How To Promote Your Band Through Networks
You've joined or formed a band. Congratulations! Hopefully you've found a group of women/men/people who are as excited as you to play and create music. You've been practicing and maybe even have played out a bit. Now comes the part many musicians dislike: promotion and marketing of your "brand." What's your specialty? Metalcore? Americana? Punk rock tribute? Whatever your thing is, you can find and meet players who are as passionate as you if you join some networks devoted to putting you in front of a potential new audience of people who may want to gig with you - or even join your band in the future! The cliche' "You can never know too many musicians" is gospel. Here's how you can take some first steps to putting your band out there.
1) BandMix is celebrating it's 17th year of existence, with thousands of profiles to browse. A free account will get your profile set up, but you'll have to upgrade to a paid plan to send and receive messages with other people. The profile quality on BandMix is, well...mixed. Many artists don't post a picture, describe specifically their skills or tell you much about themselves. We have a full profile on there, including video content.
2) Cover Band Central is another clearinghouse for (obviously) bands who do covers. Like BandMix, you can browse profiles of bands and individual players, and create one for yourself, like we did.
I don't want to get repetitive before we go on, so I'll mention this one last time. So many profiles on these networks are incomplete at best, horrible at worst. You don't need a marketing degree to do this. How about starting by simply completing the profile? We want to know what you're about. This isn't that different from a dating site, if you think about it. Profiles with lots of details get looked at. Ones missing a photo, don't. Email me if you need some help polishing your profile. I am a marketing and business development professional by day, by the way, so I can get you pointed in the right direction. Okay. On to the next network...
3) Find-A-Musician is in desperate need of an upgrade. The website looks like it's from the 90s, but I did notice players posting classifieds as recently as today. Think of it as a slightly-better-version of Craigslist.
4) Facebook is a good place to create a band or musician page, and it's a good bet there are local groups you can join as well. Sacramento has more than a dozen, featuring everyone from banjo players to metal gods. Fill out the profile completely!
5) ReverbNation is for the more advanced band who has recorded songs and plays out a lot. You can sell and stream songs, promote upcoming shows, and even submit portfolios to labels! They use a freemium model, with more advanced features on upgraded plans.
I've used almost all of these at one time or another, to find an emergency fill-in for a gig, or simply to say hello to nearby musicians. On every block, on every street in America, there's a musician in one of those houses. These tools can help you find them. The wider your collection of influences, the better you're going to be at your art.
You've worked hard to get the band together. Now, let's widen your galaxy of friends! Good luck.