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Writers Connecting with Fans


Writer Connection To Audience  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. How Important Do You Think Your Connection To Your Audience is? (0 - Unimportant, 9 - Essential)

    • 0
      0
    • 1
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 3
      0
    • 4
      0
    • 5
      0
    • 6
      0
    • 7
      0
    • 8
      0
    • 9
      4
    • N/A
      0
  2. 2. Do you feel that you have an audience?

    • Yes
      3
    • Sometimes/Some ways
      1
    • No
      0
  3. 3. Do you feel a connection with your audience?

    • Yes
      3
    • Sometimes/Some ways
      1
    • No
      0
  4. 4. Do you identify with your audience?

    • Yes
      3
    • Sometimes/Some ways
      1
    • No
      0
  5. 5. Do you think your audience are aware of you at all?

    • Yes, I believe they know I am the writer
      3
    • Vaguely
      0
    • No, they don't know I exist
      1
  6. 6. Are You A Writer-Performer?

    • Yes
      4
    • No, I am just a Writer
      0


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Hey Gang

 

The connection performers get to their audience is pretty obvious. Writer-performers have that direct connection too. Yet writers who are not performers are usually one step away from the action. So I thought it might be interesting to explore the connection between writers and their audience.

 

Other than the poll, perhaps you can also discuss this...

 

What, if anything, do you do to encourage connection to your audience?

 

I look forward to reading your answers!

 

Cheers

 

John

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Something I have, yet haven't given much thought to, strictly from a music or lyric writing perspective,  music wise I don't write anything to not be able to perform it as well.  Which leads to a lot of the disconnect I feel with a lot of musician/writers.  I was always around and shown that music is a community thing, churches/front porches/bars what have you.  So there was never even a thought of just being a "recording artist" I was well into my 20s before I even knew things like studio guitarist/pianist/drummers or "ghost writers" what have you were even a thing.  :D So from that perspective, connection with an audience was absolutely vital and necessary and really the only thing that matters.  Studio work is great, it's fun to play around and experiment with different techniques/sounds, but that to me seem  just a tiny bit of a much larger equation.

 

I guess I can only relate to this from a story/article/book writing perspective, and that's about getting information out to a selected group of people, so then again I guess I'd have to say a connection is vital and necessary, even if that audience only happens to be whatever grammar police schmuckwad is going to be editing it :D 

 

I have been told or read or something,  that any good piece of art no matter what it may be if the writer/painter/sculptor/whatever looks deep enough it was made with just one person in mind........not by any means an actual quote and I think you could substitute the person with a group of people just as easily, but that's just how I took it........I think that's another Vonnegutism.  

 

It is an interesting topic and would love to hear how people that just write lyrics for others to perform or vice versa with just music and hopefully someone hears some lyrics to add feels about it........I would hope there would still be a connection, and the need to have one.   

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I watched an interview with a comedian on this exact subject.........now they "have" to connect with an audience I won't link it as most of it is irrelevant, other than how they've all been relegated to trying to be YouTube stars, and the pecking order has changed...

 

The big venues will be the last to open......so if you played big venues before you're going down a rung, with no regard to its the small acts during the week that actually keeps places open, not the big headliner once a month on the weekends, but whatever, nobody is that forward thinking anymore it seems :) ........and shit always runs downhill, so good luck small venue/street performers.

 

His advice was to find a niche and stick to it........was speaking of comedians, but applies to any writer/musician as well......stick to what you're passionate about and good at, the audience will hopefully find you.

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I think it, in part, comes down to finding the right people to hear your music, instead of pushing your music at everyone and anyone you come into contact with. That often becomes spam.

 

It also takes being very honest about who we are and what we are about, because connection is partly about identity and values (that is a big part of the appeal of image, the falsehood is where artists and their marketers misrepresent themselves. Of course some, like Alice Cooper or Amy Lee from Evanescence see themselves as an entertainer playing a role, which as ever is entirely up to them.)
 

