You may have spent thousands of hours practicing your instrument and perfecting your singing tone, but musical talent is only one element that factors into your success as a band. Band members need to develop business skills, too, when it comes to marketing, promoting, and networking. Whether you’re seeking out your next performance opportunity or are engaging with fans to build anticipation around your upcoming album release, you’ll need some business skills to be a successful musician.
Social Media Management
Online band marketing and social media networking go hand-in-hand. Most bands rely on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to connect with their audiences. This is because social media offers many benefits, from developing fan loyalty to allowing you to engage with your fans on a regular basis. Because you can post to social media much more easily and frequently than you can maintain other marketing content like blog posts, social media can keep you in the forefront of your fans’ minds, which is particularly helpful when building excitement around an upcoming tour or album release.
Social media also provides you with a valuable connection directly to your fans. You can create polls to determine fan interest in new releases, areas of the country where many fans want to see you on tour, and to even identify which types of promotional materials your fans most want to buy.
When managing your social media, focus on creating unique content that your fans will appreciate. Behind-the-scenes photos, from-the-stage photos taken on tour, and even short videos of soundchecks and songwriting sessions all make for great content. When you post this content online, make sure that you’re on a secure wi-fi connection, especially when you’re on the road. Public wi-fi connections are not secure, and if you’re entering personal information like passwords, home addresses, and credit card details to promote a social media post, that information could easily be hacked on a public connection. Instead, wait to post until you’re on a private connection to help keep this information safe.
Networking and Management Skills
Don’t forget that networking doesn’t just take place online. In-person music management skills are just as important and can help you to secure bookings, talk professionally with agents, and make valuable in-person connections that can build your music career.
These networking opportunities don’t always occur during music industry-specific events, and sometimes being able to think on your feet and connect with others can lead to connections that you might have otherwise missed. To develop your in-person networking skills, create an elevator pitch, which is a quick 30-second summary that describes your band, the type of music you play, and your audience. Having this prepared and memorized can help to remove some of the nerves and allow you to quickly connect with someone you might meet at a coffee shop or even in the grocery store checkout line.
Once you have your elevator pitch prepared, make sure that you also always carry business cards with you. You never know when you might bump into someone who could change your career.
Content and Email Marketing
Content and email marketing are also valuable marketing strategies for musicians. These marketing techniques are free to use, and you can take over your band’s content and email marketing yourself.
When it comes to content marketing, creating a blog can help your band to connect with your audience. You can post blog updates about upcoming tours, the creation of a new album, and even include blogs written by each member of the band to incorporate some different voices into your content. As you build up an email list of your fans, you can send out periodic emails about important updates, new concert and tour dates, and more. Regular email marketing helps to keep you connected with your audience.
To gauge the effectiveness of your content and email marketing, you’ll also need to familiarize yourself with the basics of data analytics. Data analytics can provide you with hard statistics about how many people are viewing your content and emails, as well as what kind of action people take when viewing your content, like clicking through to purchase your new album. You can also use data to determine where fans are most engaging with your music online, so you can decide which online platforms are most valuable for your band.
Data analytics may seem overwhelming at first, but there are plenty of how-to guides and courses to help you understand the basics. Once you know how to interpret this data, you can experiment with different types of content and different email subject lines to increase the number of people who read what you’re creating.
Many musicians just want to play music, and focusing on business may seem like a chore, but it’s also essential to your band’s success. The more that you and your bandmates can learn about business, the more you can position your band for successful and exciting opportunities.