Band Promotion Blog

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May 21, 2012

The Refinements - @therefinements ska band London #BandPromotion

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 1:14 pm

The Refinements ska tribute band London

Chris and Rich from the The Refinements contacted me last week looking for a link from UBP’s link page. I’m not really keeping that page up-to-date, so, I thought I do a little blog post about them :)

The Refinements are a six piece ska tribute band band from London who, according to their blurb, play unadulterated two tone from the likes of Madness, The Selecter, Bad Manners, The Beat and The Specials. Band members are: Alan - vox. Anthony - bass. Chris - keys. Paco - sexy Sax. Rich - drums. Sean - guitar. Who’s the bird on the trumpet? Judging from their videos, they put on a polished and professional performance that is totally upbeat and absolutely British mod culture - Brilliant :)

The Refinements have played functions, parties, festivals, pubs and clubs accross the country from Farmyard Party Festival (Yorkshire), to The Banbury Club (Birmingham) and The Poison Bar (Basingstoke). And they have a long list of testimonials from the likes of Ronnie Barbour at BBC Three Counties Radio who says The Refinements are, “Fantastic… Magnificent.” …True, they are.

Hook-up on Twitter: @therefinements

May 17, 2012

Run To Me @RunToMeMusic #BandPromotion

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 6:57 pm

Run To Me alternative rock pop-punk band from Bracknell Forest, Berkshire

I was recently introduced to a young local alt. rock pop-punk band called Run To Me. The band members: Adam Blake - vox, rhythm guitar. Charlie Wescombe - drums. Josh Poole - bass guitar. Danny Harvey - lead guitar. all hail from the Bracknell Forest area of Berkshire.

I was very struck by how much I gelled with their sound, it reminded me of another band. Thinks. Yep, then it came to me; I think Run To Me sound a little like my good friends Menendez who are a post rock band from Farnborough!

Compare Menendez’s Beef Jerky (whos opening line is "Come To Me" - Spooky) to Run To Me’s Too Late To Pretend, see video:

Visit Run To Me on the Internet

Myspace
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Unsigned Punk
ReverbNation
EP on BandCamp

Good Luck Guys

TURN UP THE VOLUME
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.

May 8, 2012

Promote Your Band On Somebody Else’s Back

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

PUNKS NOT DAD on spreadshirt
On Spreadshirt & @PunksNotDad

I was talking with Dan, a friend, about making money from his band’s website - which is in desperate need of updating BTW amigo ;) This is what I basically said during our conversation, “Dan, the main factor in making money from your band’s website is getting loads of incoming traffic; selling stuff from your website is a numbers game, the more visitors you get, the better the chance of a favourable outcome. Successful ecommerce websites also attract repeat visitors - as first time visitors often don’t buy. It’s quite easy to get the visitors to return by giving them high quality, relevant content and by creating the right environment; yeah, it really is that simple! Then it’s just a matter of constantly fine-tuning and updateding your website until you get a decent level of sales.”

“Of course you’ve got to have something to sell other than your music; T-shirts are a very popular product, and they’re a good way to advertise your band at the same time; Rachel should be able to come up with a brilliant design. The Eton T-shirt Company 60 High Street, Eton, Berkshire, SL4 6AA, are a good local T-shirt printing and design company! They said to me that they’d print short runs to keep the cost down. Sales can be made from your website by using PayPal. A couple of online T-shirt companies that make it easy to set up an online store are CafePress.co.uk and Spreadshirt.co.uk.”

I would recommend Spreadshirt. Oi Dan, PUNKS NOT DAD is my featured band’s T-shirt shop :) …actually it’s easy to create an attractive shop like theirs with Spreadshirt.

spreadshirt on youtube
Spreadshirt’s YouTube Channel

Spreadshirt’s YouTube Channel is worth a gander, some of it’s in French and German, but there is English too! I think the main advantages with using this type of online store Dan, is that there are no costs, it’s free to get up and running :) they offer an extensive range of quality apparel - no to be sniffed at - and most importantly, Spreadshirt handles the processing, customer service, payments and shipping, meaning, the only thing you’ve got to do is the initial setup. I’d also recommend that you run the shop using Spreadshirt’s platform (i.e. YourBandName.spreadshirt.co.uk - you don’t have to have your own website people), it’s easy to create a distinctive look and feel by adding your own header and footer graphics.

