5 Tips To Become A Successful Band
1. Follow Success
Rehearse and record where local signed and successful bands rehearse and record.
Look at what the successful bands do in terms of promo, venues they play etc, and do something similar, play the same venues etc. Don't exactly copy the idea, just the actions.
It is a great idea to get to know local bands. It gives you a great opportunity to benefit from each other's experience and contacts.
For example: A band has a gig in a new area and they have a very successful marketing effort, resulting in a gig with a sell out attendance.
Get the answers to these questions:
- What was the quality of the leaflet? (design, paper etc.)
- Where were the leaflets dispersed? What streets, times etc?
- How many leaflets?
- How long before the gig did they distribute the leaflets?
- Where is the gig?
- What day is the gig on?
- What else did the band do to promote the gig?
- Where and when before this has the band played "near" this gig?
- Do they have any contacts they could / would pass on? Give you an introduction to?
Gathering this sort of knowledge from bands you know, meet etc can be highly valuable. Make sure you ask the right questions and note down the answers. It's definitely worth your while.
2. Get Smart
Educate yourself on standard music industry processes, procedures and organizations. You can get a lot of help and support, source funding etc plus gain understanding of contracts and how the various music industry businesses interact.
When it comes to negotiating contracts this sort of info and understanding is invaluable.
Gather intelligence on your local and national scene. Knowing the key venues in not only your local area is not enough. Get to know the key venues in the main cities you would like to play in. Where are new bands breaking on the scene? Where do the A&R men go? The tastemakers and song pluggers? Music press? Local celebrities and bands? Where do they all go to see new and exciting bands?
Networking and cultivating local and genre specific music industry contacts can make a huge difference. Learn to Schmooz.
Who are the important people? Local DJ's and radio program controllers, music journalists, band managers, promoters, agents, music lawyers, indie labels... even music gear manufacturers!
Get to know them! Go to gigs, parties and events where you can mix with these people.
Networking brings not only contacts but opportunities. Opportunities that you otherwise would miss out on. So make sure you network!
4. Build A Mailing List
Keep in contact with your fans, give them the news about your band directly. this is your best chance to have an active fan base and to minimise the impact of illegal downloads on your recording based income.
Build your list online, and by getting people to sign up at your gigs. I would recommend that at gigs there is an extended band member (manager, roadie etc) who will man a "stall" with info about the band, any merch, and getting people to sign up to your mailing list with their email addresses. Ideally whoever is manning the stall should have internet access and be directly able to add the email address to your database.
5. Build An Online AND Offline Presence
It doesn't need to be either / or. Build both!
Make your efforts pay off in both worlds. For example using your online mailing list to get fans to a gig, but video the gig and then post it or parts of it up on the web. For example, 1 song is available to the general public, but for members of the mailing list they perhaps get to see the whole (edited) video.
Build a website for your band. Include music, videos, images, news, special offers to site members etc. Use social networking, forums, blogs to get breadth and then focus on a few to build some depth. Consider hiring an online music promotion servce to help promote your band.
If you are a bedroom musician obviously the internet offers the more obvious option, but you should perhaps think about what you can do in a real world sense, even if that is playing acoutic or unplugged gigs. Videos of these can be a nice bonus for fan club members, and they can raise awareness of your music on a more local basis.
Following The 5 Tips To Become A Successful Band
It doesn't take much to write out, but it takes dedication, hardwork, creativity and time to apply all of the above tips. That is why bands have helpers!
Resources I recommend to help you become a successful band are:
Music Industry / Music Business Info
Music Industry Community
Nothing can guarrantee success but rest assured that your chances of success will increasingly improve if you apply all 5 Tips To Become A Successful Band