Every Artist Has Three Communities – they are separate from one another.

The problem is most artists have only one strategy for marketing and promoting to three totally separate groups.

This post focuses on how to energize and connect with your second community, which we call Community 2 – Engaged Fans. These fans are your Active Online Audience. They are newsletter subscribers, blog readers, video streamers, and active Social Media followers who comment & engage sometimes (but not nearly as frequently as your Super Fans)

They’re engaged with you in what the New York Times brilliantly referred to as “ambient awareness.”  They know who you are but they may not know you very well (yet).  With this community, as with all three, engagement is critical, but here it will be different. In Community 2 contribution is critical but engagement is even more vital.

3 communities

Recap: Your 3 Communities Are:

Community #1: Your Super Fans

These are fans who are primarily Your Live Audience. You know them by name. If you play out live, they attend your shows regularly and buy your merch. They’re the ones commenting first on every social media post and hitting “reply” on your newsletters. If you have a street team, they’re on it. They’re the ones shouting your name from the rooftops and sharing your every song with friends.

Community #2: Engaged Fans

These fans are your Active Online Audience. They are newsletter subscribers, blog readers, video watchers, RSS subscribers, active Social Media engagers who frequently comment & engage with you on Facebook, Twitter, etc. They’re not quite as dedicated as your super fans yet, but they’re on the cusp. A few right moves and you’ll slide them into super fan territory.

Community #3: Ambient Fans

These fans are your Passive Online Audience and they are your social media friends who are aware of you via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. but don’t actively communicate with you and may not have ever even heard your music (yet).

Community #2: Engaged Fans AKA Your Active Online Audience

In Community 2 contribution is critical but engagement is even more vital.

How to Engage Community #2 Engaged Fans

Engagement is the name of the game with Community #2, which means you’ll want to create a checklist that makes reaching out and engaging as easy as can be.

Here’s how to tackle that on each platform:


Change the artwork on the landing page to announce each piece of new music

Add an announcement to the News section of your website

Mention of the new release to the Bio/About section with a link to stream. Studies show people tend to take action on the Bio page, so let’s take advantage of that!


Announce the release and add links to stream / buy .If you have a blog (on Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, website, etc.)


Send a newsletter announcing the release – show off the album art and add a quote or a few sentences about the making of the music! Your goal here is to connect with your audience and give them something to respond to. Think of it like a conversation you’d have in person. You want to invite them to share their own experiences and feelings, not just talk at them.


By now you know how important your social media is for inviting fans to engage! Here’s how you can take advantage of each platform.


Upload a new top banner to your Facebook personal and Page with every new release or major announcement. Change your profile photo to the album art or your most recent promo photo. Note: This should change every 6 months or so. You should try not to have the same photo for years and years at a time. It’s important to keep things fresh and current with fans.

Edit the “About” section to include the new release and make a mini banner with “Out Now”

Boost or Buy an Ad If you don’t already have your credit card set up on Facebook to purchase boosted posts and ads, register it so you can easily boost posts throughout your campaign.


Change your bio to announce the release : Something simple like “New Song Name Out Now!” will go a long way. You can also add streaming link and CTA to listen

Create a release tile and post about the album or new release, sharing a bit about it. Again, the idea here is to invite engagement so tell your fans a story. Be vulnerable and tell them what the song is about, what it was inspired by, your influences, anything they can grasp onto and respond to.

Go to Instagram Stories and share the behind the scenes of the album or song with never before seen stills or videos of you in the studio, old lyric sheets, getting ready for the release show, etc.


Change out the banner to make sure the top banner, profile picture, and bio reflect your release

Create 5 separate tweets announcing in 5 ways. For instance, one that simply announces the release, another that shares a story, another with your favorite lyric, and so on.

Pin the tweet to the top of the page for at least the next few weeks so that it’s the first thing fans new and old see when visiting your page.


Customize the top banner, profile picture to announce the new music

Upload cover art and have track streaming in the background

Create and post a simple lyric video – If you don’t know how to do this follow this post from the DIY Musician blog


Snap the release and share!

Create A Monthly Newsletter – With ONE Call To Action (CTA) Each Month

If you don’t have one you a ripping yourself off!  Start sending one now (even if its only to 25 people to start). Only have one call to action per monthly communication – too many will confuse people.

When you are getting started with your newsletter send a few that do not ask for money. This is super important for developing trust with your audience! Make it about them and their experience first, and worry about the money later. Trust me on this one—if you spend time investing in your community, the money will come. But you have to make that commitment to them first.

A few small asks to encourage engagement:

  • Ask for their thoughts at the bottom of the newsletter, encouraging them to reply. Make it easy for them to do so. Don’t ask their life philosophy, simply asking them what song they’re listening to, what new band you should check out, where they’re from, etc is an easy way to get a reply and start to build a connection
  • Ask them to join you on Instagram
  • Encourage them to follow you on Twitter
  • Invite them to like your Facebook Page
  • Ask them to become a follower on Spotify
  • Presave your music in a Spotify
  • Watch a video of you on YouTube and subscribe to your channel
  • Suggest they follow you on Soundcloud
  • Invite them out to hang with you at a bar, club, coffee house, art show, conference, etc.
  • Send a survey to fill out
  • Create a contest to participate in

Use This Live Gig Ultimate Fan Engagement Tip

Keep in mind: People are more interested in themselves than they are in you. That’s ok! That just means you need to make them the main attraction.  These fans will also be delighted that they have been included.

Take photos or videos at every single show from the stage or at the merch table of people that come up to talk to you and/ or purchase merch and create photo albums for each show on Facebook and your IG highlights. Share them in your stories. Ask people to share theirs and tag you (and then re-share!)

As you add everyone to the mailing list, you point them to each photoset featuring: Them! They are very likely to go check themselves out and share the things that involve them.

Split Your Facebook Friends, Twitter, and Mailing List into Geographical Lists

Another great tactic is parsing out your newsletter list and MOST IMPORTANTLY your Facebook list so that it is split up by geographical location so that when you play each market, you can personalize the message and you won’t be spamming people who live in Duluth for a show in L.A.

Go through all your friends (yes it’s a pain in the arse but spamming people makes YOU the pain in the arse) and create a separate list for each location New York, L.A, Cleveland etc etc.  I also maintain a list of “Unknown City” for the people who don’t identify where they live.  Send them each an individual note asking and add them to the right list.

Now when you have a show you will be laser focused in your Facebook promotion or your newsletter promotion.

Stay Tuned for Next Week – Community 3…

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