Leading up to the 2008 US presidential election, Barack Obama cultivated a political fervor like few presidential candidates in American history have ever provoked from the general public. Sure, you can attribute some of this to his skillful rhetoric about change and personal responsibility, and sure you can attribute it some of it to the color of the man’s skin, and his background. But I would argue Obama’s greatest tool in gathering popular support was the way in which he made others feel like a part of his success.
Consider what was, perhaps, Obama’s greatest catch slogan: “Yes we can.” Yes, we can—not I can; that’s an important message about the president as not just a leader, but a facilitator for democracy. It’s the kind of philosophy that lent individuals attachment to the Obama campaign, not just as the candidate whose platform best represented their interests, but as a man in whom they felt personal investment.
Further consider how Obama raised campaign funding; though there were a number of traditional sources, he also bucked political norms by reaching out to the general public for an unreal number of small, online contributions from everyday people.
Great a cappella group have fans—a few of them hardcore, most of them casual. What transcends the quality of an a cappella group, though, and reaches into the way in which a group conducts itself, is developing a legion of rabid fans—people who will travel to see your every show, record and post videos of you on YouTube, and buy your new CD the day it comes out. If you want to build a collection of fans like this, it will make a huge difference if you let your fans be a part of your success.
Does your group accept fan requests for song selections? If not, think about it. You don’t need to obligate yourself to perform every song fans recommend, but having an idea box on your website promotes interaction.
Does your group have a way in which fans can contribute financially to your success? If not, think about running a Kickstarter campaign before you record your next CD or put on your next major concert. If your supporters know that they contributed to that project becoming a reality, they’ll be all the more invested in the project’s success.
Do you have a Facebook fanpage and Twitter account? If not, don’t hesitate to start in on social networking . Like the song suggestions concept, this is a way for your group to interact directly with the audience, build excitement for new projects and get their ideas, opinions, and feedback so they can contribute to your group.
People take pride in processes they feel they are a part of. Involve everyone you can your group’s success!