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On The Road and Getting “Liked”.

Singer-songwriter Alfa Garcia on building a fanbase

She’s in the midst of a grueling college campus tour – but she loves it.

After being a journalist covering other artists, Alfa Garcia decided to go full time with her guitar and distinctive voice.

Now Alfa’s building a fanbase – and we asked her to share how she’s doing this with our VoiceCouncil community.

Were you getting depressed reporting on the art of other people?
I don’t know if depressed is the word; more like “restless.” If anything, being a journalist helped make me feel certain about what I already knew, which was that I wanted to be out there pursuing my music.

When you first went “full time”, what was your strategy in terms of building – and maintaining – a fan base?
When I went full time, I found that I could dedicate more time to all of it – the promotion, the live shows, and the online stuff. It’s both quality and quantity when you go full-time – you get more time to work on music, and your output is a little more substantial just because you’re dedicating more time to it

How has that strategy changed over time – what are you doing differently now?
I think the social media aspect is so huge now, and it’s something you constantly have to keep up on. You have to be on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube…you have to have a good-looking mailing list…whereas when I first start playing music, this may not have mattered as much.

What do you mean by “good looking mailing list”?
In the past, I would have sent a basic e-mail to everyone on my mailing list, these days it helps to have an email with graphics, or a more involved layout that makes it a little more pleasing to the eye. An example are e-mails sent through Fanbridge.

How do you make college gigs work for you in terms of retaining those fans after the gig?
A lot of those students are on Facebook, and that’s really become the most direct way to stay in touch. Some of them become personal Facebook friends too, not just fans on my music page.

What do you do at the gigs to get and keep those fans?
Just be positive and friendly, relate to the students. I remember when I was their age, so I try to talk to them about what they might be going through in school or in their personal lives.

At a concert, what do you do to actually get those FB likes?
Usually I’ll tell people that I’m often updating on FB, and if they’d like to stay updated, they should follow the page. I think this is also a good opportunity for giveaways and stuff like that, though I haven’t done it yet.

Your Facebook page isn’t looking too shabby – what wisdom would you pass onto other singers about building their facebook pages?
Thank you for saying so. Just try to keep the Facebook page engaging for everyone. And also, I have been bad at this of late, but try not to over-post.

You’ve been active on Twitter – what are you learning about that medium?
Twitter is interesting, but I don’t love it. I am not a fan of the sound byte, and that’s really what it is the equivalent of. But you know, it’s part of the game, so I bite.

What can Twitter do for you?
I’ve found that Twitter isn’t the best way to promote a show, but it is a good way to present an arc of your life story in multiple, short posts…and if there’s something funny or quirky that happens to me and I want to share it with anyone who’ll listen/read, it’s great for that.

You describe yourself as a “road warrior” – how do you make life on the road work for you?
Oh man, I am still figuring this out! I am admittedly terrible with eating regularly when I’m on the road. I have started calling it the “tour diet,” when I shed 2 or 3 pounds by the time I come home just from bad eating habits.

What’s working for you with life on the road?
I have figured some things out – getting a TON of sleep is key. It makes such a huge difference in your performance, your mentality when you face each day, and with facing the challenges that you inevitably run into.

Alfa Garcia is a folk-pop singer & songwriter; her album “World Go Blue” is climbing up national charts, including the CMJ Top 200 National Airplay Charts (#135) and College Radio Charts (#77 unweighted). In 2012, Music Connection Magazine placed Alfa in their Top 25 Music Critiques, noting, “fans of Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles will savor this artist.”
See www.alfagarcia.wordpress.com/
World Go Blue on Bandcamp www.alfamusic.bandcamp.com/

  • Julien Sardon

    “The road warrior” I full agree with you !! Sleep hours enough !! to have a good rest !! and also I think you’re right about over-posting on facebook !! In France we say something like : “too many posts kill the post…”

  • Julien Sardon

    O, I haven’t seen the date of this article : the 28th of april : This is my birthday date !! thank you so much :)