As you look to the future you may be getting in the mode to set goals for your career.

I am always surprised when musicians I work for at Cyber PR®, are frantically trying to reach more and more potential fans without really focusing on the fans that they already have. These fans don’t need to be found, because they are already your fans.

Studies have proven that it is much harder to make a new client and get them to purchase something than it is to get a client that already knows you and trusts you to purchase from you over and over.

I always suggest that, in measuring fans, the best place to look is at your social networks and at your mailing list.

Your newsletter list is the only place where you can directly engage with your fans on your own terms and ask for money.

Here are 12 fail-safe ways to increase / engage with your fanbase by pulling from fans that you already know and have who trust and like you for 2012.

1. Get serious about your newsletter. Use Fanbridge, Nimbit, Hostbaby, Bandzoogle or ReverbNation. and send your newsletter one time per month. Track your effectiveness by monitoring your open, forward and bounce rates.

2. Mine through your email inbox and outbox for names and addresses to add. Ask all of your friends if it’s OK to add them to your list, otherwise you might be considered a spammer.

3. Bring a clipboard to each and every live appearance. Invite people onto your mailing list with a raffle or giveaway from stage, and collect e-mail addresses. During your performance, hold the CD up on stage, talk about it and than give it away, you’ve just inserted a full commercial into your set without feeling “salesy” and you’ve excited one of your fans by giving them a gift in front of everyone else who will secretly want a gift too.

4. Include a special offer on your website with a free exclusive MP3 or video (or better yet – several). Use the ReverbNation Fanbridge or Pledge music widgets to deliver it.

TIP: Make sure these downloads are not available anywhere else. Not streaming on your, Facebook page or on ReverbNation – widgets. Only on your website. Advertise that these are available on your other social networks.

And of course it can also be available for purchase on your CD, but make sure that no one can get it anywhere else online. This will motivate people to sign up to your mailing list!

5. Follow 25 new people a week on Twitter. I know what a pain in the arse to focus on this but many of these newly followed people will indeed follow you back and your network will begin to grow.

6. Send out e-mails to your most engaged fans through Facebook and ask if you can have their e-mail addresses for your newsletter. This is a bit arduous but the results will pay off.

7. Do the same with any other networks you frequent.

8. Start a simple Tumblr blog and share photos, stories and thoughts.

9. Start a podcast or a vodcast and interview other artists with big followings. Ask them to share your podcast with their fans and followers. It doesn’t have to be a big production. It can be a small, informal video at YouTube.

Click here to see mine. (I make them in my office with my iPhone and edit them on my mac)

10. Ask your fans to review your music at CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon. Ask them to make iMixes and Amazon Listmania! lists, and include your music on them.

11. Wish people a happy birthday (everyday) on Facebook! Send a link to you singing Happy Birthday on YouTube… This will be the most memorable birthday wish that they receive.

12. Practice random acts of kindness online regularly. Introduce people to each other who may benefit from knowing one another. Always start by asking how can I help instead of: What can they give me?

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