If you’re a musician, you’re probably trying to get noticed. And that’s a difficult trick to pull right now when the music industry is supersaturated with mediocre musicians and their unfortunate creations. There are big-time musicians out there who have absolutely no reason to be popular based on their talent, or lack thereof – and yet there they are. When you’re a musician and you want success, it’s not enough to have talent, skill, or even the right people on your side. You need fans, and to do that, you need to start marketing yourself and/or your band in a serious and professional way.
Don’t worry – you don’t have to be prepared to spend a lot on marketing strategies, but trying these basic ideas will get you some results and help you build your fan base.
1. Brand Your Band
Show everyone that you mean business by designing a logo for your band. You can hire a graphic artist or use a simple program to create your own logo, but either way, you’ll need some good ideas to toss out. Keep the logo simple, but make sure it’s distinctive and that you won’t be confused with anyone else. One easy way to do this is to use a unique color scheme that will be instantly recognizable as belonging to your band. However, the same caveat applies: a simple scheme is always best, so don’t let it get too complicated with a rainbow of colors. Sitting down with a graphic artist to discuss these aspects of your logo can be very helpful, and it’s definitely worth the investment.
2. Take Advantage of Social Networks
If you’re not already building your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, now is the time to get started. Set up accounts for each and make sure that you or another member of your band is online every day to interact with fans and keep up with updates. Responding to fans on your social networking pages will let them know that they’re important to you and will increase your chances of retaining them and earning new fans. However, if you neglect one or more of these pages, it can seriously damage your reputation – so if you start them, develop a plan to keep up with them. You might set up a schedule for checking these pages so that everyone shares the responsibility and it doesn’t get accidentally overlooked.
3. Start a Website and Blog
Even if you don’t have your own website with a custom domain, you can start a blog for free (snag a WordPress or Blogspot page). You can link it up with your social networking pages to maximize the number of visitors. Its main purpose is to make fans feel like they’re up to speed with everything that goes on with your band. Try to write regular posts about developments in your band, who you all are as individuals and as a group, and literally anything else – fans tend to think that anything about you is interesting. However, don’t abuse their trust and plaster your blog with ads. Just use it as a way to communicate with fans more extensively than you can with social networking sites. Build interest and increase the number of hits on your blog by adding polls – this is easy to do and fans enjoy giving you their opinions on any number of things. Try getting feedback on where you should play your next gig, how you should nickname your drummer, what your next tattoo should be, or anything else you can think of. Making your blog both entertaining and informational is a great way to ensure its success.
4. Sign Up with an Email Marketing Site
There are lots of email marketing sites out there, but I use Constant Contact and I’ve been happy with the simplicity and ease of the interface as well as the price. Simply write up a short monthly newsletter and send it out to let everyone know what’s going on with your band. Add a sign-up feature to your blog, keep a sign-up book at one of the tables the next time you perform, and add a sign-up link at the bottom of your email signature. You can also add social networking and blog links to your signature as a way to invite everyone who sees it. Having a monthly newsletter and a list of email contacts who want updates from you is a great way to round out your marketing scheme because it can connect everything. Most email marketing sites allow you to add social networking and blog buttons to your newsletters so that your fans can get connected to your band in a variety of ways. Don’t forget to do this on your blog, too – add social networking badges and invite visitors to sign up for your e-newsletter.
5. Use Your Brand Across the Board
Now that you have a logo, use it. Put it on everything, including your business cards, envelopes, letterheads, website, blog, e-newsletter, and Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. Make a header out of your logo that you can use on your website, blog, and at the top of your e-newsletter. Having the same image in multiple places increases the chances of having your brand stick with fans. It’s also a great way to attract attention from new visitors, so be sure to make these small investments so you can enjoy a big return when your fan base starts to grow.
This post was written by Maria Rainier. Maria is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she’s been researching what high paid jobs and low paid jobs there are out there on the market today. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
Top image by flickr./com/photos/amanda_munoz