Band Promotion Blog

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April 9, 2010

Lead Your Fans Down The Sales Path

Filed under: Band Promotion, Marketing — ian @ 10:24 pm

Create a linear path that will guide your fan through your website step by step, and provide a non-linear navigational structure that is:
1/ easy to understand
2/ easily recognizable
3/ consistent

April 1, 2010

Promote Your Genre From Your Website

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 8:20 am

Promote Your Genre

folk rock
Folk Rock
gothic rock
Gothic Rock
indie rock
Indie Rock
punk rock
Punk Rock

“What colour is rock music?” That’s a hard one for me to visualise, nothing really comes to mind - maybe yellow & chrome? Indie rock is easy though, light blue with a little light fern green, so is Punk, pink & black, Gothic is black, purple & red, and Folk rock is browns, burgundy & moss green. I wonder if my colour perception of music is the result of looking at too may bands’ websites and album covers?

My inquisitiveness gets the better of me, I log-on and head to Google image search, and look for punk music/rock/band/s, and I repeat the search using AltaVista, nothing jumps out at me and I’m not really satisfied with the results. So I open up Photoshop and create a new image. Then I copy and paste the first three or four most relevant images (filtering out the dross) from each of the search results into the new image file. Blend a little, resize, pixelate and crop… Wow! Bingo! The image feels right. I repeat the process for folk, gothic, indie and the big one, Rock. The images have the feeling of their genre (they do for me anyway). What does your genre look like?

Before you set out to promote your genre, you need an aim and a strategy, you don’t need an elaborate and convoluted plan. Find out who your fans are and work out what is the most appropriate promotional mix to connect with them. Don’t concentrate on your website in isolation to everything else, however, it is important that your website is a part of your overall promotional strategy. Be aware of the different time scales - a lot of UnsignedBandPromotion’s tips are short term, but You also need to think about the long term and the bigger picture.

A note about branding: it’s not just about getting your name out there, it’s about getting your brand out there! You do this by creating a strong, positive and unique identity within your genre and by promoting it at every point of contact with your fans.

rock
Rock

Genre Promotion Tips

  1. Not many independent bands put much effort into identifying their niche in the marketplace, branding or promoting their genre, so it’s an easy prize for those bands that do.
  2. I think that it is important for a band to define their genre before they start promoting themselves, just like it is important not to promote your website too soon. Nail your genre as soon as possible - I wouldn’t be a trailblazer by inventing a new one, just keep it simple!
  3. Use the search engines to find out what other bands of your genre are doing and to keep an eye on the competition. The top five search engine results will normally be well-connected authority sites (as per usual). Some worthy bands are:
  4. The easiest way to promote your genre from your website is to write it into your website’s title tag i.e., “post-rock band” V.simple. Also works incredibly well when joined geographically i.e., “post-rock band farnborough”.
  5. Using Meta tags is not a secret ingredient, however, you could give the Genre Meta Tag a whirl!?
    <meta name=”Abstract” content=”(’http://www.your-url.com/’ Genre: punk rock)”>
  6. Team up and get involved with websites that fit-in with your genre and lifestyle - from a fashion house to a plant food supplier to a motorcycle dealer!
  7. Constituents that reflect and define a band’s genre: your name, your band’s name, the brand’s name, URL, logo, avatar, slogan, website design, colours, graphics and images. Your sound, techniques, styles and context. This information should be on everything and everywhere.
  8. Promoting and marketing your genre, style, image, aura and brand simultaneously through your website, can have a powerful effect.
  9. Get yourselves a Social Media & Website Co-ordinator.
  10. The most effective way to promote your genre from your website is to fill your website with relevant and spellbinding content - blogs are good for this.

[Ed. note] Just because UnsignedBandPromotion happens to be #1 in Google for MySpace Band Promotion I get a few bands asking if I can “get their name out there”. No. I do not get hands-on and help bands to promote MySpace, PureVolume and profiles in general, or FreeWebs, Yahoo! GeoCities, LYCOS.tripod and other free webhosting type of pages - You Need A Real Website.

