In the “good old days” a musician or band would gig & send out demo tapes to record labels in hopes of being signed to a record contract. If they were lucky enough to get signed, the artists did what they do best….. showed up and played ….. and the labels took care of everything else. One of the most important roles of the record label was to make sure that their newly signed artist reached the masses that bought their music.
My, how times have changed. An artist isn’t JUST an artist anymore. You are a manager, a booking agent, and an entire PR and marketing department. But on the bright side of all this, technology has never made it easier for you to reach your audience through their trusty sidekick, their wireless device and social media.
Now….I’m not just talking about tweeting #buymynewalbum, posting your latest video with a link to where you can buy the track or a facebook post with the date of your next gig….these things are definitely important and you must continue to do this (and if your not….you better start!!!). With that said, the biggest mistake a band can make is to forget that social media is just that…..social!
Fans want to feel like they know you. They want to connect. If they like your music, they want to believe that they are a part of it. Think of your own favorite artists. Isn’t it cool to sit with your friends and share a funny story or an interesting tidbit they never heard of about the band. Maybe you have some funny little picture saved on your phone of the time the lead singer cut her hair short & colored it the strangest color purple you’ve ever seen, or the day that the bassist shaved off his beard & how much the look on his face told you he regretted it!
Don’t just blast your fans. Engage them. Don’t lead them to believe that you’re just a spammer who is after their money. Post some pictures that show personality not just you in that perfect rock god pose. Tell little stories about what happened at a certain gig that embarrassed you, or something at the studio that made you laugh. Maybe post a short outtake or different version of a song that they can download and share for free. How about a cover version of a song all done with toy instruments (hey …. if it works for Jimmy Fallon)! Most importantly ask your fans questions from time to time ..….. and whenever possibly give them some answers.
You are the leader. Your fans are the followers. It’s ok to sell your product, that’s one of the reasons you’re in this business, but don’t make your fans feel like customers. Once they become your friend & you connect, you don’t have to sell them at all. They just buy.