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?
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
Acknowledge your journey and your team
Create solid work
Place your focus there, because the rest just flows.
From your heart to theirs, a beautiful energetic loop.