Band Promotion Blog

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October 2, 2011

Writing An Effective Email Asking For Help

Filed under: Band Sponsorship, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:10 am

Spam, lovely Spam, wonderful Spam

Q: Do you know what pisses me off? A: People like Elaine!

Elaine emailed me asking, "We’d Love Your Help With Our Online Promotions." I thanked her for contacting me and as per usual, I was sorry I was a little late getting back to her ~ a couple of days! I had spent three hours looking at Elaine’s website, social media profiles and linking strategy; I then answered her request for help by offering up 20 tailored ideas, observations, and tips to improve her website’s visibility and performance ~ not bad for free! Do you know what pisses me off? When I don’t get an email of acknowledgement or ‘Thanks’ ~ receiving a small donation doesn’t even come into the equation!

So, how do you think I would respond to an email that simply, but only states, "Hey! Check our band out!?" That’s right, I ignore and delete it!

Here is a massive tip: If you want to get the best out of people who are willing to support your band, get into a meaningful conversation with them ~ email conversations should be interactive, two-way and follow rules of etiquette! ~ BTW., I am always pleased to answer additional specific questions that may arise from my initial response, in fact I expect questions and I love feedback.

Writing An Effective Email Asking For Help

I am constantly amused by the number of crappy, spammy and suspicious emails I get, luckily my spam filter copes quite well, but I find it very boring sorting out the Real requests for help from the loathsome heap of egotistical shit I receive. *HEY bands wake up* and do yourselves a favour, send emails that are worth reading and prove that you are worth supporting.

Make An Impression At The Inbox: You only get a nano-second to make a first impression as your email languishes in the recipient’s inbox; make the most of your email name and subject line ~ don’t send emails with wierd headers: From: The Jackson Five <yd8kcaji@hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Help. Use your real name linked to your band’s email account and write a meaningful and descriptive subject line: From: Daniel Cool <dancool@bandname.com> Subject: Advice needed regarding website promotion ~ I would open that email!

Trigger A Response With Good Content: Keep your email focused and get to the point quickly. Ask a clear question and include all the relevant details so the recipient can work out the answer quickly. Don’t be too brief or too waffly, however, explain yourself and say what you expect to gain from the answer. Proofread! If this is the sole & entire contents of your email, "Well, since i’m not too grate at promo my band, I will heed your advice and ask. How can I promo my band more?" (someone actually sent me that) ~ it will never get a reply from me!

"Thanks in advance." Thanking the reader in advance doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t respond promptly to their slow and sloppy reply ~ etiquette is always super-polite ~ remember, no f.ing flaming.

Identify Yourself Clearly: Contact information is one of the most important and fundamental elements of an email; knowing someones name and address is the cornerstone to building a relationship, and it’s totally underrated ~ lack of contact information is a constant bugbear with music industry professionals.

Include: your name, your band’s name, a couple of telephone numbers, postal address, email address, website URL ~ use the definitive URL because it’s usually clickable eg: http://www.theskarlets.co.uk/ ~ list your main social media platforms in the same way.

No Atachments On The First Date: It is common for bands to send attachments of: (5mb).jpg images, (6mb).mp3 files and f.ing *.zip files ~ that I’m never going to open. Only include attachments when it is prearranged. Some email servers ignore messages that include large (over 3mb!) attachments and some people don’t clear out their inbox as often as they should; it all starts to look a little overfull and messy!

Etiquette and converstion are key words when corresponding with a potential helper and maybe sponsor & future champion of your band. Don’t f.it all up by being selfish ~ give out and you will receive.

September 27, 2011

Ska Band Rubs Shoulders With Queen

Filed under: General Musings, website promotion — ian @ 12:09 pm

The Skarlets 7-piece 2-tone & ska band from Reading Berkshire, live function music

I was contacted by Dave Long of The Skarlets asking a video marketing related question. I visited The Skarlets website and was very pleasantly surprised by its high level of professionalism, it is one of the best band sites I’ve seen for ages - well done Roy Evans of Kaboodle Creative. Here is a little narrative for you!

UBP: Hi Dave, great to meet you. In my experience it’s unusual for a band to have such a polished website, what’s the story behind it?

Dave - The Skarlets: Cheers Ian, well we started out like most bands with just a MySpace page, but we found it so difficult to manage that no band member could be bothered with it! Not long after I met the singer from a Queen tribute act at the airport, he gave me the advice to create our own website. He also suggested that we include some quality video footage, preferably multi camera, of the band on the front page - which we’ve done.

