For musicians, enlisting the help of qualified professionals (such as managers, booking agents and publicists) can ease the burden of cultivating an audience independently. Any artist or band who has started from the ground up knows that building a fanbase and industry support can take a lot of effort.
If you’ve already cultivated a relatively strong audience in your local area and you’re looking to expand overseas, here are a few tips to help get you off the ground.
As a rock n’ roll artist, I’m not going to waste time trying to cultivate an audience in an area where rock music isn’t popular. Although it may be a chance to gain a handful of fans, there is also the very real possibility that a high percentage of efforts would be wasted compared to if I had started in an area with a lot of rock n’ roll fans.
One of the best ways to promote your band or music in a new country is by going there and talking to people. Physically traveling may not be logistically possible in some cases, but it’s definitely something to consider. Not only will you have a chance to experience the culture first-hand, but you’ll also have the opportunity to meet on a personal level with your potential fans.
A similar avenue would be trying to connect with like-minded artists in the area you’re looking to expand into. This can be done via internet or phone communication at first instead of in person. Creating a video or collaboration with a popular local band is a great way to put yourself in front of a relevant fan base. If you find artists who are looking to expand into the United States, it could be a mutually beneficial relationship.
Never forget about your existing network either. If you know a person with music industry connections in the country you’re targeting, ask for a favor.
Learn the Language
If you’re expanding into a country that also speaks English, there won’t be an issue at all. However, you should learn a few words and phrases before traveling to a country where English is not the first or second language for most of the population. Luckily, music is more about emotion and rhythm, so your music may resonate with people regardless of the language barrier.
Keep Your Roots
Once you have a following overseas, it’s important that you never neglect your original fans in the U.S. After all, they are the ones who stood by you when you were just starting out. Keep them updated with your international news and make them feel included. Whether you’re posting to social media regularly or sending newsletters and updates to your email list, it’s a great way to keep your fans in the loop.