One of the most productive and most fun things that an unsigned
artist (or band) can do to further his career is to work on
finding new and imaginative ways to promote and market his
music to the public. But before we go any further, you need
to know that promotion and marketing consist of a lot more
than passing out flyers and talking smack at your favorite
like New Coke or a Chevy Suburban, is a product that needs
to be marketed properly if its to be accepted. While most
companies have the challenge of marketing their products to
the world at large, you, as an unsigned artist, need only
be worried about reaching a much smaller segment of societythose
in the music community.
as you already know, with the exception of the Spice Girls,
marketing campaigns don't usually make people want to go out
and buy records. Great songs and new musical ideas do! So,
before you start spending money, spend a little time in the
studio making sure that what you are putting out there is
a quality product (see New Coke).
of the best ways of promoting yourself is through live performances.
It's a surefire way to sell your product (your music), promote
your band and earn additional money by marketing your merchandise
(CDs, Cassettes, T-Shirts, etc). Though it's not always possible
to hang out with the right people who will help you get a
good gig, there are other, more ingenious ways of getting
a good booking.
I was growing up in a small town in Virginia, some of my friends
were having trouble getting their band booked in the Richmond
club circuit. After a little brainstorming, they decided to
do a "Day In The Park" concert to raise money for a local
children's charity and to play for their friends as well.
After getting coverage in no less than five community newspapers,
the band had to turn down gigs in both Richmond and Roanoke.
A small step, but one in the right direction!
Virginia-based band couldn't buy a gig until their imaginative
"Captive Audience" tour of local juvenile detention homes
landed them on the six o' clock news and garnered them a Certificate
of Achievement from the Governor. After that, it was gigs
based in Los Angeles, Rude Awakening just released a three-CD
boxed set on a European indie label and will be touring that
continent for the second time very shortly.
flyers are a great way to promote, I don't know many people
who look at a flyer more than once. But what if you could
put that same important band info on another productsay
a bottle opener, refrigerator magnet, matchbook or the newly-invented
CD openers? They last a lot longer than flyers, are more useful
and just as cost effective. Every bottle I've opened during
the past five years has reminded me that Bottom 12's "Shitfaced
& Pissed Off" CD was a vastly overlooked record.
nifty promotional idea is to set up a band Hotline. Not only
is this a great way to get messages on the down-low from your
girlfriend (I doubt that your wife would let her call the
house), but it's also a great buzz building opportunity. Simply
put your Hotline number on all of your promotional material
and always encourage fans and friends to call. Use a snippet
of your latest song as the message and let people know about
upcoming shows and other band events. If you also mail your
promo items to A&R Reps, they might call and like what they
Internet, although available in only 1% of all homes worldwide,
is another way to reach fans. But don't count on that Albanian
web surfer to make it to your town for the next gig. Unless
your band is established on a regional level, there are more
useful ways to focus your website.
you've now realized, that promoting and marketing your band,
although not as much fun as turning up to 10 and blowing down
the walls, is an integral part of becoming a successful artist.
TAXI's job is to get your music to the right people, the purpose
of promoting and marketing is to help create a buzz and gain
some much needed recognition for your act. And for an up and
coming artist, nothing is more rewarding than a little recognition.
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