Go on Dan, open your own free online T-shirt shop now! NOTE: go to nav. tab SELL then Open a Shop for more information on their website - Let me know how you get on and I’ll give you a shout out - Good Luck :)

In Conversation With Bands
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.

May 3, 2012

16 gig and ticketing resources for the independent music community

Filed under: Music Marketing, Band Promotion — ian @ 4:39 pm

london gigs, music & venues

Where To Post Your Gig Dates & Gig Resources

Playing live gigs is very important for music marketing

  1. BBC Music Going Out goto [IN YOUR AREA]: the latest music news, reviews and features in your area. Plus: BBC 6 Music - Gigs. [UK]
  2. Alive® entertainment guides are a series of monthly local and regional multi-media magazines, published continuously since 1993 and providing unrivalled free coverage of a wide range of entertainment and leisure persuits for Young and Young Middle Aged (Y/YMA) readers.
  3. Aloud.com Online tickets.
  4. Ents24 Tickets UK entertainment guide, covering live music, comedy, theatre, shows and days out.
  5. Gig Events Guide UK The free online Gig Events Guide is provided to enable the independent music industry to advertise their UK gigs or events.
  6. Gig Guide Ltd UK Gigs, band listings and music information… it’s got the lot!
  7. GigMaven Streamlines the booking process for musicians and venues. [USA]
  8. GigsWiz A ticketing company for venues and promoters that pays artists to promote ticket sales online, providing instant and seamless updating and synchronization across all social media platforms. (UBP: a bit of an annoying website, sorry guys!)
  9. Lemonrock a dynamic live music gig guide updated directly by 1000s of bands, artists and venues.
  10. London Gigs they’ve got a big list of London venues.
  11. National Gig Guide for live music gigs and events across the UK.
  12. NME.COM :)
  13. Rave Magazine Publish your press releases, gig listings, classified ads and more…. all for FREE!
  14. SplitGigs a social network that helps emerging bands or musicians find gigs to play, through a simple but highly effective idea: the "SplitGig" i.e. I let your band play at my gig, then you return the favor by letting my band play at your gig.
  15. Ticketometer Lets concert organizers create shows that only take place if a minimum number of tickets are sold. Propose a concert first and book it after selling tickets – the audience has your back. [USA]
  16. Tourdates A gig listing website for signed and unsigned bands.

May 2, 2012

10 digital music distribution resources for the independent music community

Filed under: Music Marketing — ian @ 1:26 pm

TuneCore

Sell Your Music Online – Digital Music Distribution

There are loads of websites that give bands the opportunity to sell their music online. Watch out for Terms & Conditions and costs!

  1. CDbaby is one of the most popular Websites for selling your music.
  2. Emubands a digital distribution service which allows unsigned bands and artists to sell their music through major online stores such as iTunes, Napster, HMV Digital, Virgin Digital, Tunetribe…
  3. INgrooves Digital distribution of music. Global distribution service, access to over 400+ online and mobile partnerships all over the world.
  4. IODA Independent online distribution alliance. Comprehensive services for record labels, physical distributors, artists, and filmmakers.
  5. ONErpm A global digital music distribution service and a direct-to-fan social commerce solution for musicians and record labels. Sell Your Music on Facebook. Distribute to iTunes.
  6. Overplay is a music Website dedicated to the promotion and exposure of unsigned bands. It’s a full blown Website that offers a good chance to sell your music online, and yes there is a growing music community.
  7. PayLoadz A secure Digital Goods eCommerce service for anyone to sell downloadable goods online - Sell Downloads - Click Here.
  8. Spotmeup Simple Spotify distribution. Free way of adding your own music on Spotify.
  9. Trackseller manages paid music downloads for musicians of any kind and all around the world. Buying music from trackseller means buying directly from the artist. Trackseller lets you add a buy download now-button to your website in minutes. Upload files, add pricing - ready for sale …that’s what They say, anyway ;)
  10. TuneCore sell your music, not your soul (good strap line)! Get your music into all the leading digital stores: iTunes, Spotify, eMusic, AmazonMP3, Google Play… fast and easy, and keep all your rights.

