If your answer is “HECK YES!!!” then chances are you’ve asked yourself the age old question…
How do I get more fans?
As with everything, good news and bad news.
The bad news: you can’t make fans appear with the wave of a wand.
The good news: many famous creators once stood in your shoes and have since passed the magic sauce along to others. Here are some tried-and-true steps you can follow to start growing your fan base!
Building a website for your brand is an important first step in establishing an official presence on the internet. Think of your website as your mission control to the world. It’s likely the first place new fans will land when they google your name or want to learn more about you. It’s a home for your content, your contact information, and all of the links to your social media. Your website is also where you will host an email subscription box and build your email list for future updates or newsletters. Compiling an email list is super important, even if you don’t plan on sending out a monthly newsletter. The email list will come in handy down the road when you announce projects, event appearances, or directly ask your fans for their support on something.
Pro Tip: Purchase your website domain name and hosting service, then use platforms like Squarespace or Wix to design your own website. Make sure that your creative content, contact information, and social media links are all in plain sight or accessible with one click!
Rapid growth in fans happens when your direct circle of friends shares your work with their extended circles of friends. This allows you to make an impression on people with whom you wouldn’t otherwise have contact. And, of course, the quickest way to make this happen is on the internet. You’ve got to create digital, shareable content if you want your work to be shared with as many people as possible. This rule applies to every creator, no matter what your creative medium. Find a way to engage your fans on the web and social media so that they’ll share your work!
Pro Tip: Give your fans a “Call To Action” on social media by asking them to promote your work (ie. share your content on their Facebook wall or subscribe to your channel on YouTube). Your fans love knowing that they can help you! But be careful – don’t go overboard with your CTA’s. Too many asks and your fans will become less excited to help.
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If someone discovers your work and learns that you’ll be releasing something new next week, there is a MUCH higher chance they will follow you. This is why having a dependable content schedule is a very important step in gaining fans. Dedicating yourself to frequent content also displays your level of commitment, resulting in more faith from viewers in that crucial moment when they decide to follow or not! Keep ‘em coming back for more!
Pro Tip: Many professional creators build their content schedules ahead of time. Approach your content schedule like it’s a business and plan ahead! Tools like Hootsuite or YouTube’s scheduled upload feature can help you stay on top of a packed content schedule.
One very effective way to grow your audience is to leverage other people’s audiences. This may sound sneaky, but it’s actually a commonly accepted practice! The most popular way to do this is by collaborating with another creator. When two creators share a project they worked on together, they are sending fans both ways. Another strategy is something like a cover song or reaction video. When fans are searching for the original piece of content, they might find your spin-off and love it too! Take this concept and make it work for you.
Pro-Tip: If you invite another creator to collab with you, it’s polite to have a solid project idea already formed (or most of the work already finished). This is especially the case if you’re asking a larger, more well-known creator to collab with you. You’ll need to bring more effort to the table so that it’s as easy for them as possible!
Find out where your fans go, and then show up! Networking “IRL” should not be overlooked. There are endless bands, youtubers, gamers, and podcasters who built their followings by making a presence at events related to their content. One of the most popular tactics for meeting people at events is to hand out swag. Who doesn’t love free stuff?! Whether it’s t-shirts, stickers, hats, pins, or digital download cards, your swag will win you fans. And here’s a bonus: you are building a fleet of walking marketers when people wear your swag at an event or take it home!
Pro Tip: You can use websites like DFTBA or AKT to make your merchandise. Make sure you mention your content and where it will be released when you hand out your swag!
Following these steps will undoubtedly teach you more about how you attract fans. Test which strategies work best for you, and be smart with your time! It may seem like a lot of work on top of the content that you already produce, but these tactics are what turn a hobby into a full-fledged business. Go get ‘em!
Patreon is the best way for creators to earn ongoing revenue directly from their fans.