Promote Your Band
There are a few things you can do to promote your your band and your gigs including:
- Keeping in contact with fans
- Mailing List
- Getting press
- Getting the balance right
Keeping in Contact with Fans:
Gigging is the time that all of your fans are in one room at the same time. So now is a good time to find out who they are. Get two or three reliable friends to collect e-mail or postal mail addresses for your mailing list. You will probably end up with at least three people claiming to be cartoon characters when you look at it next day, but you'll also get a good chunk of people who you can then target for e-mail and postal mail shots. Take advantage of the internet. Myspace is a great tool for staying in touch with your fans.
It's always worth making certain that you'll be included in local gig guides. Some venues will do this automatically but don't assume it. Make sure you meet the copy deadline for informing local press - they'll usually need at least a couple of weeks notice. Better still, if you can cook up a story around your gig, be it a CD release, or your 100th show, see if you can get a small feature article or at least send a press release explaining what you're up to. This alone is not enough, though. If you're trying to pull in a big crowd, all the ingenuity you can muster will be needed. Make sure everybody who might be interested knows - by any means necessary.
Larger venues may provide you with fliers to give out and promote your gig. These can be pretty boring so check if they'll let you make your own. Then get to work. Many bands get completely carried away creating cool or humorous fliers simply because it's so much fun. No problem there - the more memorable the better! Keep them small - four to a piece of A4 is about right. That way you can keep your production costs down if you have to get them photocopied in a shop. Once you have your fliers go around town handing them out. Anywhere there are a lot of people. Malls, Shopping Centers, Movie Lines, School, Church, etc. Its completely legal to do it so long as you don't leave them on peoples cars (thats called littering in most states) but try your best to be respectful. You can also do some bigger posters to put up at the venue, around your school or college and in any shop windows that will have them. You can also try leaving them in record shops. And, of course, you'll be mailing fliers out to your fan list. The cheapest way to do this is by e-mail but be careful of e-mailing the actual flier. If it's going to take ages to download, your fans with slow modems may not be that grateful for the huge phone bill. Try and save the image in as small a form as possible before you send it out. If you're not sure how to do that, post the flier on your web-site and send a link to it. Otherwise, it's second class mail. This can be pretty costly if there are a lot of people on you list, so it's worth auditing it from time to time and making sure that people who've been on it for months haven't moved. A new innovative way of promoting gigs by the bands themselves that works well is using text messaging to mobile phones as a kind of digi-flyer. No need to look after scraps of badly photocopied paper. It also helps to hand out fliers with demo recordings, this way people who recieve your flyer will listen to your disc and if they like it they will show up already knowing the words!
But overall gigging is the best way of promoting your music.