February 2014

Embrace your geek and stop marketing your band to everyone

Your band is unique.  It’s special.  You’ve got a talent and vision that no one else does… so why are you marketing to everyone?  The internet is this vast beast that within seconds of listening to your music a click of your mouse could never give your band another chance.

Through selective marketing when you’re first starting up the right crowd will follow and support your band, thereby introducing you to an audience that you may not have ever dreamed existed.  You have to be successful in one market in order to prove to the rest of the world why you’re worth checking out. 

You’ve got to set your music apart and embrace what it is that makes you special.  This may sound like a big of hoo-ha, but give me a chance to explain through this song.   

Who loves you, baby?

You’ve already got a built in audience you may not be taking advantage of.  These people come to your shows, tell all their friends online of your new music, and buy whatever it is you’re selling.  You need to place high value on them.

If you’re an indie pitching a new single and just calling it a love song, radio programmers and bloggers unfamiliar with your name (especially if you don’t have a publicist) probably won’t give it a listen if it’s just a link.  What they’re interested in is the BACKSTORY AND the music.  Say your dog died recently.  You could you reach out to your local animal shelter to do a charity event or make a tribute video online that encourages people to share how they’ve dealt with link to your music below the video box.

Maybe your music gets played at the local comic book shop because sometimes you sing about Batman – could you sell your albums there? Set up a mini display to sell tickets to your shows?  Could they recommend a local artist to do your next album art?  They’ll tell their friends, family, and other comic book fans.

If you’re obsessed with the words of Sylvia Plath and Baudelaire, why not incorporate their words into a music video, your art work, your posters, your onstage show by bringing a book up with you?  People will be able to relate and see who you really are instead of your trying to be a rock star with no personality.  With the internet now, people want to see what makes the band beyond the music.  Kathleen Edwards on a weekly basis posts pictures of her Siamese cats and quilts she’s working on through Instagram and to me that is far more interesting than an artsy photo of a drum kit getting set up.

I’ve seen this countless times within the LGBT community; you embrace your true identity and BAM- a whole new market opens up.  In the early 2000s it was album marketing yourself through “core” descriptions, “Metal-CORE, nerd-CORE, thrash-CORE.” These labels might have been dumb to the scene kids, but they let you know what you were in for.

If you feel most comfortable draping yourself in feather boas and wearing a dress (especially if you identify as a man) during rehearsal, why not present yourself as such on stage?  OWN IT.  Don’t do anything different to appeal to everyone.  It worked for David Bowie.

Maybe your music is used on a local radio show program as their theme song, or a track of yours was used in a TV show recently- reach out to their audience.  Get on twitter, see who they’re interacting with and suggest they try your music with a link or free download code.  Chances are if the show’s music producer saw something in it, it fits their demographic.

If your music includes really strong political beliefs, proud feminist messages or you are just absolutely obsessed with Lil Bub, your audience will find you and it’s up to you to not turn them away by being generic about how you present yourself.

There’s all these small things you can do to build up the audience you already have.

Like any art it’s risky to expose yourself, but even riskier to buy into a generic image that will make you one in a mass of artists trying to make it.

 

Family Day- Rock and Roll Styled

Happy Family Day to everyone! 

This Life Magazine photo essay is from 1970 and brings a smile to my face every day I peruse the photos.  Check out the whole article HERE.

olson_john_2463_2005

 

P.s. true story when I moved back to Canada from England I didn’t believe anyone that this was a real holiday in Ontario.  I thought it was an elaborate prank.

Rock and Roll Pinterest Style

If you’re in the music business you know that simply reading words may not do the trick to get you inspired so today we bring you a Pinterest-themed photo blog of inspirations.  We add to ours regularly.
the curemadonna

chrissie hynde

bowie 2 robert plan stevie nicks lindsay buckingham cobain john lennon high fidelity

If you want to follow us on Pinterest you can do so HERE.

Don’t Play Your Hometown- Here’s Why

Have a new band and dying to show your friends, families, friends’ cats your new material on every stage in your hometown? Don’t! When it comes to starting out as a new band you need to be strategic about how often you play to make sure people show up and you get the attention you deserve from press, industry and whoever else can help your band get to the next level.

If you’re being bombarded with messages saying “Come check out my band! Come check out my band
!” for semi-weekly or even monthly gigs it’s easy to go, “Well, I can skip this weekend because they’re playing at the end of the month.” Don’t give your fans that option.

When people are booking you they want to see that at least in your hometown at least you have a strong following.  Your local press should be the biggest cheerleaders for your group (unless you’re a fringe genre or metal band huge in Germany that’s already gotten plenty of international press).


Besides, wouldn’t you want to play to an adoring crowd of fans in your hometown than empty rooms that might have you considering a move to the arctic for a warmer welcome?

Here’s why you shouldn’t play your hometown more than every 2-3 months:

- People actually show up!
- Promoters see a big crowd that could very likely turn into more future shows
- The bar owners will be impressed if you bring a crowd and invite you back
- Your hometown press is more likely to cover it as it’s a special occasion
- Your event invites aren’t ignored
- People will take time off work, family commitments, etc. to come support your band
- It gives you time to ample promo (poster the city, send press releases, post teaser songs/vids)
- You can use social media to help build up buzz

And if you’re not in a new band but wondering why your friends aren’t showing up for your band’s gigs, maybe we’ve provided a bit of insight today.

Sing it, Bruce.