(Originally printed in Colorado Music Buzz Magazine, December, 2011)
by Draven Grey and Amidei
Your music is great, your bandmates are awesome, and you finally booked a show at the perfect venue. You promoted like crazy, inviting your friends, friends of friends, complete strangers on the street, and even that funny smelling guy under the bridge. It seemed to pay off, too. A lot of people came to the show. It wasn’t packed, but you and the venue were happy. By the crowd’s response, you were sure that they would be bringing all of their friends to your next show. Your crowds started growing with each show, right? But they didn’t. Maybe a few more people came, or it stayed the same, or worse, less people started coming out to see you with every show. What can you do to change that? How can you fix it?
Why does no one seem to care about your band? It would be better to answer that with another question … “Why should anyone care?” There are thousands of bands out there grabbing for attention. And worse, people are bombarded day in and day out with advertisements and media from the moment they open their eyes until they close them at night. With all that noise, how can we get through to those who would connect with our music? The answer is thankfully simple.
The music industry is generally full of two kinds of artists. One type writes and performs only what they like and could not care less about connecting with others. The second changes on a whim in order to appeal to everyone they can; they’re always trying to keep up with trends and please everyone they can, quite unsuccessfully. But you don’t fit into either of those roles. No. You have a proven way of keeping your artistic integrity AND immediately grabbing the attention of other people. You know how to find your niche.
Ten seconds to finding your niche. The idea of testing is used in marketing all the time. It helps you figure out how to market a product so that the most amount of people will buy it. You can you use this same concept to promote your band. One easy way to do this is by studying the fans of bands similar to yours. How do they interact with the band online and offline? What do they wear? Where do they find new music? Interview a few of these fans and ask very specific questions about their whole experience of finding and being a fan of the bands they really like.
That interview is the first and most important step in knowing your own “Ideal Fan” – the type of person you can focus all your efforts on because you know they will love your band and tell all of their friends about you. Knowing your Ideal Fan’s interests, shopping habits, favorite hang-outs, and more, will help you know exactly how to promote your band with a MASSIVE return.
In the end, the reality isn’t that no one cares about your band, it’s that you’ve been promoting to the wrong people. To sum up: Find the people who already want your music and give it to them. Unfortunately, most bands never do the first part.
Who is YOUR Ideal Fan?
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*image by Ayla87