Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

How do you promote your bands?


Lord_Nord

Recommended Posts

I've been playing with a few different bands (with mostly much older bandmates) for about 11 years now, and although we make some great music, it's tough to expand our fan base...or even get our regular fans to come out as much as they used to. I get the feeling it's because most of our fans are in their 40s - 60's and due to the tough economy, no one wants to come out and pay $10 for a mixed drink...whereas younger people in my demographic might be willing to.

 

Anyhow, I was wondering what you or your bands are doing to build or even keep your fan base (besides playing kick-ass awesome music). I currently promote constantly on facebook and post flyers and such about 2 weeks before a gig.

A.J. Blues

Manager and Keyboardist

The Tash Brothers Band

www.myspace.com/TheTashBrothersBand

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 20
  • Created
  • Last Reply

My emphasis is on free advertising because I already have to spend so much time on it. Craigslist, Backpage, whatever free mass advertising I can get I use.

 

I also keep a contact list of any type of regional contacts I can for regular email blasts. This lncludes booking agents, event coordinators, F&B managers, golf club managers, etc.

 

And I stay in touch with other musicians in case I can fill in for a date they can't make and vice versa.

 

One final stunt I've mentioned here before: I sometimes get involved with local political figures by volunteering to perform at their events. This has gotten me into black tie events and in front of "the right people" that I never would have met otherwise. It's very satisfying to sidestep booking agents this way. :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try comping a wellknown artist.

Be known for something more than just "playing kick-ass awesome music". The audience listens with their eyes as well. Be known for having a kick-ass awesome appearance, outstanding performance or even cloths.

 

Yeah OK...you try being the 24 year old to tell your 50+ year old bandmates to dress up in costume LOL

A.J. Blues

Manager and Keyboardist

The Tash Brothers Band

www.myspace.com/TheTashBrothersBand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Web site

Facebook

Email

Face-to-face

 

Yes, while I'm doing all of that now, none of it besides Face to Face really helps us BUILD a fan base. I don't think people are actively seeking us out on the web, so it's really a matter of hunting them down. I think I have to get more aggressive with sending around the Emailing List at gigs for starters though.

A.J. Blues

Manager and Keyboardist

The Tash Brothers Band

www.myspace.com/TheTashBrothersBand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know. Over the years I've played with some really good bands whose fan base never took off for one reason or another. Generally I think it was usually due to song selection. I've played with some bands that didn't have much technical talent but people loved them.

 

Some bands have it and some don't .... whatever it is.

 

What we do is webpage, facebook, face to face communication, a professional promo package including high quality posters for the clubs where we play. It is a business. We treat it like a business. We win over those who would hire us then we go play our shows and cross our fingers and hope people like us.

 

One thing we do a lot of hoes may not do is we try to pick our gigs somewhat carefully. Help our buyers make sure they are hiring the right band.

 

We are walking into a high paying private gig this month who has come back and asked us to do 60-90 minutes of quiet foo foo music before cutting loose. We are a little worried about that. Those that hired us saw us play a large outdoor show last Labor Day and we were louder than ****. They know what we do we were clear that we are rock band. Our webpage say we don't do foo foo fancy eatin music. We are going to do our show and hope for the best.

 

We do what we do and it works. We are honest in what we do and don't do and do not try to sell something we are not. Be upfront and ethical. Don't sell the product too cheap else people will not think you are that good. Always use contracts. If people like you the fans will happen. Playing good venues is the easiest way to get good fans.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, while I'm doing all of that now, none of it besides Face to Face really helps us BUILD a fan base. I don't think people are actively seeking us out on the web, so it's really a matter of hunting them down. I think I have to get more aggressive with sending around the Emailing List at gigs for starters though.

 

Well you can't just HAVE those things, you have to work them. Have an email list signup on a clip board. During breaks, walk around and get people to sign up. Also import those emails to Facebook and send friend requests. Create Facebook events. Post lots of pics and encourage people at shows who take pics to tag you.

 

The idea is to keep the people who check you out coming back and bringing their friends. It takes time. When I took over the marketing for our band about 5 years ago, we had maybe 200 on our email list. Just by really pushing the email list at gigs, after a couple years I got it up to almost 1000. When I started the Facebook page, that was a good start for friends, and now it's grown to something like 1300. The good thing about Facebook is that when you post something, your friends can share it on their walls so that all their friends see it too. So make sure your emails and posts are things people want to receive and share. Be clever, use humor.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1 Good tips for sure! Yeah, I definitely have to get on that Emailing list more. I forgot about importing them to facebook where you can really communicate with them better. =D

A.J. Blues

Manager and Keyboardist

The Tash Brothers Band

www.myspace.com/TheTashBrothersBand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not only that, It is good for communicating with musicians. I usually check Facebook or the webpage on Friday morning to make sure where I am supposed to be that evening. It is a ***** getting old.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I didnt say you have to look like Lady Gaga (unless you play that kind of music) but, once again, the performance and appearance is 50% of the show/image (well..today its 95% unfortunately). I think a successful career in showbuissness is all about image even if you are old (so am I)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't have to wear costumes, though it is fun to play dress up sometimes. You need to dress work appropiate for the job you intend to do. Sometimes that may be not dressing up at at all.