UBP: Solid ritzy advice from ‘Freddie’ as per usual ;)

Dave - The Skarlets: Lol, yeah, of course the initial outlay is not cheap, but I would recomend this to any covers band if they want to progress. We also usually spend about £35 a month on a Google add campaign, this is a great help for potential customers who are looking for certain types of bands and it’s well worth doing, it increases your profile and brings great gig offers.

UBP: I think that you’ve hit the nail on the head, if a band (or a business) wants to progress they must have the confidence to invest in themselves, it’s not only about those long rehearsal sessions!

Dave - The Skarlets: Well it’s also about people, a huge thanks goes to Roy Evans for all the help he has given us with designing and managing the website!

UBP: Thanks Dave - The Skarlets are a dynamic and entertaining seven piece ska band from Reading, Berkshire. They play some of the very best ska and 2 Tone hits from the ’70s and early ’80s by artists such as, Jimmy Cliff, The Pioneers, The Specials, Madness, Bad Manners, Desmond Dekker and others - you’ll be up on the dance floor all night long. They are available for weddings, beer festivals, private parties and corporate events. And you can even Like them on Facebook - like I did :)

September 15, 2011

Chief Technology Evangelist @ Yokto

Filed under: Marketing — ian @ 6:55 pm

I got an email from Oojal Jhutti who has the worlds best job title :) …

Add your bands favourite videos to your website or blog in minutes, for free! Here at Yokto we know you’re far too busy plotting global fame and super stardom to worry about the ins and outs of delivering mobile ready web video. So we’ve made it really easy, point, click, drag & drop and within a few clicks you can create entire TV channels of content for your fans to enjoy. Collect video from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and many more and combine them all into a single web player that’ll play on any device your fans might use - Web, mobile and tablet, for free!

Artists and bands the world over are using Yokto to maximise their exposure and help their fans share and enjoy their music, join them! - Get yours http://yokto.tv/

Good luck with that guys :)

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.

GOOD LUCK

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.

July 3, 2011

Promote Your Music On Twitter - #MusicMarketing

Filed under: Music Marketing — ian @ 3:56 pm

Promote Your Album on Twitter

If you want to give your music a loud shout out and at the same time give my all beautiful followers the heads-up on your release details, join me (if you haven’t already) & message me on Twitter; I will ShoutOut your album/ CD/ EP/ Demo. information.

Please share this post on Twitter - help spread the word :)

June 27, 2011

Promote Your Gigs On Twitter - #BandPromotion

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 6:26 pm

Promote Your Gig on Twitter

If you want to give your gig a little boost, and at the same time give a few of my followers a kick up the arse and the heads-up, join me and contact me on Twitter; I will RT and ShoutOut your gig information.

Please share this post on Twitter, to help spread the word :)

June 21, 2011

10 Quick Music Marketing Tips

Filed under: Music Marketing, Band Promotion — ian @ 4:12 pm
  1. #MusicMarketing Too many advertisements slow Websites down and are usually ignored anyway!
  2. Content, Design and the ability to Listen are the key ingredients to a successful and effective Website.
  3. Your Fans are the apple core (or is that Heart?) of your website - Well that’s what I believe anyway!
  4. US and THEM = V.Bad karma.
  5. A Loyal Fan is a Royal Fan.
  6. Your band’s Website Message must be delivered in 90 seconds or less - only 1.5 minutes to get your entire communication across.
  7. Collaborate with other bands who share your niche.
  8. The more you listen to your fans, the more they’ll listen to your music - Which means they should become New Customers.
  9. Your band’s market share (slice of pie), within your locale, can be enhanced considerably by promoting your Niche.
  10. Your band’s website will grow if you keep it focussed and your message simple!

Helping Indie Bands With Music Marketing,
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.