Written by Ian Robson
IanUnsigned Band Promotion help musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own. Find UBP on and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.

March 22, 2010

The Smallfish Recordings Project

Filed under: Band News — ian @ 4:15 pm

The Smallfish Recordings Project audio mixing mastering recording service

So you’ve just recorded a great tune into Garageband (or whatever), put the cheap but effective Chinese condenser mic back in it’s box, moved a few faders, patched in a few very professional presets and hey presto! – something so good that you want the rest of the world to hear it. This is happening in bedrooms right now all over the world and is going to be the source of the vast majority of all music that consumers will be hearing (if not paying for) in the future.

It’s great. It renders obsolete almost the entire music industry with its monolithic structures, lumbering speed of response and enormous overheads. Almost!

SmallfishRecordings believes that amongst all of this upheaval, there is one aspect of music that will not change and that is – Quality.

Even the lowest of lo-fi productions has to meet basic sonic standards if it is to satisfy anyone other then the bloke that recorded it straight to cassette tape. And even the best digital creation needs to carry with it the fingerprints of analogue distortion if it is to be truly satisfying.

It’s very often the case that great musical ideas are stifled because the creative, intuitive skills of the artist don’t carry over into the more logical arena of the mixing or mastering process, and it’s here that SmallfishRecordings finds it’s niche.

The SmallfishRecordings Project is determinedly small, client focused and somewhat selective. Jon (Mr Smallfish himself) works on projects that he mostly discovers himself but increasingly, is taking in commercial projects to keep the wheels turning - and not falling off! Clients upload their material to the studio and can take advantage of a range of services including:
Mastering: You should try this even if it’s only once – you might be surprised what can be done to improve a straight stereo file with the right processing.
Mixing: Taking advantage of a combination of good ears, experience and some high-end processing solutions can really add depth, clarity, dynamics and a balanced soundstage to even the muddiest of mixes.
Improvement: Having access to a wide variety of sound sources and engineering tools, SmallfishRecordings can replace, re-enforce or add to the original content.

Jon has invested very carefully to make sure that while overheads are kept to the bare minimum, some of the best possible processing tools are in place including products from TC Electronic, URS, Izotope, IK Multimedia and others.

What all this adds up to is this… Commercial quality production within the reach of the dedicated amateur.

Why should you even consider asking someone else to mess around with your masterpieces?

We make decisions in life based on comparisons – your preferred brand of cheese will be based on years of trial and error. If you never hear an alternative translation of your music, you will never really know where it stands in terms of levels, tonality, dynamics, texture etc. Even if you send your mix out and it comes back worse, then you’re someway further down the track to understanding your own music.

SmallfishRecordings understands that the potential client base for the project are not likely to be seasoned professionals, so put a lot of effort into helping each one through the process, explaining what each change; fader move, EQ shift or compression treatment is there for so that the artist gains some new insight into these aspects, and can then improve their own skills used in the front end of the process. If you visit the SmallfishRecordings website and read through some of the examples, you’ll get the idea.

The SmallfishRecordings Label

Late in 2010, the first commercial release will take place on the SmallfishRecordings label. Jon has found that some of his clients are so exciting musically that all studio fees are waived in favour of an agreement to co-release the final product through this new experimental label.

Having asked the question "Why Label?" the only reasonable justification left is to provide a focal point for a specific collection of artistic creativity, so that people finding a resonance with it, know where to go to find it. There will be no advances, no big promotion budgets, but there will be the chance to become part of a very special community which can position each artist in the best possible place to move onto the next step – few risks, great fun and great music. Jon has a formula that goes like this:
(Little Cost X Let’s Have a Musical Adventure)/World Wide Audience = Why Not?

One of the important benefits of being a web-based service is that the organisation is growing a world-wide network of clients and partners, some of which will become the mutual "distributed distribution" framework for artists joining the project.

