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 Six: Getting The Name Out There
Self-advertising is present in almost everything that we do. When you're trying to convince somebody to go on a date with you, you're advertising yourself as you would advertise a product. When you go down to a job interview, you're advertising yourself as an employee. When you're putting up posters and handing out fliers, you're advertising your upcoming gig as a dramatic and exciting experience. Not living up to expectations mean that you lose fans, struggle to earn enough money to make a living, or quickly get bored of using your hands.
With a band name, longevity is key. You can't flit back and forth between different band names, styles and projects. You know what you've got, and you know what you're capable of, so you need to set up marketing solutions.
Online, the presence of websites such as MySpace, FaceBook and about a million other standard social networking platforms are available for the budding musician, not least Ultimate-Guitar. The point of longevity is what separates this from the previous piece based on drawing a crowd. This isn't about getting people to one venue, this is about keeping them interested in seeing you perform. Updates and music on social networking is very handy.
Your reputation is always going to play a big part. You'll get some random people turning up at your gigs either because they like the venue, they were dragged along or they know somebody in the band. Your reputation ensures that they don't pre-judge you, and your performance ensures that they want more in the future. People who haven't seen you either haven't heard of you or have only heard your general reputation, and that's the basis that they'll use to look you up.
Any sort of performance, gig, appearance of just scattering business cards, is going to provide a huge benefit. Gigging often will keep you in the public eye, but you don't just poster for the sake of performances. If you can have a poster just advertising yourselves up for a month somewhere then people are going to see it, and when music comes up in conversation, that name might be on their tongue.
Positive experiences with venues will carry to other venues. Respect is very important, since that will determine how word of mouth spreads from the people booking you. The fans might love you, but if nobody books you then you're limited to disturbing the neighbours. In the same way, respect to the fans goes a long way.
Once you have these things in place, stick to them. If, for example, you're a graphic designer with an established Facebook fan page, then decide to go by a different sudonym and create a new fan page, it doesn't matter what you do, you will be alienating some people and losing some numbers who will choose not to go over. Numbers themselves are powerful, and people tend to forget what they've clicked like' on. This works in your favour more often than not, since people are more likely to become a fan of something that several hundred people, including two of their friends, are already fans of.
There's no limit to how far you want to get your name either. One isolated performance several miles away from home might seem unappealing, but a solid showing to a brand new market will have results, even if it takes a little while for the effect to be felt back where you live. If you live in a small town outside of a big city then you know where the market is and it isn't with you. Even if you can't get gigs there, promote yourselves. You're more likely to earn a gig when the person you call up says yeah, I've heard your name somewhere around here'.
Building this sort of thing takes time, and there is no quick fix for it, as many people hope that there is. Thankfully, every single thing that you do in life will all add up to make you perfect for a quick google, a Facebook search or a comfortable chat in a bar with a close friend.
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.