Music is one of life’s greatest joys, but live music is of the most connecting experiences. Being present with twenty people to twenty thousand people connecting to a piece of music in different ways is a moment like no other. There’s no better feeling than knowing you, the artist, helped create that environment for someone. But before you get to the stadiums all across the seven seas, building a following inside and outside your local scene is a solid starting step.
Solidifying the Setlist
Knowing which songs connect with the crowd, balancing between your up-tempos, mid-tempos and ballads takes time. Practice. Practice. Practice. Know your songs inside outa nd upside down on your instrument and know your key (have a back up key ready to go incase you’re under the weather. )Make sure you’re prepared for the exact set (15 minutes, 35 minutes, 1.5hrs+), so you’re putting your best material for the amounted time and if the set is a mix of originals and covers as well as if it is a full band/acoustic performance. Make to have a clear line of communication with the promoter/booker/stage manager so there are no surprises about what to expect the day of the show and bring extras of everything JUST incase (strings, picks, cables, mics, etc…you never know what ca happen!).
New Market Marketing for Musicians
You’ve written your best songs, know the set like the back of your (guitar) neck and started establishing your brand in your current local scene. Great! But now it’s time to extend your musical wings, expand your horizons from the current your comfortable hometown stage and get out to new areas to grow your fan base.
Social media is your one true bff in this industry that is there for you 24/7/365…not a lot of musicians are up at 5am, but if you need to create a post to share at 9am because you’re working you’re day job at 6am, the InstaTweetBook is there for you. Using your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram account as a business page is super useful since you can target posts to specific genders, age groups, etc in a particular area for a number of days. If you describe your music as a Kesha-meets-Rihanna swag kinda style, specifically target your posts/Facebook event to fans of those artists when you perform in new cities to gain some new fans. Of course to target an audience, these social media platforms need you to fork over some cash (FYI: Promoted posts = paid posts). But let’s say money is tight (the starving musician joke is real though…) and you’re trying to have a marketing plan without a budget? Hashtags and shares are key. Posting a video/photo about an upcoming show? Maybe include an incentive (ex: “The person that shares this show on all their social accounts gets my new EP signed in the mail!”).
If you’re planning to tour throughout a specific region of the country, the InstaBooks and FaceTweets, make it simple to connect with local artists in any city; Slide into those DM’s (with your best batch of tunes, a killer elevator pitch and contact info) and reach out to artists in a similar genre that have some good local gigs booked and inquire about hopping on the bill.
Do your research on those up and coming/homegrown artists, open mics, performance halls, festivals in that area. As mentioned before, have a great elevator pitch email ready to go with an easy link to listen to your tunes and even include a live performance video somewhere (to show you actually can follow through with a great live performance).
Whether you have an endless marketing budget or are carefully counting your cash, putting your best music/material/content is important, but what is even more vital is making sure the right audience is seeing it. Don’t be shy or too proud to ask for help; One day you could be that musician that lends a hand to an up and coming act, creating a full circle moment.