Building a fan base is a daunting task. Just reading that sentence your blood pressure probably rose a couple points. Everyone talks about how it’s so important to “build a fan base,” but no one really gives a simple way how or what that even really means.
You should not look at the ambiguous “fan base” as something magical and detached that will only take getting a hit on the radio obtainable. A fan base can be your friends and friends of friends who came to your last show and liked the show. If they come to the next show – BAM – fan base. Who cares that you know their last names and went to the bar with them last week. A ticket is a ticket and if they like you enough they’ll pony up the cash to come to the concert.
Gaining legitimacy with a club is easier than you think. You don’t need to send them a 6 paragraph email citing the battle of the bands you won or the TV shows you were on – but that could be an afterthought to reinforce the main point of your email: “How many people will be at my show.”
You can book a successful tour (I gauge success in terms of net income) around the county a lot easier than you think. In pretty much every major city in the country (world) there will be a small venue with a capacity under 300 that will be conducive to your sound. Nearly every under 300 cap venue in the world will be satisfied with a 50 person turnout on a week night and even some on the weekend if they haven’t filled that date with a sure thing. If you guarantee 50 will come you can probably book the club.
So that’s step one. Now that you have the shows booked how do you actually get the 50 to come? You have to find your niche. Every band has one or multiple niches. You can even create one. You should look at groups and organizations as a main target when promoting the show. Sure it’s nice to grab one kid’s attention from a Facebook ad, but it’s much more effective if you get an entire group excited about you.
Found out about “niches” and how to get the magical 50:
Ari’s Take: 50 Is The Magic Number (Book a Headlining Tour).