You’ve got a decent set of songs, your image is on-point and you’ve got a loyal fan base behind you. So, what’s the next step? If, like many bands, you’re looking to gain exposure but can’t afford to shell out on fancy marketing campaigns or professional promoters, you may feel like you’re stuck in a rut. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can market your music without being left out of pocket. Here are some simple tips to get you started.
Spread the word
If you want to get your music noticed, it’s important to put your name in front of as many people as possible. An easy way to do this without blowing your budget is by creating flyers and posters. Make sure your advertisements are memorable and unique, and remember to include all the necessary information, such as the date and time of the show you’re promoting, as well as your web address and links to your social pages. Think about your target audience and their likely hang-outs – coffee shops, record stores and uni campuses are all common places to seek out potential fans.
Selling merchandise is another simple but effective way to spread the word. In addition to sampler CDs, you may want to consider selling custom-printed clothing. The most cost-effective way to do this is buying in bulk through promotional clothing suppliers such as Fire Label. Even new bands with a barely-there fan base can benefit from setting up a simple merchandise stand with a range of marketing material.
Use social media the right way
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud are all invaluable tools for bands who want to create an online presence in the social networking sphere. These free online platforms enable artists to interact directly with fans, promote tours and album releases, post photos and share any other information.
However, rather than using social media to constantly spam people with links to your latest record, you should be using it to build long-lasting relationships with your audience. By replying to comments, sharing information about your personal life and using incentives to ‘like’ and ‘share’ your posts, there’s no telling how much your fan base might grow. After all, people want to know more about you than just your music, and if they see you as engaging and approachable, they’re far more likely to support you.
Network, network, network
Sure, social media is a great way to increase fan retention and extend your reach, but nothing quite beats real life interaction. Getting noticed can be as much about who you know as what you do, so take the time to form relationships with similar bands and make connections with professionals in the music industry whenever you get the chance. By tapping into other groups and communities, you’ll garner new followers along the way.