It kinda sucks, and I've even been guilty
of this sin as well, but when most musicians and music business
"experts" discuss how to market a band, they tend
to turn into corporate slinging business monsters. I'm sure
you've heard it before - and probably more than once or twice
from me - you've got to treat your music like a business. It's
the only way you'll find any success in the incredibly competitive
The bottom line is that although this can sometimes take
the fun out of being a musician, it's 100% bang-on true. But...
the good news is the methods you use to market your music
don't necessarily have to be boring and they're certainly
not difficult to put into action.
Event Listings: I Read The News Today... Oh Boy!
A great way to get the word out on your music is to pick
up a paper or flip through a magazine and inside you'll generally
find little blurbs on events happening locally and even internationally.
All newspapers and magazines have these buried in their wall
of pages somewhere. You might think no one takes the time
to read these but you couldn't be more wrong.
These little tidbits of news are read by a ton of folks every
day. In fact in our "news thirsty" fast paced lives
we tend to read these little easy to digest "short takes"
more often than those full page articles.
The point is, even though music reviews and featured stories
in prominent media are a huge blessing for your music business
career and there's no doubt you should be trying to get your
music covered in them as often as you can, don't make the
mistake of overlooking the "little blurbs" you find
in newspapers and magazines.
Gossip columns, industry updates, local scene events and
many other "smaller" bits of coverage in these media
outlets are often overlooked by most bands and music industry
marketers. Plus, these sections are often used to fill gaps
in magazines and newspapers so if your event is handy for
an editor to simply plug in to "fill space", you
might get your band some free press coverage.
It's important to at least try to take advantage of these
lesser known news coverage avenues and score your band some
valuable ink. Remember, you never know who'll be reading.
Be Newsworthy: Find Ways To Spin Your Stories Into Newsworthy
Now picture this. You submit a press release on how you and
your band found yourselves stranded on the side of the road
with a flat tire, ended up being picked up by a school bus
full of young-blood new generation type hippies, which then
turned out to be the campaign bus for the Green Party, and
somehow you ended up playing a full set for their campaign
Do you think this might be the kind of news that'll catch
the attention of a radio station or a music magazine editor?
Heck I know I'd bite.
The point is this stuff happens! Not often... but we all
know things like this DO happen sometimes. And just how you
choose to get the news out is what makes the difference in
whether or not your music marketing ends up working for you,
or taking a nose dive into the editor's waste bin.
It's simply a matter of taking those mundane every day events
that happen and finding an interesting twist that'll help
to make them newsworthy. Be on the lookout for a fresh new
spin on events that happen to your band and slam 'em home
to the media as often as you can. Any one of those awful things
that can and DO happen to bands in the course of a music career
can be spun and twisted into a positive newsworthy story.
It's all about creativity my friend. And I'm willing to bet
you've got a ton of that to go around.
All things considered, knowing exactly what to and what NOT
to include in your online band marketing and musician list
building efforts is essential to your press release success.
For instance knowing NOT to approach fans and media with lame
ass press releases announcing your latest album and understanding
that simply telling fans where to buy your latest album with
no mention of how they can connect with you on a deeper level,
rarely achieves the results you'd hope for.
Music Festivals: Hijack Your Local/National Music Festivals.
Throw Your Own Party
There isn't a band I've met who wouldn't want to score a
spot in one of the big festivals. I'm willing to bet you're
one of them. Whether it be a performance on the local indie
band music fest or any one of the big ones like South by South
West or North by North East... all musicians want in.
And who can blame you?
What better way comes to mind on how to market a band than
instant media exposure in front of thousands - potentially
hundreds of thousands - of open minded music fans. Good times
my friend... good times.
But even if you don't manage to squeeze your band onto one
of the limited performance slots with the other 400-500 bands,
you can still leverage some of that festival spotlight exposure
with a little creativity and fair sized brass balls.
See knowing how to market a band isn't ALL just about business.
I mentioned earlier that we music industry marketing types
tend to look at things from a corporate business angle when
it comes to making money with your music, but the truth is
that music marketing can be a lot of fun too. What I'm getting
at is that without a doubt, hands down, the most fun thing
you can do as a musician... is perform. To get your butt up
on a stage and do your thing.
So why not go with that and hijack a bit of the spotlight
from that music festival.
Organize your own "Unofficial (Insert Music Festival
Name Here) Festival Party".
You can potentially attract thousands of music hungry fans
ready and willing to check out almost anything unique and
original that's going on in the area of your sub-featured
music festival and all you have to do is let them know where
they can find you.
Create a bunch of flyers, get on that guerrilla marketing
machine, name your event the "Unofficial (Insert Music
Festival Name Here) Festival Party" and hand out your
promotions to anyone you find floating around the main event.
Make sure you include all your contact information
including website, email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
info on all flyers, and at the very least you should be able
to drum up some additional attention from at least a few new
Organize and handle this effectively and you could potentially
fill the "Unofficial Music Festival Party" venue
you've locked down for your event. It's this kind of inventive
music marketing thinking that separates good bands from great
Great bands have fun.
They have fun because they've figured out how to market a
band effectively. Let's face it, it's a lot more fun to play
music when you're getting paid and you're building a huge
list of raving fans, than it is to perform in an empty club
for one night every 2 to 3 months. Which band would you want
to be a part of? No brainer my friend... a true no brainer.
Now if any of this seems a little daunting for you and you'd
like more detailed step by step training on how to market
a band more effectively, then check out and subscribe to my
Catsask Magazine YouTube Channel where I add new music marketing
strategy videos every Monday. It's all about learning how
to market a band, how to build your fanbase and how to make
more money with your music for life.
And like I said earlier, it's much more fun to market a band
when you're getting paid enough to drop that 9-5 job, so why
not have more fun and do more of what you love each and everyday?