I feel like I’m beating a dead horse when I say this, but this is not our parents music industry anymore. Nowadays we all know that if you’re a band or artist without a strong online presence, you’ll be left in the dust. Your band website, facebook page, and twitter page are all integral to your success as a musician, and we can now include music apps into that equation due to their growing popularity. Boy oh boy how a band even 15 years ago would’ve killed to have these enormous avenues to promote their music.
It’s all very awesome and exciting how easy it all is now, but this doesn’t mean that we should expect to be able to pull off a successful career with emails, keystrokes and mouse clicks. There are still hands to shake and babies to kiss out there everyone, and we must not forget that there are still great ways to gain clout the “old-fashioned” way. Not to mention the ways that both can be used together to gain maximum exposure.
Facebook and twitter are great for letting your fans know about what you’re currently up to, such as when and where you are going to be performing next, but how about using these mediums to let your fans know about other bands that you have become friends with? It has always been good practice to form alliances with other bands, and if you come across one that has good music similar to yours with good people, maybe try making a deal with them where you help promote each other on the web. It could be as simple as tweeting something like, “Come check out our friends The So and So Band at The Viper Room tonight, we will be there rocking out!” Then go to the club, dressed like the rockstars you are. I don’t how many times one of my old bands would do this and everyone would come up to us and say, “You guys just look like you’re in a band.” Then we would reply, “As a matter of fact, we are! Why don’t you check us out next week at Club X,” then we would give them a flyer or ticket or whatever physical form of promotion we had brought with us.
This leads me to another point. Flyers. Facebook and twitter can be great promoting yourself on the web to people who know (or somewhat know) about you already, but what about the people outside of your network who don’t? If you have a show coming up, physical flyers still work great. About a week before your show, go to the surrounding areas of the club you’re scheduled to play, flyer all the cars and ask any local shops if they will allow you to leave a stack by the door. Don’t forget to include your facebook and twitter names on the flyer, just in case paper suddenly goes obsolete tomorrow.
Lastly, and this will always and forever be a surefire way to gain exposure: gig, gig, gig. It’s worked like a charm for all these years, and has shown no signs of not working. Just remember the old rule of not over-exposing yourself by playing 15 times a month in the same area. Oh, and don’t forget to shamelessly plug your social media sites once you have the mic!