Being in a band seems to be a rite of passage these days,whether it’s a case of just dreaming the dream whilst rocking out with a tennis racket or you’re a bedroom-bound musical genius. Being in a band is as desirable as it’s ever been so here’s our guide on how to use your Plusnet broadband to really help you move into the big time ... If you believe that life doesn’t come knocking at your door, you’ll be pleased to know that many bands and musicians today are taking a more DIY approach to achieving their goals. Whether you’re looking to find new fans, engage with your existing ones, promote your music or just advertise your next gig, the web offers a wealth of solutions to help you get started. Knowing how to use them effectively can help make the difference between playing shows to an audience of two old men and a dog at the local pub, or to thousands of people at festivals and sold-out arenas.
Getting the basics sorted first
Before we take a look at what online tools are at your disposal it’s time to have a think about what you want to achieve. There’s no doubt that you’ll want to aim high and win big but it’s important to keep it simple and get the basics right from the beginning. Before you can start gaining new fans and engaging with them you’ll need to have at least one recorded track to upload, even if it’s a rough sounding demo it can still be used to sell your music to the masses if there’s talent behind the mic. You’ll need at least one photo or failing that just an image such as a logo or a piece of artwork.
A mighty arsenal at your disposal
Now you’ve got the basics covered let’s have a look at how the web can help get you and your music noticed, get gigs booked and promote them. Whilst there are a large number of different websites out there for promoting bands and musicians I’ll focus on what I think are the most effective, simple and even time saving ones to use. After all, you want to keep your time free for making and playing music!
This is a good place to start as it’s purely focused on audio, the profiles are much simpler and users are encouraged to follow each other's profiles so that they can be alerted to each other’s activity and comment on each other’s tracks. Comments can even be added to parts of a track along a timeline of the sound wave itself. This is a good place to start as it helps to attract attention and feedback to your music from like-minded bands and artists. Follow them and their followers may even follow you. But that’s only if they like you so pick the right bands to follow.
This is specifically designed to give you a profile with everything in one place. There’s a music player that you can upload multiple tracks too, a video player and a bio. Reverbnation also uses charts to help users of the site to vote for their favourite bands and artists giving them more prominence
This information was correct at the time of writing, Gigowl have since evolved and offer a different service now.) Whilst similar in nature to Reverbnation, Gigowl links artist profiles to tracks already uploaded to Soundcloud and provides a sleek and stripped down profile that covers all the basics. This is a great site to sell what you’re really about and is well worth being part of. Gigowl occasionally use their site to help select artists for high profile gigs such as the headlining slot at Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival which was given away to a deserving young singer/songwriter called “Fitz”.
One for the Apple fans, this is an app for quickly putting together posters and flyers. The site is ideal if you’re design skills are lacking or you just don’t have the time and want a sleek looking poster to promote a show. Don’t forget posters are still an effective way of promoting online if you post them in the right places and use social media to your advantage.
Social Media and bringing it all together
Now you’ve got your online presence via the sites I’ve already mentioned, don’t forget that social media really is your friend for taking what you do to the people who will appreciate it. This will be an obvious place for many to promote themselves; you no doubt already follow some of your favourite bands and artists and are familiar with what artists’ profiles can offer. Sites like Reverbnation help to bring all the essentials into one place, whilst Facebook offers the ability to upload and share output from your band to anyone who has liked your page. It also helps you attract new fans and start engaging with them. Used in conjunction with Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites can help make your music visible to those that might not otherwise stumble across it. So you’ve covered the main bases with your online profiles and want to gain a following, after all you’ll want someone to share your updates, show listings, and tracks with. Use Twitter to follow similar artists that you aspire to. The key to getting this right is to ask yourself the question “could their fans also be our fans?” if the answer is yes then follow them. This means that you’ll be grouped along with their fans allowing you to be more visible to them and get a buzz going. When your following has built up (and don’t forget to keep doing this) you can share updates and content from your other online profiles bringing yet more attention your way. Learn how to use Facebook Insights which provides stats about the ‘reach’ of your page and how well it’s doing. It helps to know if your posts are reaching the right people, how many people they’re reaching and what type of posts/updates get the most views. This way you can learn how to adapt your posting style to encourage engagement and get the best possible results from your page. Don’t forget that both Twitter and Facebook allow for automation. In particular Facebook allows for automated posts to be made up to 6 months in advance, so use your insights, see what works best, come up with what you want to say/promote and program your posts to appear on your fans newsfeeds when you want them too. Having already been there, done that and sold the T Shirt-, a word of advice:get to know your core fans, the ones that you start to notice coming to every show. Take time to talk to these guys and consider setting up a mailing list to help drive fans to your awesome online promotions. Learn what posts you can target at these guys, they’ll be a priceless source of feedback and will keep recommending you to their friends too so make sure you look after them.After all, they’re the reason why you do what you do!
The Arctic Monkeys
You may have heard of local lads turned international rock stars The Arctic Monkeys, it’s worth bearing in mind that they built up their worldwide fanbase using the online tools available to them around a decade ago. If you cast your mind back, the only thing the web had to offer as a social network and as a tool for bands and artists was myspace. So if they managed to achieve that back then just think what you can do with the wealth of tools, apps and opportunities the web has to offer today! Are you or have you been in a band? Got your own views or tips on how the internet has helped to get you noticed? Drop us a comment below ...