Please keep in mind that these are ideas. Don’t complain to me in 3 months that you have done a BBQ and you’re not playing ozzfest mainstage yet. Or… yes please complain. This will make a fun video.
So you have been reading all of the “how to… (insert band or artist term)” around the internet.
You can read as many too old books about music management and development as you want, but you can’t read about doing push-ups, right? You have to do push-ups to do them.
I see people posting a youtube video on facebook (which facebook hates by the way) and then they wait and hope for people sharing it and hope for people coming to their door.
I fucking hate that feeling. You have to GO and DO something. (That is one reason why i started this whole thing 😉 )
Go beyond your comfort zone and just do stuff before you’re ready and don’t give a fuck about what the band next door thinks.
So here are five ideas that i stole from marketing and sales content that i consume that can be implemented into band and artist related stuff so nicely.
1. Stand In The Doorway After Your Show
Go there when the people leave. Stand in the doorway. Shake hands, hug people. Thank people for coming and spending their time at your show. Every. Single. ONE!
It doesn’t matter if they are your best friends or total strangers. Thank them for coming out and not having something better to do. But don’t force people to shake hands. Even if they don’t want to do it they’re still going to tell their friends that Tom&Jerry from Band XYZ stood in the doorway and did that.
I haven’t seen it very often so far. I actually tourmanaged a musician that did that. Very impressive. It takes a lot of your brain but its worth the grind! You can either drink yourself to death after the show or go work and drink afterwards. Or just go to bed – which is always the better option when you’re on tour.
By the way. This is a great way to gain people skills if you’re a shy person or introvert as hell.
(And standing at the merch is amazing. But doesn’t count as standing in the doorway. You win if your merch is next to it. Place your merch next to the entrance.)
2. Send Postcards And Study Your Audience
What do i mean by study your audience? Well, exactly that.
Go to instagram, hack through facebook. Write people personal messages. Thank them for following you. (INDIVIDUALLY!!!!!Do Not Copy Paste!) Ask them WHY they follow you. Ask what you can do for THEM to make the conversation/experience amazing. Engage the people.
See what they like. Get an idea of who those people are. Are they guitar nerds? Are they indie travel people? Are they young, are they old, are they nice, are they politically interested? Are they ____?
You have to start thinking about those numbers as people. These 231 likes have lifes, they have passions and ups and downs and hobbys just like you do.
Here comes the link to why you should do that.
You should generally send out a handwritten thank you note with EVERY ORDER you get through your online shop. Make it fucking personal. Postcards, photos, anything cool will do the trick.
Draw a funny crazy bird like you did in 1st grade and say thank you. I actually did this at signing sessions several times. Make it personal.
But as soon as someone hits a checkout with 50 or 60 or 100 bucks. (I suggest you start at 50) You GO and TRACK this person down. You find out what he or she loves, you find out what he or she hates. You already know where this person lives.
So let’s assume Josh from Nebraska or Jeroen from Brussels ordered a zipper, two shirts and a record. So you set yourself a reminder and you take a couple of minutes to investigate. You check if that person is following you on IG, FB, Twitter, YT. Now don’t like the picture with him and his girlfriend on the beach from 2011. But get an idea what that person likes. You realize: He LOVES Star Wars the Clone Wars. His profile picture is a mock-up of Obi Wan Kenobi in a metal shirt with his face photoshopped and he’s posting stuff about how awesome Season 2 Episode 5 is and that your life SUCKS if you do not watch this. Like he’s really passionate about this.
So what you do is – You go to the Amazon page of his country and you order something like this: Amazon: Yoda Figurine.
That guy spent a good amount in your store. Now give him something back. You still made revenue on that sale. Buy him something awesome and let it wrap as a present and write a thank you note. He will go crazy and will tell his friends.
This is customer service. And customer service is audience building if it’s done well.
Those 10-15 bucks are well spent.
Tip: Do never announce this online. Do it on your own terms and your own pace.
3. Give People Access
Again… PLEASE. And i genuinely mean this. Don’t disencourage yourself because you only have 300 likes yet or because only 5 people liked your posts so far.
If you compare yourself to bands that have been out there for 20 years your subscriber count will always suck. But if you compare yourself to your yesterday-self or your last week-self or your last year-self you are suddenly waaay better than before .
You yourself should always be the scale.
I do not recommend you starting a subscription VIP-Club for 50$/Month in the beginning, because… it probably wouldn’t be the best idea in the beginning. But if you do it keep me updated how it went.
But i got this one for you:
Step 1: Start a Facebook Event. “Special Barbeque With BANDNAME”. Make It Private.
Step 2: Invite 5-10 awesome people of your audience. Invite them to your house or rehearsal space. And tell them what you are ACTUALLY doing. Don’t just invite them. Write the “chosen ones” very very personal messages.
