Arlen Roth on Building the Fan Base
These days, thanks to social media, one can really stay in closer contact with their fans and can also make some new ones in the process…more so than in the past, anyway! I mean, it’s still the best and most desirable situation when you can actually have real contact with them, as in concerts and personal experiences, but now things can be multiplied quite a bit!
For example, if I play a gig and suddenly me or someone else posts it on YouTube or Facebook, that gig, which may’ve drawn 100 people can now be watching by many more thousands of people, many who may’ve never even seen me play, nor heard my music yet! Then, they watch for your updates on your website or on Facebook, and subscribe to your YouTube channel, and on and on. Of course, since I’ve already had a very long and varied career, many folks do know of me already, and actually sought me out as fans. Still, it acts as a multiplier since so many folks now “share” things on the internet and make it possible for things to go “viral” and spread very quickly.
My favorite is still the good old-fashioned way of actual contact with the fans. I played a show the other night that really had the makings of all of that, and of course, we all should know that if you have merchandise such as cds to sell, that time after the show is the best time to sell them, and that club/concert hall where you just played turns into the world’s hottest record shop!
People do love to leave the place they just heard you at with a “little piece of you”, and with the sounds you made still reverberating in their heads, they just love to meet you and then buy some of your music. And you can autograph it too! The best part of all that is knowing that now your music will be heard by many more folks, and that once again, even without social media, more and more fans will be made in the process!
So, I hope you share the love I have for staying in touch with fans (hey, I’m even doing that here!) and that always make sure to utilize all the tools, old or new that you may have access to when it comes to really staying in touch with your fans, and even building a more solid fanbase than you had before! Good luck!
Gibson.com’s Arlen Roth, affectionately known The King of All Guitar Teachers, is music lesson pioneer and the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar.