Set your sights

Shadows six

Think about your initial audience and their characteristics. What is it about them that makes them who they are? Why do they, in particular, enjoy your music? Make a list of their characteristics, including details (only when relevant!) such as age, gender, sexual orientation, race, political preference (and level of engagement), social conscience, environmental conscience, location, income, industry, attire/style, type of car (or bike or public transport), etc. Don’t limit yourself. Write down anything that’s strongly correlated with your audience. Make a profile of your most typical audience member.

Let’s do a ‘thought experiment’. See what happens if you adjust just one of these characteristics.

For example, your core audience might be been heavy metal fans aged 20-30 in Brunswick. What if you try to reach the heavy metal fans aged 30-40 in Brunswick? What if you try to reach the hard rock fans or industrial metal fans aged 20-30 in Brunswick? What if you try to reach heavy metal fans aged 20-30 in St Kilda? What if they earn more or less than your current audience? What if they have young (or older) children? What if they’re studying?

How would that change what you’re already doing? You might need to change the way you package and sell your recordings. You might need to change the way you perform at gigs (or what you play, or what time you play, or where you play, or what you charge). You might need to change how and where you do your promotion.

Remember, this is just a thought experiment to get your brain juices flowing.

Back to reality, take a look at the profile of your typical audience member. Now think of some of your audience members that are slightly different. These are the people you weren’t deliberately trying to reach in the beginning, but they found you and your music resonated enough with them that they joined your audience anyway. These people are fans by accident, and they can provide a good indication of where you might find opportunities to expand your audience.