June 20, 2011

10 Quick Band Promotion Tips

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 2:45 pm
  1. #BandPromotionIt’s the way a band uses Social Media Blogging platforms and not the ‘theme’ that’s important, pick a theme that fits in with your band’s branding.
  2. Improve your band’s ‘website rankings’ (SEO) by aiming relevant keywords towards your target audience.
  3. Don’t start the music playing on the initial load of website because it’s f.ing annoying if I’m/they’re already listening to some!
  4. Monthly: use Google Analytics to analyse your band’s Website prior to tweaking.
  5. Make your website as interactive as possible. Fans want to have a conversation with you.
  6. Show your supreme confidence by linking to other bands’ websites that are relevant and related to yours - You won’t be disappointed with the results.
  7. Don’t oversell your album by overloading your band’s website with adverts - that’s So annoying and therefore futile!
  8. For Title Tag & H1 Header Contents read/think KEYWORDS. They go together like f.&chips.
  9. Band’s Websites should be updated frequently, 2-3 times a week would keep your fans happy.
  10. Make your most important web page open as fast as lightning, and as quick as a flash you’ll have a new fan.

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.

June 13, 2011

Make A Sexy Website And Get Laid Like A Rockstar This Weekend

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 1:27 pm

parental-advisory

I was talking with a very old friend Steve Walker (a rock and roll aficionado) about his favourite subject the other day (Rock & Roll 1945 - 1971) and during the conversation he asked me, “do you know why many of the famous rock ‘n’ roll artists got into music in the first place?”
“No!” I said shaking my head, but thinking it’s probably got something to do with escaping the drudgery of life.
“Because they wanted to have sex” said Steve!
A bolt of lightening struck me on the side of the head and I said, “Oh - My - Good - Fucking - God, it Is all about sex, I should’ve known, hang-on, I did know, but I’d forgotten. Tosser!” I remembered all those angsty songs Nick Young and I had written late into the night after a few pints of Diesel [Snakebite (half a pint of strong larger and half a pint of Scrumpy cider) and Black (dash of blackcurrant cordial) - result looks like agricultural diesel fuel, hence the name] hoping the toons would get us laid sometime V.soon. Sex and drugs and rock and roll (Ian Dury 1977) were all part of my mental imagery of the rockstar’s lifestyle - there must be more to life than my normal nine to five existence - I really do want to be a rockstar so the girls come easy and I get laid! God, that’s all a long time ago now.

Over the past fifteen years, I’ve viewed hundreds of websites in my effort to help bands promote themselves on the Internet, and most of them are not sexy, They Are Fucking Useless, so much so that they wouldn’t get the juices flowing of even the most ugly, desperate, sex starved and zealous groupie. Frankly, a lot of band’s websites have the same effect as taking a freezing cold shower - which is extremely unsexy unless you’ve had a lot of beer!

physical conversation © Jan Brand van der Haar in acrylic

Real relationships, not fantasy pornographic relationships, I believe, are founded on love and trust. That might sound boringly monogamous, very un-rockstar like and the antithesis of a one-night stand philosophy, however, if you want to attract women (whatever), you need to be able to connect, love, laugh and enjoy a physical conversation! Creating a sexcessful website is exactly the same and the results are bliss.

How To Make Your Website Sexy

Firstly, obviously, you need a website. D’oh!

naaktslak slug © Jan Brand van der Haar

Speed It Up ~ Is It Love At First Sight? - Make sure your opening page loads at an ultra fast speed. [1] How quickly your website loads is now a green, carbon sensitive issue. Fast loading websites help to reduce bandwidth and costs, which is why Google looks kindly on speedy websites. [2] People don’t like waiting! [3] The faster you can get your message across, the more likely you are to score.

Keep HTTP/image/JavaScript requests to external websites to an absolute minimum, i.e: Google and affiliate ads, online image hosting (ImageShack & Photobucket), free hit counters and stats… Don’t use frames (which could mean loading four pages), web redirects or web cloaking. Don’t use Flash (for a number of reasons) or massive images.

Following on from getting across your message quickly, there is also the speed at which a first impression is formed and that leads me to, ‘Presentation’ - where will you insert your most important message?

unbutton result © Jan Brand van der Haar

Spruce It Up ~ What Are You Going To Wear For Your First Date? - Subjective. I wouldn’t normally talk about the visual design of a website, because in reality, prettiness is not that important to your website’s success! However, if you want your website to be sexy, there are a number of design suggestions to consider. [1] Present a simple, clean and easy to understand website. [2] Use contrasting colours (i.e. black on off-white) for text/background combinations so your readers find your message easy to read - eye strain usually results in a lame headache excuse! Position the main headings and subheadings to make blocks of text skimmable. [3] Create a website that works dynamically, not fixed width & sizes. [4] Your website will be a chick magnet if you design it with chicks in mind, find out what they like and ask them for their oppinions, then act on the inf./advice.

no underwear © Jan Brand van der Haar

Style It ~ Are You The One? - Be yourself. Be true to yourself. Know your own style, these are ‘constants’ and an important part of building a brand.

