How to Attract a Super Fan

Do you have an artist you LOVE?

Is there an Artist you would wait on line for hours, or buy tickets for days, weeks, even months ahead of time?

Who do you GEEK out over?

We tend to talk about wanting to create and build super fans, but if you are anything like me, you are probably a super fan yourself!

I remember going to my very first concert when I was 14 years old, to see Richard Marx.  My best friend and I screamed through the whole thing and I sang along to every song.  At one point in the concert, I was thoroughly convinced he looked right at ME, and that was enough for me to buy a poster and sing along to his songs in my bedroom daily, holding my hairbrush with fervor.

Did you ever do this?
Maybe you do this now!

Months ago, my husband bought us tickets to see Lady Gaga in her Jazz and Piano show in Las Vegas, and the day finally arrived. We saw the show last weekend and I was completely blown away.

Lady Gaga is completely sold out.  She has even extended her residency at the Park MGM through next year because the show is doing so well.

And after seeing the show, I can understand why.

So many of you come to me asking how you can build your audience, and it can be so easy to get caught in the mystery of how successful Artists do it. You may feel lost or frustrated.  I get it!

But the recipe is actually far easier than you think, and Lady Gaga hit all the points.  There’s many reasons she has raving fans who will fly across the country to see her, and these are the core pieces you want to incorporate.

So, grab you pencil and pen, because we are going to take the mystery right out of it.

1) Acknowledge and include your audience: Lady Gaga was overflowing with gratitude for all of us who gathered to see her.  She spoke directly to us, as if we were having a conversation.  In between songs, she had stories to share, and many times thanked us for being there. She was very intentional to say how much the audience meant to her. 

Why this mattered for ME as a fan: I felt appreciated.

2) Be real: It wasn’t just that Lady Gaga had stories to share, it was WHAT she shared.  She was very real, speaking into how lonely she feels, and the deep challenges around mental health with fame.  At one point she even looked at us and said, “I want you to understand me”.  She wasn’t putting on a persona, she was stepping forward with ALL of her to the stage, sharing how she is looking for love.

Why this mattered for ME as a fan: I trusted her.  I felt closer to her as a person, not just a performer.

3) Acknowledge your journey and the people who have helped you: We are stronger together.  Lady Gaga was up on that stage with a full jazz orchestra who was AMAZING, and she took every opportunity she could to acknowledge them, to highlight them, and to speak about the work they do together.  She spoke about Tony Bennett and how he was instrumental in giving her the confidence to do her own jazz show. She even gave a plug for everyone to go see her bandleader Brian Newman’s show later that night.  The industry has enough challenges, so it’s your team that matters most.  She really understands and speaks about her relationships and how they have helped her to this stage.

Why this mattered to ME as a fan: I felt included, and inspired.  I believe the same thing and agree with her.

4) Create solid work: This show was rock solid.  From the costumes to the music, to the video interludes, it was seamless.  There was enormous thought and CARE taken with this show, and I felt it.  Almost three hours in length, Lady Gaga delivered.  And it was was even more than I could have hoped for.  The musicians were on it, Lady Gaga was on it, and the tech was seamless.  There are a LOT of elements that go into sharing your work with your audience.  Be sure to take the time to practice, and create work that is solid and flows.

Why this mattered to ME as a fan: I was amazed, I was blown away! This was my first time seeing her in concert and now I know what to expect, and it’s incredible!

5) Be YOU: It wasn’t just Lady Gaga’s rawness that resonated with me, it was also how unique she was in her interpretations of the Great American Songbook, and I loved that!  Here she was in 6 inch heels, in a sparkly dress, and flashing us her underwear and dancing gleefully around the stage.  She really put her own spin on these songs, and performed them the way SHE wanted to.  While inspired by the greats, she had a clear vision of what she wanted to bring to the material, and to the audience.  She was raunchy, real, raw, silly, deep, and allowed her interpretation to shine through. 

Why this mattered to ME as a fan: I was inspired. I found my greatest success as a performer when I trusted myself and my own interpretations of material and released my perfectionism. 

We get really caught up in thinking we have to “have it all together”, but when we are actually grounded in our confidence and work, we end up creating the greatest connection WITH our audience.

Look at all the ways I was affected and moved by Lady Gaga:
I felt appreciated
I trusted her
I felt closer to her
I felt included
I felt inspired
I was blown away!

Creating super fans is really creating an amazing relationship, and you have all the tools within you.  Think of who inspires you..come back to the question at the top….who are you a super fan of?

