Showing posts with label promo advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label promo advice. Show all posts

Saturday

Why does my band keep failing?


Having trouble getting success with your band? Yeah, I don't doubt it. There is ALOT of competition out there.

A great many of the bands out there playing are not as good as you, but they bring a crowd -so they'll get booked LONG before you and 3 times as often.


Of course sound quality is important, but without a crowd, your sound doesn't matter. Here are a few tips to help you build that crowd.

1. Always make the effort to make your crowd feel special. This means take the time to LISTEN to them when they are talking to you. They believe that you are worth the cover charge and are excited to have your attention. Listen to what they have to say and engage in true conversation with them. It goes a long way.


2. We musicians are a strange lot...we are arrogant and uncompromising, but often we need reassurance that our direction is right. We can get that from an outside source or build it in ourselves but having supreme confidence is like a poker player having an extra card.
Not Confident? GET confident.


3. Whatever you do....COMMIT to it. Don't go in tentative and apologetic. There is nothing worse than some middle-aged guy half-heartedly wandering his way through a Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, or Adele song. You're thinking of singing "Let it Go"? BELT it out. Some people might hate it, but at least they will respect the courage you had to give it your all. When I sing "Baby, One More Time" I give it all I've got. If passion pays the bills....my bills are paid: and everyone in the room knows it.

4. Stop compromising on the members you choose for your band. Wait for someone you gel with. Like a car, a band NEEDS a destination, guidance, and motion. If you ain't steering, why are you surprised when you end up in a ditch? TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BAND. Lead, guide and direct it. Sometimes that comes from a mutual understanding of 'common sense'. Sometimes someone has to step up and say, "NO. We need to spend more time promoting THIS show than trying to find another one next month.". Drive your snowmobile-It's cold out there.

5.  I'll also add, wait until you're ready before you get out there. You got a gig coming up? Are you at your peak performance wise? No? GET AT YOUR PEAK. You can't afford to put on a shitty show.
Don't know if you're ready? Then you're not. Stop booking gigs and go back to the garage. You're screwing up the music scene with your out of key, off time, amateurish demeanor. GET IT RIGHT. Then get out there and kick butt.

6. BRING a crowd. Nothing attracts a crowd, like a crowd. Promote. Advertise. Be consistent with your logo. Offer incentives to your followers. Know that your niche helps you target your customer. Know your niche. Dress for your niche. Name your band for your niche. Let your niche dictate your bands 'personality'. Your niche should be painfully evident in every ad, post, pic, comment or interview you do. YOUR crowd will be able to find you, and they will be more dedicated to you than the ones just looking for something to do. A RABID following of 20 is 10 times better than a "doesn't care" crowd of 100.

Now ......Quit whining and get to work.

Sunday

How to build yourself a great band website for free.


First of all- I have done this.
As a matter of fact this entire website was built for free- exactly the way I am descrrbing it to you.

I eventually decided to purchase a domain name and pay for my own hosting which I now know was totally unnecessary. I bought the domain name for the 'easy to remember' URL (MidGaLive.com) but I didn't have to....with all of the tools and resources available, having an easy to remember domain name is not nearly as valuable as it used to be.

So let's get started.

First, go to Blogger.com and sign up. Yes. It's a Blog. Who cares? Does MidGaLive.com look like a blog? It can be a Blog about your band.
 It's free, except you'll have to have a gmail account. There are other free blog services out there...WordPress appears to be very popular, although I have no experience with it; So, for the purpose of this article I'll focus on the one Blogger.com offers.

You can make it appear any way you want, but I suggest using the templates available and just dressing it up with your own color schemes. It's VERY easy. On the 'layout' window, you can move things around or add 'widgets' these are the tools (or toys) of your site. The calendar, the Contact Form, the advertisments, the 'flyers' you want to post, etc. ...are all added here. Copy/paste/done.

Once done, you can add 'pages' which are the tabs at the top of this screen. Here are some suggestions for yours...

Bio  This can give a history of your band....how you met, your influences, your aversion to mustard sauce on your sardines, whatever. Regardless, MAKE IT INTERESTING. Stretch the truth a little. People will forgive a little stretch of the truth for the sake of entertainment.

FanOfTheWeek Reward your most active and 'fanatic' fans by giving them a shout out on a page of their own. Tell them you love them for loving you.