Express your band’s personality through your website, but don’t look like you’re trying too hard and always keep it in character with your Sound.

beautiful looker © Jan Brand van der Haar

Put Some Effort In ~ Be Cool. - Produce enough new and changing content (text, images & music) to hold the attention of your fans. Give out little nuggets of insider information, like: which fashion shops sell your gear, how to get a backstage pass [wink, wink] and which pub you are drinking in later… - radiate good vibrations.

By the way, if a blogger gives you a review, mention it and link back to the review from your website. Some people are really up their own arses a bit too far, they only think about themselves and about promoting themselves - tossers, give out a little love and you’ll get more back!

Holy shit © Jan Brand van der Haar

Paint It ~ Do You Stand Out In A Crowd? - You will have greater success if your website is original and is different - but you don’t have to reinvent it! Artists, I believe, must strive to find their own individual sound, style and look. Keep working on your website to move it forward, try introducing new angles - maybe by weaving the theme of your next album into your design? Think about branding but also about entertaining - because sex must be fun!

seed box © Jan Brand van der Haar

Plug It In ~ Have You Got A Sexual Chemistry Set? - There are a couple of problems that bands have with their websites that are as common as a slut with chlamydia! [1] The Website traffic is flowing in the wrong direction. [2] There is no reason for it to exist!

Traffic should flow towards your band’s website and not be directed away from it - your website must not be the pimp who supplies the john to the social media whore! Your Website Isn’t A Splash Page For Your Social Media. Do you understand? Traffic flows towards your website (just like sperm swimming towards an egg), not away from it!

Question: “What’s the fucking point of owning a website?”
Seriously, what’s the point? Well, the point is, a band’s website exists to promote the band to a wider audience, to enable the band to have full control over their business, and to introduce an air of stability (which might also be called professionalism) in an otherwise turbulent and developing world wide web.

It used to be MySpace that was the In social networking website for bands, now it’s Facebook, but in a week, a month or maybe years down the line it’ll be another site; the Internet is fickle, constantly changing and moving on. Stability, is a key word, a sexual pheromone.

So, why would a friend or follower want to go to your website? …That’s the 1,000,000th FaceSpace fan question!
How about, to sign-up to your mailing list (it clicks* with a website like rock’n'roll)? Or to read last week’s newsletter? Or maybe to find the travel details for your next gig …parking? trains? …et cetera? Or to pick up a free gift before buying your album (which is ever so easy to buy) and that’s also called link-bait? Hey, maybe it’s just to leave a comment about the band’s Holiday Snaps? Did you know, when your website has a purpose it will attract more women than you can shake a shitty stick at! …true! …you’ll attract hundreds of local tarts!

So the answer is: “To get ourselves laid like rockstars this weekend!”

Your sexed up website needs to: load quickly, look good, be in character, connect (link) correctly, be useful, be interesting, have a purpose, be very different, laugh, offer an easy mailing list sign-up, give something away for free, make the CDs easy to buy and accept credit cards? maybe have a newsletter and have very clear navigation - fuck a duck, that’s it!

Nickelback - Canadian rock band

I’ve captured a screen shot of Nickelback’s website header, because it is a beautiful example of a sexy website in action, visit it and have a good look around.

All works of art are by the Dutch artist Jan Brand van der Haar and are copyright ©Jan Brand van der Haar.

Jan Brand van der Haar (b.1947) is a self-taught artist and painter, living in Nijkerk, Netherlands. He paints primarily with acrylic on canvas and his subjects are many. The titles of the images are not easy to translate because they are cryptic, so I’ve used my best judgement - I hope it’s OK for you Jan! In order the images are: Physical Conversation, Naaktslak [Slug], De ontknoping [Unbutton Result], Antislip [No Underwear], Stuk [Beautiful Looker], Holy Shit and Semen Capsa [Seed Box]. Very Many Thanks Jan.

June 12, 2011

I get loads of spam, but…

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 7:49 pm

 How’s this for shyte:

buy facebook poker chips

I’m extremely impressed with your writing abilities neatly as with the structure in your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

—-

What the fuck… I’m speachless

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