Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Creative Ways To Strengthen Your Band Image | Music Think Tank

Most musicians either start or join a band because they love music and they want to share their talents with the world. It’s nice to think about all of the perks and exciting things that can come with a successful music career, but ultimately, most musicians aren’t entrepreneurs.

In order to find success as a musician, though, you have to think of your band more like a business. You might have the greatest talent in the world and the catchiest songs anyone has ever heard, but if you can’t attract people to your band, you’ll never have an audience and your career will fade out before it even gets off the ground.

So, what can you do to strengthen your band image and get noticed by new fans? How can your band identity stand out and get recognized even when you’re surrounded by heavy competition and a musician-saturated market? Turns out, there are quite a number of ways.

Be Professional Promoters

If you really want to strengthen your band image, you have to create one first. Maybe that’s by creating a unique, recognizable logo for yourself (think the Rolling Stones lips or AC/DC’s signature thunderbolt). Maybe it’s by having an interesting member setup. There are thousands of four-and-five-piece bands. Why not hit the road with a trio? Or, have six guitarists! These might sound like extremes, but sometimes that’s what it takes in order to get recognized. You have to be able to stand out.

When you do have your own identity as a band, promotion is key. Thankfully, promotion is also easier now than ever before thanks to social media. Be as active as possible on your social media channels. It’s a great way to connect with fans — just ask Selena Gomez, who currently has almost 136 million Instagram followers. Musicians can use social media for everything from live stream chats and answering questions, to promoting shows, merchandise, and more.

It’s also a good idea to go a little old school with your self-promotion. If you have a gig coming up, send the venue some posters and promotional photos to hang up ahead of time. If it’s a popular club or venue, you might gain some new fans just by attracting people to your event. Additionally, send pictures from the show to that venue the next day, so they can share them on their social media sites, too.

A little kindness and courtesy go a long way when it comes to booking and rebooking venues. People don’t often think of it as self-promotion, but when you promote yourself as a respectful band who is happy to make money for their venues, you’re more likely to be asked back to play. Clean up after yourselves, be respectful of the ownership, don’t trash the green room, and promote/plug the venue as much as possible. If you scratch their back, they’ll be more willing to scratch yours and promote you in the future.

Make Memorable Merchandise

Once you have your killer logo, font, or general “look” in place, one of the best ways to boost your band image is with unique, memorable merchandise. Merchandise sales are a great way to make money. But, they’re even better for improving your band’s recognition.

Any marketing expert will tell you that word-of-mouth advertising is always the best way to go. So, if you can get people to wear your t-shirts, put custom decals on their cars, drink from a mug with your band logo, or hang your poster in their bedroom, you can attract a new audience in the process. Someone who is actively displaying your merchandise for you is a walking billboard.

So, don’t be afraid to put some thought into your merch. Invest in a quality graphic designer to create different looks for you that will attract people to make purchases. Set up your merch booth to draw attention by displaying photos of your performances — or even pictures of fans wearing what you’re selling. The more your audience can feel connected to your band, the better.

Turn Your Show Into An Experience

The best way to create a strong band image is to put on a show people won’t forget. Whether you’re a touring band, you’re playing local events, or you’re part of a festival lineup, it’s important to stand out and be remembered. The music industry is constantly saturated with thousands of bands trying to be the next big thing. Putting your drive, attention, and focus on creating a great live show can really help you to stand out.

That looks different for everyone, so it’s important to determine what works best for you and your setup. If you want to invest in some unique lighting displays, consider LED bulbs. Educate yourself on some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding LED lighting. One myth is that LED bulbs generate heat. In reality, they don’t give off heat at all! That can make a big difference when you’re moving around on a hot stage.

Another possibility is your drummer having some kind of trick-heavy solo in the middle of a song. Get creative with your stage setup! You don’t have to create a gimmick out of yourself, but you do have to do something to help people remember your name.

Many times, your stage presence alone will do that. Command the stage you’re playing. Move around, look comfortable, and interact with your audience. Remember, when someone comes to see you perform, they’re investing their time and money. Giving them a great show in return will make it more likely for them to come see you again.

Strengthening your band image needs to be a grassroots effort. Every member of the band needs to contribute. But once you start to get recognized for your unique look, sound, or presence, you’re more likely to pull ahead of the pack and find success in the industry.


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