Keep in mind--the overall goal here is to get people interested in your music, but also YOU. People want to know you, they want to understand you, they want to feel close to you. Music is about passion, and most of us play music to share our passion with others. Be real, make friends, wear your heart on your sleeve every now and again. Being jaded is SO last year.
|You, too, can be a gunslinging panda of promotion. It's not magic, it's work!|
First things first--Create a Facebook fan page. How can people like your band if they can't even confirm you exist? Once created, put up the BEST photos you can that present the image you want people to see. Put up the best set of information and details you can. Assume everyone coming to the page has no idea who you are, what you're about, or what kind of music you make. Give them something to like. What is so unique about you? What makes you interesting? Why should people care? If you get them to care, you've got them--people who are as passionate about your music as you are and who can share the love (or anger or humor) that you're putting out into the world.
***Watch your spelling and grammar, always, or I'll send tiny angry pixies to put your guitars and drums out of tune. Do not doubt me!***
MUSIC. You're in a band, right? People want to hear you! There are a lot of decent home recording programs out there--that is how we have recorded our stuff. It can be time consuming to get it done, but in the end our CDs will have cost us about $1 each, which is excellent. PLUS, we have music online for people to listen to. If you're in a band, people want to hear your music. End of the story. If a band doesn't have songs up, it's hard for someone to convince themselves that they should spend money or time to go see said band, especially if they don't have many fans or much activity on the page.
***Generally speaking, MOST people will think like this: "If no one else cares, why should I?" Make it look like the whole world cares, and the whole world will start to. (You'd better be able to back it up with quality, though.)***
|ReverbNation has ENDLESS ways to help you. Click it and check out how WE are using it.|
***Make the most out of EVERY tool you have to use, and take pride in what you are doing!***
Videos are great to have--people love to just watch stuff. Anyone have a video camera? Even a bit of an acoustic jam would be great for people to be able to watch and it gives Facebook fans something to "share" that will help get you more fans. It lets people into your world, to wander about for awhile. If you think about why you enjoy reading a book or watching a movie, you'll understand. It's an escape. Give people an escape. Even if it's three minutes.
"Three minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven." -Flight of the Concords. True, true story.
Get everyone talking on your page. The more interaction you get with people, the more MORE people will want to join in. Get every band member to invite all of his friends to like the band. Do this weekly. It's time consuming, but completely worth it. Much easier if you download something like the "select all" bot for Firefox--it'll select your friends for you. If you have 500 friends but your band page has 60 likes, you aren't doing it right. Make jokes, post photos, start conversations, ALWAYS REPLY to things posted on your page. Someone took the time to do that. Enjoy and get to know the people who are taking the time to enjoy and get to know you!
|Work with other local artists! Check out Greg Waldrop of DMI Photography for some sweet photos!|
Help promote other bands, artists, and events. Stop thinking of them as competition. They aren't. YOU are your worst competition. Here's a secret: every time you make a post linking to another band/person/venue/event/etc, anyone who is friends with or "likes" those things, has a chance to see your post. Let's say you're playing a show with Metallica. You include a link to their profile in your status. Now ALL of those Metallica fans have a chance to see you talking about it, to go to your page and give your music a listen. Every time you introduce your fans to someone else, you're also introducing yourself to a whole new audience. You NEED new audiences. Another reason to help other bands and artists? If they find you friendly and worthy, they'll return the favor, and a new contact/network has been created. You NEED other bands if you want to play shows. And bands that are more popular and well-known than you are are great to learn from.
Gabe Wilkinson, of Microwaved, says "Remember names, remember faces and shake hands. Have fun with people when you meet them at shows. I know a lot of us musicians are the shy type when we are off stage. It's a part of our insides for some reason. We can't turn it on when we aren't on stage, but push yourself to turn it on. Making friendships beyond the internet is important, too."
|Is this what you're doing? Is this what your fans are doing?|
That's the only way I think you'll get OTHER people to turn off the television and come to see your shows.
Thanks for reading! Keep checking back--we'll have more of these. Next time we'll be talking with some of those fancy journalist fellas. I hear that if you treat them nice, they can help promote your band and shows. We'll find out if that's true or not, and the best ways to go about it.
So. When are you playing next, boys and girls? Tell us about your show, and what you're doing to promote it.