If you’re a musician still deciding on goals for 2022, we’ve got one for you: audience development. In 2022, your audience is your most important asset. Not everyone will take this seriously. After all, “developing your audience” doesn’t sound quite as sexy as writing more songs or increasing your follower count (followers aren’t necessarily the same as fans, by the way). But if you want to build any kind of sustainable career in music, developing an audience is essential.
Why should I care about having an audience?
Developing an audience is important for two main reasons. First, having an audience gives you leverage with the industry members you want something from. Record labels, publicists, booking agents, and venues (of all sizes!) will be far more likely to work with you if you already have a following. It doesn’t have to be a huge one either. Getting even 30-50 loyal fans shows people that you’re ready to work.
Second, if and when those record labels, publicists, and booking agents leave, your audience is all you have left. If you can develop it independently of other parties, you won’t need all those people to have a sustainable career.
How do I know who my audience is?
Welcome to one of marketing’s great questions! One of the ways to answer it is to create a persona of your audience, an imaginary person who represents your audience’s interests, habits, and lifestyle. How old are they? Where do they shop? Why and when do they listen to music? Where do they live? Get as specific as you can about your persona’s qualities and you’ll more about your audience.
This is, of course, just guesswork. So once you’ve made up your audience persona, test it out! If you think most of your audience is in their early to mid-twenties, submit to some college radios. If it’s received well, you were probably right; otherwise, you may need to rethink your demographic. Finding your audience isn’t quick or easy. But with some trial and error, it’s very doable.
Once you know who your audience is, do everything you can to get in front of them. Play a show with an artist they already listen to, join the online communities they’re in, get yourself added to playlists they’ve saved, anything.
A final note
You’re looking for an audience for your music, not tailoring your music to an audience. Write music that feels true to you, then find the people who want to hear it. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing techno-spacecore-rap or indie-thrash. If your music is authentic, I promise there’s an audience for it out there. You just need to find them!
What are other important musician goals for 2022? Tweet us @tonicaudiolabs and let us know what yours are!