Before I get too far into this post, I will add the disclaimer that I don’t have fans nor do I play music. I have readers and I write. There are similarities between the two, but there are also discrepancies. Thus, my intent here is to dive into the psychology of relationships and try to understand how these concepts might apply to fans. Not to try and convince you that these principles do relate to fans.
That said, I came across this article on a PychCentral. To me, it displays interesting parallels into how the things that destroy relationships in real-life are also factors that play into the ways that emerging artists may ruin the bond that fans feel towards their group. More and more, artists are placed the challenge of engaging their fans, establishing a connection, and nurturing a relationship.
However, much like our personal lives, there are many reasons that those relationships go astray. Let’s try to gain insight into how those rationales might to apply artists. Not all groups are interested in building this type of rapport with their fans. Nor are a majority of casual fans all that interested to having a relationship with an artist. But, let’s explore and see what we learn.
1. Take Your Fans For Granted: If you want to lose your fans in a hurry then just assume that they will always be there and take them for granted. Are you going to disappear and record an album over the next year... but, don’t want to be bothered? It’s not a good idea to assume that your fans will be patiently waiting on the other end. Now, I know what you’re thinking. What band doesn’t try to involve their fans these days? Yet, there’re still plenty of examples of ways that artists take their fans efforts for granted. If they’re making the effort to Tweet your tracks and spread the word about your album, are you thanking them? Give the slightest bit of acknowledgement and you shift the entire paradigm.
2. Stop Talking To Your Fans: Sure, you’re talking at your fans, but are you talking to them? I bet you’ve been busy updating all your online portals and creating music… but, are any of those messages directed to fans? Or, is it just a bunch of scatter-shoot updates—that are targeted at them? Worse still, some artists feel the need to not talk to their fans at all. They’d rather talk to their fans indirectly, through interviews, or use their publicist. That’s how the artists that they like talk to them. However, it may very well be that your fans do want to be talked to now and then.
3. Stop Listening To Your Fans: The foremost and obvious thing to be said here is that you have to listen to what your fans are saying about you, online and off. If you’re lucky enough to be a part of conversations, sometimes you have to partake in them. Now, if artists listened to everything that their fans said, then, nothing would ever get done and all the albums might be exactly the same. Nonetheless, it is essential to listen to what your fans are saying and to join in when it’s necessary.
4. Nitpick About How Fans Consume: Music creators do have the right to speak up and say that they aren’t alright with the fact that fans are file-sharing their music. After all, that’s not how they made it available. By sharing it, one could argue that it’s disrespectful of fans. They are going against the artist’s wishes and listening to it in ways that they hadn’t intended. It could also be that, while file-sharing is highly common and practiced by many, there’s a reason why they are consuming it in ways that you haven’t approved. Before artists speak out and nitpick with their fans; they should make needed adjustments and ask more questions.
5. # Kill All The Fun: Yes, you’re a super-serious artist. Committed to the task of conveying your deepest feelings through one pluck of the guitar. But, are your fans having any fun? Remix contests, giveaways, and flash mobs aren’t exactly music or spending time creating art—but to the fans, they can be fun and interesting ways to engage with artists. Every artist and their fans will define fun differently, but it’s important to not let it leave the relationship. Most things start out fun and overtime the feeling fades. If you want to keep your fans for the long haul—then make it fun to stay.
By Kyle Bylin -- SOURCE