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September 12, 2011

100 Fan Decathlon

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 8:11 pm

I was reading Chris Rockett’s Blog and feeling a little peeved because he hadn’t asked Me to contribute to his excellent blog post 100 Fan Sprint, where he asks the question, “What is the fastest way to get 100 targeted fans per day visiting your website on a consistent basis without using paid traffic?”

The answers given by each of the experts are right on the money and well worth the good read. Host your own blog is always popular advice with marketing and promotion experts, because a blog ticks so many of the SEO and Web 2.0 boxes; as is content, content, content - Content Is King (the title of an article by Bill Gates 1996) has been around for a long time.

The reason Chris didn’t ask me is probably because I’d give a boring answer that would lower the tone; well, here it is on my boring blog instead of his glamorous website:

“The fasest way initially is to collaborate with others. Warning: collaboration will kill you if your band is crap and has a pisspoor website!
Create a ‘Target Fan Profile’ and figure out how they will come to your website; there are three usual ways (with multiple criterion): 1. By searching in a search engine. 2. By clicking on an incoming link. 3 By typing your URL directly into the address bar.
Create the right environment on your website that will satisfy your target audience. Point your potential fan towards your website using both online and real world techniques. Visitors will keep returning and become fans if they are continually entertained!
…How Fast? Well it is not going to be a 9.58 100m sprint, more like a decathlon! Visitor numbers improve with the quality and quantity of Content, in combination with the quality and quantity of Incoming Links, and Time.”

The 100 Fan Decathlon

Any one of the hundreds of website promotion & band promotion ideas, tips, tricks and gimmicks could bring a sudden surge of traffic to your band’s website, but that’s not what we’re talking about, gaining consistent targeted traffic is not a short term quick fix sprint, it requires a multi-disciplined effort more like the decathlon (or running a small business)! A band should educate themselves (read: Build A Team Of Online Support For Your Band) and get help from a dedicated person who is capable of handling all things to do with Media, Promotion and Marketing.

Here is a simple and basic outline of a typical website promotion effort:

Day 1

  • Firstly, obviously, you need a real website. D’oh!
  • Make your band’s website the focal point of all your social networking and Internet activities - err… link to it!
  • Tweak and improve your band’s website, it needs to: load quickly. look good. be in character. connect (link) correctly. be useful. be interesting. have a purpose. be different. be entertaining. offer an easy mailing list sign-up. give a freebie. have very clear navigation - (read: Make A Sexy Website And Get Laid Like A Rockstar This Weekend).
  • Use WordPress - free blog software, easy to install, loads of free templates and plugins.
    Add Google Analytics - so you can evaluate your progress.
    Sign up to MailChimp - a free email marketing and email list manager that allows you to design, send and track HTML email campaigns.
  • Find the top 20 keywords and key-phrases that best describe your band and genre. Think about what your potential fans will search for, then add them to your website (think SEO). Now you’re being found for something else in the search engines other than your band’s name - for example, it could be: your genre (indie rock band), your location (Chelsea, London), the name of your favourite venue or your album, song titles (all very obvious, sorry)…
  • Create an email list (use: MailChimp) / database of fans, friends and family, especially target those within your locale; ask them for promotional help and support (i.e. help spread the word) - a group of four should be able to assemble an instantaneous and legitimate mailing list of about 300 (ask people first), aim for around 1,500 - 2,000 subscribers.
  • Write A Blog Post Three Times A Week (Mon, Wed & Fri) - blogging regularly will really get you thinking about your subject and enable you to talk about your music. It will increase the size, quality and visibility of your website and therefore make linking easier - share.

