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Promotion; how do you do it?


picker

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I've been looking for a way to promote my band, and not having much success. The place where I work is basically a print shop, and I get posters printed for free, but finding a place to hang them is problematic. These days, it's illegal to hang them on phone/electric poles, the stores all refuse to let you put them up, especially national chains, and in the music stores, you're lost amid a gaggle of other bands' signs and posters.

 

Facebook is useless for generating a crowd. I have a band page, I post my gigs on any and all pages that will allow it, and it makes no discernable difference in the size of the crowd.

 

I'm doing benefit gigs wherever I can, which is giving away performances in hopes of getting the name around, and I have volunteered on the local community radio station, playing guitar and singing for their fundraising events. Nobody seems to notice.

 

What do you guys do?

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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I have no band to promote, but in my town, I often see either posters put up in the vestibules of family restaraunts, or the BIG BOY I've been getting carry-outs at has a stack of glossy 2"x3" business type cards complete with a photo of the band on them on their check-out counter.

 

Some supermarkets have big cork faced bulliten boards where many place ads for items for sale, services they provide, lost dogs and cats and such in their entranceways. So does the ACE Hardware store near my house.

 

I'm only guessing mind you, but if you've guaged your typical audience and look at them as a demographic, perhaps the kind of stores they might frequent(clothing stores possibly) might allow you to put up a poster at their entrance. Just a thought.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Maybe you could make some smaller posters so they don't take up a lot of space on bulletin boards. Put the big ones at the gig site and put them at places next door too. The local post offices are a great place as everyone who goes to check PO boxes or send packages, etc. will see them. Laundromats...parks...music stores...grocery stores...Walmarts...anyplace with a bulletin board. Email and phone lists are a great way to send copies of the posters to friends and contacts. The local papers run ads in the weekend section for what's happening around town and most clubs get free space. Check out your local ad sections as that's a great way to get your name out there when you are playing around the town/county...good luck with it! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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Social media like Facebook can be somewhat effective with a band page and your own personal page...I personally try not to overdo it because yeah, it can get kind of annoying seeing several posts a day about the same event. But we as a group and each band member personally posts links to gigs...also teaser videos of what one might see at the next show. In addition to the aforementioned pages there are almost always other Facebook pages that specifically promote local acts in an area that can reach people who do not know you or your band.

 

In our medium sized town there are also print and online weekly publications that tell people what is going on in the bar/club scene, who is playing where and so forth. Occasionally, if you contact those in charge of these publications you can get a blurb or even full story about your band and an upcoming event. Most of the people we have dealt with that run these publications and websites really do love hearing from bands and pretty frequently.

 

We do not often print up posters but will occasionally place one at the venue a couple weeks ahead of time so anyone in attendance at another event might see we are playing there soon. Still, I think posters can be effective but they really have to be placed strategically.

 

Do you have an e-mail list? If not, this is a good thing to start up and another effective way to keep your fans posted as to your upcoming events.

 

Word of mouth works a bit, too. Friends, neighbors, family - they can spread the word sometimes as well. Even people you don't know or might see every now and then - perhaps a doctor or a dentist - I often talk to my dentist about music and he always asks what we are up to. I think everyone in our band at some point has started up a conversation with perhaps a cashier that took an interest by saying, "I see you are wearing a "Fender" t-shirt. Do you play?" Doesn't often get someone to the gig but every now and then it does work. Leave no stone unturned!

 

If you have an especially big show, get in touch with local radio that is willing to promote local acts. Even some of our local tv shows feature local musicians in say a live acoustic performance on one of those "Around Town" type shows.

 

Just some ideas. Yeah, it can be frustrating getting people to a show, especially if you play frequently in a small to mid size area. And we all have such busy schedules sometimes it really is hard to get out to see someone - I sure wish I could get out more to see more acts - local, regional, and national.

 

Oh, and hopefully the venue is doing some promotion on their own as well! They have some responsibility on their end to get people in the seats also!

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The one thing I didn't notice in any of this is,

 

Is your band more or less "self managing"? Or, does it even HAVE a manager? Wouldn't it be his job to find you guys gigs?

 

As for the venue, it kind of depends, I think. My ex used to work in a bar/club that had live entertainment, one of it's bigger draws was local band makes good TOBY REDD. But somehow it was mostly "word of mouth" that people knew they were going to be there. I'd show up sometimes no matter who was there. But I never saw any posters or other signage on the building letting people know WHAT band was playing there that night.

 

But that was the Sidestreet Loounge in Lincoln Park, MI. Others might do some promotion. You'd have to check it out.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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We were never big enough to need a manager and did our own promotions. I still have a scrap book of our gig posters, pictures and ads from back in '83. There were many clubs that we did not put posters in as we did not need to. The places would only hold so many customers and the bars loved us as we filled the clubs to capacity whenever they ran an ad (which they did every week). Most of our posters were for bigger gigs in parts unknown. We would send them to the Elks, Grange, Moose, County Fairs, etc., and they would post them for us. Out in the country, the post offices and small grocery stores were a great place to post them...we didn't have computers, smart phones, email, etc. in those days LOL! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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