Building a successful career as a musician is a long-term game, but sometimes you need to get a quick boost right now.

Getting more fans overnight without paying a dime is not an easy thing to do. You’re asking for huge results, they need to happen almost instantly, and they need to be free… Yikes.

Whether you’ve started a new project and need to find that initial fan base quickly or you’ve got a big album release coming up and want to get a bump in awareness, these three tips are guaranteed to give you more fans in a short amount of time.


We can argue back and forth about the importance of maintaining a professional appearance, but you can’t argue with the performance of a good meme.

Not only are people way more likely to share a meme with their friends than to share your post about a new album, but they’re stupidly easy to make.

Play in a deathcore band? Slap your music over a video of someone falling or getting hit by something and write “When the breakdown hits” over it. Write crazy, intellectual prog? Take a video of a toddler trying to count and add your song with a weird time signature. Round it off with some text that says “Trying to figure out what time signature my riffs are in”.

We see these on our news feeds every day… and they work.

It’s exponentially easier to get someone to give their time to a meme because we’ve all learned that they require very little from us, and often have a high payoff, such as a good laugh.

It’s easier to get someone to look at a meme and potentially like the music enough to check you out than it is to convince that same person to listen to your album when they have no vested interest in you to begin with.

To recap here:

– Way more likely to get people’s attention
– Even if the music does nothing for them, if it’s funny/relatable they’ll still share it with their friends
– Super quick and easy to make

Make a good meme, put your band name and song name in the comments section (or even in the video itself) and watch the likes start rolling in.


If you haven’t learned this by now let me make it explicitly clear:

Hitting your “target demographic” isn’t just about paying for ads.

When it comes to hunting down the people who are most likely to enjoy your music and become fans of your band, stop trying to get them to come to you… go to them.

Facebook groups are a fantastic way to do that. Every genre has a Facebook group, and there are often hundreds or even thousands of groups within that category.

If you’re just looking for general promotion, then post in groups where you’re likely to find fans. If you need specific promotion, filter things down to fit your goals better. For example, if you’re going on tour, find groups that are related to that genre and location.

Almost every major city has a music group dedicated to a genre, and they’re easy to find as they generally follow the name format of *insert city* *insert genre* (for example: “Atlantis City Hardcore”, or “South Awesomeville Metalcore”)

Post about each show in those groups and even if they don’t make it to the show, they may just check out your music and become a fan.

Need more groups to post in? Find where else these people hang out.

Find the products they use, the things they like. Maybe you’ll find fans in the AxeFX forum if you play progressive metal/djent. Maybe you’ll find fans of death metal in a 5150/6505 owners group. Maybe you’ll find deathcore fans if you post in a group about plugs, Vans, and hair straighteners (oh come on, we all went through that phase!)

Seek them out, they aren’t just going to come to you.


Look… pirating music is dumb. It hurts an industry that’s already difficult enough to succeed in, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to your advantage without crossing into that morally tough area.

Upload your own music for people to pirate.

Yes, really.

If you’re a bigger band already and have great sales numbers then this tip is not for you. However, if you’re a smaller band just starting out or you are able to take the financial hit, this one is hugely effective.

Think about it: people go to music downloading websites because they want to find new music. There are thousands of these sites out there and many of them are aimed at specific genres.

If you play in a metal band and upload your album to a dozen metal music download sites for free, you’re putting your music in front of the perfect target audience without having to pay anything in advertising.

Not only do you get seen, but if they like it there’s nothing in the way of them downloading your music. You’re now in their music library, in their iPod, on their phone.

Yes, if you’re selling the album on iTunes, Bandcamp etc. this could potentially mean you’re taking a small hit on sales. However, keep in mind that not only is this temporary but that you should be thinking long-term.

Would you rather save those 10 album sales now, or gain 1,000+ fans who you can then sell to for years to come? A sale is immediately gratifying, but the few sales you might lose as a small band are worth the sacrifice to gain a much larger fan base that will stick with you throughout your career.


It needs to be said that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Taking away any one of these three restrictions (overnight time frame, needing a high level of results, not spending any money) can open you up to a massive world of possibilities that can help your band grow faster and more effectively than the ones listed here, but if you’re not in a position to do any of those things then lean hard on these tips… they’ve got the potential to put you in the spotlight.

This article was written by Connor Gilkinson, our editor located in Canada.

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