After spending hours creating your music, you probably want your art to reach as many people as possible.
Whether it’s with kids at school, people at work, or people discovering your music for the first time — not everyone is going to like you, and you can’t please everyone.
It’s impossible to appeal to every person in the world, which is why you must take the time to identify your target audience.
I repeat… you MUST take the time to find your target audience as a musician.
This isn’t always easy, especially if you’re just starting out but don’t make the mistake of thinking that your “friends & family” are your target audience.
This is a hard pill to swallow for many artists but don’t fall for this trap. Understanding who is consuming your music makes it much easier to effectively market your music, establish your niche, and grow your audience.
What Is a Target Audience
It may be self-explanatory, but your target audience is made up of the people who commonly listen to your music.
This is defined by a variety of things, including where they live, how old they are, what genres of music they are most interested in, and what their interests are.
Your music is an artistic extension of you, so your target audience will often have very similar interests to your own.
Let’s take Lady Gaga as an example. She has reached millions of people with her music and has established herself as one of the most successful musicians of all-time.
Every time she drops a new song, she immediately reaches millions of people around the world, who are mostly casual listeners.
Over the years, Lady Gaga has cultivated a loyal fanbase she has dubbed her “Little Monsters” mostly made up of marginalized young adults living in major cities that are interested in social justice and art — this is her target audience.
So while her music may appeal to all types of people from around the world, her Little Monsters are the main demographic she is trying to reach. Cultivating an audience is not always easy, especially at the beginning of your career.
But as you become more established with your music, and you begin to build a strong bond with your existing audience just like Lady Gaga did with her Little Monsters — there are many opportunities for growth as your music continues to evolve.
Related Reading: How To Build A Fanbase For Your Music Through Branding
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Related Reading: The Importance of Branding Yourself as A Musician
The importance of Knowing Your Target Audience
You may have stunning visuals and some killer tracks for your EP, but:
- Who are you marketing your music to?
- What demographic are you trying to reach?
It’s very difficult to get people to listen to your music if you don’t know who you’re trying to reach. This is why it’s so important to identify your target audience early on in your career.
Identifying your existing audience and understanding their interests can turn casual listeners into loyal supporters over time. Music is often very personal, and some of the lyrics in your music probably hold a lot of importance to your own life.
Knowing who is listening to your music allows you to think about how you can resonate with your audience. Over time, the bond you build through your music with the listener, will strengthen if they can resonate with your music.
The stronger the relationship is with your audience, the more likely they are to pass on your music to their friends and loved ones, therefore growing your existing fanbase.
Finding your target audience
Now that you understand the importance of identifying your target audience, let’s help you find your own! In this portion of the article, you will be asked many questions that will help you define your target audience.
You can utilize our Target Audience Template to help you document your findings. Again this isn’t set in stone so you can reflect on your answers now and build on them as your career progresses.
Let's get started!
First, try envisioning the person that would be interested in your music:
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
Setting an age demographic and a geographical location is a broad yet effective starting point.
Next, think about what someone that age that lives in that area is interested in.
- What is the best way to reach them?
- What apps and social media sites do they use the most?
- What type of content do they like to consume?
- Where do they spend their time?
This is a perfect time to access your social media and streaming analytics — that data will be very helpful when beginning to define your target audience.
If you don’t have access to that information or are just starting out in your music career – don’t worry! You can still think critically about who'd be interested in your music, it may just take a bit more brainstorming.
A good place to start is looking at artists that have inspired you. What type of people make up their audience? How did they grow their following? Where did you discover them?
This is an open book test. You have thousands of cheat sheets out there in terms of other artist platforms. Scan through the followers of artists you think are similar to you.
See who’s commenting on their posts and sharing their content. Try to understand what is working for them and what is resonating with their audience.
You don’t have to copy everything but use this information as your benchmark and template until you have enough of your own data to work form.
Final Thoughts on How To find your target audience as a musician
After defining your target audience, you’ll know where you need to focus your energy to connect with them. As I mentioned earlier, your music is an artistic extension of you, so your target audience will most likely have very similar interests to your own!
Think about the ways you have discovered your favorite artists, places you spend most of your time, and the apps you most frequently use. Once you have an idea of who your audience is, it becomes so much easier to brand yourself in a way that appeals to them.
If we are looking at your career from a business standpoint, businesses thrive on providing their customers with something that the customer wants.
If we don’t work to understand who our audience is we’ll never truly know what they want from us or how we can better market to them. Bridging this gap is the secret to making significant strides with your music career.