You got to have a look, but talent is the key.
So you have a band......
Today's music market is saturated with so many artists and would be artists hoping to get that lucky break and soar to the heights of the music industry. Let me tell you what is wrong with that statement, at least from an artist stand point. Luck will usually have nothing to do with you getting noticed or signed. If you are relying on lady luck she may give you a swift kick in the boys (or the taco as the case may be). Justin Beiber was not lucky he got noticed on youtube. That kid worked to get those videos out there and he really made his name.
That being said let's discuss the usual methods that are tried and true for promoting a band. Play and play a lot. Gigging is the best way to develop local buzz with your band. Without an audience your just a sound in the void of nothingness. Take gigs and go into each one knowing you will do your best. Get that crowd to get behind you and than you will see it grow with each show you play.
Social media presence is so vital in today's music scene that to not have it is career suicide, point blank! Get a facebook page dedicated to your band and update that badboy at least once every three days. Use twitter to announce your shows and engage the audience.
There are hundreds more but I am assuming you have tried them with minimum success, or at least that is why I assume you are reading an article with the title 5 strange ways to promote your band. Getting the word out is not as simple as it was when we could throw up a flyer or do a vignette on the local radio station. It takes more work now to stay ahead of the crowd. The first step is remember you are a product. Your music is what you are trying to sell, that and you as a band. You can't act like your product is refined from day one. It takes some time to polish and develop. Once you are sure you have that polished product than move right along to the next part.
Decals work but let's learn some tricks.
It's how you do it.
Topic number 1 is using window decals. But let's talk how we can do that. I want you to notice how this particular decal is placed at an angle. That was no accident. We see hundreds of window decals and stickers a day driving down the road but they are almost always perfectly straight and neat and tidy. We tend to just glance and that's that. By placing your decal at an angle you are guaranteeing that people are going to give you that second glance. It draws more attention.
Another thing I like to do is look at cars. If you have a friend that has a classic car you know as soon as they park it every one is looking it over and going wow and oooh! That car getting attention can work for you. Ask that friend with that classic ride if he or she would put one of your decals on their vehicle. Now when that showstopping ride turns heads your band is getting some attention too.
Give it away????
OK for anyone in the know of the indie music scene in the last few decades one of the most unique concepts was to give away your best stuff. Now I know some of you bar band guys are stroking out on me right now. Take a deep breath and hear me out.
If you record a new song and you really want that song to build buzz than give it way. Put it on your site. The fact is it is new, unsolicited, and unheard of so people are not rushing to the store to buy it up. By putting it out there you spark an interest that will span fan to fan and that will generate some attention that could blossom into a very productive and profitable flower over time.
I Fight Dragons was a band notorious for this tactic and it grew their product base and fan count 10 fold. The fact is as a band not signed and not getting the media attention of a bigger known group you can't afford to just assume people want to pay for your material. Your song could be the most amazing 3 and a half minutes ever documented by audio but that is not something anyone will ever know if they never hear it.
I Fight Dragons
Give it away..... again.
I know we just discussed this and giving away anything else for free is going to give the singer a seizure and the bassist an aneurysm. This is more or less a way to engage your audience. They want to know you give a shit. Plain and simple!
One great way to build a buzz is a contest.Have a contest and ask your fans to enter. Maybe say for every 100 likes we receive on our face book page we will draw for a free ticket to one of our show. That kind of stuff really makes a crowd feel like they are being a part of the action. An emotional investment in your band will ultimately turn into a financial one over time.
Recently I have discussed doing a ladies only contest and offering a free set of Red Aspen Nail Dashes to a lady who takes the most unique picture with the band and post it to their facebook page with a link back to ours. This gives some lucky lady a chance to win a cool prize, but it also gives us ample advertising for free as these ladies share our images and links to their pages,
Contests can generate enormous and productive buzz.
Step 4, Get the tube pumping.
Youtube is the fastest and most effective way to market a band in this day and age. It has proven itself successful for this endeavor and truthfully it is easy to use. I am sure you are already using youtube to get your material out there to the public eye.
Now let's talk about how you use it. Most bands post live performances. That is all and well but a great deal of your audience has seen this and will just ignore the video because it does not differentiate from the live performance.
Use your youtube channel to engage. You should have realized by now I have used the word engage a lot, I mean a lot a lot! That is because engaging your fans is so vital to getting to that next level.
Post videos of your practices. Maybe you are driving a good ways to the show. Pop that camera out and film some on the road material. Post things other bands are not posting.
This is going to allow the fans to get to know you better. If a fan can relate to you offstage than they will develop a relationship with you that can become a long term commitment to the band.
My bass arrangement of Neon Moon
The final buzz builder awaits you....
The last method I want to discuss is actually one that you just don't see enough. PRACTICE YOUR CRAFT!
Yes I am yelling, and I need to. One reason a lot of groups out there don't get the attention they think they deserve is because they really don't deserve it. If you are a product and your product sucks you will not get people on board with it, especially people who can move the product. You have to fine tune it and make it marketable.
I can not tell you how many cats are out there playing three chords for every song they write and having no real clue how to play their instrument or write a song. It is a goofy way to approach anything, especially a career in music.
If you are serious about music be serious. I hate playing with someone and asking what key a song is in and they say well I start it in G. Or telling someone you need to come into that change a little quicker and they have no grasp on what I said. There are a lot of musicians making it and not a lot of players. You have to decide where you stand.