There is quite literally a “fan” in every Fanatic and Grace has them in great numbers. It is most impressive that Grace has created such a following of loyal and devoted fans in such a short time. In particular she has a huge number of super-fans which is synonymous with enduring success. Exactly how has she created such a cult following in such a short time? Of course, there was AGT to kickstart it all, but by watching Graces’ recent Glamour video where she watches fans cover her own music and similar content we’ll begin to understand.
When viewing the video, we immediately notice two things:
1. Grace’s fans love and adore Her.
2. Grace loves and adores her fans.
Her fans are so inspired that they rehearse and sing covers of her songs and post them on YouTube. They even go so far as to produce multi-layered elements as if in a recording studio. Their commitment is admirable and the new age of social media is fostering this behavior in great numbers. Similarly, Grace herself uses social media along with these videos to engage with her fans, and even provide feedback, further endearing her. Combine this with her Instagram live feeds and other interactions and we can see that she is creating a sense of appreciation and affiliation directly with her fans. This in turn, will increase the chance of them becoming even more dedicated as a result of creating that unique bond.
Grace’s careful observations during the video give us insight into her exceptional ear for music and that she’s not afraid to absorb good ideas from other talented people. The making of the “Just the Beginning” album excels at highlighting this use of collaboration. Subsequently, the “Just the Beginning” Tour was a great example of using smaller venues to connect with her fans. It’s much easier to target fans in a small but sold-out venue rather than a large mostly vacant one. The smaller venues provide opportunities for direct interaction with fans, offering a chance to get up close and personal. A simple touch of the finger tip or one-off closeup selfie provide exclusive moments that will forever be engrained. The combination of Grace’s natural charisma and humor further cement the relationship. “Rupert the Reporter”, you will never be forgotten.
This leads us to our next point which is good old-fashioned hard work. Grace has not wasted her opportunity following AGT. She has worked incredibly hard and I am dumbfounded by the massive list of Interviews, Performances, Talk Shows, Meet-and-Greets, Live Broadcasts and Concerts she has produced in the last two years. She has opportunistically leveraged her new-found fame and is doing things the right way through hard work and from the ground up. Meeting and speaking with her fans on so many occasions not only makes her accessible but hanging around the merch table after a gig for example, also encouraged fans to come over and make a purchase.
Grace’s exclusive concert at the Bean Runner Café provided us with even further evidence of just how she is creating a dedicated following. Her use of “Exclusive” events and “Competitions” for free merch has created a sense of “Community” and offering fans something exclusive will heighten their appreciation and provide a feeling that they’re part of her inner circle. It is a masterful way to generate interest in her music. Even the string of recent online surveys, where her fans can vote for her songs in various categories, allows fans to co-operate in her success and gives them a sense of togetherness.
Speaking of togetherness, Grace has expressed interest in working with other artists such as Shawn Mendes, Billie Eilish, Jason Mraz and Selena Gomez. The product of these collaborations can be a great benefit to Grace for the future. On a practical level, she could leverage the audience of bigger artists, venues, and brands to build her fan base. Doing covers, features, or remixes with them can be a good way to have her own music introduced to the fans of those artists. Let us also include Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons for whom grace will be the opening act this summer. Surely their collaboration would create a new breed of fandom, as Mark Lalonde has coined the term “FireWaals”, which would further enhance Grace’s career.
Grace may never need a number one hit to have a magnificent career. RUSH for example, created a worldwide dedicated fan base, sold millions of albums and had an illustrious career spanning some 40 years. They did things on their own terms and without any social media or critical acclaim. Rush has released 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (including 3 multi-platinum), placing them third behind the Beatles and the Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band. Although recently retired, they eventually gained entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and most surprisingly, they have never had a number one single.
Ariana Grande is a worldwide phenom with hundreds of millions of social media followers. She has huge market buy-in and is highly acclaimed by the industry. Her albums skyrocket to the top of the charts and she is number 6 in billboard top 100 artists, comparatively Imagine Dragons currently is number 5. Ariana’s best singles chart results are from collaboration with other artists. She has number one singles working with Jessie J/Nicki Minaj and another with Iggy Azalea. Shockingly, Ariana has never had a number one hit single as a solo artist.
Grace is doing everything possible to build a following that will allow her to be successful while retaining her creative independence and doing so without much critical acclaim (so far) albeit with notable exceptions. That effort is being done at the grass roots to cultivate a fan base that is loyal and dedicated. Grace’s insightful use of social media, YouTube, special events, contests, personal interactions, live streams, concerts and great music has created a cult-like following. Grace herself is simply Fantastic and her fan base is wonderfully Fanatical.
This article was first posted on VanderVault’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XydnaaaaSnE&lc=UgzudUokU1ThMeCUy7p4AaABAg