Day 2

  • Find a couple of struggling blogs that are enthusiastic and compatible with your band’s lifestyle and genre; join in and support their community - never practice the art of shameless self-promotion (it’s all about the community, not you).
  • Set up a small, hands-on and dedicated ‘Promotion Team’ (superfans only) that work both online and offline - a proactive and knowledgable ‘E/street’ team can really help to increase your fan base.
  • Team-up and collaborate with upto 5 local bands who have the same or a V.complementary genre - play gigs and promote each other online and offline.
  • Collaborate with a fashion house (a fashion company, a designer, a shop: selling off-the-peg, custom-made, haute couture clothing) - also include: a hairdresser (could be a salon), a make-up artist, a photographer, a fashion stylist (to help build & control your image. A good stylist will help with branding), a lifestyle magazine/website. Do-it-yourself, noobie bands who can’t attract the attention of professionals, are usually at an age where they can collaborate with students, assistants and the like. Also think about local charities, record shops, cafes, pubs, clubs, venues… Note: a hairdresser sees approximately 200 clients every 5 weeks, and she talks to each of them for about 45 minutes - “Something for the Weekend Mademoiselle?”
  • Check to make sure your superfans, friends and family have all joined you on your main social networking platforms. Then ask them to spread the word by/via: Updates, Bookmarks, Bulletins, Emails, Pings, Retweets, Tagging, Comments and Posts etc… regularly provide them with interesting information so they can talk about your band, lifestyle and genre with reckless abandon.
  • Announce your (updated) website by newsletter (MailChimp) about five times a year to your mailing list - give ‘em a treat at the same time.
  • (Legally) Hand out, post, pin up, stick and drop (accidentally!): flyers, stickers, business cards, button badges (include your band’s name, website address & free gift inf.) - in and around: schools, colleges, universities, record shops, fashion shops, cafes, pubs, clubs, venues, churches…

Every Week

  • Link with 10 other websites. For linking think networking and for networking think conversations. So that’s, get into deep and meaningful conversation with ten new people each week.
  • Write 10 sentences (no more than 140 characters each) about your lifestyle and genre (not your band) - be elegant. Share.
  • Participate in popular forums and blogs.
  • Keep track of your website’s statistics and social analytics.


Helping Indie Bands With Website Promotion
Unsigned Band Promotion
Helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own.


  1. Ian,

    I just discovered your blog, and you offer tons of well thought out insights.

    You make a great point about having a good relationship with your hairdresser.

    When we think of “influencers”, we often gravitate towards bloggers, DJ’s, journalists, or Twitter users with many followers. By identifying someone like a hairdresser, I think you’ll help us all to start thinking outside the box about who we can work with and help.

    Thanks for taking the time and energy to write this!

    -Wes Davenport

    Comment by Wes Davenport — September 13, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  2. Haha Chris is great, but his website is far from glamorous. It’s like a self-promotional mine field. I think you’re spot on with the notion of collaboration, which is a form of networking, which is what I decided to write about in that article. I love the checklist that you outlined here, it’s very concise. Great stuff Ian :)

    Comment by Chris Bracco — September 13, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  3. Thanks Wes, well there are so many people out there in the real world who are local and able to help, one just has to have an open mind.

    Chris you’re so brilliant with your energy and your comments, thanks :)

    Comment by ian — September 13, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

  4. Ian I love this,

    Thanks for the amazing follow up post, I think this is a first for me.

    The idea of the Olympics is that we add new people throughout the month and your answer is so cool I just posted it up as a late entry ;-)

    You’re on the list of athletes for the next one, it was a silly oversight to not have you post until now.

    I totally agree that it takes consistent focused effort to create a sustainable music career, but to be honest with you I think people like to see some quick results to keep them motivated for the fight.

    The sprint element is about finding the most effective tactics in music marketing so that if your new you can focus on the stuff that really does get results.

    I will point my peep to this page by the way, because I think what you laid out is brilliant.

    Thanks for the “self-promotional mine field” jab Chris, not sure what that means but it sounds either kind of cool or painful.

    Talk soon my online friends,

    - Chris

    P.S Ian you’re in the UK right? We should have a chat on skype, I’m sure my people would love to know the nitty gritty of your “Decathlon”. My email is: contact at promoteyourmusic dot net

    Comment by Chris Rockett — September 17, 2011 @ 7:32 am

  5. Thanks ChrisR, Yeah UK, near Windsor, I’ll be in contact, no skype!!!

    Comment by ian — September 17, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  6. Great post as always Ian!

    I’m always telling people that while having a social media presence is important, a band really does need a website too! Alongside everything else you mentioned.

    Maybe one day they’ll listen ;)

    Comment by Ross — September 24, 2011 @ 2:34 am

  7. Thanks Ross, hope all’s well with you and yours :)

    Comment by ian — September 24, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

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