Getting noticed as an up-and-coming band can be difficult in the sea of other hopefuls that want to be the next big thing. And, while some try and self promote by auditioning for television talent shows, there are actually many other ways that you can get noticed in a much more grassroots way, building your fan base one convert at a time. And, you can even turn these new fans into your spokespeople to further spread the news.
Online Viral Attention
Thank goodness the Internet is still relatively “free” to use as there are a wide range of ways you can self promote your band. From a website, blog, and video diary that you can create with tools like Word Press or Google’s Blogger tool, you can build a website and blog to announce gigs, get email sign-ups to track your fan base, and upload samples of your music. Of course, some of the best places to get attention are through social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn. There are even online sites that now showcase unsigned artists like Last.fm and ents24.com. There are also online band and music directories to register at for free that can get your name passed around beyond your local village. Last, but not least, don’t forget sites like YouTube where people look for new music and then like to post to their Facebook status or other sites to share with friends, building a viral following.
Traditional Channels Still Work!
Just because the Internet can work quickly to spread your promotional message to a wide, but targeted, audience doesn’t mean you should forego the traditional channels like local papers, flyers, and posters. These can all be done really cheaply and can then be passed out by your followers in local areas where you may find other fans like at school, university, community centres or around pubs. This is a great way to start getting a local buzz that can be spread further through your online outreach to begin doing the university, pub, or festival circuits.
Freebies and Discounts
Use both online and traditional channels to give out free stuff like tickets, downloads, ringtone, app or signed copies of merchandise. You can offer these items on your website or as part of a radio giveaway. They can be given to those who sign up for your fan page on a social network, helping you to get noticed more quickly as friends tell friends about these freebies. This gets more attention and shows your willingness to give back to fans and soon-to-be fans!
Partners and Networkers
You can partner with online and offline radio networks, directories, charities or organisations that might be looking for bands as entertainment for events or even promoters who want new talent for one of their side stages at festivals. Be sure to network with companies where promoters often go when they want additional talent or are looking for new bands to showcase. Forming relationships with these companies can get you in front of those that can guide your career to larger audiences that you might otherwise never get in front of.