Why?

What do they do and how does that make you FEEL?

Connection is the key, and it begins with knowing yourself and what makes you come back again and again to the artists you LOVE.

How can you incorporate these aspects for your work?

How can you
Acknowledge your audience
Be real
Acknowledge your journey and your team
Create solid work
Be YOU

Place your focus there, because the rest just flows.

From your heart to theirs, a beautiful energetic loop.

True Artistic Freedom

I am free to think
wonderful thoughts.
I move beyond past
limitations into freedom. I am now
becoming all that
I am created to be.

-Louise Hay

 

How have your holidays been?

As the ball approaches dropping in a few days, how you you feeling about 2018?
Specifically, how are you feeling about your Art?

The holidays can be a time of great intensification.  Whatever we are dealing with, can be magnified under the bright lights and holiday frenzy.

While we crave rest most at this time of year, we are usually running around endlessly trying to cram in, and take advantage of the season.

I remember coming home from college and literally passing out as soon as I got to my bed, the build up of exams, not sleeping, and trying to get everything done before the break.

The break…..

So vital in the course of a college career.

And something I have come to deeply respect as a mature Artist.

The place of confusion I feel I was in for so long, was what I DID WITH that break.

There’s the cards, the gifts, the parties, the travel….the family gatherings.  Depending on our dynamics, being with family can be deeply connecting, or horribly triggering. Either way, it’s a lot for the system.

As Artists, we tend to feel very deeply.  Many of us are more sensitive, and empathic.

I spent many holidays, especially POST holidays, sick.

My body literally gave out.

And this year was no different.

I was at dinner with my family, the day after Christmas, and could feel my energy dropping.  I ate about half my dinner and my appetite just stopped. They all finished, and I took my dinner with me to the living room with the full intention of finishing it….

But I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and soon fell asleep.

I woke up just about 15 minutes later, and felt really nauseous.  We all had the same dinner, and they weren’t showing any symptoms.  The TV was loud, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be sick or not, so I came upstairs, closed the door, and curled into a ball.

And closed my eyes.

I really felt low….unsure…..and this is where I did something I NEVER did when I was a college student.

I said,
This too.

I hate being sick, especially nausea. And as a child I suffered from migraines, strange rashes, and many other odd ailments.  For so long, I fought what was arising.

But I had a feeling underneath all of this; the feeling my body was shutting down TO heal.

As I lay there, I could feel the EDGE of,
I can’t get sick right now!
I’m traveling in a few days!
WHY is this happening??

And in the space of all of this, I simply said,
This too.

An hour later, the nausea passed, and that night I slept solid with vibrant dreams.

And when I woke in the morning, I felt ready for my day.  I was able to be present for my family, had energy again, and was inspired to create.

Is this what you want?

 

When you look back at 2017 and your Art, how do you feel?

When you stack up your challenges, your failures, and your frustrations, how much are they impacting you moving forward?

We all have our breaking points.  We all have the moments when our body says,
ENOUGH!

But, as Artists, it’s vital what we are doing in that space.  Even more so, how we are treating ourselves in that space.

It’s such an easy choice to just disconnect, and make the choice NOT to feel, and beat ourselves up in the process.

But, if we keep disconnecting, we are robbing ourselves of truly regenerating.  And the reason regenerating is so important is simple:

We are the conduit FOR our Art.

For some of us, our actual bodies ARE our Art, and for others, it’s our hands, feet, and minds that create the Art.  Either way, we need to be nourished and fed to create. This is especially important to attract our audience.

We can’t be empty inside, and create a strong raving audience.

And what’s most important is knowing the starting point, a vital step BEFORE freedom, especially the kind that Louise Hay speaks about….

Acceptance.

This too.

Within our Artistic journeys, we will hit walls.
We will become overwhelmed.
We will be in high pressure situations that test us.

And we will experience the intensity of the holidays, year after year.

Your choice,
Your FREEDOM comes in HOW you approach it, and what you make it mean.

Acceptance is always the first step, and when the overwhelm hits, take a moment, and don’t fight.

Accept what has occurred this past year, and know you are not TIED to your history.

You are not tied to the nausea, the fatigue, and fear.

Change is constant.

This is a new day, one that has never been lived before.
This is a new year, one that YOU have never lived before.

So, if this is true…….what is possible for you?

 

I am free to think
wonderful thoughts.
I move beyond past
limitations into freedom. I am now
becoming all that
I am created to be.

3….2…..1…….

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!