HOW TO START BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE PART 1

There is one problem both digital and physical recitals share.

In 2009, I found myself with no performance work in the diary. Recently graduated and boomeranged back into my family home. It was depressing, frustrating, and demoralising.

I hit a point where I had to take action or give up. I booked a hall. Asked a friend to accompany me. Practised hard, and put up a few black and white, Microsoft word posters. This was pre-Canva!

When it came to the performance, a grand total of three, yes THREE people turned up. This included my mum, two women, and twenty-seven tango orange chairs.

Fast forward to Spring 2020, there I am again, no performances. A complete landscape of snow in the diary. This time I embarked on a live stream performance on Facebook.

I had an audience number of around 40. Some donated. There was no hire fee. I made a profit of around £180.00. A total win for me!

Can It Be That Easy?

Running Front Room Concerts, I have seen performers raise over £1,000 in one performance and some raise £0. It’s an abundant and brutal reality.

It’s easier to persuade people to support your first live-streamed performance. A small commitment of time on their behalf and they get the happiness of supporting you.

But it’s a different story for regular performances over a longer period.

You are asking people to make a greater commitment. Both in time and money. Which as you know for yourself, are valuable. If you take a deeper approach to your audience, you will show them that time with you is worth it. 

This is true for audiences of both digital and in-person recitals.

Are People Ready To Become A Member of Your Digital Audience?

The Audience Agency released its ‘Digital Audience Survey’. 50% of people surveyed have engaged four or more times with culture online. This is especially noticeable in the over 55s.

There’s more good news, 65% are also willing to pay for digital content. But that discussion is for another Sunday.

Yes, there is a group of people who are ready and willing to do this with you.

How Do You Start Building Your Audience?

Relationships are an important part of growing an audience. Especially if you want their long term commitment.

  • Listening
  • Talking
  • Sharing
  • Celebrating
  • Creating

These are some of the skills you can use to achieve this. It’s something you do WITH them, not to them. Think dating, rather than jumping straight into marriage.

Your First Step

Become clear on the unique space you occupy. You can use it as a way to attract people to you. If you planted your own unique flag as a beacon for people to join you, what would that flag tell people? How would they know if you are for them?

Could it be:

  • I play the well-known works you love.
  • I bring together music and poetry.
  • I help you discover music by British composers
  • I show up every week.
  • I share issues about music and the environment

When you combine your passion, with a value of yours, it helps people to know if you are for them. You can also repel the people you don’t want to attract. Now you are starting to build your own unique community.

The clearer you are with your space, the easier it will be for people to know whether to join you or not.

Do you need 1,000s of followers?

No. A smaller group gives you more time and energy to create strong relationships with them. It’s worth it when you know you have a group of people that will support your creativity. 

Start small and build from there.

SUMMARY

Not having an audience is a challenge for both digital and physical recitals. Live streaming may appear to solve this problem. But if you want people to commit for the long term, creating an audience through relationships is key. To start this process, get clear on the unique space you want to occupy. When you combine your passion with a value of yours, people can choose if you are for them.

Let me know your thoughts and experiences around this topic by commenting below. I’d love to hear from you.

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