How to Promote your Band: Before, During, and After the Show
Even if you write and perform the most original, technically challenging, and ear-pleasing music out there, it will mean nothing if you don’t have fans. Promotion is a huge part of being in a band, especially when you are taking part in a competition like Battle of the Bands. Learn how to get your band’s name out there.
Before The Show: If you haven’t already, create basic social media pages to promote your band. This means creating, at the minimum, a Facebook, Twitter, and probably an Instagram page. This is a free way to connect with fans, let them know where your next show will be, letting them in on backstage shenanigans, and whatever else you want to share with them. Post consistently on this page (at the bare minimum once a week, should be multiple times per week) to keep your page active and fresh.
Give your most creative band member control of the page and make them responsible for taking pictures, sharing information like release dates and gig locations, and whatever else they deem interesting enough for fan’s eyes. Posting about gigs makes venues love you that much more.
Coordinating with social media channels of the venue can get even more eyeballs on your band’s whereabouts and hopefully more ears listening to your music. Plus, if you can show a venue that if you have a big social media following you can prove that you in fact have a big fanbase and get more people in the door.
During the Show: Obviously, for the majority of the time that you are on stage you will have your hands full, you know, playing your music well. But in between sets there is an opportunity to get your band’s name out there. Your lead singer has a microphone, and he or she can use it to make sure that your band’s name is known by the audience. There is no need to announce it after EVERY song, but saying your name multiple times during the night can help make it stick in the audience’s mind.
There are some fun opportunities to get your fans involved in the performance as well. Taking crowd panoramas from on stage and then posting them on your social media pages after shows can be a way to encourage people to “like” or “follow” your band’s page. Or take a selfie with a lucky front row fan. Any way to engage the audience while you are on stage can only help people’s perception of your band.
Take the time to listen to other band’s sets as well. If you really liked their music or working with them, give them a shout out on social media. They might just return the favor. Gaining goodwill in the music industry from other bands can only help, and you might gain new fans.
After the Show: First, bring merchandise to sell. You should have at least a few CDs to sell as well as maybe a t-shirt with your band’s logo on it, etc. It is also a great way to gain emails of new fans that liked what they heard at your show. You can keep them in the loop by sending out a monthly newsletter of what your band is up to.
Always station one of your band member’s at the merchandise table at all times throughout the night. People want to talk to the musicians and are more likely to buy your stuff if they have a personal interaction with one of you.
Carry some freebies on you in case there is someone important in the audience that wants to hear more or even handing out a free CD to a fan that forgot their cash can make a fan for a lifetime, well worth the small cost of burning a CD.