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How to Promote Your Band Online and On the Street

by Drew Evans
music & audio

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 4.37.28 PM

photo courtesy of Daniel Kullinski

Promoting your band has changed a lot in the last few decades. What started as passing out fliers and getting your name out by word-of-mouth has now become Internet promotion and advertising. These days you have dozens of online platforms you can put to use – major players Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud are all important forms of promotion, and many bands are at a loss if they do not use at least some form of social media. With so many outlets at your disposal, how should you market your music? A group of industry professionals got together to create a list of dos and don’ts for how to promote your band:

1. Don’t send out invites to people in far away places. Especially if you use Facebook, don’t invite people in Los Angeles to your show in Miami, unless you know that they will be there. Instead of just inviting in bulk, focus your efforts on the people close by and who might actually have a shot at coming. why? That way people know to trust your invites, if something comes from you they know it happening near them and they’ll pay attention.

2. Don’t over promote. If you get likes on Facebook, don’t invite people to follow you on Twitter or other social media sites. Odds are, if they like you enough to follow you in one place, they will make it a point to find your music and promotion elsewhere.

3. Limit your posts. Fan interaction is great – it allows them to feel up to date and involved in the life of the band or artists, while getting the important information. But too many artists these days post about every single event that happens, whether it is relevant to music or not. Keep your posts focused on music and important band information or you’ll risk distracting your fanbase.

4.  Whether in person or online, interact, don’t just pitch. As an artist, generally your first thoughts are about your music reaching as far as possible, and that’s okay. But there is a fine line between a constant sales pitch to buy your music and legitimately interacting and marketing your band. One way to combat that is by finding creative ways to offers your music, or being available to interact with your fans. Support can go both ways, from the fans supporting the artist to the artist supporting their fans. Keeping that relationship steady is important to be able to succeed.

5. Pay attention! If you are interacting with your fans on a daily or weekly basis, make sure to actually converse with them. Don’t just mention them or reply to them with the sole intention of getting their attention. Interactions that are more genuine and worthwhile can go a long way to building a dedicated fanbase.

6. Be realistic about yourself. If you think your music is new and creative, good – but don’t compare yourself to a farfetched mix of the best bands in the world. You’ll put too much pressure on yourselves to fit into a certain area, and you’ll likely make people realize why you are not like them.

7. Edit! Although it might sound like a little thing, proofreading your posts to make sure that they are spelled correctly and they are grammatically correct is very important. Writing well and keeping your posts coherent will help you come off like someone who knows what they are doing.

8. Don’t disrespect. It’s always okay to promote, but make sure it is not at the expense of other artists or groups. If you go overboard, attitude and negativity can easily cloud others’ perspective of you, and in turn, your music.

9. Forget the ‘sincere’ form letters. Pretending you are writing to individual people but using a form letter might have the opposite response that you hope to get. Though you might have fans respond positively to receiving messages, it is just as likely it could make you seem like you are above reaching out and interacting with them.

10. Don’t mass email! Similar to fake individual messages, sending email blasts and Facebook blasts can get very annoying, very quickly. Remember that your music is your product – there is a fine line between attracting fans and detracting. If you can figure out what is good and what isn’t, you can very easily find promotional success.

Source: CNN

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Drew Evans

Drew is a Seattle-based freelance writer. He spends too much time playing music, binging on Netflix, and watching his beloved Philadelphia sports teams.