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Lessons from a guy who sold more than 120 million albums

During my last flight to Asia I really enjoyed the flight entertainment system. In the culture and arts section I came across a documentary called “Springsteen & I” which was released in 2013.

It’s not an ordinary film about a musician. It’s documenting Bruce Springsteen’s life and career through the eyes and insights of his fans all over the world.

At the very beginning of the film you see the crowd of a big open-air concert. It’s already dark and the fans are wishfully expecting Springsteen to get on stage. Finally, the spotlights go on and ‘The Boss’ runs across the stage.

Bruce Springsteen - Roskilde Festival 2012

Bruce Springsteen – Roskilde Festival 2012 By Bill Ebbesen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Great words

These are his amazing words which he shouts out towards his audience:

The E-Street band has come thousand of miles tonight!

We are here for one reason!
Because you’re here!

And where we wanna go, we can’t get there by ourselves.
And where we wanna go, we can’t get there by ourselves.

We need you!

So I got one question that I want to ask you:
Can you feel the spirit?

This is how Bruce Springsteen welcomes his fans. This is how one of the highest selling artists in the world values his audience.

It reflects his philosophy of a fan-artist-relationship. He does not just say thank you. He tells them that they are literally everything to him!

Success factor

I personally believe that this is a crucial element of his success. Bruce Springsteen understands the importance of every single fan. He understands that he might be The Boss but his Fans are the real Stars.

He will not travel anywhere if there is no one to play for or to come up for his expenses. There is no great artist (as we know him) any more, if there is no one who wants to listen. He depends on his audience and that’s why he shouts out: “We need you!”

This way his fans feel appreciated, they feel that they support something big. They are part of something meaningful. And they feel that The Boss gives something back. He serves with his music, his emotions, his songs and his appreciation.


And yes, Bruce Springsteen knows what it takes to create and keep fans. A quote of him reflects his attitude:
“Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.”

And there is definitely something to his music and his lyrics:
“The audiences are there as a result of my history with the band but also as a result of my being able to reach people with a tune.”

Here are my knowledge nuggets for you. Enjoy!

4 key takeaways derived from Bruce Springsteen to improve your relationship with fans

  1. Appreciate and serve every single fan. Be grateful!
  2. Don’t get snobbish or inapproachable (unless it’s part of your brand or artistic approach)!
  3. Understand that getting an audience is a process. It takes work and time!
  4. Tell your fans what they mean to you! Take the words of Bruce Springsteen as a template. Adapt them to suit yourself. And next time you go on stage you know what to say!

SYT Letter

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