A Music Band’s Definitive Guide To Making The Big Time!
Stomp! For bands that want to be BIG!
Usually, music is what brings a band together; but it is success that keeps them together. For bands, success is not just a goal; it is a necessity, especially when the band members want to keep making music. However, not every band that dreams of making it big makes it. Only the best, and the luckiest, succeed. Success also comes to those who are more informed, and prepared for it. For bands who want to be big, we present the following tips to help them achieve their goal.
The importance of Flyers and Posters
It is relatively easier to make a local circle of fans and followers in your area. However, once you go out of your comfort zone, which may be your school, college or neighborhood, you will need some excellent quality promotional material to promote yourself. When you are playing gigs around the town and beyond, your prospective audience will first see your flyers, and then hear your music. So it is important to make the right first impression by using good quality flyers, posters and banners. However, not only should you make sure that your flyers make the right first impression, you also have to make sure that you never run out of flyers as you hand them out for your next show. Running out of flyers before a show is akin to refusing entry to fans to your show – you are effectively turning away your audience.
Keep your Press kit Ready
Venues routinely ask bands to send in their press kits and other promotional material before the latter are invited to play; newspapers are notorious for creating a story out of press kits released by the bands, and running it as an original story; any half-serious record label executive will first ask you for your press kit before they even meet you or hear your music – the importance of press kits cannot be underestimated.
A good press kit should contain the following:
•a page outlining the brief history of the band and the name of its current members
•color pictures of the band members, collectively and individually
•contact information for the band’s manager, publicist etc
•the band discography
•equipment list if the band is playing at a venue
Release your CDs among your friends
There was a time when recording the first tape or CD by a band counted as a big milestone. Bands needed studio time, as well as top of the line equipment to even get started on recording their CD. However, the easy availability of computer software and cheaper equipment has changed all that. Now an album recording can be done at a fraction of what it cost artists like The Beatles to record them in their time. Once you record CDs and DVDs, you should give them out to your friends to promote your band. If your friends are inclined to spend some money on music created by you, maybe you would be lucky enough to make your first sale with them.
Make a Demo or EP
A demo tape showcases the best music created by a band. For a band that is just starting out, a good demo tape is the key to climbing to the next level. Good venues will only invite bands after they have listened to the concerned band’s demo tape and made sure that the band’s music delivers on its promise. A demo tape in this age need not be a CD, let alone a tape. You can collect your best songs on your band’s website, and that collection itself can serve as a perfect example of your musical talent, which is the purpose of a demo tape anyway. However, if you do create a demo CD or a DVD, make sure that you go to a good rehearsal studio, practice the songs until you are sick of them first, then use a good quality sound engineer with decent recording studio equipment, as he’ll be able to get a good quality recording of your music. Lastly, make sure you use the services of a good cover art designer to give your final product a more professional look. There is no half way here.
Going to a professional band photographer will always set your images miles apart from other bands, who just use their sisters best friend to take the photos with their brand new 7 megapixel hand held camera. A professional band photographer will know what days will bring the best natural lighting conditions, just how much light is needed for each shot, how to position the band members in each shot and all the other tiny elements, which actually frame the whole picture.
Maintain a Website
The trick here is not just to create a website, which is relatively easy enough, but to maintain it with constant updates. Upon hearing your band’s name for the first time, a majority of people will Google it, and come straight to your website. If these visitors land on a page that has not been updated in the last one year, which means 100 years in internet time, they are not likely to stay, and even less likely to come back. Therefore, not only should you create a website, but you must keep it updated with your latest music and news. Also, to present a uniform brand in the real world and the online world, make sure that you give the band logos design a prominent place on the website.
Use Social Media
At one time, every band – even bands that were signed on – used to have a MySpace page. Over the years the importance of MySpace may have reduced, but the importance of social media for a band’s marketing strategy has only increased. Today, you can successfully use sites such as Facebook to contact your fans and invite them to your shows. In the present, any band without a Facebook page is just asking to be forgotten and ignored. Maybe not completely, but definitely to the point where it will significantly lower the bands chances of success.
Stage Lighting and Band Merch
No serious band needs to be reminded of something that is widely acknowledged as one of the most truthful statements in the music business – putting a good show is of paramount importance. However, the importance of high quality band backdrops is not stressed often enough. Combined with good band lighting, backdrops can set the perfect mood for a show, and help sell more band merch. Good band services always reach out to their fans and target audience in multiple ways – merch is another way to connect with fans.
Good quality flyers and posters will help you reach your target audience without costing a packet. When they get to the next level, bands should be ready with a press kit, and make regular press releases about the latest albums and other band news. Creating a demo tape that contains the best music yet created by a band should be high on the priority list for bands who want to be big. Another important factor in the success of any band is the use of social media to reach out to as many fans and followers as possible. Sites like Facebook allow fans to follow a band even when the band is not touring. This ensures that fans will not lose interest in the band just because it has not released an album or done a show for a few weeks. Finally, band merchandize helps to not just earn some profit at the end of the show, but also connects you with your fans and followers.