If you're here to look into new and different methods by which you can market your band or artist. You've come to the right place. I'm Tom Colohue, and this is Marketing Methods; your guide to traversing the basics of the marketing world while avoiding the pitfalls, the traps and the unreasonable arseholes in it.
Marketing Methods by Tom Colohue
Part Five: Drawing A Crowd
Before I get started on this one, I should point out that this is a series for DottedMusic, where articles are brief and designed to make people think in a way that they might not have thought before. I could spend months on an entirely different series just for promoting and advertising your own gig using marketing methods, and I may well do so one day, but this particular article will not be following that route.
As musicians, you should already know about certain wonderful marketing methods, but before we go there, let's look at what we've already built in the previous articles.
Basically, what we have there is everything that you need to cover word of mouth from your first performance onwards. Word of mouth is the single most important thing in anything that you ever want to make money from, whether gig, company, restaurant or promotion venture. If you don't supply for the demand, you're not going to make it. If you don't stand out from all of the rest, you're not going to make it. If you're reputation is tainted by reputed fights, spitting and insulting the crowd, why are you even still trying?
People will tell their friends to come or not to come, and that is worth more than any sort of advertising, so before you even think about drawing a crowd, consider those things.
Now, we get on to the meat of it. In the modern world there are several huge advertising possibilities for anybody wishing to be noticed. Quite often, once you start to do them, you'll realise how little your rivals engage in advertising and marketing themselves. There are some easy ones that, because they're easy, everybody does. These are good to do because they're easy rather than because they offer a particular return. Anything that everybody does is bound to be annoying to people after a while. There are also some that barely anybody does, and these will be your best friends.
Facebook events and status updates promoting yourselves is a fairly new development in the world of advertising, but an effective one. Doing it yourself is good, but having the venue do it for you is even better, since they're likely to have their own list of people to invite that are regulars, dedicated music fans and cover a wide variety of genres and tastes. Communicate with your venue. They can put up posters in their windows, leave fliers on the bar or, if you ask, hand out cards when people buy drinks.
The downside here is the same downside in all forms of advertising. Facebook is used by everybody mostly because it's free, and as long as it's free it will continue to earn a ton of money in revenue. Posters, fliers and cards cost, and you don't get to physically see any sort of result until the event, but it's also more effective. Want to know why? Easy. That flier is between them and another person. They can ask that other person questions and receive friendly replies quickly and efficiently. Never doubt the power of a friendly face.
Banners are also a cheap concept that can draw in some attention, and you can make those as easy as sticking together several pieces of A4 paper and drawing your logo on it.
What really draws the crowd though, is something different. You can advertise all that you want, but it's what you're advertising that's going to snare people. This comes back to knowing your target audience. If you know what you make, and what you like, then you know the people that you wish to appeal to. Do some research on similar events for templates and layouts, and consider what to put on your flier in addition to your name, time and venue. Are you advertised in any magazines or websites? Have you performed at any festivals? Do you have a hot, female guitarist that could be in a prominent position in the group photo?
If the advertising doesn't make you want to go to it, it won't make other people go to it, and it's important to consider that whenever you're making plans to draw in a crowd.
Tom Colohue is a writer from Blackpool, England. Though he specialises in Fiction, he also writes music theory articles, and new media articles based primarily on the internet. On occasion, these also intermingle. He is well recognised by numerous critics and analysts for his integrative descriptive work and his cynical textual mannerisms. For more information, Tom Colohue keeps a Facebook Fan Page, which contains updates from new articles and his personal blog, Mental Streaming. This page can be found via this link.