No matter how much promotion you make, how many ads you run, or how many t-shirts you’re selling, people will become fans of your band if they like what you create.
As a musician, your main duty is to release music. And unless you achieve the status of legend like Necrophagist or Tool, you can’t just release nothing for years and still have people talking about you and buying reissues of your work.
Now obviously this doesn’t mean you have to release an album every month. There are tons of ways to create content and feed your fans.
Make Music. Really, I’m Serious.
Simply because that’s what a musician is expected to do. Nobody stops you from posting memes all day, but at some point if you don’t release music, are you really a musician?
Releasing music takes time, and writing, recording and producing a full album requires a lot of efforts. But you don’t necessarily have to focus on albums, and can make smaller and more frequent releases.
If you’re a new band, you should concentrate on one single, or a very few songs. Really spend time writing the best song you can, and don’t waste all your budget on a full album. Spend the same amount for one single, which will allow you to get a way better quality.
A single is probably your best bet to introduce yourself to the world. Hopefully an album will contain songs with different feelings, variations in styles, or even be completely experimental and out of the genre you’re advertising yourself in. So when you give new comers a full album, they won’t know where to focus. And most people don’t listen to a full album before having an idea if they like a band or not.
Giving people a single is straight forward: “Here is 4mn of what we are, what we want to say and how we want to say it”. Boom. If you choose a good song, people will get your genre, and your universe. That doesn’t mean write a 3:30 pop song verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus. That just mean don’t try to show off with an 8 minute prog song starting with a saxophone solo. Unless you’re a prog saxophone band.
MOM I’M ON TV (kind of)
Nowadays, releasing videos is really not an option. First of all, having a full stream of your records on Youtube is pretty much mandatory. The video platform is one of the most visited website, and gazillions (approximately) of people use it everyday to listen to music. The good news is: creating videos is really simple, and creating a Youtube channel is equally simple. So you have no excuse.
You can produce all sorts of videos to feed your fanbase: playthrough, studio updates, music videos… you have no limit. I won’t go in details about all the possible formats in this article, but we will in the future. So stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter to get an email when the article is out>
Aim For The Best Quality Possible
Your single or album is probably the first thing a new listener will discover from you. Which means that beyond the composition itself, you must aim for the best quality you can get for your material.
Nowadays with the internet, no band is really a “local band”. Your music is online, your fans also, and more important, your potential fans. And those potentials fans will not discover you from your live shows, so you need to put all your effort in delivering top quality recordings.
If you’re an studio band, it’s even more crucial since your records are the only thing that will show how good you are. You won’t be able to gain new fans with your charisma on stage. So you need to make sure everything you release is as close to perfect as it can.
The same goes for videos, or any other content. Don’t settle for the easiest and fastest way, but go the extra mile and add details that will make your videos or pictures look pro. It can be the little things: choose a nice looking font, put logos of platforms where people can buy or stream your music… all those things put together will unconsciously make people view you as a serious band.
Now, once again, your music is what truly matters. Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a badass lyric video if your recording sounds like crap. Do pay attention to details, but never forget that at the end of the day, you’re a musician.
You Have No Barriers
Anytime you have a computer in front of you, you are a minute away from releasing anything. Publishing a picture to social media takes a handful of seconds. Even releasing a song won’t take longer than the time you need to plug your guitar, press record, export it, then upload to Bandcamp. Now obviously you may want to work a bit more on that one. But my point is: nothing and nobody is holding you back from creating something and releasing it.
This means you are able to release music, videos or any other content very often and easily.
Everything you release and every post on social media is a way to stay in your fan’s mind. I don’t know about you, but I hate seeing a post on Facebook by a band I love but completely forgot because they didn’t post anything for months.
“BTW our next record is almost done”
This makes me angry (more than it really should, I admit). Why didn’t you post month ago you were writing? Why didn’t you post a picture of you in the studio?
If they don’t see you in their feed every once in a while, you fans may forget about you. And if you’re forgotten, they may be less excited about your next release. They see a post and they think “oh right, this band is still a thing”. Had you teased them for weeks, they’d have immediately clicked any link to get a sneak peak at your new record. Because all this time you would have stayed at the top of their mind, and their love for you would be fresh.
Being silent for a long period of time is not only bad for your fans, but also for potential fans. People that discover you and like your music will probably look you up on social media to have news from you. What if they see your page with no news post in the last 6 months? They’ll probably think your band isn’t active and nothing new will come from you in the future. In that case, odds are they won’t like your page or follow you anywhere. And they would be right: why would you follow someone when you’re sure you won’t have any news from them?
Even if you’re in between records and you don’t have any important news, post something. Your fans will remember you’re here, and new fans will see you’re active.
It reminds me of a comparison I read a long time ago (this was about advertising but it’s 100% relevant): promotion is like a locomotive. If you stop the locomotive, the train will slowly lose speed, then stop. You need to keep the engine running to keep the train moving forward. It’s the same for a band, and your best promotion is new and interesting content.
Don’t flood your followers, but don’t just build the hype
Even if you want to keep feeding your audience new content, be careful not to flood them with not-so important posts. People will get tired of a band posting memes twice a day if that’s all they do.
Pay attention to the timing as well. Trying to get an excitement from your fan is great, but teasing for month without giving them some real content is horrible. If they just see you post about your upcoming records, but they feel there is no progress happening, they will think all you do is talk and will lose trust and interest in you. Because once again, you’re a musician and people pay attention to you for your music.
Everything is a matter of being subtle and learning from the feedback you get. Posting a picture of your breakfast everyday might be fine if you’re Justin Bieber, but if you’re a black metal band you might want to avoid that. See what kind of post engage the most people.
Content Is King, Be Creative
Music, videos, pictures… all those things are classic, and you’ll see them from most bands out there. But you don’t want to look like every other band, you want to stand out from the crowd. So look for new mediums, unexpected ways of giving your fans content they can enjoy. You can obviously observe how the big boys are doing, but you should try to come up with new ideas.