To start off with, here are a few points to consider to promote your band and get on the road to fame and fortune.
- A GOOD BAND NAME This helps create your ‘brand’. Yes, if you want to make money out of your music, you must consider your band as a brand. Choose a name that reflects the image and message your band conveys. Also, create an imaginative logo that ties in with the theme of the name and, most importantly, your music.
- CREATE A GOOD QUALITY DEMO Hire out a local studio and producer, or do it yourself if you’re able and have the right equipment. Put the best track first and make sure it has an immediate impact on the listener. A&R people have A LOT of music to listen to so your music has to stand out from the beginning. Make sure the name of your act and contact number are on the CD’s and your email address is attached to mp3 submissions.
- SEND YOUR DEMOS INTO LABELS This method isn’t nearly as effective as it once was. Labels receive thousands of demos from unsigned acts and most major labels refuse them unless they are requested. Still, it’s worth a try but don’t expect much.
- GIG REGULARLY Due to ever dwindling album and single sales, live performance has become an important source of income for artists. If you can’t pull it off live, you won’t get signed. Gigs are also a great place to sell merchandise so make the most of it while you’re there. They’re also a great environment to network in…
- NETWORK This is one of the most important things you can do. Talk to everyone. Get people’s phone numbers and email addresses; you never know who’s going to be a useful contact in future.
- LIVE IN LONDON OK, it’s a big ask if you live in John o’ Groats but if you live or gig regularly in London you are more likely to get discovered than anywhere else in the UK. Most A&R people are situated in London and are, therefore, more likely to see your band play. However, they will venture out of the capital to other major UK cities.
- ONLINE PRESENCE Make the most of social media. From Facebook to Twitter, this is the most effective way to engage with your fans. Major radio stations and record labels now rely on social statistics to know which artists to associate themselves with. Furthermore, several artists have been discovered through YouTube, most notably… umm, Justin Bieber.
- LOOK FOR A MANAGER A good manager can be invaluable in getting a record deal, but more about that next week!