As artists, we also have a message, of sorts. Some quite literally. Others it is about clarity of purpose.

 

Effective and authentic branding and marketing is, for me, about honest identity, values and message.

 

We’re our own audience because we make it that way. I see this on Social media, especially Twitter, all the time. Independent artists don’t know how to reach out and connect with potential fans. Instead they often start by calling on the help of fellow musicians to get the word out, because they are easy to get on board(ish) (it is often a fickle and flimsy level of support). Because it takes real effort to build a real fanbase, so many opt to fake their following by “I scratch your back, if you scratch my back” cooperation, to make their social following numbers artificially inflated... but these people will rarely if ever listen to your music. It is a like exchange and an entirely false audience. The artist then wonders why their list is so unresponsive, because they confused “easy to build numbers” with “genuine followers”.

 

Yes, there is an expectation adjustment, but you can build a real fan base, one fan at a time, with no shortcuts.

 

Often with Indies there is a complete absence of image, no identity, no values and no message. They rely entirely upon the music to make that connection. That’s a very tough call. They forget of all the other stuff that helps get the right people click and listen or watch in the first place. At worst, you don’t want to pre-dispose potential listeners to not like your work, to hear it with an already prejudiced ear.

 

Awareness can be used to mislead, absolutely, but it doesn’t need to be used in that way. It’s exactly like understanding the meaning of words. They enable detailed communication. In that communication we can choose to speak truth, or lie, reality or fantasy. To learn and use language is not in itself at fault for misunderstanding. The fact that other misuse language intentionally or unintentionally is no real reason not to learn how to communicate, precisely because we can communicate our truth.

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1 hour ago, john said:

We’re our own audience because we make it that way. I see this on Social media, especially Twitter, all the time. Independent artists don’t know how to reach out and connect with potential fans. Instead they often start by calling on the help of fellow musicians to get the word out, because they are easy to get on board(ish) (it is often a fickle and flimsy level of support). Because it takes real effort to build a real fanbase, so many opt to fake their following by “I scratch your back, if you scratch my back” cooperation, to make their social following numbers artificially inflated... but these people will rarely if ever listen to your music. It is a like exchange and an entirely false audience. The artist then wonders why their list is so unresponsive, because they confused “easy to build numbers” with “genuine followers”.

 

I noticed this previously, well it was before twitter or FB, Myspace and Soundclick? I think, I don't remember one of the first that tried to be a music based Social Networking place.....you'd have 30 or 3k followers, post a new song, no listens or comments for days/weeks/never, unless you went and pushed it on people(always makes me feel like a crack dealer at a school).........

 

then there was another pretty small pretty interactive community that did weekly radio shows, several actually, from several different dj's and only played music of the people who showed up, either in the live-chat at the show,  and or were actually active around the boards with posting, comments on others work, etc......total opposite reaction, instant feedback/suggestions....lots of collaborations were done, and saw a lot of people getting wayyyy better at what they were doing, instead of slinking off to hide because someone had something negative to say about some tune and just never posting anything again, it's easier to see what's actually constructive feedback verses I didn't like this so I'm going to pick it apart nonsense when you do know your audience......or feel connected to them so to speak.. 

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MP3.com? Myspace?

 

Musicians can make excellent fans when you encounter them in a fan/audience situation. If you encounter them in sites like Reverbnation, Soundcloud or social media (as artists) etc they are not really looking for music, they are looking for a follower exchange or other quit pro quo. They suck!

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agreed!    bandlab was/is trying to get away from that, having actual open chats and such, and it's still new I'll give it awhile to settle and work its bugs out.......but almost everyone I did talk to there, would just link me to their Instagram or FB page hahahah , follow me there!!! etc........  but it shows some promise.  of a place where you actually can connect to fans even other musicians that are actually open to have any dialogue, and the working ones who aren't working now are still working somewhere ;) 

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51 minutes ago, fasstrack said:

Also, John, you realize by now I'm mostly talking about live situations b/c that's the world I came up in an still largely inhabit. I believe in it, and always will. But I also know it's a different world now (even way pre-Covid) and I'd like to negotiate the digital world better---and smarter.