Not only do the masses now have the means of production, they also have the means of distribution.

[Ed.] This post was written especially for the Band Promotion Blog by Jonathan Huxtable of The Smallfish Recordings Project. Thanks Jo and good luck - BTW I like your website.

March 10, 2010

5 Ways Fans Can Help To Promote Your Band

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 12:14 pm

Et des images - Chris CB Photographie | Synopsis @ Scène Bastille, Paris
© CHRISCB PHOTOGRAPHIE

If you want to promote yourself and sell your music Online, in my view, you need to get yourself a website (not just a number social networking profiles and a blog) - that’s what UnsignedBandPromotion.com is all about! But it doesn’t stop there, once you’ve got yourself a website you will need to promote it to get visitors - your website needs "traffic".

Targeted Traffic is the Buzzword here. What I’m talking about is attracting hundreds of visitors who are interested in your genre and lifestyle to your website. And quite frankly it doesn’t matter what you are promoting online, whether it’s music or cars, if you want to be successful you need masses of targeted traffic. Most websites get the bulk of their traffic from Google! Google is the most important supplier of traffic for the typical business website, in fact, an average of 65% of visitors could come from Google - that’s a lot, but I’m not talking about search engine optimization, I’m talking about asking your fans, friends and family to help - and don’t forget to keep saying Thank You.

5 Ways Fans Can Help To Promote Your Band

  1. Ask fans, friends and family (FFF) to join you on: Facebook, Myspace, ReverbNation, Twitter, Wordpress, Youtube. Then ask FFF to spread the word by/via: Updates, Bookmarks, Bulletins, Emails, Pings, Retweets, Tagging, Comments and Posts… talking about your band, genre and lifestyle.
  2. ReverbNation almost has a plethora of widgets and a street team ‘organizer’. Ask FFF to share your widget by putting it on their websites, blogs and social networking pages. Via email, ask your FFF to join your street team, then create a street team mission. Read Brian Hazard’s excellent blog post, My first ReverbNation street team mission.
  3. Ask FFF to link to you and encourage others to do the same. Create a set of banners and links. Display the banners, provide the code… eg.,
    <!– Start of YourBandName link code - copy & paste to your website –>
    <p><a href="http://www.YourBandName.com/">YourBandName - Rock Band</a></p>
    <!– End of YourBandName code –>
  4. Set yourself up with an e-mailing list (MailChimp?). Ask FFF to include the sign-up form on their sites and ask their friends to join your mailing list. They can also include mailing list sign-up details in their email signatures as well as adding a tell a friend link.
  5. Tell your fans, friends and family not to Spam on your behalf. Tell them not to contaminate the Internet with the same mind numbing bollocks that would cause a brain seizure in even the most dim-witted music fan and come up with something new and interesting and while you’re at it tell them that if they use the phrase "This band is AWESOME they TOTALLY Rock" you will personally come around to their house and stick the rough end of your Flying V up their arse and the same goes for "Sorry about the shameless self promotion" and if they say "These guys are definitely musicians’ musicians - check ‘em out they’re totally amazing, OMG I can’t wait for the album, everything by this band is SO awesome" send the band around and stick the fully wired and throbbing Roland D-Bass-210 amplifier up their ignorant arse to block the flow of mindless crap that will have the readers and your potential future fans sticking red-hot needles into their eyes rather than read another turd fuelled fabrication about your awesome band, these stupid tossers are only going to impress the lemming-minded who will not actually buy your hard worked album, they will spend their lives exploring how they can download it for free and if you think that they will pass it on to their friends and ’spread the word’ you have got another think coming because they couldn’t pass on influenza. Feed your fans, friends and family with plenty of content and warn them about spamming and quality or it will cost you dearly - silence can be a virtue. You guys totally rock!

March 8, 2010

Searching For New Friends

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 10:36 pm

If you want to promote your band on on social networking sites, a good idea is to find bands of the same genre and from the same locale and get into conversation with them. You can find these bands by searching in Google [click to search for Punk Rock Bands London].

