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How to Create Your First Cover Band Marketing Plan

How to Create Your First Cover Band Marketing Plan

A guest post by Brad Lazarus of

You've heard the phrase "If you build it they will come".

Well it's nonsense, rubbish, totally untrue.

Maybe if you're Starbucks you've got a good chance of that strategy working. Build a Starbucks in the corner of a block with thousands of people walking past everyday and yes, you're going to get customers coming in.

As a cover band wanting to pick up bookings for lucrative, private and corporate events or even bar and club shows, take that approach and you're toast I'm afraid.

Now I'm going to presume you've got your cover band set up, rehearsed and ready to get some bookings.

If you were writing your own original material I'd be recommending you 'get exposure and build a fanbase'. There's plenty of info here on Music Clout and the rest of the web on how to do this.

But you're not trying to do this.

You're in a covers band....That means we have to approach things differently to those touting their own self penned material.

As a cover band looking to secure wedding, private party and corporate event bookings your main priority should be different. You don’t need exposure per se, you need to generate actual leads and inquiries from prospective clients that want to book your band for their event.

To do this you need to put together a marketing plan. A plan that attracts those prospective clients, draws them into your website and sells them on what you can do for them in return for their hard earned cash.

I've laid out the basic steps to a cover band marketing plan to help get you started.

Know Who Your Audience Is and What It Wants

Remember you are looking to attract clients that will pay you healthy fees for your performance at their event. Think about who that ideal client might be:

What type of an event are they having?

What type and style of music might they want?

How old are they?

Are they male or female?

Develop a detailed picture or 'avatar' of your ideal client.

Now think whether what you do as a band really appeals to that person? Could you make some changes to what you offer and better appeal to them?

The process is a balancing act between giving your market and audience what it wants while also ensuring you continue to be fulfilled and excited about performing with your band.

Always keep in mind that you're offering a service to a client. If you want to run a seriously successful cover band that charges top dollar then there's no time for self indulgence.

Give the market what it wants and you'll be rewarded for it.

Build a Website That's The Very Best You Can Afford

If you want to be taken seriously as a professional cover band that clients will pay top dollar for, then you need a top class website.

Your website is your bands main home online. Great looking websites are now seriously cheap to build. Use services like or to do it yourself or my preferred route is to pick a premium wordpress theme and outsource the whole process through services like For well under $500 you can be up and running in less than 4 weeks.

A word of warning: Your Facebook page is not a replacement for your website. It is not owned by you but by Facebook. They can decide they don't like something you did and the next day it's gone.

Produce Up To 7 Audio Tracks That Define Your Band

Choose your tracks carefully as they communicate to your prospect the breadth of repertoire you can perform.

Even a glance at a list of these tracks should tell the story of your band and what you can deliver.

Remember that you have very limited time to communicate what your band can do for the client so make it count.

Be precise and deliberate with your choices. If you cover broadly speaking 4 different genres then pick approximately 2 of the best known tracks from each genre. Don't pick 5 songs from one genre. The message that sends out is the wrong one.

Create a Logo That Best Communicates What You Stand For

Image and first impressions are everything in the cover band business.

Your logo is one of the first things a visitor to your website will see. It should do everything it can to best communicate what you stand for.

Putting a logo design brief together from a blank page can be tricky. Look outside the music business for inspiration. See what some of the bigger brands do to get their message across in their logos.

Certain designs and colors jog peoples memories and spark preconceived ideas. Font styles for example can be very effective in communicating a message about the style of music you perform. For example you wouldn't use a graffiti style font for a classic rock act. You may use a 1970s inspired font if you perform soul, funk and disco covers. Scour the web for ideas and inspiration. Pick logos you like the look of and start to put your design brief together.

Getting a logo done can cost next to nothing these days. I use

Here's a tip: If you've got $20 to spare take out 4 gigs on Fiverr. Send them the same logo brief and you'll get at least different 4 logos back. Now you've got a choice on which ones the most suitable.

Create a Promo Video That's An Advert For Your Band

Really this should be first on the marketing plan list because in the last 3 to 5 years it's become the key calling card to get bookings.

The cost to produce top quality video has come down massively in the last few years. That represents an amazing opportunity for you to use the medium to your advantage.

The majority of cover bands are lazy. They use video to just show what they do with straight performance footage. This is so BORING. We can do 10 times better than that.

Start to think about and see your promo video as an advert for your band. It’s the most powerful sales tool in your arsenal. You've got under 3 minutes to either impress your prospect or turn them off you. Make the time count.

There are so many ways to achieve this eg:

Include a max of 5 songs that clearly show the breadth of your repertoire.

Answer FAQs using talking heads.

Use screen annotations to communicate messages including songs/genres you perform and testimonial quotes you've received.

Create a voiceover.

The possibilities are endless. I wrote a post about this subject at my blog. Check it out for some more ideas.

Start Getting Good Quality Inquiries

Now that you've got your website set up, promo video done etc it's time to start bringing in inquiries.

But how?

The first step is to go back to my first point.

Who are you trying to appeal to?

Start thinking about where your audience hangs out online and offline.

What do they do before they book a band for their event?

Who are they most likely talking to as they plan their event?

Where would they go to find a band?

Think of these places as mini fish ponds of prospective clients. Now you can go and start fishing for clients.

Some ideas to get you going - Online wedding directories, Google, Facebook etc - Offline local event venues, partnerships with other bands etc.

My preferred method for providing a constant stream of inquiries and bookings is Google Adwords. The ability to be able to target specific keywords and geographic locations is incredible. It takes some time to perfect but when you get it right it behaves like a vending machine of clients. Imagine putting in 50 bucks in and getting 1000 bucks back, time after time. Adwords allows you to do just that. If you're serious about getting quality well paid bookings for your cover band then I strongly advise you look into Adwords.

Getting bookings for well paid events is an ongoing process. It takes effort and time but for those willing to put in the hours you will be rewarded.

Just be clear that the more you put into marketing and promoting your band the more you will get out. It really can be that simple.

I would recommend that you spend at least 30% of the time you spend on band related stuff is spent on marketing and promotion. Anything less and you just don't give yourself the best chance of the success you deserve.

For 5 more quick, no cost strategies to increasing your cover band bookings download our free guide.

About the writer:

Brad Lazarus has been managing and marketing cover bands for 10 years. He is the founder of a blog and podcast dedicated to helping musicians in cover bands increase their bookings and multiply the income they receive from them.  


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