With today's recording industry artists are have many more options when i comes to generating fan-bases and revenue mostly by using the internet. Given the rise of social media and general ability to stay connected to an entire group of people throughout an entire day artists have become much more engaged with their fans on a personal level. An advantage is appear ant when an artist is able to directly ask their fan-base what they want whether it be types of merch, tour locations or perhaps cool ideas for a public display or show and this can be done through both the mass “shouting into the void” that is social media or through direct contact with the fan, the latter providing a more personalized experience for the fan and making the feel more attached while the former will help bands with data.
With this ability to directly contact any of your fans at any given time being an artist can be as much an experience for the fan as it is for the artist. With the ability to sell private backstage/soundcheck passes online for a premium or perhaps have them as a stretch goal for your Kickstarter/other funding campaign the fan could have and this serves two functions. One is it generates revenue for the artist while usually not costing the artist much money, and two it creates a special experience for the fan that they might remember for the rest of their life because they had and experience that almost no-one else will ever get which they might tell their friends about.
This same concept can be taken and slightly changed if the artist were to make a Patreon account. This allows the fan to pay what they want for the artists work, and is charged Per piece of work done. this could allow an artist to slowly release songs over a period of time instead of following the traditional route of waiting to release a whole album. Along with kickstarter special rewards can be offered to high donaters fans could even come into the studio with the artist and sit with them while they record a song again with the goal in mind to give the fan a mind-blowing experience that they will never forget.
These have been ways to help gain revenue from a fanbase but what if the artist doesn't have a big enough fanbase to support them, what can the artist do to get one? I would like to know aswell but the best trend i can see is Be Awesome, Be Available, and Be Engaging. Being awesome sounds like something that everyone would think sounds stupid if you say it out loud but i really couldn't think or a better word to describe it. The best example of this i could think of is OK GO’s video and song “Here It Goes Again” where they took something so simple by renting a couple treadmills and made one of the most amazingly entertaining music videos there is and this is great because it sets them apart from everyone else and makes people want to follow them simply because they are unique. Awesome isn't just and idea thing though it extends into the artists personality, do events, help people out when you can, dont be a jerk and just in general try and be a person people would feel proud of supporting. Being available and engaging are all to do with how the artist directly interacts with a fan, sit at the merch booth talk fans, let them know where they can message the artist directly if they have cool ideas or want to support them even more and make the fan feel like everything the artist does and is trying to do is for the sake of creating something creative and amazing that everyone can enjoy.