Type this into Google: site:profile.myspace.com punk rock london [you can just click!] and it will find MySpace Profiles that are predominantly about "Punk Rock" and in or about "London"!

Today I came upon this little nugget via Twitter, 7 Insanely Useful Ways to Search Twitter for Marketing by John Jantsch - it’s well worth a read.

From that article by John Jantsch we get: intitle:"punk rock* on twitter" site:twitter.com [you can just click!] - nice, elegant, handy.

Helping Indie Bands With Their Promotion,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
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.

March 2, 2010

Dating Agency For Lonely Hearts Club Band?

Filed under: Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 11:53 am

Band Directory

Band Directory
Sebastian Gibbs of Band Directory contacted me regarding a link - I wonder if that’s a reciprocal link? Anyway, Band Directory is one of those sites like Unsigned Band Promotion and London Gigs, that needs your support if you want to benefit from it - sort of in it to win it - Give tham a try.

If you read this blog regularly you will know that I feel strongly about indie bands promoting themselves locally i.e., Gigdoggy’s Gigs List was high in my esteem (sadly the beta version came to nothing) because it promoted collaborative networking, Band Directory could be seen in a similar light. Their aim is to, “match lots of suitable local bands to venues” and it’s basically Free unless you want Premium Promotion.

I must say, Band Directory does sound a little like Band Direction (a social network for musicians, venue owners and producers)! However, I’m not going to worry about that because Band Directory is UK based and up-and-running, Band Direction hasn’t gone live (may never go live) and is USA based. Lemonrock is worth a mention and more than a gander.

February 21, 2010

The Slips New Website

Filed under: website promotion, Band News — ian @ 11:37 pm

The Slips New Website

The SlipsAfter slating the Slips’ website in "The Slips - Electro Band London" about a year ago, I thought they deserved a big WELL DONE for creating such a positive and attractive site.

The only thing I liked on The Slips’s old website, was the way they collected a fan’s email so they could download free remixes - very few bands did it so well as The Slips. The new website however is very entertaining. The Slips’ website is pulsating, gloriously bouncy and super-hot. I’m Loving The Slips New Website.

<strange>They’ve changed their website address too, from theslips.net to theslipsmusic.com</strange> Which is a little odd, but I’m sure they have their reasons.

The Slips released a 7" single Girls At The Back Up in the States as part of LA based IAMSOUND’s Singles Club, reaching No. 6 on The Hype Machine on the day of the release - awesome BUY it NOW - Click Here - $6.99 uses PayPal or you can BUY NOW From iTunes - MP3s or 7" vinyl including DRM-free MP3s.
The Slips have also released their first ever mix tape: Vol 1 Download Mix Tape Vol 1 FREE

The Slips - 7inch vinyl, A: Girls at the Back Up, B: Cadillac Crash - $6.99 The Slips - First Ever Mix Tape: Vol 1 Download FREE

February 13, 2010

5 Ways To Promote Your Band’s Website Locally

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:15 pm

Et des images - Chris CB Photographie | Tremore @ La Bellevilloise (Clak!), Paris
Promoting your band’s website locally is about getting more people to come to your gigs (if you don’t gig, don’t bother), it’s usually only locals who’ll turn up and support you. By promoting your band’s website locally you are also promoting your band locally - it works best if you’re hands-on, real world, for instance, if you want to get a link from the local press or local radio, it would help if your band proactively supports a local charity.

Local is the area around your favourite venue (the venue you like and play most) or your town. Get a map. Find the venue or town centre. Draw a circle with a radius of about 25 miles (about 40 kilometres) around the venue or town centre. That’s local. 25 miles represents the distance people would be prepared to travel to see an independent band in the UK. Because of the transport infrastructure and familiarity with commuting, you can have a 35 mile radius around a London venue (same in most large cities). Bands who operate in large cities have a big advantage - of course you don’t have to target everyone!

