Using Your Story To Attract And Engage Fans

childhood art

© 2015 Vinny Ribas

There are countless numbers of reasons why people go into the music business. The same holds true for the choices they make in their music careers, including what they play, where they perform, how often they gig, who they perform with, what they write, who they write with etc. Some are in it because they love playing music – any kind of music. Some do it for the money. Some do it for personal expression. Some crave the attention. Some ‘have’ to be stars or nothing at all. Some have no interest in the limelight and are happy performing or writing for their own satisfaction.

This may seem like a useless observation, but it is definitely not. The reason that it is so important is that every person has their own personal story that has compelled them to make the choices they’ve made and continue to make. Those choices are what have led them where they are today. It doesn’t matter where you are in the journey. Your story matters. Your fans want to know it (at least an overview of it). You will attract new fans who relate to it, and deepen your relationship with your current fans. People buy into the ‘why’ of your songs and your career just as much as they do the music itself. It’s why the TV talent shows don’t always feature only the world’s greatest unknown singers. They look for good singers with great stories and potential.

Some artists try hard to fake it in an effort to be as commercial as possible (e.g. someone singing ‘bro country’ who has never been on a farm or driven a truck). The truth has a way of coming out, and it often backfires on them! But if you are ‘for real,’ chances are your music reflects your life (past, current and/or future), your interests, your passions, your beliefs and your ideals. It is inevitable that those who love your music will want to know the back story behind the songs, and then about your life in general. Whether your past was pleasant or miserable, letting people know the real you can be the tipping point that makes some of your fans want to root for you and help you in any way they can. And those who hear and relate to your story first will often then seek out your music.

You can take advantage of this interest in many ways. You can tell the back story of a song and how it relates to you any time you perform it. You can tell stories from your life on your blog and on social media (don’t bog your bio down with your entire life history). You can create games getting your fans guessing about different aspects of your life, you interests, your beliefs etc. Be sure to tell stories during press interviews. The more you share, the more you will attract people who can relate to you on a level much deeper than just your music.

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, a global business club for serious independent artists, songwriters, musicians and music professionals. Indie Connect helps its members increase their chances of success by providing practical career direction and education, combined with live and online industry networking opportunities. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, an artist manager, a booking agent, songwriter and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He is a published author and popular speaker at music industry conferences.