MerchPage You can show pics of the merch you have for sale. Show pics of your T-Shirts, your CD's, koozies, keychains, calendars, condoms, panties, coffee cups, pens, pencils, water bottles, athletic supporters, etc.. You would of course need to go ahead and order one or 2  (I use vistaprint....I get my Tshirts for $5 or less.) Sign up for a PayPal account and then go to the merchant services tab to create a 'button" for your purpose. It'll give you an "HTML code" that you can copy and paste to your page. You have to pay a very small percentage for every transaction- 2.9% plus 30 cents for each transaction. If you sold a ten dollar CD.... your take would be $9.41, not bad.
Your Bands' Merch Store? Done.

GigCalendar I got mine from Brown Bear software. It's free, but you can pay them for a  more advanced version later if you want. It's a brillliant thing to put on your website. It gives you options that you may not realize  you have.
         For one, you can make a contest among a small group to get you gigs. These people will compete with one another for a prize of your choosing. The prize could be a free concert at their house, or a lump sum of cash. The contest can be restarted as often as you like. Each person in the competition can have a color coded 'label' that shows up on the calendar telling EVERYONE who booked it....The one with the most bookings will be the winner.
        It has a hierarchy style of password protection, which means you can set it up so that several people can add gigs, but only YOU can delete them.

Oh- and it's a great way to show your fans where you are playing.

A site like this gives you easy, consistent promotion because it's always in the same place. Share the link with everyone everywhere online. You can make a QR code that links to your website and then put that pic on EVERYTHING. All your merch should have it.....All your business cards, mailers, posters.....stickers....The QR code should be everywhere. It's too easy and too effective to ignore. NOT familiar with it? Check out the tab above labeled QR Code Generator.

You can collect email addresses of your fans (if they want to give them to you). Just by adding a 'Contact Form' like the one on this page.

When you write posts, you can add your latest video, or pics from last nights gig, or a link to your Reverbnation, Facebook, Twitter......whatever.

It's a great FREE tool....and I don't understand why you had not started using it before now. If you have any difficulty.....let me know....I'll help out. Once you get it going, let me know....I'll add a link to your website from your MidGaLive.com page.

Please know that your page here on MidGaLive.com can be turned into a single page website! I can give you access to your own page and you can put anything you want on it. Merch, Links, whatever....
MidGaLive.com averages 2000 pageviews per month....and costs  you nothing.


So, if you're nervous about building one from scratch.....The offer is there....just let me know....Send me a message and say...."I want to use MidGaLive.com as a home for my bands single-page website." I can only do this for 82 more bands so, don't wait long....



Ok.....Breaks over....and your excuses are dead......Get to work.



Saturday

March Forth and September Twenty Seconds

A few years ago I put together a birthday party for my wife...I was of course, booked to play that night. I got the idea that I could make it a birthday party for others born around the same date.
 I found people on FB with birthdays within a week of my wife's.
I contacted these people individually, and asked if they wanted to participate.  Several people wanted to but it was Memorial day weekend and they already had plans out of town.  Of the 12 that I asked, 3 were available and agreed to participate. I got each of them an extra large cupcake of their favorite design, and a tshirt. Each person brought their own birthday party to the same location. I ended up with a substantial crowd.....70 people... All but 6 were there for the birthday party. If not for 'my birthday party crowd', the place would have been dead.

Many in this crowd had never seen or heard of me before. I was sure to give out plenty of business cards and copies of my original music. That one event gave me new friends, and fans that have come out to support me ever since. I have gotten to perform at private parties, a Christmas Party, a New Year's Party and office parties because of someone's attendance at this one event.

My birthday is March 4th. It just so happens that March Fourth is the only day of the year that is also a command ("March Forth!" for those of you from Twiggs County). I've also noticed that a few other local musicians have birthdays around that same time, so I'm thinking that it would be a cool idea to have all of us born around late Feb/early March get together and have a big birthday jam.....

Then the good ideas started coming.....

My brother's Birthday is September 22....and the most common birthday of the year is within a week of that..(Sept 16)...So, here's my plan......

If your Birthday falls between Feb25 through March 11....Let's have a big birthday bash....one night, one big party! Contact me and let me know you want to participate.... we'll get a venue who'll love to have the business....and we'll make it happen.!!! We'll do it next year....I'm thinking the first weekend in March. Contact me at chrisnpope@gmail.com I need to know how many to tell the venue to plan for, and I need to know how big a venue to book.

