Less fans can equal more money
As an independent act you have the advantage of being able to really connect directly with your fans on a personal level, as part and parcel of your marketing.
You can try to grow your following as big as possible, of course, but keep in mind that you don’t need many thousands of ‘paying’ fans to earn a healthy, and sustainable income.
Rather than large numbers, think about how you can look after your fans, stay in touch, and nurture them into becoming dedicated (super, hardcore) fans. These are the fans who spend the most money with you.
When you develop and nurture a close, direct relationship with your fan base and grow a community and culture around your music, you don’t need many thousands of fans streaming, downloading, buying merch…
2,000 paying fans (which is more achievable than you might think, given time and dedication on your part) can generate a worthwhile income.
If you received an ‘average’ of 24.00 from each of 2,000 fans, over a period of a whole year (2.00 per month), from downloads of new/old/repackaged music, merchandise/products, fan experiences, and even streams included…it would mean a gross income of 48k. (That’s not including live show income, or any royalties or income not directly from fans.)
Of course, that would be split amongst band members for a band, but the basic principle is the same. There’s the potential to earn more per fan on average, or to have more than 2,000 paying fans in a year…
The point is – nurturing and taking care of fans when you have them, and building a community and culture around your music for them, is much wiser and more lucrative a strategy and use of your time than simply trying to build massive numbers of followers/fans.
Less fans – but more dedicated fans – can equal more money. And is doing so, right now, for a lot of independent artists.