Image by Hunter-Desportes

I am a fervent believer in the 1000 true fans theory. The piece I’ll point you to explains what it is, if you don’t know.

But, I’m not a believer in just the notion that 1000 committed fans can support you – there’s a point that most people miss but this article does pick up on.

And, it’s this:

If your material is good enough to allow you to build a fanbase, your approach these days should be the same whether you’re ‘doing it for fun’, intend to remain a DIY musician, or are aiming for global superstardom and probably the old school record deal with a ‘major’.


Because they all start in the same place – you, good music, the beginnings of a fanbase with whom you engage via the web, social networks and live performance. This will inevitably involve giving them free music and collecting their contact details in return. A fair trade.

Where you’ll end up – the level of success that you attain – is, to a degree, in the lap of the Gods. But all these possible end results require the same starting point and building blocks for an aspiring musician in the web 2.0 world.

For some reason, many artists believe that they must abandon their dream of achieving mainstream success in order to follow the 1,000 true fans model.  Many believe that you must choose to either go down the niche pathway or mainstream pathway. This is not true. It is absolutely possible to achieve mainstream success whilst simultaneously generating a sustainable income by meeting the needs of your “true” fans. All it takes is willingness. You can do it if you’re willing to spend some time every day engaging with your fans via social media, building up your mailing list and thinking of special ways to reward your most loyal fans. At the same time you can pursue mainstream success by touring, playing festival circuits, networking, seeking radio airplay and selling music to as many people as possible. If you don’t have enough time to do everything – then hire someone (even a friend) to help you! Your music career is your business – you need to make investments and take risks, otherwise you’ll never get anywhere.

Check the post on Music Think Tank here.