Artists: Stop saying the word FANS!
I start by saying, 'Fan' is not inherently a bad word. I'm a fan of lots of people! Seth Godin, The Beatles, and James Taylor for starters.
The difference is the word FAN is reserved for people that ARE fans. Not for the people that have them.
This has been a habit by the music industry for a long time. Truth Bomb: When I hear artists talk about fans, and I've heard a ton, a huge percentage of bands bring a negative connotation to the word, and subsequently to the people.
The word hypes your inflated ego.
It puts a group of people down there and you up here.
The word draws a hard line in the sand. Limits access in a world where we crave it.
When you say it over and over, you build a habit and cut the tie that builds communities and tribes. You stop talking to your customers/followers. You quit engaging and become out of touch with what your followers actually want!
With our company, we ask customers to lunch ALL the time! We get coffee, we call them, and we write them. They give us ideas, they tell us what they like, what they don't like, and it has been one of the best and most fruitful experiences of starting the company.
I'm not suggesting that you call up every person and invite them to lunch. Nor am I giving an alternative to the word 'fan'. But what I'm suggesting is that we as musicians have started to use the word in a negative way. We need to have a perspective shift on who these fans are and the role they play in your community. Because truthfully, without those precious people, we would NOT have a career.