Shanty Christmas - The Out Of Tuna’s

1. Follow Success – Copy What Works

music_business_a_and_rRehearse and record where successful, local, signed bands rehearse and record.

Take a look at what successful bands do for promo, the venues they play etc, and then do something similar, play at the same venues etc. You don't need to exactly copy the idea, just the actions involved.

Music Community

Get to know other local bands. This allows you to benefit from each other's experience and contacts.

For example, A band has a gig in a new area and they have a very successful marketing effort, resulting in a gig with a sell-out attendance.

Get the answers to these questions:

  1. What quality of leaflet was used? (design, paper etc.)
  2. Where were the leaflets distributed? What streets and times etc?
  3. How many leaflets?
  4. How long pre-gig were they distributed?
  5. Were posters used? What size? Where were they placed?
  6. Was the gig plugged on local radio? Internet radio?
  7. Was the gig promoted in the local press? What press? What method (interview, article, listing etc)?
  8. Where was the gig?
  9. What day was the gig on?
  10. What else did the band do to promote the gig?
  11. Where and when before this did the band play "near" this venue?
  12. Do the band have any contacts they could / would pass on? Would they introduce you?

Gathering knowledge of this kind from bands you know, meet etc can be a very, very valuable method to improve the odds of your own success. Make sure you ask the right questions and write down the answers. It's definitely worth your while.


2. Get Smart

Educate yourself on standard music industry processes, procedures and organizations. You can get a lot of help and support, source funding etc plus gain an understanding of contracts and how the various music industry businesses interact.

This level of understanding is invaluable when it comes to negotiating contracts. If you are going to trade something away, you should what it is and any value attached to it.

Gather market intelligence about your local and national scene. Knowing the key venues in not only your local area is not enough. Become familiar with the key venues in the main cities you would like to play in. Get to know where are the new bands breaking on the scene? What venues do A&R men, tastemakers, song pluggers, Music press, local celebrities and bands go to? Where do they all go to see new and exciting bands? Those are the venues you should become familiar with the venue, the staff, and regulars.


3. Networking

Networking and growing your local and music industry contacts cannot be underestimated. You need to Schmooz.

Who are the important people locally? Who are the DJ's and radio program controllers, music journalists, band managers, promoters, agents, music lawyers, indie labels... even music gear manufacturers!

Get to know them! Go to gigs, parties and events where you can mix with these people. The more you go to, the more you get invited to. These are not simply chances to party.

Remember you are there for business reasons, not to get drunk.

Networking provides contacts AND opportunities. Opportunities that you would otherwise miss out on. So, make sure that you network!


4. Build Your Fan Mailing List

Make and keep in contact with your fans. Tell them your band news directly. This is one of the best ways to build an active fan base and to reduce the impact of illegal downloads on your recording based income.

Build your fan mailing list online, and by getting people to sign up at your gigs. At gigs get an extended band member (manager, roadie etc) to man a "stall" with info about the band, any merchandise, and signing fans up to your mailing list using their email addresses. Ideally, provide internet access and directly add the email addresses to your fan mailing list.


5. Build Your Presence Both Online AND Offline

It doesn't need to be one or the other, build both!

Make all your efforts pay off in both worlds. You can use your fan mailing list to get fans to a gig, but video the gig and then post it or parts of it online. Build in the benefits of being a member of your fan mailing list. For example, make one song available to the everyone, while reserving the bulk of the video for the members of your fan mailing list.

Build your band website. Include music, videos, images, news, and any special offers for your fans and visitors. Use social networking, forums, blogs to get the breadth and then focus on one at a time to build depth. Consider hiring an online music promotion service to help promote your band.

If you are a bedroom musician obviously the internet offers the more obvious option to get your name and music out there, but you should perhaps think about what you can do in a real-world sense, even if that is playing acoustic or unplugged gigs. Videos of these can then be turned into a nice bonus for fan club members, and they can also be used to raise awareness of your music on a more local basis.


Following The 5 Tips To Become A Successful Band

It didn't take long to write out these tips, but it takes dedication, hard work, creativity and time to apply all of the above tips and to keep applying them. That is exactly why bands recruit people to help!

Nothing guarantees success but you can be sure that your chances of success will increasingly improve if you apply, and keep applying, all "5 Tips To Help Your Band Become Successful".

Discuss this article in our Music Forum.


John Moxey

Songstuff Site Crew