April 8, 2012

Sell Downloads #MusicMarketing

Filed under: Music Marketing, Marketing — ian @ 8:03 am

Payloadz 234 X 60

Sell Downloads with PayLoadz

PayLoadz offers another outlet for bands to sell their music online as a download. There is a free demo account so you can try, before you buy :) I’m an affiliate I hope that doesn’t put you off! The Payloadz platform supports PayPal, Google Checkout, 2Checkout, Amazon Payments and TrialPay - the coice makes it easier for both you and your fans to use ;)

April 3, 2012

UK Musician Forums

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 6:50 pm

UKmusicianForums
UKmusicianForums

An interesting NEW forum for UK based musicians - Give it a whirl :)

March 26, 2012

How To Upset Me by IAN

Filed under: Copyright Issue, Band Promotion — ian @ 7:04 pm

Independent Artist Network
IAN - IndependentArtistNetwork

Over the past thirty years I have worked with many artists: actors, dancers, photographers, painters, sculptors, musicians, designers & writers, some who are famous, all are highly principled (I think!); the one thing that they all worry about is copyright infringement - especially the lesser known independent artists, because when people copy and use their work it normally cuts into their megre earnings and they feel cheated!

The music and film industries are almost obsessed with the problem because copyright infringement costs them millions of dollars - peer-to-peer networks, file sharing sites like the Swedish website The Pirate Bay, are constantly facing litigation and are always under the threat of being shut down; quite rightly so, say the media companies; supporters of file sharing say, "a person who does not share is not only selfish, but bitter and alone" - quote Paulo Coelho 2009. But What About Me, How Do I Feel?

I feel rotten. I get pissed off when tossers use my work and don’t support me by giving me a shout out. I spend hours helping musicians and artists to get their websites noticed and I do it for free. My articles aren’t hidden away in a $10 eBook or Kindle download, they’re open for all to see and use, all I want is for users to follow my copyright and not steal my thunder!

Steven Cooper - Feed him to the pigs said Brick Top

Steven Cooper @iamstevencooper, a Music Professional and owner of Independent Artist Network, copied and posted my article How To Make Money Online By Selling Music onto his website in the Music Business 101 section. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Mr Cooper using my work, I love it, just like a musician who loves people listening to their music; however, when the accreditation to my work is ambiguous and does not comply with my (UnsignedBandPromotion) Copyright, I get a little upset.

It is very simple Mr Cooper, my work is offered to one and all under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, which means, it’s yours to use as long as you attribute the work to UnsignedBandPromotion (inc. credit) and Link Back. I do have a universal Copyright Notice which states, "Copyright 1994 All Rights Reserved - unless otherwise stated."

Should You Wish To Use Our Work

Please Link to the Original Article and also include our credit:
<p><a href=”http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/”
target=”_blank”>Unsigned Band Promotion</a> 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.</p>

If in doubt, please get in contact, I like to say yes. Thanks for your support and should you wish to make a small Donation, I’d be most grateful ;D Ian xx

March 22, 2012

Save on Hosting at Network Solutions®

Filed under: website promotion — ian @ 9:00 pm

March 20, 2012

How To Take Your Band To The Next Level Online

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:20 pm

I was recently contacted by the manager, frontman and vocalist of a blues band, who have been going since 2010. “I would really value your advice on how to improve our marketing.” Mackenzie asked, and he goes on, “We have a website and I’ve been reading marketing literature. I’ve implemented promotional pages and put a mailing list widget on our homepage, but the uptake has been slow! I have tried to drive traffic to our website, but again with little success! I keep a regular blog that includes plenty of information, a call-to-action and interactive content however, the uptake is very slow and scanty.”

“We gig about three times a month and we are starting to get more bookings. I promote our events, I hate to say it, but it’s usually hit and miss; I work very hard and attendance varies greatly. I’ve used videos and different types of content, but yet again it’s the same story, I’ve had little success.”

“We started as a band that only had friends who were real fans, but I want to move away from that because it’s not sustainable. I’m working hard to not overexpose or overpromote our product so that people don’t just switch off or block us, but at the same time, I’m not getting traction.”