 

  1. Swap links and get involved with local: businesses, charities, record shops, fashion shops, cafes, pubs, clubs, venues. Get links from local: press, radio.
  2. (Legally) Hand out, post, pin up, stick and drop (accidentally!): flyers, stickers, business cards, button badges - in and around: schools, colleges, universities, record shops, fashion shops, cafes, pubs, clubs, venues and churches. Include your band’s name, website address and free gift details.
  3. Team-up and collaborate with 5 or more local bands of the same or complementary genre and promote each other online and offline.
  4. Use the networking communities (esp. Facebook, MySpace, ReverbNation) to communicate with the locals. Always make your website The focal point.
  5. Create a mailing list / database of fans, friends and family, target those within your locale and ask them for support. And don’t forget, if you can’t make it locally with the support of your fans, friends and family, you’re not going to make it anywhere!

February 9, 2010

5 Easy Website Promotion Strategies For Bands

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 8:46 pm

Et des images - Chris CB Photographie

  1. Tweak and improve your band’s website 5 times a year. Don’t cloud your mind (or website) with Web 2.0 and Apps., just think about your fans and aim to project your band’s identity.
  2. Find the top 5 keywords and key-phrases that best describe your band. Think about what your potential fans will search for. Then stick them in your Title tag, Description meta tag and Body of the appropriate page. Now you’re being found for something else in the search engines other than your band’s name. Example:- it could be: your genre (indie rock band), your location (Chelsea, London), the name of your favourite venue or your album and song titles…
  3. Link with 5 other websites each week. For linking think networking and for networking think conversations. So that’s, get into conversation with five new people each week and swap links. Start off by making your website the focal point of your social networking profiles.
  4. Blog 3 times a week (What? Not five!). 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.
  5. Announce your website 5 times a year via a newsletter. Start off with a free MailChimp (mailchimp.com) mailing list. Four band members should easily be able to assemble a legitimate mailing list of about 300 people - ask them first if they want to be on the list, then ask them to recommend you to their friends.

February 6, 2010

Micro-Site Update For Andy Kostek

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 9:36 pm

Andy Kostek folk rock singer songwriter Southampton Hampshire Andy Kostek has just released his new album My Mirage on CD Baby, and to help him out I’ve just updated his Micro-Site with the new information. I’ve made a few other little changes too! Andy’s well set up with a website and networking profiles - MySpace, CD Baby, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, ReverbNation - but, how many of you bands and artists know the difference between a website and a profile? Ever since I started helping bands to promote their websites back in August 2004, I have been amazed by the number of bands who have folded and by the number of bands who have abandoned their websites in favour of social networking portfolios (a collection of social networking profiles)! While I realize that these two facts aren’t wholly connected, there is in my opinion a correlation. I think that when a band gives up its website in favour of a social networking portfolio it is a sign of decline and dissolution - it certainly says their website wasn’t working, and maybe it also says they are not very good at networking - I was not talking about Andy there!

A Website is your place on the Internet, you own it and you can express yourself no matter how you like there. A Profile Page is part of someone else’s website, you don’t own it and there are limitations. MySpace, for instance, isn’t your space, it’s Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation’s space! So, an important difference between a website and a profile page is, you own the website not the profile page. I’ve got a 101 Reasons Why Your Band Needs A Website but, I think the top three are (not in any special order):

  • Owning a Website shows credibility, control and professionalism.
  • Your website is at the top of the promotion, marketing pyramid, your profile pages should form the strong foundation.
  • Your fans want you to have a Website.

Andy Kostek My Mirage, 11 tracks - CD price: $10.99, MP3 price: $9.99 on CD Baby The Crème de la Crème of profile pages is the UBP Micro-Site - they’re a marketeer’s linking dream, however, they are much under valued and misunderstood by the music community who are in favour of social networking. It will be interesting to see if my little effort helps him. Good Luck Andy.

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