You’ve nurtured relationships with venues and musicians in your local scene, and you’ve developed a reputation as a reliable, hard-working player. You show up on time, you don’t bitch too much, and you support the efforts of your bandmates. How can you take that to another level?
I imagine this tip works at any professional level. So whether you play local clubs, large capacity venues, or travel the globe in support of your craft, marketing yourself is a way to stand out. In the process of making yourself stand out, you’ll also lift those around you (i.e. your bandmates). As a drummer, I’m fond of saying that a band can have a so-so guitarist, bass player and singer; but if the drummer sucks, so goes the whole band. How does that saying apply to marketing? A band or musician can certainly be great, but if marketing efforts are lame, the chances of getting decent bookings are slim.
Social media, email marketing, and clever campaign elements can really distinguish you and the acts with whom you perform. As I discuss these relatively simple elements of marketing, imagine how they might fit into your world. Obviously, if you’re a professional who tours internationally, my marketing tactics won’t all apply. That said, some will. Use your imagination. Hi-level pros may need to think PR campaign. Just apply the basic principles to the level of exposure that your reputation and audience warrants.
While I can see Facebook relevance waning, a Facebook Page can still provide great visibility among your fan base. I’ve personally only used it to promote gigs, but used to its full potential, you can build a solid reputation and following. ReverbNation is a site that I’ve seen many of my local peers use with some success. Email campaigns managed by an email marketing service are still quite useful in building and communicating with fans, venues and booking contacts. Email marketing is, however, a constant exercise in list building. Your email list is something that has to be promoted on your website, at your gigs and on any print collateral that you produce. QR codes can be great for promoting your email list. Be careful with your email marketing though. Let your fans know about gigs, CD release parties and anything important that they wanna hear about. Don’t over email them with trivial stuff. Twitter can be helpful to your efforts also. In my particular market, I’ve found that venues and cities are marketing entertainment via Twitter (and Facebook). Smart marketers will find you, if you’re tweeting about local gigs and music events. There are social sites abound, and marketing that can be done specifically for mobile users. Start with something manageable. Creating a Facebook Page is an easy place to start. Depending on your level of expertise or budget, a website might be the next best thing to incorporate in to your marketing plan. You can certainly start an email list right away. I like MailChimp as a service provider for managing email campaigns. There are lots of great email marketing service options, so look for one that suits you best.
Need more detailed information or help. Feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help where I can.