Five Ways to Market Your Band For FREE!

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.

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Market your bandAs 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,BandZoogleReverbNation.

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.

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When you are ready – submit your music to be featured on Pavoh.org as an Artist of the Week.

Singers, Know Your Instrument!

Laura Lamere:

I’m happy to share this expert’s musings on shat she would say to her younger self. Also included is a brief review of The Owner’s Manual to The Voice – great for singers!

Originally posted on Alison's Music Blog:

A letter to my younger singer self would tell me to do so many things- Learn your opera languages! Learn to ballroom dance! Audition for everything! Learn more repertoire (even if your voice can’t sing it yet)! Practise every day! … One thing I didn’t really have on my list was read about and truly understand your instrument.

What do I really need to understand? Surely I just open my mouth and sing!*

Oh… I still have so much to learn. And thank goodness I’m broke and on maternity leave, or I wouldn’t have ended up in the library looking for something to feed my mind. Two must have books for classical singers have come into my hands, courtesy of Auckland library, but I wish I’d read them 10 years sooner- Singing in Style by Martha Elliott and The Owner’s Manual to the Voice by Rachael Gates, L. Arick Forrest…

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Link

The Best Blog Posts of 2013

These days, my work for the non-profit I founded for young musicians and their parents is taking more and more of my time. I am blogging less, but still wrestling with the same questions: How do we support our musical children? How do we enhance our children’s musical experiences even as school music programs are being compromised? 

The Pavoh Blog is rich with advice and articles that all music parents would value – so… I’ve included a link here to an Ebook that includes the five best articles from 2013. I hope you enjoy and share with other music parents you know!

http://info.pavoh.org/best-of-2013

Peepin’ the swag and other musings

Rainbow - Peepin' the swagOver the New Year break, I had a great vacation with my family and a much needed mental rest. While away, we encountered everything from beautiful weather to cancelled flights – but through it all, we managed to have fun.

For me, it was a chance to reconnect with my college boys. My middle son finished his first semester at college and I really missed his sense of humor. I’ve also missed his unusual vocabulary – a major source for “things teenagers say!”

Cool mom or uncool mom?

But before we started chatting in secret code, I had to take a little alone time to decompress. On our first sunshiny day of vacation, I took my book (I actually read two!) headed to a comfy beach chair and enjoyed the sun. For the most part, my kids did the same – stretching out, being lazy and reading books. When they got hot, they jumped in the pool and spent the rest of the day playing ball games and jumping games in the pool. Personally, I’d rather take a quick dip to cool off. I’m not known for swimming when we go on vacation, and I’m most assuredly not know for playing games in the pool.

I realize this is boring. Apparently, it is also uncool. My kids threatened me with being an ‘uncool’ mom if I didn’t join them in the pool (what distinction could be worse?). I was formulating my response when I was surrounded by my kids. They sandwiched me with their bodies and walked me down the pool ramp into the deep end – with all of us laughing and screaming (ok, I was doing the screaming). Minutes later, I was a cool mom again – and definitely happier for it!

Secret language

Now that I had passed the cool mom test, I was allowed into my teenagers’ verbal inner circle! Conversation was lighter, funnier. Loud music was playing and we were all singing along and acting silly. (Ah, vacation – where for art thou?)

Here are the two main phrases I caught up on while spending time with my 18 year old – we even used our ‘secret language’ with each other in front of my eldest son, 21, and he didn’t understand what we were talking about! How cool is that?

  • Peepin’ the swag – “Hey mom, are you gonna peep the swag while we swim?” asked my son  when we went to the beach one day. Translation: “Mom, will you watch our stuff while we swim?” Get it? Peep = watch; swag = stuff. (And of course I peeped the swag!)
  • Sleeping - I know, sounds like a regular word but this is what my son said to me: “Hey mom, you know what? Most people are sleeping on the 80s! Not me, I’m not sleeping on the 80s!” Translation: “Lately I’ve really been enjoying music from the 80s. Most people my age don’t listen to this kind of music.” Pretty simple right?

For this article, I double checked with my son on the usage. Here is the comical text exchange:

Me: Hi, how are you? Are people sleeping on the 80s, snoozing on the 80s or both? Let me know!

Son: I’m good and I’m sure they’re still sleeping. Someone’s gotta set an alarm.

Me: Hahaha – I’ll peep your swag until they open their eyes!

Son: Haha ok thanks mom.

