TPS #002: Audience ≠ Community

Author: Andre Mullen - 2.5min Read

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“Ideally the point of music is community, not the player. Musicians are simply channels to link the audience to the music and to each other.” – Trey Anastasio, American guitarist

Many artists and their teams focus on growing an audience, but having a big crowd alone isn’t enough.

On the other hand, creating a community requires more than just gaining people’s attention – it takes conscious effort.

A successful community has two-way communication between members as well as with your client.

Building an audience is not nearly as impactful or powerful as building a community. Social media has demonstrated that having a large audience doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a large impact.

The graphic below is the best way to look at the difference between an audience and a community.

In the cases of audience and community, both grow organically, but only one grows together due to interaction.

An artist manager focused on working with a client to build community – Direct-to-Fan engagement – among their fanbase, will ensure long-term success.

Your client will benefit if they treat their fans like clients themselves. This can be achieved by continuing to build a catalog of great content that resonates with their fans, in other words, their community.

In my years of working as an artist manager, I’ve worked with artists with social and DSP (digital service platforms) audiences of over 500K and between 50K – 100K. I found something very interesting. My clients with audiences in the 50K – 100K range had:

  • an average of 40M impressions on socials
  • an average of $250K in yearly online income
  • 4 successful revenue streams

What did these clients have that the clients I’ve had with 500K+ audiences didn’t? You guessed it. They had built a community.

Here are four steps that your client can do to build their community and Direct-to-Fan engagement:

Step #1 – Create a Content Schedule and Strategy

Artists create music to connect with an audience. 

Content creators create content to connect with an audience.

Artists are content creators. 

Creating a content schedule to build your client’s community and Direct-to-Fan engagement could include music releases, mini-interviews, song snippets, or other supportive content. 

To maximize the potential of the content schedule, it should be carefully planned with specific details and facts for each piece of content.

Step #2 – Engagement 

As content is released, your client’s engagement with comments and responses is critical.

Engaging with fans is an important part of building a community.

This interaction allows you and your client to hear from their audience and create a genuine connection.

Even engagement can be scheduled. Commitment to engaging for a couple of hours a day goes a long way.

“The thing that drives a lot of growth on socials is engaging with the fans and learning more about what they’re doing in their world, and how they’re utilizing your music for their personal experience.” – manager Ty Baisden (Brent Faiyaz)

It also provides an opportunity to learn what type of content resonates best and is essential for creating successful campaigns and content schedules.

By monitoring fan feedback, your client can get a better understanding of what works and how to optimize their content schedule even further.

Step #3 – Analyze 

Analyzing the performance of the content is important to growing a community. 

The number of likes, comments, shares, and views are just a few ways of measuring how the audience is engaging with the content. Additionally, many platforms offer detailed analytics that provides further insight. 

Step #4 – Repeat

Make any tweaks/adjustments to the content based on what the audience is saying and repeat the process.

And that’s it.


4 steps for an artist to build a community:

  1. Create and release consistent content
  2. Engage and interact with the audience
  3. Use analytics to measure and assess content performance
  4. Repeat the steps and tweak where necessary


See you next week.

Whenever you’re ready, here are 2 ways I can help you:

  1. Let’s set up a Strategy Call, talk about your business, and craft a plan.
  2. Work with me 1:1 to grow your brand and business. 

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