5 Tips For Getting Gigs For Your Band
Many bands have amazing musicians in them. What many bands don't have is a strategy to get their work heard by an audience. I look at social media accounts and websites of of lots of different bands, and frankly it's kind of embarrassing how poorly they present themselves.
Not every band is lucky enough to have a full or part-time manager, or even a dedicated person running social. You make music; you're great at that. While marketing a product - your music - might sound like a dull journey, it doesn't have to be. It's a necessary element of promoting your hard work.
Let's take you through some simple steps to get this done.
1. Branding is important. What do you want people to know about you? Are you a tribute/party band, do you do all original material, or are you an incredible bar cover band?
Tell the same story across all platforms. If you look at dad's impala's website and social media, you'll see the same message, similar photos, and one tagline/slogan. Keep it simple. Decide where this potential audience lives online, and promote to them there. You don't have to use all the major social networks. Choose a couple which you believe will work for you. All the networks offer some basic analytical tools, so you can look back and see what posts worked and which didn't. Video clips are usually great at fostering engagement. Don't post bad phone video with noisy audio, though.We see that all...the...time. It cheapens your brand. You don't need to hire a videographer and sound expert. Have a friend/fan shoot some footage, just make sure the sound quality is as good as it can be. A good video with bad audio is a video no one is going to watch, so don't waste your time.
2. Feed the beast. You'll want to regularly post content to social, especially when you're getting close to playing out. You want to be a familiar presence, not an annoying intrusion in people's news feeds.. You'll decide what frequency works for you, but it's important to establish a rhythm/cadence with your posting. You don't have to have one person do all the work, but it is important to have everyone who does post content on the same page editorially, so that your band/brand voice is consistent. Consider promoting some posts: Organic reach on platforms like Instagram is tiny. You can get your content out to a bigger potential audience with just a few bucks. dad's impala has found success on Facebook, and we'll spend 5 or 10 dollars to promote an upcoming show or a new video, like one we just posted to YouTube.
3. Take some new photos. This is part of your branding. Have a friend/significant other take some fresh shots. Phone cameras are really good these days. Take the shots in the early morning or late afternoon if you're outdoors, make sure you're well-lit if you're inside. Dress to impress, but we're not talking about suits and skirts. What image are you intending to show to your audience? Maybe a party/wedding band does need to be a little fancier. Your metal band should look the part. Take individual shots and a group photo, so you have the ability to use them in different ways on your website and social. See how we did ours here.
Notice the fonts and colors are all consistent. Branding!
4. Reach out to real people. You're likely already talking with bar owners or perhaps you're using services like BandMix to network with other musicians, but it's important to ask for what you want. Email is an amazing way to get your name out there. Yes, email marketing is still very much a thing. Look around for events in your town and if they have live music get a contact email and introduce yourself. Here is a great template for writing emails which get opened.
5. Update your website for search engine success. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a ridiculously complicated science, and it's easy to get in the weeds with it, leaving you confused and frustrated. The good news is there are some very basic tools you can use to make sure you can be found on Google and Bing. We used Wix to build our site, and they offer several options to help you with SEO that won't leave you pulling your hair out.
Google us and you get this:
You see our slogan, other pages on the site, social too - everything someone needs to find us. One often overlooked trick is to put a link to your site in your band's email signature, with your logo. It's great branding and can convert to website clicks too.
We love musicians and we cheer for your success. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would like to network.
See you out there! Rock on.