It’s natural to want everyone to like you. As a performer or literary artist, I believe wholeheartedly that that want is even stronger than in the average person. We want every single person to like us, to really really like us. But, most don’t. And, everyone won’t. Seriously, we need to understand that and move on. Yet, we don’t. Instead, we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to attract new fans while our current audience of supporters and true fans of our work languish at the sidelines.
Personality Radio shared this awesome post on ways radio hosts diss their fan base and while reading, I couldn’t help but compare this to some behaviors I witness among some of the performance artists in my social media circle who I am able to observe from afar. I witness how fans are not acknowledged for commenting on posts or sharing unsolicited feedback after a show or appearance. I witness how some artists make demands for their fans to forward their info, yet, offer no incentive, kind word or acknowledgment that the fans and word of mouth is how many of us indie artists are able to fill seats. What I most commonly see are indie artists making demands that folks “support indie artists” as if its a audience responsibility without any attempt to engage the loyal fan base with anything to make it worth their while.
This kind of behavior makes it hard for those of us who really appreciate our fan base and are interested in people building relationships with our work, and not our image. But, this also hurts those who engage these behaviors worst of all. For, it ultimately becomes clear that if you don’t appreciate the fan base that you already have, why on earth would you appreciate a new fan who may happen to discover your art by chance?
What are some ways that you appreciate your audience?