Do you spend more time trying to attract new fans or improving your connection with existing ones?
If you’re like most comedians, you probably spend so much time chasing new fans that you may overlook the importance of stengthening the bond you have with your existing fans. That can be a big mistake because the more your existing fans care about you and feel invested in what you do, the easier it will actually be to attract new fans because you’ll have a base on which to grow and that can help spread the word about you.
One of the best ways to improve your connection to your fans is to have one-on-one interactions with them – the more they feel like they personally know you, the more they’ll care about you as opposed to just being another person who may be following you on social media but who may not think you even notice.
There are infinite ways you can improve your connection to your fans, but here’s a few specific things you might want to try that are easy ways to facilitate individual interactions, and in turn a closer relationship to your fans.
1. Message New Facebook Fans
When somebody “Likes” your Facebook page, it gives you an opportunity to have an easy one-on-one interaction with them. I’d recommend messaging them through Facebook (not posting on their walls, but privately messaging them) and just saying thanks. You can ask how they heard about you, encourage them to contact you at any time, or just generally introduce yourself and say thanks.
Don’t spam them with promotional stuff about your next show or newest video, but rather just show them you appreciate their interest in what you do. It’s an easy way to show that you care and it sets the table for a better relationship as you move forward. In the early days of my Connected Comedy Facebook page I did this all the time and it was really effective at helping build a true community of fans.
2. Greet New Email Subscribers With A Conversation Starter
Just like a new Facebook fan creates an opportunity for interaction, so too does a new email subscriber. Besides sending an email thanking people for joining your email list once they do, you can also incorporate something into that email that’s designed to get a response.
Again, this shouldn’t be a promotional plug but rather some kind of question or something that will give the subscriber a reason to reply to your email and engage in a conversation with you. For example, I recently added a line to my initial email to new subscribers that says, “What are you struggling with the most right now in your comedy career? Reply to this email to let me know and I’ll be happy to help.”
This gets a lot of responses and instantly gets me into a conversation with new subscribers – I learn about them and they learn about me, and we get a little stronger connection to each other.
3. Comment and Interact On Your Fans’ Creations
Your fans may not be comedians, but these days everybody is a creator. Your fans are all probably sharing comments, links, photos, and other stuff through their Facebook or Twitter accounts or other social media outlets. When was the last time you Liked, shared, or commented on those creations?
This is a really easy way to start developing a better relationship with fans because (just like you do with your stuff), they will love the attention and will appreciate that you care enough to engage with what they’re doing. The more your fans feel like their relationship is a two-way relationship instead of just a one-way relationship, the more they’ll support you.
4. Take Advantage Of People You Meet At Your Shows
One of the best opportunities to further connect with fans is when you get to meet them in person after a show. If somebody comes up to you after a show to say they liked you, the obvious thing to do is to thank them and have a nice chat with them. Some comics will also go the extra step to get them to join their email list or some other form of connection. But that’s typically where it stops, which is a shame because there’s more opportunity there to be had.
You can look at those interactions as launchpads to start conversations that continue beyond when you say goodbye for the night. For example, you could have a particular piece of content or page on your website that you only send to people who come talk to you at shows that you promise to send them. Or, you could offer a free copy of your album only to people who talk to you at shows and give them the download link. Again, there’s infinite things you can try, but the idea is to think about how you can take that one moment and expand it into something bigger and ongoing.
5. Reward Fans Whenever You Can
No matter what you’re doing, you should always be looking for ways to give your fans a little special treatment. Maybe that means they can skip the line at your show, maybe it means they get to be mentioned in your videos, maybe that means they get early access to new content or merch, maybe it means you reference their name in a joke, maybe it means you buy them a drink or randomly send a fan a gift each week.
The point is that you want to find ways to showcase and reward the people that are your true fans versus the people who might be just casually interested in you. This will serve a couple purposes – it will make your true fans feel appreciated and more connected to you, and it will also make the more casual fans want to become bigger fans because they’ll want to get that special treatment as well.
It’s Your Turn…
I’d love to hear some of the things you’ve done to strengthen your connection to fans – please post them in the comments…