“I do have more ideas on how to generate buzz, but I’ve been hesistant about implementing them because, I get little return on my investment of time and effort.”

“Ian, I’ve hit my ceiling in terms of promotion and marketing. So I want to know how to take our band to the next level on the Internet. It would be great if you can help us out and advise on what to improve, fix, trash, and introduce in order to make a real change.”

Hi Mackenzie, I hope you don’t mind, but, I’d like to share my reply to you with my readers, because yours is such a common cry for help from independent bands, and it fits in well with a couple of recent blog posts: How To Get 100 Daily Website Visitors - The Golden Ticket and The Most Frequently Found Website Promotion Mistakes. BTW, thank you for your well written and detailed email :)

Firstly, I said this in a blog post ages ago, “Nine times out of ten, if you are having trouble getting noticed and making money out of your music, then you probably can’t do it! Seek criticism and advice from an independent and qualified person whose opinion you value and trust. Then act on their advice.” Personally I’m not that keen on Blues, I like Folk Rock, but even if I did like Blues I still wouldn’t be the right person to help you with your core essential, Music and Performance, because I’m not qualified - I’m just for Website Promotion ;)

O.K. after you have checked your core essential and before you do anything else to change your website, you need a Target Fan Profile (someone to aim your marketing and promotional efforts at) - without one you are totally fucked and you are just wasting your time. When I talk about promoting a band’s website, I usually mention something somewhere about a “target audience” or “target fans” (most website gurus do wink) because, these are the people who are going to interact with you.

Your target fans are the people who want to come to your gigs and buy your music, they follow your genre and live your lifestyle! And as I’ve blogged, “They probably hang out in the same colleges & universities, independent record shops, fashion shops, cool coffee houses, pubs and nightclubs that you do, they live next door, they listen to the same music and they want to dance like you, or maybe you want to dance like them! They are your friends, or they could be. You know who these potential fans are, where they are, what they want and how to approach them. I don’t, I can only generalize.”

Your Target Fan Profile Checklist

From your 10 true fans (who tend come to gigs) and 10 other loyal fans, create a target fan profile of your ideal fan by investigating their similarities. Use social media and the art of conversation to extract the information, you will soon build up an intimate understanding of your target fan :) Here are a few ideas:

  • Where do they live, is location important to you? Postcode information can be helpful!
  • Do they live in a little village or a big city?
  • Where do they hang out? Birds of a feather flock together ;)
  • What about climate, is that an issue?
  • Age (average & range 25 - 60), sex (males% females%) and marital status?
  • Occupation and education? Income is difficult to acquire!
  • And other demographic factors like, habits, attitudes, tastes and moral standards?
  • What is their fashion style? Where do they buy their clothes?
  • What is your target fan’s general personality like?
  • Their behaviour and life-style choises, do they buy their music from iTunes and listen to it on their iPhone?
  • How do they normally listen to music?
  • Are they consistently active users of social media, do they have a favourite like twitter?
  • How many friends/followers have they got?
  • If they work, are they on the net at lunchtime, what time, when?
  • When (what time of day) are they active on social media?
  • What type of internet connection are they using?
  • When you release a new album, are they excited - in what form do they buy it?
  • How did they find out about your band?
  • Is there a third party online/off-line who recommended them?
  • Do they look for and talk about other independent blues bands?
  • Are they listening to and following other blues bands? - who are they?
  • Are they knowledgeable champions of blues music?

A Quick Run Through Your Website - Including Tips & Advice

Home Page & General Comments: Run your URL through W3C HTML Validation because you’ve got a number errors and warnings - not too many and all are very easy to sort out. You’ve got the same title element on just about every page. Target the title element to the contents of each individual page - using the same one is a huge waste. Also, include the description element, which is missing.

The Home Page looks messy even though it’s actually simple, not good; remember, once the page has loaded you only have a fraction of a second to capture your visitors attention. The messiness is caused by the slightly unconventional presentation of important information which makes the viewer need to think! Not good, we don’t have time to think ;) for instance, in your Our Gigs column, you present your gig thus: ‘name of party’ @ ‘name of venue’ w/ ‘name of support’ ‘date’; the reader is initially confused because the convention is to use the date as a bullet point, newest date at the top. Get rid of the “Past Gigs” section it’s fluff.

