Think of all the people who come to your shows, buy your music, interact with your social media, etc. Now subtract all the people who are friends or family. That’s how many fans you have. Fans are the ones who are attracted to what you do on a purely musical basis. They are in love with your music. They have travelled to the venue to see you. Or they've spent 10 dollars on your record.
Once you build enough of these jewels, you stoke the flames of fandom to ignite a blaze of hype—that was a cheesy sentence but this is MY blog. Go write your own. Anyway you don’t do this for the sake of your ego. It’s called social proof theory. The idea that people will want to come check you out because of their perceived notion that a bunch of other people really like you already, so there must be something happening. We all do it. That ring of people around the street performer makes you want to come over and see what’s going on. This is popularly referred to as “The Tipping Point,” a phrase coined by author Malcolm Gladwell.