Whenever I talk to artists about building followers and discovering their niche, I would always tell them of what I call the Bruce Lee Principle. Now I know what you’re thinking. What does Bruce Lee have to do with music? Well Bruce Lee, just like any actor, wanted to make it big in Hollywood. While he found some success with a few supporting TV roles, he constantly got turned down for leading roles because the studio heads at the time felt an Asian man couldn’t be a leading man on TV or in film. “The world isn’t ready for that” they would tell him. So he decided to go back to his home country China. While he wasn’t a big star in the United States, he was big in China because of his role on an American TV show that had been cancelled called “The Green Hornet.” You see, his countrymen were proud to see themselves represented on TV in the United States and that made him sort of a celebrity in China. Bruce decided to go back to China and made movies, riding on the little following he had developed. He ended up having three box office smash hits in Asia and he began to make waves on a global scale. So much so that Hollywood, the industry that had rejected him previously, took notice and sought him out to bring that “Kung Fu” thing to American audiences. They had him star in a big Hollywood production called “Enter the Dragon.” That movie made him a household name. He had finally done it. He was now a Hollywood Leading Man.
Why do I bring up this story? Like Bruce, you have to find your niche. You have to leverage the following you currently have and build from there. “But I don’t have a following” you say. Well you do. If you tally the list of your friends (including Facebook friends), family members, co-workers, church members (I could keep going), you would be astonished to find just how many core followers you can market too. When you can market yourself to your core followers and do a great job of providing quality music, it’s very possible for that success to spill outside of your core followers.
So go ahead and list your core followers. Work with what you currently have and let the Bruce Lee Principle work for you.