You use external websites to augment your site, that’s good not a problem; the problem is that the external sites are using different navigation to you! Navigation is an issue.

I feel the look, mood, aura is wrong for your genre. See: Make A Sexy Website And Get Laid Like A Rockstar This Weekend

Think about the three ways by which your visitors will come to your website: Via a search engine - needs Content and SEO. Via an incoming link - needs links from Blues Music and lifestyle related websites. Via the real world by typing your URL directly into the address bar - needs a cheap (so cheap it’s almost free) and very simple A8 (v.small) flyer.

Think about what will keep your visitors on your website for longer than two seconds!

Book Us [page]: ‘This is Why You Should Book Us’, OK, how about the How? I think you could delete this page and include the information in ‘About Us’, even though you may feel that it’s an important sales page. You’ve included your contact information at the top of each page :)

Blog: Websites are always about communication, and your target fan is the person with whom you should be talking; potential fans are looking for you - what are you talking about with your fans that will help your potential fans find you?

You are using a well-known Wordpress theme, change it to fit in with the look of your website - continuity is an important part of branding.

Navigation issues: ‘About Us’ versus ‘How We Started’ versus ‘The Band’. And ‘Buy Our Music’ versus ‘Hear Our Demo’ versus ‘Our Music’ - six pages where two would do.

BTW, I can see that you’ve put in a lot of hard work :)

How We Started [page]: Redirects to your blog’s About Us! Include some images with description for new viewers. Change one of the page names.

Hear Our Demo [page]: Redirects to Soundcloud! create a new page or use ‘Our Music’ and embed the Soundcloud code. This page should be a sales page, think about merchandise!

Photos [page]: I love your image gallery powered by Coppermine Photo Gallery. Use more of your images around your website and especially your blog. You’ve got a surfeit of brilliant band photographs, but out of the 369 images in 9 albums, you have not got ONE of a fan!!!!! Very Bad for conversation, it’s all one way. Take a gander at how Sandi Thom does it.

The visitor has to use the back button to navigate back to your home page :(

The Industry on Us [page]: Another important page, it misses the opportunity to connect with music industry people, you have not linked to the original articles or the authors. Most music critics will visit this page to find out what others are saying - it’s a very negative experience for them - you must connect with people.

The Band [page]: I suppose this could be the bio page? No content, so delete it.

Our News [page]: No News is bad news, you’ve got a blog, I’d delete it.

Our Gigs [page]: Most recent gig 7th October 2011? No it’s 18th March 2012 - I think! You Must keep important pages updated, up-to-date.

Use the local date format for where you live: day, month, year? Use the date like a bullet point. Always use the same configuration e.g:
20:03:2012 @ 20.30, doors @ 17.30, Venue Name (hypertext link to Venue Page) & town, £5 with flyer, 18+ ID., freebie inf.

The Gigs Page could easily be a hosted Wordpress blog, each gig listing would then be a blog post and it’d be easy for your true fans to share :)

Create a Venue Page for each venue you play. When you promote a gig from your website you are actually promoting the venue as well, so make the most of it. Include:

  • Venue’s name inc. hypertext & image links to the venue’s official website.
  • Link to venue’s Facebook & Twitter.
  • Venue’s Full address - maybe with Sat Nav inf.
  • Box office details (link to box office &/or online ticket agency - maybe affiliate opportunity?).
  • Normal ticket (admission) price.
  • Usual doors times.
  • Age restriction details.
  • Full travel information and directions inc. how to get there: on foot, by rail, by bus, by car with parking inf., and hypertext links to Google maps.
  • Video of your band playing the venue.
  • House DJ details.
  • Open mic. details.
  • Local information might include: independent record shops, fashion shops, accommodation, coffee houses and pubs etc. that reflect and complement your genre.

A Quick Word On Fan Numbers: All your friend/follower numbers are well short of the mark, you need at least 1,500 people on each social media platform, because most of them aren’t true friends, followers or fans.

MySpace trash it!

That’s it for now, I really hope that helps you a little Mackenzie, if you’ve got a specific question regarding this basic website critique or anything else for that matter, please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best for you.

Fond Regards xx

Helping Indie Bands With Website 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.

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