As 2017 draws to a close, it's time for thousands of bands across the land to make their annual annual 'next-year-is going to be our year' proclamation.
So in this post, we thought we'd share a few practical tips on how to raise your band's profile in the months ahead.
1. Build a website
Regular readers will notice that I encourage bands to build their own websites a lot (instead of just setting up a Bandcamp or Facebook page). That’s because there are some distinct advantages to using a website to promote your band over relying on third-party platforms.
First, it looks more professional and will lead to your industry contacts taking you more seriously.
Second, it will usually make your band easier to find in search results.
Third, a dedicated site allows you - not Mark Zuckerberg - to have complete control over your band’s brand.
And finally, a proper band website allows you add important functionality to proceedings - for example sophisticated email address capture and website analytics - that isn’t always available on social networks.
By all means have a presence on social media or music sites like Bandcamp - but make sure that your band website is the first port of call for your fans and industry contacts.
2. Make sure your band name goes on stage with you
It’s easy to perform a gig in front of a bunch of strangers who end up really enjoying it - but who also end up leaving the venue without any idea of who they’ve been listening to! Fans are hard to come by, and this sort of scenario feels like an awful waste of energy, time and probably money.
A simple fix for this is to print up a banner with your band’s name onstage - or use a drum head with your band’s logo and website on it. Now everyone knows who you are.
3. Put data capture at the heart of everything you do
Facebook and Twitter followings are all very well and good (and yes, important) but I’d argue that a big mailing list is possibly the most important thing a band can have.
With your mailing list, you’re much more in control of who gets to see your content, and when - not a Facebook algorithm.
Additionally, studies have shown that the ‘return on investment’ associated with email addresses is very high - emailing your fans is one of the ways that you are most likely to generate sales.
For tips on how to grow a mailing list and run an email marketing campaign, check out my article on how to create email newsletters and marketing campaigns, as well as our tips for capturing data at gigs.
4. Use simple SEO tactics to ensure people can find your band
If you are in the fortunate position where you’re getting some airplay, or some good support slots, then the chances are that you’ll get people who want to find out more about your act, or listen to you in the comfort of their own home. And they’re going to try to do this using the internet.
As such, you need to ensure that your band is easily discoverable in search results - a few simple tweaks to your site can mean the difference between being found really easily or not at all. I’ve put together some SEO tips for bands here.
5. Use Facebook advertising - but be smart about it
Facebook ads can be used by bands to reach thousands of people - but it’s important to reach the right people (i.e., folk who are most likely to enjoy your music) and convert them to followers or mailing list subscribers.
It’s dead easy to make mistakes and burn through budget when using Facebook advertising - so check out our tips on Facebook ads for musicians here before you start boosting any posts…
6. Make great music
Content is king, they say - and in this instant 'they' are right for once. Whilst it pains me somewhat to refer to music as 'content', the fact of the matter is that - particularly given today’s ultra competitive music industry - your music is only going to travel and reach ears if it is absolutely brilliant.
Before you get too worried about how to promote your music, make sure it’s wonderful - that’s half the battle.
So stop reading how-to guides and get in the studio! :)
Merry Christmas and have a brilliant 2018 from all the team at Prescription.
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