 

You have to know your limitations you strong points and your target audience. I am not a very pretty man so I usually setup in the back sitting behind my keys in proper dress playing as the three front personnel entertain their butts off. Though I have always wanted to play in a Funk, R&B band where we all wear giagantic Super Fro wigs, and elephant bell bottomed leisure suits covered with sparkly thingies.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I currently promote constantly on facebook and post flyers and such about 2 weeks before a gig.

A few things that have worked well for us:

 

(A) Distribute your flyers closer to the gigs.

Two weeks is a long time to forget about a show you want to see, and most people that go out habitually are making their plans within 2-3 days before the gig. If you play on Friday, get your flyers up by Wed. night.

 

(B) Target your flyers.

If you want college kids, post the flyers on campuses. Get them out to fraternities and sororities and the student unions and nearby coffee houses, etc. If you feel creepy going on campus alone, find someone who goes to that school and offer to buy them lunch to help you get some flyers up. This becomes easier after you get some fans that go to that school.

 

© Post your events on Facebook.

Fans get an instant message that you've got a gig coming up, and they'll get reminders closer to the date. Also, change the image for your Event to the flyer 2-3 days before the show so everyone gets a "Band Changed Their Event Photo" notice. Here's one of our recent event pages:

 

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/1442/cherokee.png

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

 

(D) "Friend" your "Likes".

Do this if you have a personal page on FB; that way they get to know you better, and become real friends of the band. If you're uncomfortable with mixing your "band life" and "personal life" on Facebook, you can always start a secondary personal account. Either way, just keep Facebook Rule No. 1 in mind - if you don't want everyone you're "friends" with to see something, don't post it.

 

(E) GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS

It goes without saying that if you can get the girls to like you and come see you, the guys will follow them and buy alcohol. The trick to making this work for you is to involve the women in what you're doing, and NOT hitting on them: they think what you do is cool, but who you are is another old guy in a bar.

 

Treat them as real friends, and involve them in any way you can -- they can be your on-campus flyer-posting buddies; if one is an artist, ask for her help on a flyer or t-shirt; get any of them with cameras to share their photos with you (another thing made easy by Facebook); and so on.

 

(And, of course, accept any reasonable song requests they give you. I swear, you'll be surprised someday. After months of getting "Brown Eyed Girl"-league requests -- even though we made it clear we're a Dead cover band -- we got approached by a super hot blonde who asked for "Terrapin Station" (for non-Deadheads, it's like asking a Rush cover band to play "Cygnus X-1" or "By-Tor and the Snow Dog"); I swear, we were 2 practices shy of getting it stage-worthy, so she requested "Althea", which we know, and she was stare-raping our rhythm guitarist the whole time.)

 

(F) Go see bands your fans are in (even, and especially, if they suck).

It's just courteous, and if you live in a place where people are nice to (and about) each other, other musicians will come see you and bring their folk along. Young bands will be stoked that the local vets they look up to are giving them props, and more established bands are mature enough to repay in kind. Plus, it's a good way to get sub work or pick-up side band gigs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What Jason said. Also,

 

Get your own web site if you don't already have one. You cannot count on Facebook, MySpace, Reverbnation, nor any other site to be there when you need it, do what you want, not change how it works the day you wanted to use it, etc. Some people see these other sites for a band and are immediately turned off.

 

If you do have your own site, and use another site's tools on it (for instance, I use ArtistData.com to feed my gig calendar), be aware that if they change something, you might have to update or change your site to make it work again.

 

Have I made my point about using third-party sites yet? ;)

 

There are a lot of good tips above about online and off-line (flyers, face-to-face, etc.) promotion. Most people I know say a combination works best. Lots of people are on FB but don't check it. Others miss events and invites because they get so many. Online promotion has become so much noise for some. This is why other methods are just as important.

 

Here's a random idea. Is there local press where you are? Here in Houston, the local music writers *love* writing about local bands, so if you have something interesting happening (album release, new band member, return after hiatus) contact the writers and see if one will write your band up for the local paper, free weekly, or whatever they write for. You'd be amazed how excited some of these writers would be to do this for you, and even better, a good write-up will bring a lot of people out.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a random idea. Is there local press where you are? Here in Houston, the local music writers *love* writing about local bands, so if you have something interesting happening (album release, new band member, return after hiatus) contact the writers and see if one will write your band up for the local paper, free weekly, or whatever they write for. You'd be amazed how excited some of these writers would be to do this for you, and even better, a good write-up will bring a lot of people out.

 

Free press? The writers love to do this? Wow, I'll give that a try for sure.

 

:thu:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading Joe's comments made me think of a couple other things.

 

Regarding Facebook: we play too often to do and event for everything - that would get annoying and people would ignore them. I set up events for special shows: halloween costume party with contest, new years eve with various packages available, etc. Otherwise, I just post that weekend's gigs on our status on Friday afternoon when people are thinking about what to do after work.

 

Regarding Flyers: in most cases you're looking at a very small return, if any, for a large investment of time. They should be very targeted. Just leaving flyers on cars or hanging signs in coffee shops probably isn't going to do much for you. When we start playing someplace new, I'll make up 11x17 color posters adverdisting the gig, and hang them at the venue on Wed 1-1/2 week prior to the gig. That way the weekend crowd see's it, but it's not so far in advance that they forget. I hang them in the front door, by any game areas (pool tables, darts, etc), and in the bathrooms. That has seemed to work to get a crowd built up at a new place.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...