“Hey Carl, you have been a follower and supporter since day one. We want to thank you for that. On the other hand we want to grow our audience. As you can probably imagine. 😉 There’s something you can do for us. We’re making a very special Barbeque infront of our rehearsal space next saturday. You can crash in our guestroom. All treats are on us. We want to document this and post it online. Are you in? Feel free to bring your wife. And tell us if you’re vegetarian or something!”
Step 3: Now. Make an awesome get-together and document this. If you suck at this get a video friend. (We all have this one video friend and especially as an artist its SO important to have one) Make an awesome video and post it online. People tell people and then other people want to be in. It has to be great. And i want you to read this again: This Video Has To Be Great. – As well as the ones that follow.
Step 4: Upload it to youtube.
Step 5: Upload a snippet of it to facebook. Like the most amazing shots and link people to the youtube video. Those 5-10 people will share this unique piece of content and experience. (Remember to tell them to do it).
This is not their everyday buzzfeed-share. They definitely want other people to see it. They are in a video of a band. This is probably the craziest thing that happened to them in the last 8 months.
People share the HELL out of official festival recaps if they can see half their face in the 4th row in a 0.5 seconds-crowd sequence.
This is very genuine and the barbeque will cost you a couple of bucks. But its an experience.
“But this is only gaining like 4 new people”.
Chill. This is the first one. You can scale this. Step by step. This video will create a warm fuzz around your band/name/brand. Those 150 bucks (or however fancy you go) are more well spent than driving to those past two shows where you played infront of 7 and 14 people and you’ve been asking yourself in the car why you’re doing this.
Later on you can make raffles, contests for these things, limited space, 5 people only, whatever. Be creative. You’ll get more creative as soon as you start this.
I mean WHO DOES THIS… SERIOUSLY… And this kind of leads into point number 4.
4. Connect Arts With Arts. Or: Making Events
If you’re one of those bands or artists who happen to have a lot of space. Like the old second building of your grandma or the parking lot of your dad’s business or you have a couple of bucks and you could actually rent an event location and make an event.
I’m not talking about organizing a concert. I’m talking about organizing a fucking vernissage or something like that. Invite creative people. Artists, craftsmen, crazy people, provide drinks for cheap. Bring people together. Under your name. The “Band XY – Arts and Crafts Meeting I” . Everyone shows everyone what they’re passionate about. Put together a cool playlist, make a cool atmosphere and make it great.
Now. This probably doesn’t make any sense. But the networking that is going to happen does! And again – your video guy will make an awesome video. (By the way. The video guy should be an extra band member at this point and always be with you. Engaged as fuck.)
This is going to make peoples brains WTF.
Of course keep this on the cheap side, Invite COOL artists that do cool stuff. Every village has some weird old dude that does some crazy arts and every big city has aspiring young people wanting to show their art.
I’m talking live painting, having drinks, etc. Imagine throwing a party.
Artists post stuff they do. Sell cheap drinks to compensate your expenses.
Get a crazy crowd together and everyone will talk about everyone after this. Those other artists will bring people that are interested in other stuff as well.
Don’t promote a “Let’s Get Wasted Rockstar Party”. This is old, boring as hell bullshit unless you are Steel Panther.
5. MAKE A VLOG
In 2011 we started filming a “Behind The Scenes” with @fyadofficial. Now in retrospect it didn’t make any sense to call it Behind The Scenes. The term is just too fancy. And there were only 2-3 episodes and you know… Life got in the way.
Now this is probably not a new idea. But it is how it is. Vlogs are in. People consume contentless-content so fucking much. Just seeing a different perspective is enough if its filmed properly and edited to a point where its not boring. Document your show experiences. Livestream for a couple of minutes from stage. You don’t even have to edit a shitload of stuff. Just post constantly. Rehearsals, Catering, Nice stuff. Don’t embarass yourself. Like –
don’t film at 3 in the night where everyone is just drunk and wasted and talking about the deepness of life and 2 guys are painting the face of another guy with a sharpie. This is not cool and embarassing. Share your perspective and be the band or artist that goes one step further.
Stand. The Fuck. Out!
So in conclusion. These old pop-rock-pop-star breakdowns and destroying stuff just sucks. I mean you can act like an asshole, drink and coke yourself to valhalla and destroy stuff and be a dick. People will talk about you as well. But in the wrong way.
Please keep in mind that these are ideas. Don’t complain to me in 3 months that you have done a BBQ and you’re not playing mainstage yet.
I want to show you that you can get word of mouth by just doing cool stuff with people. This goes way further than you can imagine. 🙂
I am going to end this here. At whatever time of the week you’re reading this – have a nice week!
And TELL ME what you want to read or watch or know about.
Ask me anything and if i can cover it i’ll cover it.