 

Yeah the places I have been online musically are places such as this, or others where it was pretty much one on one feedback scenarios, I think that's the only way you can "connect" online, I mean what's a like? or a stream? unless its a sale....its nothing more than a click, clicks mean jack shit unless you're going for ad revenue.  YouTube comments? I can only imagine that's probably worse than twitter, especially if you were ever to reply back.  

 

51 minutes ago, fasstrack said:

And I realize you were talking about musician friends getting word out about your band, not supporting it by buying CDs or coming to gigs. But I still say relying on them for even that is quite boneheaded. Build your own following. Your muso friends have their own problems trying to stay afloat themselves. They can dig, compliment and respect you---all fine. But beyond that...

 

Yeah true about looking out for themselves,  but any smart musician would never not say hey, I also know a guy or gal who could open for me/play with me/etc.... I mean unless you really want to rely on yourself to play 2-3 hour sets every night and keep an audience coming back and entertained, or rely on a venue who may just stick you before or after who/whatever.....  Knowing what/who you're going to be associated with, is about as far as I think "image" really plays a part, outside of the online world anyway...and as far as that goes its all just guesses........I have turned down a job, just because I had never heard anything from who I was going to be opening for, and just a quick glance at their poster spouting all their "accolades" and obvious self-reviews was enough for me to decide :)    

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1 hour ago, fasstrack said:

But to the main point again: no, your musician friends are treading water themselves. It's not they don't care or want to help you, they're just not in the position to.

 

And self-reliance is one of the greatest things to master in life. Do that and you're halfway there---whatever field you're in or whatever your situation in life.. My general policy (and I've gotten a lot of help in my time): ask for help when you need it, but only when you need it, and only for the specific help you need. Then use it to get on your feet and stay on them---or risk becoming a dependence junkie with your hand forever out...

 

very well put!!! and wholeheartedly agree, and as you put as with all aspects in life!

 

I've only been to Philly once.......right at the start of this mess that now seems like years ago,  stayed a few days while making my way back to Oklahoma, the food was great, and found one cool little music store with a studio in the basement,  but that's about all I got to, would of went and saw a show or two, things were still open, but people were already getting sketchy.  

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8 hours ago, fasstrack said:

And I realize you were talking about musician friends getting word out about your band, not supporting it by buying CDs or coming to gigs. But I still say relying on them for even that is quite boneheaded. Build your own following. Your muso friends have their own problems trying to stay afloat themselves. They can dig, compliment and respect you---all fine. But beyond that.


Friends and family are not (generally) fans, they may be fans of you personally, but your grandmother is unlikely to be a death metal fan. Even if your friend likes similar music, it does not mean they like the music you make. Pressuring them does not help. If anything it drives them away.

 

In the old days, friends might be useful for filling the seats for your first gig or two, but really, artists need to reach beyond friends and family. Friends and family have a broad taste in music (as a group) and their feedback tends to be both heavily biased and is presented diplomatically or overly blunt etc because reactions are heavily influenced by their personal relationships with you. Point is, move on from friends and family as soon as you can or even sooner.

 

More than that, find the right audience. Initially work from your best guess. But don’t scatter gun. Look for fans where people likely to like your music will hang out. There so much more to it, but that’s the basics. That is true for real world, or online.

 

Seek out musicians for jamming with, chatting about making music, having a laugh on music sites, groups pages etc. If you want to build an audience, find listeners (whether musicians or not) somewhere that is not about making music. Simple (and yes I know there are many well reasoned variations).

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8 hours ago, john said:

but your grandmother is unlikely to be a death metal fan

my grandma always surprised me :) she could play a really mean banjo, so of course just wished they were all playing mandolins and ukuleles and banjos and, but still liked most metal if it wasn't just vocal driven and all screamy hahah, was a big fan of system of a down's first album :D 

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