Here’s how! This article was written by Laura Lamere and originally published on the website for young musicians and their parents – www.pavoh.org.
As you’ve probably heard, the music industry is experiencing massive change. Today’s artists have immense power and control over both the music they make, how they make it and how they market it.
To market your band or your music today, you don’t need a manager or a record company. Marketing your band is still a lot of work – the work part doesn’t go away just because you’ve decided to DIY. But you can go it alone and be successful and do it for free or at minimal cost.
If you are just starting out, make sure your product, your music, is the best it can be. Before you promote your band, you want to make sure you are ready for the world. Play for your friends, your family, your music teachers. Ask them for criticism and work to make changes that will help your music and your performance.
Once you feel your product is ready to be marketed, there are many resources you can tap into for free. Think of yourself as a “brand” and create a strategy to market your brand. Writing it down helps make it real and helps to keep you focused. To get you started, here are five of the best ways to promote your band:
1. Use social media
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Your friends and family are your first fans. Stay connected with them through the social media channels they are using. Set up separate accounts for your band on: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, tumblr, Vine, Pinterest and Instagram. As you gain momentum, your new fans will also be looking for you on social media.
2. Build a website
In addition to a presence on social media, you’ll need to create a website to market your band. This can become your home base and include your photos, bios, songs, list of gigs, and can even list merchandise you might like to sell. It is your professional face and helps you look serious and credible in the eyes of your fans, venues and other promoters. The following companies offer band websites for free or at a minimal cost: BroadJam,BandZoogle, ReverbNation.
3. Create a Press Kit
After establishing your social media presence and website (and continuing to work to make your music and performance the best it can be) you’ll be eager to start booking gigs. But before you can market your band to venues, you need to take one more step. You need to create a press kit. Think of it as a resume you use when interviewing for a job. It’s the same idea, but a press kit presents your band to potential venues in a format they are used to seeing and may require.
ReverbNation and Sonicbids offer press kit services for professional bands for a low cost, but it is easy to create your own. You’ll need to include: Photos, bios, downloadable or playable songs, list of gigs played (even a backyard BBQ counts), stats on your fans (or describe your sound and who it appeals to.)
Get the Free Pavoh.org Your Band Press Kit Ebook —> Click here
4. Start Gigging!
Once all of the behind the scenes promotion is underway, you’ve established your presence on social media, and your presskit is complete, you are ready to dive into the ultimate way to market your band for free: start gigging! Are you surprised? Playing your music at every opportunity is a great way to market your band. It is the best way to gain new fans who will like you on Facebook and purchase your songs and merchandise. For bands starting out, most venues don’t pay, but if you look at your gigs as marketing opportunities, you won’t mind at all! Venues to consider include: house parties, school parties, battle of the bands.
5. Say Thank You
Again, you might be surprised, but saying thank you - being respectful and appreciative to every fan, every venue, every person you meet – is the best way to build a solid reputation. And a solid reputation is a critical element in marketing your band. If your band is known as the group that arrived early to help set up, stayed late to help break down the equipment and clean up, and then sent a thank you email to the venue, chances are you’ll be the first band invited back!
In the end, your band is a brand and it is up to you to steer your brand in the right direction. Technology and social media are great marketing tools, but your music and your reputation are what count most. Using all five of these tips together to market your band is the way you will gain visibility, popularity and credibility. With out them, you’re just another band with high hopes and big dreams.
When you are ready – submit your music to be featured on Pavoh.org as an Artist of the Week.