 
If your birthday is between Sept 16 and Sept 29 let Uncle Earl Tribble know.......It's far enough out to plan for and we could put together a birthday blowout to pack the house. His email address is prodrummer67@windstream.net    CONTACT HIM EARLY! He needs to know how many people to tell the venue to plan for.

Having everyone's birthdays listed on FB makes it easier to personally invite people we may otherwise not have a reason to engage. If each one of us attending will seek out others to invite to have their birthday parties at the same location, it could open some doors for private parties, office Christmas parties, and increase the attendance at our public gigs. The one event like this that I did, really helped me out alot!

So if you are a musician get with Earl and plan the best birthday blow out ever for September 21st.
Or get with me to plan the best birthday blowout bash in early March of 2014.....

OR finally put 2 and 2 together and turn your next gig into a birthday party for someone you have never met.

Who knows......maybe you'll get a crowd that night.

Promoting yourself

We all use Facebook as a way of advertising our shows, but we are missing out on MANY opportunities.

This site was built to help us in a variety of ways, and if we will collectively take advantage of it's benefits, we can see even more people supporting  live music!

Now before I go any further, let me point out, that at present, I have GROSSED approximately 4 dollars per month with this site. If I take my yearly domain fee out of that, I have made about 40 dollars for 2012. In June, I plan to take my wife to Outback for a plate of celebratory cheese fries with my earnings. Assuming of course, that the money keeps rolling in.

In other words, my constant attempt at promoting MidGaLive.com, has nothing to do with profit, and everything to do with promoting the music scene in Middle Ga. I would like for all of us to take part in it.

What if you could get other musicians to promote your show at the same time they promote their show? It would increase the visibilty of both ads and almost guarantee you all will have a bigger draw. A good example of this was seen recently!

This is where Lance Rodriguez has a show at Shenanigan's on the same day FailTrain is playing at Friends On The Hill. Lance will post something like.....

"Come to Shenaningan's tonight starting at 7 so that I can get you geared up for hearing FailTrain at Friends on the Hill starting at 10! Get drunk, get crunk, and experience the funk!- Lance "

It's been happening alot lately, and it should continue .......

When you list your show on the MidGaLive Music Schedule, you are promoting live music as a whole. You are drawing people to one place so that they can see the wide variety of music that is being performed. If you are on that schedule, they will, of course see your band as well.

By having your band profile on MidGaLive.com, you get the chance to promote yourself, and at the same time the Live Music Schedule will appear at the bottom of the page.You can post the article I have written for your band, as your advertisement. At the bottom of the screen, the Live Music Schedule shows all of the activity going on. Nothing attracts a crowd, like a crowd.

If you promote ALL live music, you promote the entire scene....This brings more people out to support it, which opens up more opportunities to play.

By using the color codes people will find it easier to seek out the type of music they are interested in....Which means you are making it easier for potential fans to find you.

Win/Win.

You can encourage venues to use the MidGaLive Music Schedule to promote shows as well. This gives them a chance to read about all the bands in the area, and possibly open doors for you in playing new and different clubs, which opens the doors to new and different fans. If they can see what is working for another venue, and maybe they'll try that as well.

The Eleventh Hour has been helpful to a lot of people. Many bands have a loyalty to the Eleventh Hour which makes them hesitant to promote or utilize MidGaLive.com .

Personally, the notion that MidGaLive.com is somehow competition is funny to me. There is simply no comparison. I think the Eleventh Hour does show support for the music scene, but it supports many other things also. They have done well, but they can't focus specifically on every single act while simultaneously selling advertisements for every restaurant, art studio, and massage parlor in Middle Ga.. We coexist and I believe both the Eleventh Hour and MidGaLive.com have a purpose, and we serve it well.

Use every resource you can find to promote yourself. The Eleventh Hour is a  great resource too; and I wouldn't discourage anyone from using it.

Let's work together. Promote each other and we will ALL win.

That should be everyone's goal.....Shouldn't it?

What is Mid Ga Live?

I'm glad you asked. MidGaLive is now a brick and mortar live music venue for all of you fresh local bands who need a place to gig....But...