For emerging artists today, the modern music and social media industry have deceived us into thinking we need MILLIONS to be a success. A million streams to recoup the cost of a guitar and an amp, millions of views, millions of followers, it all means you’re really special… Except, it’s not and it doesn’t. This is a form of artistic and psychological poison, and it’s just not true. In this post, Symphonic’s own Nick Gordon breaks down this dangerous myth and sheds some light on how to evade this mindset to excel past limitations and thrive.
Why 1000 True Fans Are Better Than Millions of Passive Ones
Can you imagine the impact on the psyche of artists to sit with completely insurmountable metrics and still try to wake up in the morning and create something from scratch? Paralysis ensues. This over-emphasis on achieving millions is as unnecessary and unrelated to “success” as making millions per year is for the average person.
F*ck a million. Let’s work on making $100,000 a year from art.
How do we get to 100k/year? A solo artist needs a pool of 1000 fans to pay them roughly $8.30/month.
Isn’t that a lot easier to think about?
Now, a SUPERFAN is a special kind of fan with the passion and the means to pay that amount, but all you need is 1000 of them at any one time. Getting into the many things you could sell to make up $100/year from one person is a whole other article, but there’s music in multiple formats, shows, merch, and of course streaming, publishing, etc. Hell, a SUPERFAN will pay you to read the dictionary aloud. Utilizing basic tools like Patreon, Squarespace, Mailchimp, DIY shows, etc, anyone can build a professional means of selling your wares to those superfans. Of course, this is in addition to streaming via Symphonic.
The way to nurture a superfan is DIRECT communication.
Emails. Texts. In person. DO NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES rely only on a social media platform to collect these superfans. — Your superfans may also be one of your social media followers, but we have to be able to control the communication with our 1000 and know how to reach those superfans directly.
A reasonable gauge of whether your art has what it takes to be your primary source of income is whether you can develop 1000 superfans. Do you have 1000 passive fans and 50 superfans? That’s perfectly great, and now you need to figure out the characteristics of those 50 superfans and find people who are just like them, whether that’s in musical taste, geography, etc. And what’s great about a superfan? They would LOVE to tell you everything about THEM and WHY THEY LOVE YOU. That’s your golden audience data.
Forget about millions.
Stop worrying about moving millions. Focus on growing 1000 superfans. They are the ones who will propel you to new heights, introduce you to new communities, and push you to grow further than you ever dreamed. If you’re going to focus on numbers, focus on nurturing your fans. Those are the numbers that count.