The moral of the story

No matter what age your children are, remember to engage with them whenever you can. If your child likes to play with trains, sit on the floor and build a train track. Forget the laundry and the grocery store and keep playing. And when your children are pushing 20, keep engaging with them – your time together is so limited. Put down the book, put your hair in a pony tail – and jump in! The water is fine…and oh so cool!

 

What do teens want from their parents?

Laura Lamere:

Do you know what your teens really want this holiday season? You guessed it: your love! Enjoy this article from Teen Talk and Merry Christmas to everyone! I’m taking some time with my family to reconnect – I hope you will too!

Originally posted on Teen Talk:

By: Charlotte Villemoes, LMFT
ACS On-Campus Counseling Site Director at Woodside High School

Before I make a call home to a parent, I always ask the teen I have been seeing if they have any messages for mom and dad that they would like me to deliver. They always do. Most of the time the message is all about what they don’t want their parents to do, like “tell my dad to stop bugging me about homework” or “can you pleeeeease tell my mom to stop criticizing my clothes” or, the somewhat vague but really common, “just tell them to stop nagging me all the time”. When I get these responses, I often challenge them by asking what they DO want, explaining that even parents like to be thrown a bone, and that they too like to feel they know what they are doing. After a pause and some…

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Music education

It’s American Education Week!

The official American Education Week has roots going back to 1921 when the National Education Association and the American Legion launched the idea to highlight the importance of public education.

Music educators and the NAfME (National Association for Music Educators) are hoping to shine the spotlight on the importance of music education as well this week. They have created free printable cards to hand out to any potential supporters of music education. Download your: FREE CARD and share with others How Music Education Orchestrates Success. Music teachers in both school sanctioned and after-school programs need our support. It’s good to remember the benefits at all times of the year.

The music education message is simple: 

  • Learning a music instrument builds confidence;
  • Students benefit from the community that participation in music provides;
  • Music students score higher on SAT tests;
  • Music students stay out of trouble;
  • And music students build an employable skill set.

What more could we want for our children?

Happy American Education Week!

(source: NAfME.org.)

Why Do Bands ‘Battle?’

Battles of the Bands and music contests of all kinds seem to be here to stay. Inspired by movie story lines and popular television shows that pit musician against musician, local ‘Battles’ are one of the most visible ways for young bands to find an audience. And, according to the music parents I’ve talked to, an audience is what these musicians really crave.

Enter a new approach: The New England RADAR Award

In an effort to provide a platform for young musicians (under 21), the music nonprofit, Pavoh.org has teamed up with The New England Music Awards to present The New England RADAR Award, a new award that will give up to three talented young musicians or groups an opportunity to perform at select gigs and performances throughout the year. The New England RADAR Award process is purely a celebration of young artists. It is not a ‘Battle.’ To emphasize this celebration, they are choosing a “RADAR Class of 2014” – celebrating the group of potentially varied genres and styles as a whole. The hope is to strip away the hype and neutralize the inequities of battles and online contests.

Battle of the Bands

Designed by seasoned music parents at Pavoh.org in association with experienced music professionals at the New England Music Awards, The New England RADAR Award was created to identify and celebrate young artists making music of uncommon quality with significant promise. The intent of the award is to provide these artists with greater visibility so their music has a better chance of being heard by the audience it deserves.

Beneath the surface of this award lies a belief that in the absence of significant financial backing or a stroke of luck, much of the best music being created by young artists today may never see the light of day.

Pavoh.org and The New England Music Awards want to recognize the best music with the greatest potential for its own merits then elevate it so it gets heard. All submissions are free and more information is available at www.pavoh.org or www.nemusicawards.com.

Selection Requirements and Criteria:

A volunteer panel of at least eight qualified New England music professionals from varied music backgrounds and industries are charged with selecting their top three honorees individually based on the following requirements and criteria:

  • All musicians must live in New England.
  • All musicians must be under the age of 21 as of October 1, 2013.
  • Submissions must be made via www.pavoh.org using the provided submission form.
  • While recording quality should be strong, professionally recorded submissions will not carry more weight than amateur recordings.
  • All genres will be considered.
  • All song lengths are accepted.
  • Song submissions will be judged based on musicianship and originality.

And the winner is…

We can’t end the Battles – besides, who doesn’t love that Jack Black movie? But, if we provide more opportunities that support the music and the performance, we can promote the art and the creativity – not the winning or losing.